Somebody stole my work. I was wondering if I should write about it. In a way it is kind of flattering when people like what you write so much that they want to publish it on their own website. Most of the time I don’t care. But in this case there is a particularly distasteful and hypocritical aspect to it. I want that to be known, seen and changed for the sake of integrity.
As I type this down I feel a question coming up. Is this really what I feel? And where does that feeling come from? It almost sounds indifferent, like if I don’t care. But that is not the case. I still feel some fear and some vulnerability when I think about going through the process of arriving and adjusting to new time zones, food, customs, traffic, sounds and people. I can also feel resistance around potentially having to deal with problems that need solving. But underneath is just a quiet and peaceful trust that everything will work out as it is supposed to work out. And that is cool because I didn’t have this awareness when I started my journey.
Yesterday Ernst and his wife Gretchen buried their baby boy and tomorrow Bas will make Karin his wife. Both events touch me deeply, they touch both sides of my deep wish to have a family. I really don’t know what to say. Our lives are so precious and so unpredictable. And difficult. It is so easy to see that there is something sacred about two people expressing their love and commitment to each other in God’s house. And it is easy to see that a baby is a result of passion and an expression of pure, innocent love, and that his coming into existence is both mysterious and sacred. I even know that lives are to be lived fully and that a full life doesn’t have to be a long life. Sam did a perfect job. But I still would have wished Sam to stay with us longer.
So I owed you another story. I normally don’t tell stories from ‘the past’ and this one happened last Wednesday, almost a week ago and therefore pretty much ancient history (time flies). I wanted to write it down last Friday, the day the weekly update goes out to the people on my mailing list (please join if you would like to keep updated).
I had paid the family in Buderim another visit, said goodbye and was now on my way back to Sydney. I would come pass Brisbane in 45 minutes and I remembered that the head quarters of hippiecamper.com were in that city. The problems that I had with them were never really settled.
In my van I was listening to the playlist my friend Ralph has sent me. Marcel’s list was completely different. Marcel and Ralph are both good friends of mine. It is beautiful to listen to their playlists and it is beautiful to notice the difference in character the selection shows. In Ralph’s selection the lyrics are very profound. One of the artists is Jason Schulman and one of his songs is called “The Long Journey Home”. The first line is “the long journey home has started”. I realized this was true. By traveling to the furthest country I could go and in that country going as far as I could and then turning around means that the long journey home has started.
I turned around 2 days ago. I made it to Townsville (where the picture is taken before I went skinny dipping in the morning). Where earlier this week I was telling myself that my purpose here in Australia couldn’t be just driving up North for 3000 kilometers and then turning around: I did exactly that. After my kind of disappointing tourist experience in Airlie Beach I decided to give myself permission to do what I thought I shouldn’t: just drive around from National Park to National Park to walk for a couple of hours. It is funny that the symbolic turning point coincided with the literal and physical turning point (do we still believe in coincidences?).
It is raining very hard outside. It is 18.18 (auspicious timing) and it is getting dark rapidly here in Airlie Beach. I found a spot to write in an internet café. Only thing is that the internet is not working. But at least I can charge my laptop and my phone.
I have 45 bites of sand flees on my right calve alone. I didn’t bother to count the amount of bites on other places on my body but trust me: I have many bites. The bites are very itchy but I have Tiger Balm next to me: to put on the spots where I want to scratch. Tiger Balm relieves the itching. Best tip I had in a long time.
I had an insight today, and I hope it proves to be true and lasting. I was aware of the big difference between today and yesterday. Yesterday the doubt came up: what the hell am I doing in Australia? It culminated into a moment of feeling sad, lonely and lost. Today I was just happily cruising around. And what I realized was: I don’t regret the sadness of yesterday. I am not happy because it is over, I am happy because I became acquainted with it. It was really a kind of a light-bulb-flicking-on-in-my-head moment.
I am not in the most romantic place imaginable: in a Subway sandwich shop with a view over a parking place (with lots of empty spots). I had a salad here and was able to put some electricity in my laptop and phone. With the help of Personal Hotspot (the tethering function on my iPhone) I have access to the internet. So that’s nice. And there is a beautiful full moon in the sky. That is nice too.
I just uploaded to YouTube a couple of clips I recorded today. I have not much better to do than talk to myself during this part of my trip. Because I took the decision to not censor myself you can see me cry on one of the videos.
I woke up at 05.30 in Rainbow Beach and started my day with naked body surfing before I would go to a place where wild dolphins would come in the morning. The beach was pretty much deserted but there was a couple who parked their 4×4 on the sand and was fishing in the early morning. I walked a few hundred meters away from them although our initial distance was more than 50 meters.
Of course it is kind of strange that I want to protect them from my nakedness and myself from their possible judgment. It is not that I am bothering somebody so early in the morning but of course the real question is ‘why we are so afraid of nakedness?’ When I made the decision to go skinny-dipping it was because I assumed I would be all alone. There would be nobody watching. Not only did I need specific circumstances to be naked (remote beach, early morning, alone) but when I realized the circumstances were ‘right’ I still needed to gather some courage.