Showing posts with label The Dream. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Dream. Show all posts

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Being in THE HEART

In the past I have been able to venture into foreign lands and get lost in the culture and landscape. I want to continue being a free spirit as I travel south in a few days to Mexico and then further to Ecuador. To be free means abandoning an identity that tethers me to a race, nationality, gender or any other limitation of circumstance. It means being in THE HEART, pulsing in rhythm with the beat of wherever I find myself. And I like finding myself in unexpected places. 

So many experiences come to mind. Some I call THE DREAM, because they take me into enchantment. For instance walking across Piazza del Popolo in Rome and having an epiphany of time and place as I stepped over cobblestones under the Egyptian obelisk of Ramesses II from Heliopolis. Or riding a camel at the foot of the pyramids in Giza, Egypt and nothing could tell me I was not a nomad of ancient days. Pressing flesh with Masai tribes people, we smiled together as I experienced their Africa. Living in a houseboat floating on a lake bestrewn with water lilies at the foot of the Himalaya Mountains in Kashmir, India, or getting lost in the great cities of the world, roaming the streets and taking photos in chance places with unexpected outcomes keeps me in THE DREAM.

When I leave the USA I hope to accept bewilderment and then discover life is wonderment when surrendered to SPIRIT.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Material Things

"Visitation" original photo by Steven Boone

For some reason I lost my attraction to material things about eleven years ago. I lived in a big house on beautiful land and did not lack for anything. It was all paid off. Stuff just didn't seem important to me anymore. I craved submersion in experience. Shortly thereafter, I sold off belongings and told friends and loved ones that I intended to “disappear into the matrix of the world.” Some laughed, but this is what I did. I left the United States and traveled around the globe for a year. Along the way, I stepped into THE DREAM, a condition of consciousness where everything has meaning and purpose but nothing is permanent. I loved being in flux—open to the next surprising event that would illumine my mind. Even the mishaps had a part to play in THE DREAM.

Laundry day, Burano, Italy
I am surprised that even now, I do not have much that I crave or need to have. I rent a house, own my vehicle, have essentials for my artwork and creative pursuits and am debt free. I don't need to own anything to be happy. I keep waiting for the feeling to come into me that says, “Buy something permanent.” This spring I got some faint suggestions that it might be nice to buy a house and live by a river, giving it my own artistic touches and making it a place of peace and creativity. But its just a romantic imagination. Perhaps it will arrive and perhaps not.

I have been going back to THE DREAM, seeing my life through its prism. It is fantastic and I feel it is my real HOME.

Dock at Ipsos, Greece

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Turn Around

New Zealand wild beauty
Here I am, back in the United States of America for the first time since September 12 of last year. Following the scenario that seems sketched out for my life, THE DREAM has surprised me again and put me on a stage with a strange set and I have to improvise my part.
In New Zealand I had spent ten days on the south island and was preparing to go to the north island and explore further, making paintings, writing, and producing photographs when my mother died suddenly. I had been feeling strange for about week—bewilderment and tinges of grief after being adrift for so long, and then the news arrived to complicate my inner life further. Perhaps I had been unconsciously anticipating the death, knowing it would happen soon. My mother and I always affirmed our bond with each other by ending our conversations with statements of love and affection.

I felt better after determining to go back for the memorial. Yes, I would not be visiting the spectacular north island and doing what I had planned, but I would be going “home” and getting closure, bonding and celebrating with others my mother's life.

The home of my parents in Santa Barbara, California, USA

I have been alone in the home of my parents for several days. My sister arrived last night and a brother is to arrive today. Another brother is already living in Santa Barbara, and one brother is not coming—he lives in New York state. I have had continued feelings of being adrift and not knowing the future or being excited about it. But I am working at improving. There are reasons for everything that I feel, going back over the years and now with the loss of my mother. But yesterday I realized I could turn around the feelings of grief that are associated with loss. It takes willpower but I am doing it consciously—celebrating instead of grieving.

An "angel" cloud that formed over the house, the second night

Sunday, July 26, 2015

I am Soul

I seek to be submerged in a limitless ocean and this is what I call THE DREAM. In THE DREAM I am observer as well as all the elements in the ever changing picture. No use holding on to anything—it is all flux.

This is why when I am driving through town and see homes, cars, people hiking on their favorite trails or shopping at their favorite markets, although I participate, I am not attached. I do not identify as homeowner, sports fan, wealthy or poor, American, white race, religious, of a particular physical type . . .. I let go of ego identification and realize happiness is being in flux; part of the ever changing DREAM. I am soul.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

DREAM Perception

I called it THE DREAM; a year of astonishing travel around the world. The DREAM perception began in Belize, when I arrived to live among black folk in the town of Dangriga, on the Caribbean Sea. (Entering THE DREAM) Each day, I painted, wrote, and made photos, venturing forth into the unknown. My mind shifted from analysis and planning to complete acceptance of the moment. I began having total trust in what was being presented to me, seeing the gift of life everywhere and in everything. Opportunities arose and I had no fear because I did not live with feelings of opposition or separateness. My surroundings and I were one, and as events unfolded and I met people, the experiences were more profound because I was open to them—even expecting them. Events and consciousness seemed continuous and woven together, full of wonder and surprise—as if in a dream. I was the dreamer bearing witness. 

With Windell, in Belize

 When I wrote my blogs from nineteen countries, I often described living in THE DREAM. It took care of me and informed my life.

Now I am newly single again. Once, during a therapy session while I was married, I was told “You may never be able to travel like that again Steven.” But I think I might.

Erg Chebbi, Morocco
Lately, during the pain of losing my mate and the aftermath, I have wondered about the random thoughts that effect my thinking and emotions. Thoughts and emotions are not permanent. I have been looking to a higher reality to gain perspective—to find immutable truth. Everything depends on it or else falls apart. My life has come undone so I have been ardently going to the place of truth, longing only to stay in that sacred temple. The more I am there, the more I see that THE DREAM is not only the fleeting occurrences all around me, but the terrain of my mind as well. Truth is independent of mind, beyond time and space. I am not talking about relative truth but rather the absolute: God, the uncreated Creator Who dwells in all, and is first recognized by our souls. 

Temple, Danang, Vietnam

Monday, September 15, 2014

Unexpected Destinations

I have been traveling for two weeks—first Egypt and now Morocco. The experience has brought me to THE DREAM, where surprising pictures transform, and situations are often unpredictable and lead to unexpected destinations. I have awakened and opened my curtains to see the Sphinx gazing back at me near the pyramids in Egypt, played with children on earthen floors along the banks of the Nile, been made sick and dizzy by traffic snarls in Cairo. I have at times been lost, bewildered, confused—and also content, happy, and have felt deep love among people. I have walked the ancient, narrow passages of the old medina in Casablanca, Morocco and smelled the spice, fish, bread and fruit. I've thrown myself in the cold Atlantic Ocean and reveled in the surf, with my bedroom just steps away. At night, sleeping in strange places, sleep sometimes does not come easy. At least once, the noise was loud downstairs, and when I complained, I was asked to join the party—and did, dancing until 3 AM amid the raucous laughter and fun. Now, I find myself in a village of blue walls clustered on steep mountainsides, with a maze of passages that zigzag and twist in all directions . . . like THE DREAM.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

True Currency

I believe experience is the true currency. And among experiences, the practice of virtue is of the highest value. Money cannot hold memory, cannot inform or teach, and although it represents happiness to most people, essentially, it is inert and without life.

Four years ago, exactly this time of year, I lived on a houseboat in Kashmir, India (see my blog, My Astonished Eyes.) My floating world was Dal Lake, at the foot of the Himalayan Mountains. Water lilies drifted all around, and my houseboat was very comfortable with hand carved wood decoration throughout. I met local people who came to visit me and sell their crafts, and my servant Mansoor would paddle me to the nearby town of Srinagar.

Perhaps, a financial analyst would have advised me to keep my savings intact and not spend the way I was spending then—traveling around the world. The USA economy had begun a freefall and my savings were falling like most everyone else’s.  Yet, I was hungry to experience life in all its facets.

At the time, I called my existence and traveling THE DREAM. Along the way, I made paintings, took photographs and wrote. My bankroll was diminishing, but my inner treasury was growing rich with vivid life experience. Going forward without fear, I trusted that since I am DREAMING, a bigger hand controls destiny, and furthermore, scenes change—including scenes of birth and death, but EXISTENCE in THE DREAM only transforms—never ends.

Someday, THE DREAM will unfold my death. I believe I will witness this occurrence and then, step onto a different stage to continue to be in awe of how fantastic and inspired is the universe and its Creator.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Breath Of Life

I am quite aware my life is not perfect. Moreover, I am not anxious about imperfection, and I have no fear of death because it is only the death of imperfection. I believe perfection exists and trust it more than I trust imperfection. Perfection exists beyond mortality . . . beyond the reach of decay and death; it must be self-sustaining, infinite and eternal. This is SPIRIT, beyond the comprehension of human thought.

That which is created and has life in physical form I call THE DREAM. This is opposite of many people’s belief that what cannot be physically experienced is but a dream. I say that what is physical is only part of THE DREAM, and not essential. That which is essential can never die or be born, but is the breath of life within everything. This life breath can never be extinguished—only transformed. So why would I fear perishing? I trust the essential BEING will continue forever. Death does not invade Essential Existence of which everything is a part.

Celebrate the Breath Of Life and realize that the hand of death is only revolution. THE DREAM has always been, and always will be.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Complex Labyrinth

Now that I have returned to the United States, I feel as if I am emerging from one month of wandering through a complex labyrinth. I seldom felt as though I walked in a straight line, but rather meandered, lost in wonderment, through a maze of experiences that curved, twisted and bent through cities, fields, mountains, deserts and oceans, among people who spoke languages I could not understand, sleeping in many different beds in various exotic abodes, eating unusual foods and learning to live where the sunrise is eight hours earlier.

While in the labyrinth, I did not feel particularly lost, even when I was sometimes traveling in the “wrong” direction, because I believe in THE DREAM, where everything has a purpose, even being lost. In Paris, the maze of tunnels under the city that carry the millions of subway passengers can be daunting, especially if one does not speak French, but being lost can have it’s pleasures. On the streets, I walked miles over the cobblestone avenues amid row after row of shops, café’s and hotels. An air of sophistication permeated everywhere, as if Paris was the seat of refinement for the world. In the Louvre Museum, I walked for hours over the marble floors, admiring some of the best artwork in the world . . . and also found myself in Pere Lachaise Cemetery, wandering amid the tombs of some the same great artists whose work is in the Louvre.

Morocco held many firsts for me: Drinking fresh squeezed orange juice every day for three weeks, seeing a snake charmer handling a live cobra, riding a camel and sleeping in a Bedouin tent under a full moon, being in a sandstorm, using a toilet and rinsing my butt with my hand dipped in a bucket of water used for that purpose, hearing the Muslim call to prayer blasted from loudspeakers at mosques every day for three weeks, eating olives at every meal, wearing a caftan and eye liner, seeing a woman go bathing in the ocean while fully dressed, including head scarf, (a wave knocked her down and she smiled at me with the same look of wonderment and glee as anyone would), pouring rose water in my eyes and also drinking it, seeing a herd of goats grazing in a tree while balanced on its branches, walking through a tannery, among the hides of animals being treated in smelly vats of pigeon excrement, looking west over the Atlantic ocean to see the sun set, drinking mint tea five times a day, being in a country where marijuana and hashish is legal but guns and alcohol are not. The medina’s, the souks and mosques, endless flocks of sheep and goats over the countryside, sometimes tended by children, fields plowed with horses, women covered from top to bottom with clothing to show Islamic modesty and discretion even while working in fields, fresh fruit and vegetables in every market, the call to prayer broadcast over loudspeakers five times a day, even in the smallest of villages. . . all the myriad sounds, sights, smells and sensations contributed to make me astonished and surprised at every turn.

In Spain, when I visited Antonio Gaudi’s (1852–1926) Sagrada Familia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I was sure the cranes would be gone from my previous visit, three years earlier, but they are not . . . it has been a work in progress since 1882 and is not expected to be finished until 2041.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


THE DREAM has a life of it’s own. I may have plans but if I am fluid in THE DREAM, sudden shifts occur and I must go along. I had planned to leave Merzouga and drive north to Chefchaouen, a town famous for it’s mountain setting and dwellings painted blue. As I was preparing to leave town I talked with my friend Ali and told him that with my remaining week, I also wanted to visit ocean beaches and arrive at Casablanca to depart Morocco. He suggested that I could go to Asilah on the coast, where the buildings are decorated in blue. This is how THE DREAM took me to Asilah.

The drive took a full day and one night. When I arrived at last, I actually drove past the town and when I turned around, the place looked rather non-descript. I inquired at a couple hotels, but they cost 400 Moroccan dirham, more than I wanted to pay and I was not satisfied. As I drove slowly in the streets near the ocean, I spoke a prayer to Naomi who I had been feeling near me, and it was as if someone else took hold of the steering wheel and pulled the car up in front of Hotel Zelis. The front desk manager showed me a spotless room with a balcony overlooking the Atlantic and told me the price was 300 dirham and included breakfast. Furthermore, the room number was 308, which immediately confirmed the whole deal. (See my blog about eleven’s).

Asilah has a sweet medina that gives the town its character. Each day I went there often, passing through one of the Báb’s (Báb means gate) in the walled area, to browse and photograph the whitewashed and brightly colored walls that were sometimes painted with artwork left over from an annual art festival.

THE DREAM delivered me to several characters, including Adnan, who worked in a small art gallery and was fluent in English and traded philosophies with me, especially about Islam and cultural differences between the occident and Arab countries. He said freedom is illusion and simply to have his religion is enough to be free. I took issue with Arab countries lack of tolerance for other beliefs and he said yes, but other beliefs might influence the young people away from Islam.

I also met street musicians, and Abdul, an itinerate naïve artist who pounced on tourists in the Medina, and spoke passable English. And the last evening, as I sat at a table at a sidewalk café, Hassan, a thin young man dressed in a red t-shirt and jeans approached to sell me coral necklaces he had made. I did not want to buy his necklace, but offered to buy him something to eat. He sat down and ordered a coffee. He spoke good English and said he had trained to be a chef, but could not find work. Our conversation turned philosophical and we talked about speaking good words to people and he said it is taught in the Koran. Abdul wandered by and I gave him a piece of my pizza and he said, “next time I will be the one sitting with you.” Some children came to beg for my pizza and I gave them some. At the end of dinner, Hassan again asked me to buy something and explained he lived with his parents, took care of some siblings, and also had a bad toothache but did not have enough money for the dentist. I have been hassled so often to buy things in Morocco, so I asked him how much he needed for the dentist. He said 45 dirham, and I offered to give it to him. But I only had a 100 dirham note. He told me to give it to him and we will go get change. We walked and he began taking me past shops and into alleys. I stayed beside him and continued talking but grew wary. I told him how often I had been approached for money and explained that sure, if I were king I would help everyone. (In fact, I have not sold a painting in two months and have been living on savings.) He said just thinking like this is a blessing, and it is taught in the Koran. We reached a corner and he pointed me which direction to go to my hotel, then pointed in the opposite direction and said he would go now for change, and took off running. After he disappeared, I waited a few minutes, since I had built trust with him, but realized he was not coming back, and I wandered through the dark to my hotel. I felt a little sadness, but no anger. I thought that he must have really needed the money, and he was probably praying for me to make up for my loss. Anyway, this is what THE DREAM had delivered that evening.

Before leaving the hotel in Asilah, I asked about a couple places along the coast and was told to go to Mouley Bousselham, known for its beach and nearby bird sanctuary. I arrived there from the highway and drove toward the ocean, looking for a hotel. The commercial district was only a couple of shops, and the hotel I looked at was claustrophobic and grimy. I got back in the car and drove slowly into a neighborhood on a bluff along the coast. I felt a reverie and again as if someone else was driving the car, pulled over. I went into a tiny convenience shop in the middle of the block of residences. The old man did not speak English, but I managed to make him understand “hotel”. He took me by the hand and went next door, calling out to someone inside. A young man named Abdul arrived who spoke English and said I could stay there. He showed me a clean, comfortable room and said breakfast was included. I noticed that the home had a placard on the wall out front that said Casa Nora. The rate was 300 dirham, and I could pay more for dinner. If there were a number on my bedroom door it would be 11.

The house looks out over the ocean where I swim everyday. The dinner preparation and service is far more than I expected. (See my pictures on Facebook.) I have become friends with the owner, Mohammed, who speaks English and has taken me to the wildlife refuge lake to show another house that is being finished into a guest lodge for the many bird watchers who come during the year. The trip over a bumpy road was worth it just to see the craftsmen, who were painstakingly putting intricate patterns of tiles together throughout the home. When it is finished, he wants me to return and stay to paint my art. He confided that he has always wanted a bedroom full of art depicting belly dancers. I told him I may be back, but I am not sure because I am like the wind and do not know where it will blow across the world next. On the way home he took me to a bustling fish market.
Eels at the fish market in Larache

In two days I depart Morocco and arrive in Barcelona, Spain for a few days before returning to the USA. I have some wonderful photos to work with, and a boatload of adventures to write about.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Primitive Profusion

Now that I am alone in Morocco, I am moving in any direction without restraint. This morning I left Fez to travel south to Merzouga, a famous village on the edge of some great Sahara sand dunes. Before leaving Fez, I looked at a map that indicated a long day’s drive, and thought about stopping along the way. I saw a town called Midelt that interested me, but a travel guide said it was not much of an attraction, and someone advised me to go to Erfoud instead, a tourist town closer to Merzouga.

About an hour south of Fez the countryside became verdant among rolling hills. I tried to make good time and drive at the speed limit along a narrow two-lane highway. The road curved and suddenly I passed a spectacular meadow. In a second, I had to decide either to stay to my schedule and hurry to arrive at my destination before night, or hit the brakes. The poppies in the field made me stop and pull over. There was not a fence, just a steep embankment. I had sandals and shorts on, and stepping over the rocks, I was met by thorny plants and brambles. But the color called me, and no one was around. I only heard a donkey braying in the distance.

I am glad I made the choice to stop and wander in the abandoned farm field covered in poppies and wildflowers. A brook passed through and a small olive orchard stood nearby. The primitive profusion of nature was a kaleidoscope for my enchanted eyes, and I thought how my schedule was of no importance—moreover beauty can be fleeting and memories forever. My feet were cut, but the blood reminded me of the red poppies.

I eventually arrived at Midelt, a scruffy berber town on the route between destinations. Slowing for traffic near a roundabout, a young man ran up to my car and said “Where are you going?” I answered, “Merzouga” and he spoke in English that he had just come from the USA and would I please visit with him. After a short conversation, I decided to stop for the night. He set me up with a clean, comfortable room and breakfast for less than twenty dollars, took me to a local once-weekly souk (market), and then went touring with me into the hillsides. Kassem is a rug trader and goes for three-month treks with camels, visiting berber villages and trading for rugs. I asked him if he had been a goat herder as a child, since I see so many boys doing this along the roads. He said yes, and as I guessed, the sheepherders walk for days with the animals, sleeping on the ground.
At the souk.

In the morning I am going to visit a Kasbah nearby where 120 families reside within the earth walls, then continue to the desert, where a friend of Kassem’s will be waiting for me and will take me by camel into the desert.

This is THE DREAM, and the more I let go into it, the more fantastic is the journey.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Humanity Is One

THE DREAM is my home and I am content in it. Wherever I am in the world THE DREAM is providing me all I need. I have no longing for a physical home, and the fewer possessions I have the more freedom I feel. In a Kris Kristofferson song called Me and Bobby McGee, the blues singer Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.” It is profound to have nothing to lose, since then, there is everything to gain. On the other hand, the more possessions a person has, the more they risk losing. This causes a certain amount of fear. I am aware that since I began buying goods in India, Thailand and Vietnam, I have felt less free. Now, there are loans to repay, and I often feel responsibility for all the items—their safe arrival in the USA, storage, and eventual sale and repaying of debt. I feel obliged to return to Santa Fe soon, and so I have ticket on January 15 from Auckland, New Zealand to Santa Barbara, California where my parents live. By January 20 I will be in Santa Fe. Certainly, THE DREAM will not end with my traveling, since it is the fabric of my consciousness.

The International Baha’i conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia included communities from Korea, Singapore, Myanmar, and Malaysia. The main language was English, with translations in Malaysian, Timor and Mandarin. About 3000 people attended, and the main focus of the gathering was discussing the progress of consolidating, and teaching the Baha’i Faith to the greater world at large.

Tomorrow, I leave for Australia. I will arrive at Gold Coast, an area famous for it’s fine beaches and upscale development. On January 4, I fly to Auckland, New Zealand, my last country before I return to the USA on January 15. I say “home”, but really, THE DREAM is my home.

More than ever before, I feel the truth of Baha’u’llah's words: “The world is one country, and mankind is its citizens.” Ábdúl Bahá said, “Wars are caused by purely imaginary racial differences; for humanity is one kind, one race and progeny inhabiting the same globe. In the creative plan there is no racial distinction and separation such as Frenchman, Englishman, American, German, Italian or Spaniard; all belong to one household. These boundaries and distinctions are human and artificial, not natural and original. All mankind are the fruits of one tree, flowers of the same garden, waves of one sea. In the animal kingdom no such distinction and separation are observed. The sheep of the East and the sheep of the West would associate peacefully. The oriental flock would not look surprised as if saying, "These are sheep of the Occident; they do not belong to our country." All would gather in harmony and enjoy the same pasture without evidence of local or racial distinction. The birds of different countries mingle in friendliness. We find these virtues in the animal kingdom. Shall man deprive himself of these virtues? Man is endowed with superior reasoning power and the faculty of perception; he is the manifestation of divine bestowals. Shall racial ideas prevail and obscure the creative purpose of unity in his kingdom? Shall he say, "I am a German," "I am a Frenchman," or an "Englishman" and declare war because of this imaginary and human distinction? God forbid! This earth is one household and the nativity of all humanity; therefore the human race should ignore distinctions and boundaries which are artificial and conducive to disagreement and hostility. We have come from the East. Praise be to God! we find this continent prosperous, the climate salubrious and delightful, the inhabitants genial and courteous, the government equable and just. Shall we entertain any other thought and feeling than that of love for you? Shall we say, "This is not our native land, therefore everything is objectionable?" This would be gross ignorance to which man must not subject himself. Man is endowed with powers to investigate reality, and the reality is that humanity is one in kind and equal in the creative plan. Therefore false distinctions of race and nativity which are factors and causes of warfare must be abandoned.” Ábdúl Bahá, from Foundations of World Unity

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bouncing Ball

Part of the love of travel is encountering unexpected circumstances that are challenges. Sometimes though, it is like playing roulette and being a bouncing ball careening around in a madly whirling wheel. As I chase the sun around the spinning globe, it was bound to happen that I would unexpectedly find myself landing in a place where mass political unrest erupts. The day after I arrived in Phuket, Thai protestors stormed the major airport in Bangkok and effectively shut it down. It has been closed ever since, and now I will be lucky if I get out of Thailand when I expect. Already my plans have shifted because I cannot return to Bangkok to catch my flight to Vietnam.

People have said that they hope my dream never becomes a nightmare. I do not believe in nightmares, only THE DREAM, and if it turns dark, then it is only guiding me to use my inner powers so that I can find the light of guidance and resolve the darkness. I trust THE DREAM, and I trust destiny. So if the stock market drops suddenly and wipes out 40% of my savings, and I have sold my belongings, and suddenly find I am in a foreign country in turmoil and cannot get out; well, how interesting!

Phuket has been built up by developers who cater to tourists that come here seeking tropical charms, sun and surf. The Andaman Ocean water temperatures are comfortable, the waves are just right, and wash up on fine, white sandy beaches. This time of year there are loads of visitors. You can tell the female ones from Europe because they go topless. There is plenty of shopping, and of course, massage parlors are on every block. I rented a motorbike and have been visiting various beaches with a Thai friend. We also took a boat to neighboring islands and snorkeled among fantastic coral reefs with exquisite, colorful fish.

When I left the United States, I wanted to disappear into the matrix of the earth. I can’t imagine just being with white people like myself. I am happiest experiencing native life across the globe . . . this is where my heart goes and the rewards have been wonderful.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Inspiration To Fly

It occasionally happens while I am painting that there is a moment of impasse and I must choose to either continue working in a way I know but that is not proving successful, or else, go into the unknown. Choosing the unknown is fearsome, and yet frequently, something happens—a fresh impulse comes through and a new experience is born. It is like a young bird forced out of the safe nest it has always known. Suddenly it is falling through the air and must fly, never having known what it is to float on currents of air, but a deep yearning takes hold and flight is born.
The first days in Corfu were like getting acquainted, and then came an impasse. Corfu Town is lovely, with cobbled streets, and many reminders of the Venetian culture that occupied it for centuries. Yet I wanted more and decided to rent a car and get out of the city. The first day, I drove in rain and could only look through the windshield. When I returned to my hotel, I flopped down on my bed in frustration. The next day, the rain stopped and sun arrived. Heading north, I became lost on winding mountain roads, and decided to go into the unknown, where THE DREAM lives. Although I was lost, every turn held a surprise, and somehow I felt I had found my destiny. Villages dotted the hills, with roads through them that can barely accommodate two tiny cars to pass by each other. Olive orchards abounded, standing as they have for centuries. Spring flowers bloomed magnificently in the wild, so that I could not pass by, but rather stopped and walked among them. Then, as I came around a bend through wooded hills, an old wall covered in vines and a half open gate made me stop. Peering through the gate, amid an area of tall grass and wildflowers, a old stone building stood empty and open. I felt like a gift had been given, and walked gingerly, aware that I could browse undisturbed and would not bother anyone. To my amazement, the place was an abandoned church over a thousand years old. Inside, in the half-darkened room, I could see hand hewn beams supported the intact roof, while the cracked and damaged plastered walls showed remains of Byzantine Christian images. It felt incredible to my American eyes, unaccustomed to seeing artwork 600 years old except in museums. The more I lingered, the more I felt a special experience unfolded; I stood suspended between centuries, and THE DREAM provided me the inspiration to fly.