Musings from NJ to DC
It's amazing how different our lives become with each passing year. When I was 8 years old, my mom took me and my brother on a bus tour through the mountains of the northwest to see Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore. My favorite memories are actually of the gigantic redwood trees, crawling through the hollowed bases, and feeling small and big at the same time. I think that trip was also the first time I sat in a bus for hours on end, watching myself pass through the country, the country pass through me. Looking back on it, it seems like such a long time ago, yet the memories rush back so easily.
Since then, I've been on countless bus rides around the world. The memories are easily accessible. There's the little boy I met while packed tight on a bus through the mountains in Colombia and the beat of the blasting reggae while packed even tighter on a trip through Jamaica. There's the time the two men in front of me got into a fight while riding through China and the time that I rode on a midnight 'lady bus' through Japan. And I could never forget the dozens of rides through Massachusetts when my partner and I attempted to navigate through a long distance relationship - those rides were filled with excitement or heartbreak depending on which direction I was traveling in. Everything comes back to me - the scenery, the music, the feel of the wind, the chatter in the air.
Yet if I try to remember all the flights I've been on in my life, only a few memories stand out. Everything else blends into each other. I think it has to do with being able to mark the passing of time - on buses, you can see space/time moving, on planes, it's much harder to gauge space/time - the view is of an eternal sky (if you're allowed to open the window) and there are so many distractions.
As technology advances, a lot of the little things I love about bus rides are disappearing (in the US). Of course I say this while being a total hypocrite. How else could I be writing a blog post while moving through New Jersey at 60mph if it weren't for technology? Sigh. Such is life.
Slowly, I feel as if we are living a reality that was only fantasized about (or feared) in sci-fi novels of the 50s and 60s. A world power in an attempt to keep it's position at the top, spies on all it's citizens while producing food and media to keep them docile, killing everyone it fears through flying robots.
These are things I wouldn't have even been able to comprehend as a child riding through the American countryside all those years ago. Wifi wasn't widely available or even heard of back then. I wonder what the future is going to be like 10 years from now. What kind of things will be second nature then that I can't even imagine comprehending now? In what ways will my life have changed? Will I still be alive then?
In my last post, I said that if I've learned anything in life, it's that everything passes. It's true. Nothing in my life has come out the way I wanted or planned it to. But everything's been okay anyway. Everything changes. Life goes on. There's nothing to be afraid of. The memories rush back so easily yet it seems like I'm looking at someone else's life even as I know so intimately that it's my own.
Well, anyway, this post was really just supposed to let people know that I'm on my way to BuddhaFest in DC but it turned into something else (as with life). If anyone is going to be there or around the DC area, please let me know. I'd love to meet for a tea.