Photo Credit: Craig McDean
I often ask people who is the one person they would like to have a conversation with. For years, I've thought Mos Def. Charismatic, interesting, intelligent. As this question arises in the final chapter of my book, I ask myself again - who would I like to meet. If it's someone, anyone, living or dead, I think Paulo Coehlo, Leonard Cohen, Charles Bukowski, Henry Miller, Thich Nhat Hanh, Bruce Lee, the Dalai Lama. Part of me wants to choose someone I could definitely meet, a sort of goal I could attain. But I also know, perhaps, that's not the point. Perhaps it's more to use my brain to come up with someone I admire. To dream. To align. To imagine.
I had long since wanted to meet Grande Mestre Nô, the grand master of capoeira angola. I imagined and planned to some day visit Brazil to meet and train with him in Salvador or Florianópolis. Then, remarkably, I found myself able to meet him in Seattle last year. I know that when we hold space in our hearts to dream the possibility is also held in cosmic and literal space. The universe propels us towards actuation. A sort of forward moving engine that accelerates with or without our consent. The phrase, "be careful what you wish for", comes to mind - as once the wish is made, the wheels are set in motion. So, here again, I now ask, who would I like to meet now? Who would you?
This question asks you to sit and ponder a dream. I take it seriously because it may just happen. If we are all just six degrees from meeting anyone in the world, who would you like to meet? Whether or not you seek out those six degrees is irrelevant. The point here, at least at first, is to simply hold room for the possibility of meeting someone. It does not have to be someone famous - it could be a long-lost relative or someone who's doing work that you find interesting and want to know more about. Who is your person?
Mine is Eminem.
Wabi-sabi is a tradition of Japanese aesthetics that acknowledges, creates, and accepts the imperfection in objects and things. Today I see eyes in a wood floor... There were myriad eyes, this one stood out most. Like a cloud, I continue to look more deeply. Meditative. Imperfect. Beautiful. What concept, philosophy, or thing possessed wabi-sabi for you today?
There is always a crack. In pavement. In rock. In stone. Nature persists no matter what. I observe and appreciate all the places it intrudes with its profound beauty.
What did you see today? From where did nature spring forth?
"To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves."
- Mahatma Gandhi
Between the incessant rain, I planted cilantro, mint, chives, and oregano. What did you plant today?
I began with "sky" first. I looked up, up, up, and all around. Tempted by the effortlessness of trees against sky. Then this... man-made-city-life meets sky! I instantly thought of the artist, Franz Kline. Not an exact match but feels reminiscent.
What did you find?
A door shuts, it begins. At first, seemingly quiet. Early morning buzz, high voltage quiet. Then a hello, a guy walking his dog. Then the sound of my own shoes. Click click click. The sound-sounds begin. High pitched squeaking of wheels as they come to a slow stop. Brum brum, another goes. Other people’s shows. Wanting to close my eyes but not, because somehow the opening of my ears is making what I see brighter. More saturated.
Bus pulls, quiet noise. Kids laugh, flirting silence. The bus lets off. I stand beside a blind woman. We both listen to the traffic. I resist looking at the light. The cars like wind. Sounds indicating when to stop and when to go.
What did you hear?
“We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide nourishment for the soul, just as a meal does for the body. Many times in our lives we see our dreams shattered and our desires frustrated, but we have to continue dreaming. If we don't, our soul dies, and agape cannot reach it.”
- Paulo Coelho The Pilgrimage
I remember reading The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho years ago. It planted a seed, asked to be researched, imagined and ultimately felt. I've dreamt about going on this infamous Journey for years. I even prepared to go, carved out a month, and then found myself injured and unable to carry a pack. And yet, this dream persists. The movie, The Way, was another look at what such a journey could be like. Alone and with others. And such a great flick.
The longing is still very much alive in me and definitely on my bucket list - so, today, I'm committing to doing the Camino before I kick it. That's my dealer's choice.
Chantel and her company, The AtHome Experience, are dedicated to educating and enlivening the individual towards a greater connection to themselves, each other, and their community. Through sessions, classes, videos, and books, The AtHome Experience empowers people to create and sustain optimal health. While reflexology is a specialized field, Chantel shows us how the techniques can be easily learned to use at home. By caring for ourselves and each other, we construct and co-create a better future.