I have been on the road for about three months now. I have travelled to what I would say is the most beautiful place in the world. These mountains broke my soul, in a good way, taking me into a divine state of grace. With tears in my eyes and a dove in my heart, I felt satisfied and whole at the sight of beauty. All I wanted to do was lie naked in her soil, for my life was then complete should death claim my body. But the beauty of the world does not stop with the land. I have also found it refracted in the souls of many who were once strangers to me.
We were camped out in a valley in the Andes, nowhere in particular. The days were warm and sunny but the nights were crazy cold. Every morning I would wake up freezing but run up the hill over frost covered grass and sumberge myself in the warm waters of the natural hot springs. I’d stay bathing and talking with new friends for hours, until the sun rose over the mountains, and then we’d often migrate down to the cooler natural swimming pool. The first week at the festival was a little isolating at times, as my spanish wasn’t very good and not many people speak english, but by the second week my spanish had improved a lot and I made many friends.
I remember when I first arrived meeting David from Switzerland and having a big crush on him, only to sever these thoughts upon realising that he doesn’t speak ANY english… At first we both tried to communicate through our pigeon spanish (his first language is french) but gave up soon enough… A week later, one night, it was raining and so I went to check on my friends tent… There was a candle flickering in a two man tent and the ominious scene of the mountains was complimented by the most beautiful music I had ever heard. It took me a moment to find the courage to invite myself in, but when I finally did I was welcomed warmly by David and his Swiss brother from another mother Jonathan (these two are like twins… so beautifully inseparable).
I was tired and lay curled up in the tiny tent with them as they played and played and played my dreams into reality. Their music was incredible and what made it even more amazing was that it was all improvised. After an hour of non-stop jamming where I found myself drifting in and out of consciousness, they handed me the guitar and asked me to play them a song. So I did and mid way through, David picked up the other guitar and started to play with me, while Jonathan fumbled for his flute. And so, music became our language. We jammed for another two hours, loosing all sense of time and pain despite our cramped positions, being three people and two guitars in a two man tent.
When we finally took a breath, the rain had ceased and we all emerged from the tent, smiling, so high on life. After that it became absolutely necessary to jam together every day as we were all so aware of the precious rarity of such an easy musical connection.
Today I find myself back in Cusco, sitting in the sun talking of loneliness with a timeless friend. If there is one thing I have discovered about myself through travel, is that I am not the lone wolf I once believed myself to be. Yes I love my independence and would never seek to have a relationship based upon dependency, however taking a very literal leaf out of a good friends book, I’ve found great value in following the trail of loveliness, walking the road with only the most beautiful people that grace my reality. I flow with those who make me feel good and feel blessed to find kin so easily. Community is key for me these days and I am delighted to watch it develop around me wherever I go. There is only love here, and so much love here.
Where in the past I valued solitude, these days I am all too aware that it is not the places I visit, but rather, the company I keep, that brings satisfaction in my life. I am learning to give and give and give and give, for as I give, I create space for me to receive more and more and more and it is the transience of these gifts that grace my reality which really excites me. And people are such divine gifts, for we can only go so far within ourselves, by ourselves. I believe it is the contrast of an alternative reference point that really allows one to grow. I see my connections manifesting perfectly as I become the medicine for those around me just as they become the medicine for my own personal development. Sometimes this comes in the form of a challenge – an invitation to transcend old programming as our interactions highlight egoic attachments that it is time for me to let go of . Other times, this human medicine is in the comfort of another’s arms and as they lend their ears and mind.
As I wonder this hall of mirrors I also become a gift to others through our interactions, naturally providing what is needed for them to grow. In turn, I have met shiny, shiny beings who live up to Marianne William’s manifesto. They remind me to be myself without fear as everywhere is a safe place to express myself. The implicit message is, a universal truth… if you are okay with every aspect of you, then the rest of the world will be too.
They say the jungle is not feared by the saint; that pure thoughts keep one safe from harm. It is the same in these cities which sometimes feel colder than they really are. I am learning to accept that I don’t have a dirty mind, that my intentions are always pure and how blessed are the amoral. Everything I do is okay. Adulthood is a myth. My choices are right and there is no need to doubt myself or suppress my desires and dreams as everything I could need or want is here for me. All I have to do is trust and it is given.
Sitting in the sun, we went on to discuss loneliness as a state of being vs. an emotion. One thing I have been really learning to do is letting emotions flow through me like food and water. I believe sadness and loneliness to be fleeting emotions, rather than lasting states of consciousness. That is, unless I allow my ego to engage in their illusions. Its become a yogic practice for me to consciously not attach to such emotions, knowing how the Ego loves to personalize emotions and create attachments through stories. I want to stress that this doesn’t mean suppressing emotions like sadness and loneliness. Rather its about giving myself the space to feel these things, without justifying them with a story.
Looking back, I can see patterns in my past where I actually believed that holding on to pain and sadness was worthwhile. Like it gave me a place in a twisted world focused on pleasure, pain, loss and gain. I wore my pain like a badge of honour, as if I had earned my stripes to be here. As if I needed this pain and sadness to fit into a world of lost souls. These days I choose to see things differently. I notice how more often than not my mood is affected by my environment. It’s not so personal. When I am aware of the stories my mind likes to create to make my emotional state relevant to reality, I can detatch from the emotions that I do not enjoy and allow them to fall away like water off a ducks back.
Saying that, I can also recognize the beauty of contrasting emotions and the important role they play in allowing me to appreciate the good times, which is why I am prepared to feel them fully from time to time. Lying on my back, my eyes to the sky, I can let everything be as it is, with gratitude as I recognize that I am still alive and breathing. It is moments like this that I am able to tap into amazing states of interconnectedness, where I feel that no matter what becomes of this physical body, I will never dissapear.
Sometimes I wonder how sustainable this lifestyle is and how I can make it easier and more wonderful for myself. I have my doubts from time to time but it is these profoundly familiar moments I share with once-upon-a-time strangers that reminds me that this is what I want. A life of moments like this, where I feel at home with new friends, as if we have always been together, we are meant to be together, and the spontaneity of our interactions were always preordained.