It has been over a week since I returned to Bend, Oregon, after completing my Amizade adventure. A few of you have written and wondered why I hadn't posted and were concerned about my well-being.
I have to admit it has been emotionally difficult to adjust to "normal"life, which is devoid of novelty and excitement which characterized the last four months. Also I find myself now strangely reticent and reluctant to express to others my Amizade experiences, which, predictably, seem to now be slowly enveloped in a mental fog as time elapses. What I have learned now feels strangely personal and is not easily translated. Of course I have lots of photos that will help remind me of the trip. I will eventually find a language to share these pictures so that they may inspire others to learn, serve and understand. That is for later. In any event I have decided to post in order to return to a positive activity and which may help me through what has been called by some a "transitional period".
The first photo of the shut metal gate at the home where I stayed in Jamaica serves as the closing picture of my adventure. Standing behind it is Ms. Dorothy, who represents a different race, national origin, generation, and culture and serves for me today as an archetype for the many people I met. She knew I was an unusual guest and tolerated my rants. She listened to my words and showed me great kindness and seemed to have remarkable understanding although she was of humble background and had never been off the island. Today I must declare my trip is over and the door is closed. I have lots of photos and memories to carry me from that time into the future.
The second photo taken at the Rose Garden in Washington Park in Portland, Oregon, of a raven cawing at me, even when I snapped it, felt strangely ominous. Influenced of course from my recent experiences at the Navajo Nation where there is a strong belief in the messages from animals, it put me in touch with a deep feeling of alienation and disorientation although I was now within the fabric of my own kind. After having been out wandering all over the world, now, at home, I felt more lost.
I chose the third photo of a soon to open rhododendron bud as a positive expression that, like it, I am eager to blossom in some new refreshing way. Today I am swaying quietly in the wind, so to speak, but I am eagerly open for a new challenge. I have no idea how it will relate to where I've just been physically or spiritually or when I will find it. I hope ardently to feel again the exhilaration of bursting growth. That's all I ask.
I intend to change the title of this blog to Lee's Daily Adventure and post pictures of wherever I am, including Bend, Oregon. You will be able to find me right here without changing the url. I hope you'll stay with me and keep in touch via e-mail and comments.