I came across a few quotes the other day that seemed to speak exactly to my heart in this place I find myself. Words and thoughts about life, traveling, humanity, the world. It’s so strangely comforting to find expression through the words of others when you yourself can’t quite find the turn of phrase to communicate the nuances of your emotions. Perhaps the best example of this is a quote from good ol’ Carl Sagan, who seemed to be getting it all just about right when he said:
I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.
That’s so me! I have been researching several options for the near future, making lists and charts of information and pros and cons, trying to figure it all out. And I really don’t know where I’m going, but I’ve certainly started groping my way blindly through the dark.
The second quote to speak to me was from Marcel Proust:
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
I mean, how easy is it to get comfortable with our surroundings and take for granted the people and things in our life? I had to ask myself when I went running this morning, “Am I looking at the ground, or have I got my head up and my eyes taking in the world around me?” The colony of flying foxes screeching in the tree tops, their dangling black bodies looking like so many over ripe fruits weighing down the branches. Last night’s rain dripping from the leaves overhead onto my bright yellow sleeve. The ducks paddling about in a river burnished with the morning sun.
This idea of having new eyes to see the world is perfect in my mind for newer sights and experiences as well. For instance, when we went down to visit some friends near Adelaide in South Australia the other weekend, as it rained most of the time, we did most of our site seeing from the car. Keeping Proust in mind, I tried to soak in as much as I could of everything going on. The solid farmhouse built next to the ocean side cliff, alone with its cows in the open fields. That particular smell of nostalgia and old leather that perfumed a classic car. The luscious taste of local cheese in the warmth of a German creamery. Being open to the different sensations, flavors, colors, sights, like a child experiencing everything for the first time ever – that is what discovery feels like.
And finally, a third quote from Rosalia de Castro, less an expression of my current state of feeling and more an idea of bravely living that I would love to make my own.
I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.