Saturday, February 27, 2016

appreciating and broadening


does travel broaden the mind?
maybe . . .

now in my late sixties, for the first time
I’m physically traveling significantly outside the country,
for many years, however, I’ve inwardly travelled the world
to imagine and learn what I could of place and people,
and the gestalt of how culture 
nurtures differences and sameness of self,
of cuisine, language, sports, the arts,
of climate and geography and diversity,
I have long been intrigued by the commonality of basic questions
and the extraordinary range of answers to those questions:
each answer a step toward crossing the void
that can seem to surround us,
each step like a hypothesis to explain the riddle of existence,
whether the hypothesis is right or wrong doesn’t really matter
for each gets us closer to truth,
my morning meditations are from a wealth of traditions,
and I compare them with my own experiences and ponderings
and judge what in each works well to cross the void,

not traveling, and traveling, can each numb us,
and we can retreat into the familiar, like a McDonaldsizing of cuisine,
there can also be a tyranny of the individual self, walled off from the other,
whether at home or in a distant land, still walled from the other,

it’s easy to narrow the mind,
but, oh my, it’s wonderful to broaden it,
and I work to use this travel as magic
to help me understand more paths across the void,

I’m in the Southern Hemisphere now!
Wow. . .

by Henry H. Walker
February 24, ’16

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