Thursday, August 4, 2016

Tiny Island Life

My mind likes to connect dots and read between the lines. This is why I love logic problems and literary fiction and creative non-fiction--because you can safely do those things within the realm of books. It doesn't always work like this in real life--though I tend to do it anyway. It's a lot like looking into space and making up your own stories about the stars and constellations.

For example, there is no such thing as security (of any kind) no matter how much life has proven to you that it exists. It can be ripped out from under you at any given moment for reasons that exceed all logic. But when you begin to try to make sense of the illogical, connect the dots, and grasp for answers, they will present themselves no matter how illogical or strange because that may be all that's left to grasp onto.


And depending on how you choose to connect those dots and those answers you grasp for, you can put together limitless stories from the same material. Life is complex and contradictory in all kinds of ways, and we can build our own puzzle from it.

I left Santa Cruz with very little faith in most anything except my own ability to connect dots and read between the lines because that was all I had left to grasp onto--strings of miracles, shooting stars, glowing bugs, rogue spaceships, looking for serenity, anything. Grasping.


India and Nepal filled my life with all kinds of bliss--so much bliss that I didn't think there could possibly be room for much more. Bali (and specifically Ubud) brought a lot of residual ickiness to the surface that began to overshadow all the bliss. In Cambodia I released all the residual mess that came up leaving nothing but an inner bliss and peace that I sat with for weeks. And as my days in Cambodia wound down, I couldn't help but wonder what was waiting for me on Gili Air--the possibilities as limitless as the Universe is vast.


Gili Air is a tiny island. In fact, that is exactly what the word gili means--tiny island. It is so tiny you can walk around the perimeter in under 2 hours. There are no cars here or any kind of motorized vehicle. Aside from the scattering of dive shops, provision shops, food shacks, and beach huts, there really isn't much of anything here at all. But, oddly enough, there are enough paths that cut through the center of the island that you can still actually get lost here--even with a map.


I spent my first week exploring and getting lost--looking for something, maybe. I just had kind of a vague sense that's what I was doing anyway. I wasn't really sure. I did a lot of exploring and getting lost in India and Nepal, and bliss was all I found. Here...I wasn't finding anything except a kind of strange void and lonely you can only feel when surrounded by lots of people walking on all those paths. This is peak season after all and this is all there is. People and paths.


One of my favorite travel bloggers recently presented this question: "What makes you feel alive?" And within this question is exactly where I found what I was looking for here. I made a list of everything that makes me feel alive--all those things that kept me alive those last years in Santa Cruz and all those things that have brought me bliss since I've been traveling. And of course, taking my own advice from my Bending Reality post.


Here's how the dots connect: I found a lot of external and inner bliss in India and Nepal--when I needed it most. I learned to embrace it, and I learned to let it go. When I was ready the Universe unleashed all that ickiness I hadn't yet processed, and I learned how to process it in a healthy way while in Ubud. Then in Cambodia I was able to release it. Now, I'm in a place that is very quirky and unique and pretty indeed, but lacks a lot of those things I find external bliss in and faced with the question: "What makes you feel alive?"

That is my purpose here on Gili Air, that is my goal, that is my new challenge--to live in a void and fill the void from the inside out.


And I pass on the question: What make you feel alive? How do you connect the dots to make sense out of the illogical? When faced with a void, how do you fill it--from the inside out or from the outside in? Tell me your stories!

4 comments:

  1. I feel alive when i am connected to the moment, that makes me appreciate the miracle that is this blip of consciousness in this massive amazing, intricate and beautiful universe. I also believe that the more I try to make this experience logical the more i miss the point, there is simply no logic, no abstraction available to quantify or qualify This whatever This is or isn't. About filling the void...I remember this Zen saying :"Wisdom tells me nothing exists, Love tells me everything is precious, between this two I navigate". Feeling very blessed to come across your path. Much Love

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    1. That's a great Zen saying--thank you for sharing :)

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  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_fox_koan

    2 things...ignore the analysis, it is way too academic, and read cause and effect as karma...which is what it is. Happy exploring :)

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