Wednesday, May 19, 2004


Well, I'm now almost completely packed, which is good considering I leave for the airport in a little over seven hours. I will post again from the other side of the Atlantic. I don't know how often, but at least once a week I will put up a duplicate of an e-mail I send to friends and family who don't read blogs. There may also be special blog bonus content as situations merit. No promises on what I'll wind up talking about - when I went to Irbid, I assumed I would visit one of the Palestinian refugee camps, but it never materialized.

I have no idea what to expect. I'm travelling alone into a very foreign country. Anything could happen. Sometimes that makes me nervous. Other times, it seems exciting.

Incidentally, one book that has greatly influenced my view of travel is Pilgrim, by Leonard Biallas, albeit mainly before it reached book form. I've added it to the featured books on my sidebar - there's no picture, but the cover is a pleasing shade of blue. Here's some of the guts of it:

"In our travels away from home, we are pilgrims...when we are on the lookout for contact with the sacred hidden forces which underlie and shape the destiny of our world and which can transform our lives. We find the sacred present in undramatic incidents, in Pasternak's 'greatness of small actions,' in Blake's 'goodness of minute particulars.' Because we are mindful, experiences of the sacred break through into our lives. When we look steadily and lovingly at any thing - a waterfall, a child, and field of poppies, and really 'see' the whole of it - not merely steal an idea of it, but know it by direct experience, we encounter the sacred. Such moments of small joys and humble experiences are miraculous epiphanies."

Finally, this was my 1000th post. That seems like a lot. Thanks for reading!


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