Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife.  
The first question was, "Did you bring joy?"  
The second was, "Did you find joy?"

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Today is the day. The day I finally go home to Seattle, the house, the pets, the wonderful friends and roommates, bills, work, an overgrown garden, driving, my own bed.

I have been in New York City for the last five days, hanging out with family, in a city I know. So, it is like I have still been traveling, but not, home, but not HOME. It feels a little bit like I have been re-entering the atmosphere gradually, re-acclimatizing myself to the familiar, fighting and reveling in the pull of gravity, i.e. easy access to the internet and long non-international calling rates calls to friends.

So much happened on the journey of the last 10 or so weeks that I haven't been able to share with you yet, but I think I have conveyed the truly miraculous wonder and daily experience of having my heart opened more and more by the beauty and wisdom of this Earth and the people who live on it. This trip was everything I wanted it to be. It was expansive and expanding. And I go home tonight feeling as if the work that needed to be done, the work that called me to travel at this time and to those places was done.

It was easy work.

Re-entry to the everyday of "normal" life, that's the challenge. Keeping the heart and mind open and expansive amidst the people and places I THINK I know, is, perhaps, even greater work. And by "work" I mean, "privilege" and "joy", as well as, an endeavor to be diligent in pursuing. I don't expect this to be "hard" work, but I know that it requires presence and stillness and curiosity. It takes the courage to approach the daily existence I left behind with the same sense of adventure and joy as I approached the world on my European trip, and without preconceived notions of what my daily life is, who the players are. Every friend, aquaintance, co-worker I encounter at home deserves to be met with the same curiosity I afforded strangers on my trip. Each day, deserves the same wonder. It is my hope that I can stand in the kitchen of my house, or the classroom I will teach in and say with the same sense of awe that I held in my heart while standing in the coliseum in Rome, "I can't believe I am standing here. How amazing. How lucky!"

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