Because we all need to come together in new ways, I’m starting a Sunday Burst of Strength, Solidarity and Support.
Let’s come together for 30 minutes to breathe, meditate and journal/sketch.
Bring your favorite mat, chair, notebook, and pens or markers. We’ll leave a few minutes for sharing wisdom at the end.
First Session: Sunday, April 5, 2020
6 p.m. Europe/CET time | 12 p.m. ET | 9 a.m. PT
The plan is to make this a weekly gathering for the next few weeks as we move through coronavirus-related confinement. Continue reading This Sunday, April 5: Let’s Co-Create Resilience and Resourcefulness
Sitting at Chimera, watching these always-burning fires, my hiking friend and trail angel Elena tells me a Russian fable.
Continue reading The Crow and the Geese, a Russian Fable
Do I go left or right?
I don’t see any red and white trail marks to my right. Going right means going up another steep part. I have been climbing up steep parts for what seems like hours, but has translated to only a few measly kilometers.
Which way do I go this time?
Continue reading When Angels Show Up
Tbilisi. The sound of this word is a beacon for me. It’s an audio lighthouse blinking me to a safe haven where I can rest and recover, where I can feel normal for a little while.
Continue reading Shaking Off the Slump
The heat brings out the worst in me.
The sweat, the discomfort and the constant unquenchable thirst break my walking stamina, the little I have left at this point. My bad mood is made worse with sudden menopause-related hot flashes that make my head burn even hotter in the baking sun.
Continue reading Meeting Joy
I quit this walk a hundred times a day. Really. Every single day.
I have conversations in my head all the time about how much I hate what we are doing, how I want my Barcelona life back, how I was happier then.
More often than I should, I count off all the reasons I want to stop, and all the things that make me tired.
Continue reading A Hundred Times a Day
“Look at the map. This dirt road may be a shortcut. We’ll avoid the main road and traffic, and maybe we’ll save a couple of kilometers.”
The sun is climbing over the horizon, the birds are up, and farmers on horses wave to us. The soft green rice paddies create the illusion of a morning hike out in nature, away from people and noise. We haven’t walked a trail like this for many months.
It sounded like a good option at 6 a.m.
Continue reading The Shortcut
We trudge forward. Hours drag on.
Each step brings us to another curve leading to a long stretch of alpine nothingness. It’s just us alone in the world, heads down and walking different paces alongside the Panj River that sometimes meanders a few meters below or rages through narrow gorges.
There’s comfort in solitude. There’s unity between the human spirit and the natural world. There’s also a simultaneous sense of bigness and smallness, being a speck in the shadow of mountainous greatness while having a heart large enough to notice the smallest rock sparkling in the sunshine.
It’s easy to get lost in these long stretches in between Pamir towns. The monotony invites a meditative calm, a peace that comes with moving at about three kilometers an hour. It often, too, stirs restlessness and a string of unconnected thoughts anxious for answers or impatience from feeling like we are going nowhere fast.
Continue reading Lost in the Long Stretches
This a different kind of post from me. It’s a slightly edited email note I recently wrote to a group of friends in San Francisco asking about our walk. After re-reading it, I decided it could also work here. It’s very much what’s on my mind these days.
Continue reading Random Ramblings from Kyrgyzstan
Finding a place to sleep has been one of our biggest daily challenges on this stretch of the walk. In our Daily Nest post, we highlight a few of the places we slept during the last eight weeks. This is one night’s surprise.
It’s about 3 p.m., time for us to start thinking about where we will sleep. In Burma, this is never an easy task for the kind of trip we’re doing. We cross our fingers, ask the universe to fix something up for us, and hope a dash of luck and a good amount of patience and preserverance lead us somewhere safe.
Continue reading Tribal Council: Can We Sleep Here or Not?