This Blog Is an Attempt to Chronicle Joy, Pain, and Life Experienced in Accordance to the Truth of My Heart.
Thank You for Reading

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Belgium's Trails

It was a beautiful weekend, so I went on a bit of an overnight bike ride around Belgium. Saturday afternoon I set out east and was out for about twenty-four hours. I rode east, then South, then West, and finally North back into Leuven. For some reason I expected a nice leisurely ride through the countryside, just gliding along effortlessly, enjoying the surrounding splendor. It very quickly became apparent that the trip was going to be work. Hell, right from the start it was work as I had to struggle to find the start of the extensive network of trails spreading across the eastern half of Belgium. Finding and staying on the trails was a constant discipline in awareness. The stakes were raised when it became apparent that the trails were not along bike paths, but very narrow one way roads. With lots of blind corners.
The biking itself was often challenging- with cobblestones roads (and no shocks whatsoever), bumpy roads, hard uphills, and an overloaded pack. Thankfully the pack was overloaded with food and water, so I was able to eat my way to an easier ride.
It was hard, often scary work, and it was totally and undoubtedly worth while.
In other words, it was a lot like life. On more levels and in more ways then I can describe right here and now, the ride was like a microcosm of life itself. Including that my expectations at the outset for how the ride was going to be matches how I often think life will be. I cannot really find further words for describing it right now. I took a series of videos on the bike ride, and I plan on doing a commentary on them and posting them online. So please just wait for that.
One more thing I would like to mention is at one point I found this ruined church in the middle of a city. It was obviously set up for tourists, but basically all that was left were a few stone walls. The roof and floor were gone, and grass was growing. I stayed there for about an hour, and felt more connected that that one spot than anywhere else in so far in Belgium. I feel drawn to the few wild and forgotten places. The whole land has been completely inhabited by humans for a few dozen centuries, and, furthermore, even in the middle of the night the city is completely safe. I miss the wild. I miss that which is not an artifact of humanity. One thing I love are the street cats. They are utter badassess. I managed to get a picture of one, and I will post it soon (it is currently on a partition of my hard drive I can't access right now).

Speaking of pictures, I don't want this to become a travel blog. It could easily become a travel blog. So I think I will start a sister blog to act as a receptacle for the events of my trips. Look for it in the next few days. This blog will continue to update with the movements of my spirit, emotions, and mind. The other blog will merely be things that I have seen and done.
Talk to you all later everyone!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have been rather extremely busy. I have all kinds of notes and stuff to blog. Just no time in which to do so. Please bear with me, and I will regale you all with Leuven Tails soon enough.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Here I am in the Montreal Airport. Weird to think of myself as on my own.
What is strongest in my mind, is the images of my family. The last glance I had as I took my leave. Now those sights are like photographs in my mind. My grandfather... there is a fair chance he will die before I return. I have two images of him in my mind. In one, he is sitting in the rocking chair in his sunroom, fully smiling. I am looking back as I walk out of the room, we had just said our goodbyes. In the other image, he has come to stand in the door of his old stone house as we drive away. He is not smiling now, and he is the only shape in the otherwise black doorway; he looks for all the world like a specter. My mother, looking exactly like my mother, smiling, standing outside the bus terminal as my father and brother, and I drive away. I had missed my bus to the Montreal airport, so my father was giving me a ride to the airport, and my brother was coming along too, but not my mother. I remember her distinctive smile, her distinctive style, that I can recognize from two blocks away. I remember Alexander (my father) and Keir (my brother) watching me leave beyond the security gate. I am walking away, looking back over my shoulder, and I blow them a couple of kisses. Alexander catches his. Keir stands behind him- they are so close, and moments ago I was close with them. Now the hundred feet between us cannot be crossed, unless I abandon my trip.
Now I am in Philadelphia. Now there is geography between me and my world as well. Amazing. It is an odd feeling to walk through the airport. Alone. At first I felt a little paranoid, like someone to be wary of was walking right behind me. My family has always been a constant lifeline. Never far, never unreachable, never beyond their near immediate help. Until now. Now I am operating solo. Twenty and a half years of prep for this trip, and here I am. Waiting for a plane. In Philaphelphia. The last of the sunset is just fadeing. For me, the sun will rise somewhere over the Atlantic.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Alive In Ottawa

I just want to say that I am in Ottawa, doing well, and I have a LOT to blog about. The bus ride, the experience of arriving, what has happened since... I just don't have the time or energy for it right now. I need to be up in about five hours, and have a full day tomorrow...
I will hopefully be able to give a post a day starting tomorrow (Technically today) to get everyone caught up.
Thank you kindly for your patience,