Sabbatical

Inklings

We kept telling ourselves that it surely was true. We kept murmuring a chant of self solace. Spoke of it, trying to hide a obvious doubt. A dream, a hope, is a good and necessary thing to hold. A pilgrim is not much without it. Peculiar things, these hopes, that cannot be contained in anything tangible. Iridescent butterflies caught in glass jars hiding in our pockets. We draw this shared sigh of relief, a singsong of hindsight, as we are forced out into burning midday scorch. There was another day in store, there was cause for these inklings of hope.  

 

Hillside outside of San Francisco shrouded in fog. 

Hillside outside of San Francisco shrouded in fog. 

Mass Orchestrated Hermeneutical Instruments

Museums function as mass orchestrated hermeneutical instruments. They shape the interpretive lens of every visitor. You cannot unsee the killing tree outside of Phnom Penh nor can you forget the tiger cages show in HCMC. Once they have been etched into the mind of the visitor, these images and their cognisant ideas will form the way a pilgrim views a country and its people. Some things cannot be unseen, and shouldn't be. 

 

Fishermen on the water outside of Kep, Cambodia. 

Fishermen on the water outside of Kep, Cambodia. 

Twice in a Lifetime

 "I have to do it now, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!"

This is a fear driven mentality based upon a worldview of scarcity. It will rob the pilgrim of the precious peace achieved. Some opportunities are once in a lifetime, but not nearly as many as we are prone to think. Sometimes the most stupid things are made due to this mentality (e.g  "OMG, I just have to try that burning rope jump whilst balancing on a elephant head thing, after all, it is an once in a lifetime opportunity...). Other times we spend our days doing "once in a lifetime things" which end up being the basic top 10 lists of the area that thousands of other tourists have done before us.  

Discernment will be a essential tool for the pilgrim in deciding what to engage in and what to leave for the next time, or the next life. 

 

The remnants of a pier at Kep, Southern Cambodia. 

The remnants of a pier at Kep, Southern Cambodia.