Sunrise on rice fields

In the Shadow of Light

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Aquí teniu el post en Català. 

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I will meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about
language, ideas, even the phrase ‘each other’
doesn’t make any sense.”
~ Rumi

We all have a light in us. It shines in different ways. If you look close, you’ll see it in someone’s eyes or in their smile. It expresses itself as a helping hand, a compassionate hug or kind words.

The light the two of us carry wherever we go often comes in the form of silent awe, wholehearted appreciation and humble respect.

We move through countries discreetly, shying away from unwanted attention and blending into the background. We joke about our unassuming entrances through back doors where “the mortals” walk, where everyday, normal people like us shuffle through their day getting to work, going home or heading to the market. We like when we’re out in the world and people can’t figure out where we’re from. Going unnoticed is our travel ideal. We like not showing up on the radar screen. We enjoy being just Lluís and Jenn.

This doesn’t mean we’re recluses, introverts or keep people at arm’s length (although sometimes we might come across that way). Those aren’t labels that fit us. We like being around people, and find them fascinating. We have meaningful, but fleeting, chats with strangers on trains, buses, airplanes, in hostel lobbies and on crowded city streets. We’ve talked with friends into the wee hours long after all the wine has been poured and empty plates are piled high. Jenn has a reputation for being a “long-talker,” and the idea that she went into meditative silence for several-day stretches is amusing to anyone who knows her.

While we value human intimacy, we also treasure our privacy. We don’t have our names on our doorbell or mailbox. We avoid fanfare, spotlights and unnecessary attention. Jenn carefully weeds outs what she shares online, and until recently, on her public walls Lluís was known as LL, an enigma who lured her to Barcelona. Lluís doesn’t do social media, and never feels like he’s missing out on anything by not being there.

And, that’s the rub. We want to share the light, love, kindness and goodness we carry inside us, and we want to experience the light, love, kindness and goodness of other people, both physically on the ground and virtually through the Web. But, it’s hard for us to express this in a very public way.

This blog has presented us with one of our first unexpected challenges. It has raised many more questions than we anticipated, from the look and feel of the page, to its ease-of-use via smartphones, to existential questions hinged to why we need a blog and what are we trying to do here.

This is not us.
This is not us.
Where we go from here

First and foremost, this blog and its related social media platforms will be the simplest ways to keep our families and friends, located in various parts of the world, updated on our whereabouts. Its secondary goal is to share pieces of story about a trip that calls to us, and maybe, as a result, sparks something inside you to shape your own out-in-the-world experience.

These simple goals, however, conflict with today’s 24×7 always-on and always-responsive mindset. Blogging and social media require posting consistency and a constant online presence. It’s normal for us to disappear for weeks at a time, happy not to be connected to computers and smartphones. We joyfully immerse ourselves in the face-to-face time we have with the people we meet wherever we are and fill ourselves with the world’s beauty. It may be odd to admit in a blog, but we don’t have an instinctive need to broadcast these as-they-happen encounters to everyone we know.

This will happen, too, when we start walking. Depending on where we are and a list of other things beyond our control, we could be offline for extended periods, doing now and again quick check-ins. We will actually be living life, living this trip as much as possible, and, frequently, those moments will mean more to us than worrying about the strength of our cell phone signal and Internet connection.

And, this brings us back to a few key questions: Who are we, and who will we be on this trip and on this blog? We talk a lot lately about how we can live transparent, honest and sincere lives in public view, and how we can protect the parts we can’t share for a multitude of legitimate reasons, or don’t want share for whatever reason matters to us. We’re open and truthful, but not people who comfortably wear our hearts on our sleeves. We sometimes live in the shadow of light, filtering our bright shining rays through meshed screens. We do that by choice and by necessity.

Like so much of this trip, we don’t how this adventure into blogging will turn out or how frequently we’ll be able to post. Sometimes we will stumble over our words, or get lost in details of self-reflection. Sometimes Jenn will write, other weeks it will be Lluís; each of our voices will sound different in your ear. Sometimes, the words may only come in English or only in Catalan. Or we may have time to post a single photo with a one-word caption, and you’ll have to invent the rest of the story around it. What’s certain, wherever this leads, we will always be true to ourselves.

We hope you’re open to the experiment. We’d like you to come along and sit with us in the field of grass where the world is sometimes too full to talk about.

Our way
This is more our style.


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