Road Trip Musings

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Golden sunrise over Scott Lake

 

I have this distinct feeling of being part of the life of another without being part of my own life. It is as if I have taken a secondary role and now someone else shines brighter than I because I am not going down the path of the individual but the path of another. It is an interesting sensation because the ego has shrunk and my desires take a secondary role. I am not in Colorado to further the expanse of my own life (it is as if my life has been put on hold in order to help build someone else’s world with them). I am in Colorado, I have joined my brother on this road trip, so that I can be part of my brother’s life and world as his new beginnings are being built.  I remember sitting on an isolated nook of land jutting out onto lake Scott in Kansas and across from us we could see the lights of life whilst we were in the quiet darkness. The lives that were separate from us across the lake were laid out before me as if I was looking through the window of a two-story home. My brother alternated between sitting next to me, looking across the water, to standing in front of me pacing and rocking. This was a point in his life that was entirely focused on him, as if he was the sun. It was as if I was not there and instead I had taken a step away from all form of Being. The world that I was building for myself was not present and instead I was in a place of non-being. The experiences that I would collect would be part of something that was separate from myself, as if I was empty of identity -the self that usually occupies this vessel was left back in Texas. This is not a source of discomfort, it actually makes me feel very content to be somewhere without also being there, without building something for myself and instead helping build something for someone else. It is right now, in this moment, that I feel like I am part of the collective and not the ownmost sense of Being.

In Kansas whilst we were camping I also looked up at the dark sky many times and felt that I was dancing with this beautiful blue light -it was a sense of being present with someone far away and the silence of the single self. I feel this great sense of being bonded to many things and many people in this moment because my world is absent. Being thrown out of the world that I have invested so much in seems to only emphasize the collective Being and the destruction of the single ego. This could be connected to travel and being in a foreign place where you are an outsider and where you are always confronted with the image of the other and the strange. It is almost like the double consciousness that DuBois writes about, but it is the recognition that you are both the individual as well as a piece of another person’s world.

By abandoning the self I find that I am able to be closer to those around me since my focus is not on building my own world, but in helping others create something for themselves. This bond with others in the end also helps me find a world of my own to belong to because by feeding back into the collective I am feeding into myself -it is an exchange. After this trip with my brother I feel like I can see this even more clearly and I am grateful for that. I want to be focused on and value the other more than myself because this care is ultimately a care for the individual inside of the collective. My brother keeps bringing up how the self is a lie, and whilst at one time I may not have understood the implication and the power in this idea, it has become clearer to me.

When I return back to Texas and to the life that I know very well, I want to rediscover the world and those around me. I am always afraid of building walls and not welcoming the fluidity of everything -I do not want to maintain an isolated self and instead I want to be part of the collective. To do this I need to continue asking questions and to keep track of the various expressions and gestures of Being -to listen. Perhaps there is naivety nestled in my ideas, but I only know what resonates and what does not. I feel happier as I am now, rather than what I was before -less “out in the world,” and instead “part of the world.”

J.

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