Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Homecoming

Now... here I am. I've done the little haiku-thing to ease in, I've created the visuals (isn't the slide-show a handy little thing?), so it's time to say something other than I'm Back.

"You'd think no-one ever went on a trip before! It's not unheard of, surely! So, just get on with it, now you're back!" That's what I'm saying to myself, and still, despite being back in the country a week now, and back home for 3 days, I'm still casting around for the things that will ground me and make me feel like I'm home, and of course, those things really involve touching base, making contact with the people who have been important in my life - who are important in my life. I've seen all my family, met up with most of my friends, emailed new friends to let them know I've safely arrived back, but I realise there are friends out there - in Blogland who have missed me. I've been reading a few blogs, and have been really touched to see here and there people say they noticed my absence. Aaaw. Well, I missed so many of the pals here that I can't possibly start to list them, but you all know who you are, and many of you were with me in strange ways - sights would remind me of something you'd referred to in a post, or I'd see something I knew you would appreciate.

So, my trip involved: (for those who don't know, I set off from my little corner of Ireland on May 16th for Santa Cruz, CA, to do a few days training in facilitating SoulCollage, and then spent a little over two more weeks visiting friends in California, travelling up the coast through Oregon, and on into Washington State, travelling back down the I5 (I love saying that, it sounds so exotic to me)). Travelling to the US, travelling solo (despite the fact I was meeting wonderful people all along the way, and had a companion for some of the trip), driving on highways and big roads (an automatic car, on the "wrong" side of the road), big distances - all challenges for me, all new for me. I travelled 1700 miles (which is like driving up and down the length of Ireland twice). This is what made the trip an oddyssey, and made it feel like more than just a holiday. The focus of the training, which involved deep soul-work opened me up in wonderful ways, leaving me sensitised to any and all experiences... and with everything (even the apparently mundane) being new to me, I was like a child in wonderland, marvelling at a squirrel, a supermarket shelf, a roadside snack-shack burritto (I did it! - Who's adventurous?)

What happened in the course of the three weeks was interesting, in that words became increasingly less important, and I simply soaked up impressions, images, being-in the place, so that I dropped my Morning Pages after about a week, then scribbled only a perfunctory journal-note of where I'd been each day, wrote only a couple of pages of poetry-beginnings, until by the end of the trip, the only writing I was doing was my nightly list of ten gratitudes.

Returning home to people asking How was it? Tell us all about it! - I was so flummoxed as to how to begin to capture the experience. Words like Wonderful and Fantastic keep coming out. I don't regret a moment, I'd say, and that is true. I set off with a loose itinerary (after the training), and followed urges, promptings and invitations that seemed to call me, and I feel I just went where I needed to be, met the people I was meant to meet, and was in the right environment for me right now. I'd just completed a hard block of work, just completed a draining and very difficult emotional task, and am at a point of new beginnings in my life. This trip was a soul-journey, something special for me, and one way I know it was so special is that now I'm home, it feels complete. There is no part of me wishing I'd gone elsewhere, or done other things, or ... it was as it should be, and it is complete.

And I'm home, and looking forward to being regularly in touch again with all my blog-pals.
Oh... yes, another thing to mention. Strange, there was an unformed plan to get together with a few blog-pals, and circumstances seemed to conspire against it. Part of me was frustrated with the "so near and yet so far" of that, and then, part of me felt maybe it's ok. The friendships made within this community ARE real and valuable, don't need to be reinforced with real-world meetings (nice as that would be), and maybe the fact that it didn't happen will leave me knowing that it doesn't need to happen. Make sense?

Enough for now.
Good to be home.
Thanks to all of you who kept the home fires burning (or the home air-conditioning turned on, whichever was necessary).


At 14/6/06 3:58 pm, Blogger Cate said...

I just ate up this post--so wonderful to hear about your travels (and your recovery! I feel the exact same way when returning home from a trip!).

I'm grateful that your back!

At 14/6/06 5:15 pm, Blogger harmonyinline said...

So glad you enjoyed your trip. I think Santa Cruz is just beautiful and I love Washington.

At 15/6/06 4:24 am, Blogger deirdre said...

I have to say,I giggled over the I5 seeming exotic. I drove it last summer, bringing my sister's children home from Washington when she got too sick to live alone. Great stretches of it were so beautiful and I'd love to do it again without carsick, scared children and without being so scared and tired myself. There's a wonder about seeing a new part of the world, stepping outside of yourself and re-focusing your eyes. I'm so glad you got to see a little of our world. BTW, parts of N. Ca look a lot like Ireland. There are places near where I live that could make me swear I'm near Glendalough.

At 15/6/06 6:48 am, Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Welcome back - looking forward to reading your stuff again.

At 15/6/06 11:00 am, Blogger paris parfait said...

Great post - I always love hearing about someone else's adventures when experiencing the U.S. Am glad you had such a wonderful time and are home safe and sound!

At 15/6/06 2:31 pm, Blogger kerrdelune said...

I loved hearing about your trip and your adventures (and seeing that marvellous slide show), and I am glad you are back with stories to share. What kind of world would this be without adventures and tales?

At 15/6/06 2:47 pm, Blogger Kara said...

Oddyssey sounds like such a fantastic word for your trip - especially after reading about it and seeing pictures! I'm excited that you did SoulCollage training too!

At 16/6/06 12:43 am, Anonymous Fran aka Redondowriter said...

What an incredible experience for you. I have photos of my own Soul Collage training in the photo albums on my site. I'm glad it was a positive experience for you--and I applaud you for your courage to take such a long trip by car to Oregon and Washington, too. The Pacific Northwest is gorgeous though you probably got some rain. I'll look more at your slide show tonight. Welcome back.

At 16/6/06 3:11 am, Anonymous tinker said...

It sounds like such a wonderful journey - both physically and spiritually. I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit out here; Central/N. Calif , Oregon & Washington, are all particularly lovely areas - much greener (& cooler!) than down here in S. Calif.
I second one of the other commenters in applauding your courage in making such a road trip - solo!
I'm glad you enjoyed your visit here.


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