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, January 16, 2011

A Third of The Way There

The last time I made a long journey (that time to Europe) I stopped in New York for a week on my way.  This time, I’m hanging out in Newark, at the airport, for 5 hours.

Even though it is a meager correlation, I like the idea that I am touching base here on the East Coast…my birth coast… if only for a short while.

Almost three years ago, on my first afternoon in New York City, I stood on a corner in Washington Square waiting for an old friend, wondering what in the world I was doing going off to Europe for three months.  The economy was on the verge of collapsing; I had no income on the horizon, all I knew was that I had to go and that I had to go then.  I stood there, arms crossed over my chest in my best New York defensive stance trying to get a grip on why the universe would be calling me to the British Isles, what could possibly be so important.   A clear voice from somewhere deep inside (or was it from some higher guide?) said, “Well, Morgan, the only thing you can do is go with an open heart and see what happens.”

That seemed like a good plan.

I got a look at myself standing there, stone face, protectively guarding my chest.

“Huh.  That’s not very ‘open-hearted.’”

I decided in a flash that I was gonna drop my arms to my side and that I wouldn’t cross them over my chest for the entire journey.  I mean, if being openhearted was the only way to discover what the trip was about, then I was going to keep the channel clear!

I dropped my arms and instantly a guy came up to talk to me. He was selling cds, his cds.  Rap Music.

“I don’t like rap music.”  I told him. “Great, I uncrossed my arms and look what happens!” I thought.

He said, “I know, I know.  The culture is so violent, so full of hate.  I’m trying to change all that.  Look at these titles….we got words like ‘love’, ‘family,’ ‘connection.’  Look, I don’t even want you to buy my cd.  Just take one.  Listen to it.  Then email me at the address on the back and tell me what you think.”

My European adventure was full of moments like that.  I never crossed my arms over my chest and magic seemed to follow me along my trail, right up to Iona and that amazing rock I told you about last week.

So, here I am on the first day of a new adventure.  I learned so much on my last journey about trust, about the kind of listening it takes to navigate on my own so far away from home.  Even at 5:30 this morning when I walked into SeaTac airport, I could feel the travel instincts start to kick in.  I could feel the energy start to percolate.

But what it’s all about?  I have no idea.  Thank goodness.  Much more fun this way.

But I do have an hypothesis born out of that last trip and the discovery that came out of opening my heart on day one and finding that rock on the last leg of my journey.  I believe that there is a connective tissue that binds us all together. I believe it is made of love.  I believe the Earth is an active participant in this web.  I believe that if we could all clue in and listen to each other, we might have a chance of healing this planet and ourselves.

I think going to a third-world country where poverty, and all that comes with it, is rampant and almost validated by the caste system is a great place to study that connection, to test its existence.

I live in a place that is filled with a certain standard of comfort and convenience.  Traveling in Europe, I was in familiar, very westernized territory.  Perhaps it was easy to make the kinds of connections I made there because, in essence, I was fluent in the cultural vocabulary.

It seems important to open my heart and mind to a place and people that will challenge what I know of the world, to discover if, underneath all the differences, we can still feel the same pull, the same thrum, the same global heartbeat.

I know I may be disappointed.  I will surely be stunned by much of what I see, there will be much that will shock and hurt and wound my senses and perhaps my beliefs.

I have no idea how I will test my theory.  I can only travel with my arms by my side, listening to my intuition and my guides, following those “dancing lessons from God” that come from “strange travel suggestions” and observe.

But right now…dinner…in Newark.  Think of it this way, I’m a third of the way to Mumbai!  It sounds much more exotic that way.

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