There will be a future post with photos of my train trip from Vancouver to Toronto, and a bit of Toronto, but this post is really a brief explanation.
This afternoon I was having a coffee at café in downtown Toronto thinking about how much I was looking forward to sitting down and writing about the thoughts and feelings of the past week or so, particularly the last couple of days. What with one thing or another to do, all of them very valuable or necessary to my trip, it’s now almost 21:00 and I’m not in “shape” to write much. If I did, I’d be forcing myself to meet some kind of self-imposed deadline or promise.
The entire purpose of this trip was to give myself time to just be, to meet new people and experience new things, and to write about my inner and outer journeys in a way that a reader would want to keep reading the next post. While I’m well aware of the interest of people following this blog to see the images/photographs, and in the descriptions of what’s going on with me, I am (once again) putting the value of the personal experience ahead of the obligation to photograph, report or tell. I’m sorry about that – genuinely – for the sake of you, the readers.
Today I experienced a stranger/pharmacist going out of his way to help me get a COVID test in time for my flight on Tuesday because he recognized that (1) I had thought ahead, and it hadn’t worked because his own company’s systems failed, and (2) when he told me (after I called) that there was no way to get my test today I didn’t “panic” or get insistent. I did what he asked and it didn’t work. In short I was nice to him and didn’t blame him or make sure he understood how much this would cost me if I didn’t get the test. So – he was extremely helpful, generous with his time, and went out of his way on a VERY busy day for him so my test has been completed purely thanks to him. Another lesson in the practical value of just being nice to each other. I am very grateful to him.
Then I just “people-watched” on a café’ corner for a while and experienced nostalgia in hearing military jets pass over (an air show at the airport) while never catching more than, once, a very brief glimpse of the aircraft. I felt no desire to rush to get a better view and try to see more, or to go to the airport, it was enough to relish the memories that flowed through me as I felt grateful for having a first hand experience of being able to visualize what those pilots were seeing as they were flying. What a gift.
Literally a dozen such feelings and thoughts passed through my mind while I just sat and had a coffee after the COVID test. The woman with the old dog, the strikingly beautiful Indian woman, the old guy on the bicycle, the young asian couple with an hilariously active puppy on a leash, the couple wondering why I was taking a picture of a tree, the couple behind me wondering why I was rooting around in the bushes (my cup had blown off of the table) and us having a nice exchange and connection over the laughter, and on, and on, and on. All of it something to share.
Then back here to make a final adjustment (necessary) for my plans to return to the USA, and just as I was preparing to sit and write, a new friend I’ve made here at the BnB came up and wanted to talk. It was a sheer pleasure to spend another hour or two talking with her. She’s Japanese, and experiencing the joys and the difficulties of making decisions for herself and changing her cultural surroundings. It is tough – very tough. I have a tremendous respect for her, and find the time we spent just talking to be precisely the reason I undertook this trip. We both left this second conversation feeling enriched – and that is so valuable an experience to share.
In this BnB there are tenants from Japan, Algeria, Yemen, France, Africa (me), the USA (me), Turkey, South Korea, and I think I’ve forgotten one. I am in heaven – the mix of cultures, open minds (and the unavoidable occasional not-so-open one) are a delicious mix of experiences. It’s why I am making this trip.
And then there is technology. One of the reasons there are no images in this posting is that when one piece of software changed (not sure which of two) I can still copy the photos from my phone onto my computer, but my image processing software will no longer import them. It will take time to figure it out, and I’m sure I will, but I resent having to be technical in the midst of so much spiritual richness for my soul. Technical problem solving is an unwelcomed interruption to my musings, and relishing the experiences surrounding me.
So -know I am happy, bumping into the inevitable challenges of travel, and getting (most) of what I want to continue to get out of this trip. And it is FAR from over!
I’m considering heading back to Namibia pretty soon and laying low in my home there for 6-12 months to let this COVID situation settle out (I don’t think it will go away), so that international travel will be reasonably possible again. Or I may stay in the San Francisco area for a while and do the same thing. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do, but I do need to make some kind of a decision soon. I am so grateful to have good friends to talk over this stuff with to help me keep a perspective that is open, and useful.
One of my follower/readers messaged me recently saying “Don’t sell yourself short as a writer.” I can’t tell you how encouraging that was to hear. Thank you. Remembering that this blog is an attempt for me to show up in the world in a different way – openly and expressively – I hope you are finding it engaging and worth coming back to. I find it well worth doing, and will keep it up – at a pace that seems right to me. Thanks for being patient if you really like photographs.
And there will be images in the next posting – I promise.