I’ve often written about life as a journey. In many ways, that is the guiding metaphor for my life recently.
Because of that, interesting things happen when you commit to taking an actual journey. A compact version of the journey of life, with the only difference being you know your destination (home), your traveling companions (Nathan, Sarah and the Dogs), and your general route (East).
Other than that, the past several days have been a physical as well as an emotional voyage filled with sights, sounds, thoughts, doubts, fears, inspiration, frustration and hope.
First, of course, I bonded with a gorilla, a reminder to me that we are not the only creatures that think and feel in the universe.
Different gorilla, but this is how I felt yesterday when I learned I still haven’t been (and won’t be for a while) paid for a job completed last April.
From there I floated in leisure (with a few moments of effort) on a canoe filled with both memories and dreams–memories of canoe trips past, and dreams of living in a place where I could have easy access to everything I love to do.
I watched my daughter fall in love with reading as she devoured a book of old fairy tales–not the sanitized modern versions. I wondered if anything of mine would ever be read that intently, by someone sitting at a cabin in the woods.
I played with this image a bit because I thought it was so lovely.
At Sarah’s request, I went into the legions of hell, also known as the Mall of America, where I met the memories of the child she was and the young adult she’s becoming. I had memories of moments snuggled together as we watched Backyardigans and, my favorite, Miss Spider. Then we went into a store and bought her something that proves she is growing up. Sigh.
While Sarah had a sleepover with some old friends, followed by an adventure on her own involving a 9 mile bike ride without adult supervision, Nathan and I (along with friends) wandered through the strange landscape of Franconia Sculpture Park as we attended a taiko drumming performance, which brought with it more memories of my journey, in the form of poetry.
The cool thing about the poem is that I found the perfect place to write it.
The poem itself reflects my inner journey. I call it Tadaima which means, in Japanese “I’m back” or “I’m home.”
Taiko drumming its way into
thousands of miles
a past that calls
to dreams unlived
and future hopes
Will I ever say
I’ve come home?
Yumei means dream.
Onegai shimasu is a formal way to say please.
The journey continued at a barbecue where several periods of my life met.
And then it was time to say goodbye. We decided to take a different route home, since we’ve driven across I90 so many times, so we took the carferry across Lake Michigan for a slightly different perspective.
Today was a more traditional day of driving, with a pause to wander through a park in Toledo, Ohio.
I’ve been stuck in my head all day, and I think it’s time for me to get out of that space and focus on letting go. I’m trying hard to do that.
The only unusual part of today’s travel involved the configuration of sleeping figures in the back seat.
We have a long day of driving tomorrow, but then we will be home.
I’m not sure I’m ready for that.