While I am still easing back into Travels with Penelope, I decided to post a personal sharing.
As I have written in “About,” I consider travel far more than taking a journey from one geographical location to another. We travel not only to get to and enjoy a different physical site as on a vacation, we travel to get to the next level, the next job, the next relationship, the next day off, the next lifetime and so on. While we may not give it much thought, we travel from the moment we step into life until that moment in which we step out. Continue reading
The problem with having an itinerary with reserved guides and hotels is just that. An itinerary has to be honored. Just when I had begun to feel at home in Xi’an and wanted to hang a bit longer, a plan to visit Hangzhou another ancient capitol, city of silk and hand fans, lay waiting. Sadly, I paid my goodbyes to Lily and our guide Liu Li. I felt like I was leaving close friends.
As a young graduate student of religious studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, I remember reading about how the ancient Silk Road created a way for several countries to exchange not only silk, but other goods, culture, mythologies, philosophies and spiritual traditions. One of those traditions Buddhism, brought to China by monks from India traveling the Silk Road established a strong center in the city of Luoyang. Considered to be one of the cradles of Chinese civilization, today Luoyang thrives as an industrial town. Nearby, the ancient Buddhist caves known as the Longmen Grottoes line the cliffs at the gate of the Yi River.
FYI: One of my readers told me that she did not know that words in color are links to an explanation or information on the term or site. In the former post, clicking on the blue-green Wuhan in the first sentence will provide more information on yes, the city of Wuhan.
Only two days in Wuhan and it felt as though I had lived in China from a beginning. I did not know the exact timing of that beginning, in a past life perhaps, I only knew that I felt at home and safe. And, home rescinded to the backyards, no that is too close, home retracted to a distant horizon deep in my mind.
It never ceases to amaze me that when I have a need, more oft than not, an answer walks through the door. If I maintain a relaxed openness rather than descend into a state of anxiety, it allows space for whatever I may need to come my way. I gave an example of this in my post on nagaimo. Recently, I experienced another of the same.
In the past eight months I have had the fortune to visit some of the lesser known wine regions of Europe.
The city of Rome seems ever so far away, but not the meeting with Pope Francis. I feel it as though it happened just this morning. We completed the seven-basilica tour including a stroll along the Appian Way in our last days in Rome, but today I am moving beyond that pilgrimage.
Senator Bob Bennett’s deathbed apology to Muslims for Donald Trump brought up the memory of a trip I made in 2003. That memory will be forever emblazoned in my mind. Continue reading
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For the past two weeks, I have been spending a lot of time reflecting on the experiences I had in Rome. I wanted to write more about them, but every time I sat at my computer to do so my mind would float off into the ethers where an image of Francis would emerge. Meeting such a being left not just a lasting impression, but a lasting exclamation mark. It was a wow event and one that I continue to ponder. Rome held a special magic with which I continue to be intoxicated, but this morning I am finally getting back to the keyboard.
An addition to the previous post is the English translation of the talk given to us by Francis.