Friday, October 25, 2013

"The soul returns to earth in a body similar to its last one and has similar talents and inclinations." – Plato

a few weeks ago i was walking to my apartment and i caught the glance of a familiar stranger sitting by the street.  he was wearing a red shirt with a polish eagle on it and he smoked his cigarette in a way that i swore i knew from somewhere; like he pinched it between his thumb and forefinger in the way one would extinguish a match causing his hand to almost cover half of his face.  i knew he wasn't turkish and i knew that i had met him before so i called to him in plain english.  we played the game of 'where do i know you from' for a good minute and i think it hit us both at the same time where we had met.  i knew this guy from a trip through honduras i had taken a few years ago.  we last saw each other in a very small, obscure seaside village called trujillo and in an even more obscure sense of chance we have crossed paths in this corner of istanbul some five and a half years later.  

seeing someone from my past is like hearing an old song and they get stuck in my head for days.  i've learned long ago that these coincidences (or lack of coincidences) are encounters that are meant for us to be delivered a message.  perhaps i failed in my run-in whereas i am still not sure what the message was for me this time but i do know that it made me really realize how strange the mechanics of this mortal world operate.  

i wonder if i've been here before.  i wonder how old my soul is and if the pieces of carbon that make up my body have traveled through this world have surfaced in another incarnation at some other time.  it all seems so familiar to me.  

my travels are thick and colorful with the pieces of happiness that i have picked from nature all around me.  i'm on to something, that i have always known, and i'm getting closer.  perhaps this is a new level of consciousness or a better understanding of the world around me yet i do know that one day my story will come to an end and like many books i will remain forgotten.  i'm not worried about leaving this world because it is in all of our destinies to leave this place but i do know for sure that i'll not spend my time wondering what is out there.  i've seen the light and beauty of this world first hand and i'll continue to explore with eyes wide open, thankful for the gift of sight and the patience to take in all that i am blessed with.

i went to lebanon last week with alice (my faithful green backpack companion) and i told her in my thoughts that one day she will come again with me to africa.  being on the road again felt good to me and i know that soon enough we will be in a far off an mystical place once again.  lebanon is truly fantastic.  it reminded me of the wonderful people i've worked with when i was a teacher in usa who are from lebanon and how they always told me they wish i could see their country.  now i just wish that i could tell them how i've kept an old promise.  

i hope my friends are proud of me.  i once sat on the floor of my kitchen in an old house in detroit passing bottles and talking about how i'm going to leave one day to wander this planet.  they always believed me and for that i am truly grateful; i don't know if i would have ever attempted this without them.  my friend once said he wanted to change the world and i said that i wanted to teach people how to do so.  i remember feeling that this is what set me different from those close to me and i still wonder to this day if i've kept my end of that claim.  teaching is a blessing and a curse in that sense because you very rarely see the fruits of your efforts as your students wander away often to never be seen again.

i'm going to stay local for a while saving money and studying the roads which i plan to travel next.  i know that this will be a big adventure and i'm actually getting much better at planning.  i hope the world is well and my family and friends are healthy in body and soul.  if i haven't said it lately i want it to be known that i am eternally grateful to whatever forces of the universe have created this beautiful planet and given me the opportunity to explore it for a little while.  bless.

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