Sunday, August 11, 2013

July 18: In Transit

Perfect morning to fly out of Portland; the clouds are a thin soup when the plane gets above them, and the hills leading to Mount Hood are oyster crackers floating in it. Rob at work sent me a Twain quote yesterday:

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.

And flight is the crusher of limited perspective. It's cloudy in Portland but not up here. 

I'm overwhelmed with expectations and some of the intellectually-true but not-yet-experienced comments keep repeating in my head. 

"This is going to change your life."

Sure it will. But I don't yet know how. I know I'll come away with appreciation for the sheer lucky circumstances of my birth. (It doesn't get better for a woman to be born now, be born white, be born as a US Citizen, be born to parents who wanted you and had way beyond basic means to care for you.) I know I'll come away with guilt for those very same things. I suspect I'll come away overwhelmed by the goodness and maybe the selfishness to be found in those with few material possessions - and how that shrinks the world right down to being not all that different, wherever you are.

I know I'll be in awe of seeing it with my own eyes - the (non) infrastructure, the roads, villages, the sea of skin color not my own, the light, sounds, stillness, animals, food (oh, WHAT will the food be like?!). But I can know all of that inside this overactive mind, inside this confident intellect... but I don't know any of it yet in my spirit, in my calm but eager inner self. Instead, I'm counting the minutes til we land in Chicago!

But there is this clear vision this morning - my spiritual self. Centered, relaxed, open to the experience. And beyond the experiences - beyond the things I've listed that my mind says it knows - is what will happen because of it. 

That's where my mind falters and my spirit shrugs unaffectedly. She smiles more. 

I ask, will we come away with a path of wanting to adopt a child from Tanzania? Will we come away even more of a clean freak? Will we come away knowing, planning, having a best Next Right Step revealed? My mind is spinning but my spirit doesn't know - and doesn't need to know. Content to wait in mystery.

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