in praise of the wayfaring life

I have been a wayfarer for the better part of my adult life. There’s something in these genes that finds life on-the-road ease-full and natural – and frankly, more alive than staying in one place.

There are two types of men in this world:
those who stay home, and those who do not.
– Rudyard Kipling

Perhaps, as Bruce Chatwin speculated, we carry either the Abel gene or the Cain one. We settle and farm like Cain, or we wander and gather like Abel. (I’m keeping my hands off the rest of the Biblical story about these brothers and their weird experiences with the God-bloke.)

I’ve often had cause to wonder why those why are inclined to stay-at-home (apart from very well-planned vacations) tend to consider their wandering siblings in a lesser light.  Ask any frequent traveler – even those who travel as foreign correspondents and have incredible stories to share. They inevitably report that upon arrival ‘home’ few folk will ask them about their trip. No one wants to listen; they would rather talk. All they want to know is when one is planning to ‘settle down’.

I have been without a home for the last nine months. It wasn’t planned that way. Now that I am about to move into my own burrow again I can’t help but notice nods of satisfied approval. A little post scribbled itself down. It’s dedicated to all who follow the call to wander.

***

“Wherever you go, there you are.” (Jon Kabat-Zinn) It’s a delicious statement, one which never fails to remind me that the wonder of Being that I is/am is inescapable.  What a relief – I can neither lose myself nor can I find it. Ever.

Yet the same statement is often trotted out as a kind of admonition, as though one ought to stop, constrain oneself, stop exploring, stop following the heart’s call or the soul’s whisper or whatever imperative it is that pulses through the veins insisting that it’s time to go. As though moving is somehow sinful, a problem, a defilement about which one ought to feel guilty. As though the ‘you’ that goes is running away and must be faced, tamed and contained. As though it must fit within a  prescribed pigeonhole  and act predictably – for your own good of course.

Well my version of the ‘you’ that goes is much bigger, braver and authentic than that. It can’t be corralled. (If it is, it will quickly wither and fall ill in body, mind and spirit.) It can’t be tamed or even schooled. It’s the you that’s ubiquitous, revealing Itself in every facet of experience. It adores meeting Itself wherever it goes; it never tires of the fresh and the fantastic, no matter how challenging. It sniffs the wind and scans the horizon and instinctively knows how to proceed, how to survive and thrive. It follows no fashion, hoards nothing ‘in case’, keeps no keepsakes and delights in the unknown.

The beloveds who stay at home are following their own imperative and I have no interest in changing it – for the ‘you’ that stays at home is no different from the ‘you’ that doesn’t. But it’s pointless to believe a judgmental story about how those who wander are ‘running away’. They will go anyway. It’s an imperative. It just may be that they are running with the wild wideawakeness that they are, and that they know it.

Whether we go, or whether we stay, it makes no difference to the choiceless Awareness shining through all experience, whatever the imperative.

***

blog maintenance has prompted a new page

When I launched this little blog three years ago I was clueless as to how to organize its contents – I didn’t even have a clear idea what would be written or included. All I knew was that there was a compelling movement to present material relevant to the enduring theme of nondual divine light | pristine awareness | mystical luminosity.

Re-reading the posts recently as I edited the code on some, I saw how they could have been more usefully grouped, and the categories better defined. So I decided to do a bit of reshuffling, hoping that items of specific interest to readers can be more easily accessed. (The search box – lower right sidebar – is also handy for tracking specific topics.)

This new page, located in the menu bar above, presents an overview of the new groupings:

the categories

You can go to a separate page listing each individual category’s posts, by date, by clicking on the title.

I hope this is helpful – let me know what you think!

~ ml

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