The Greatest Mystery

Easter Island – October 2016

Remember who you are.

Who you were before the world got ahold of you.

This is why you are here.

It is said that ancient minds expressed their immense knowledge of the cosmos through myth. Their brains worked with symbol and metaphor. A fusion of conscious and subconscious. A slow, relentless divergence occurred over the ages. Hard logic became more valued and imagination became irrelevant.

My mind does not grasp formulas, equations, hard facts, dates. But I understand. A deep knowing that fills my atoms. My reality is fluid, kaleidoscopic, limitless. I am awake in a dream without end. Beliefs are not held, but carried for a while and then set free as new evidence comes to light. But never do I forget that we humans know nothing. And no one is in control.

Wild horses roam the desolate landscape of Rapa Nui. They are almost as captivating to me as the moai. They converge in the road ahead. I trail behind their majestic parade. Your mind is more of a wild horse than most people’s, a psychic once told me. A mixture of admiration and pity in her eyes. Even as a child, especially as a child, my mind was rebellious. I dreamed of being an archaeologist and having rainbow-colored hair. My favorite color was clear. Not a color of the spectrum but the prism itself.

The exasperation and hostility it provoked: that color doesn’t exist!

But I can see it. It’s all around us.

Nothing can be done with you. You are hopeless!

I wasn’t trying to be difficult. I couldn’t restrain myself from imagining possibilities. I’ve never expected, or even wanted, others to see the world as I do. I peer out the dusty windshield. The beasts advance down the road. A wayward kind of grace. They toss their manes, haughty and jubilant. A devilish smile spreads across my face. An evil giggle escapes. I never stood a chance.

In the field, two males are locked a violent pirouette. Teeth tear flesh. Long, thick ropes of blood and saliva fly through the air. An image from this morning flashes through my mind. A dead horse by the side of the road. The bloated, contorted carcass. Its eyes were frozen in a fierce gaze heavenward. Even in death untamed.

Moai are strewn across the outer slopes of Rano Raraku like discarded game pieces from a divine hand. The soil in the crater is the color of dried blood. Here, the moai were extracted from the flesh of the Earth.

One must bleed until there’s no poison left. The wounds scab over, and it seems we are done with the bleeding. But then they burst open again. And again.

Deep within the abyss of the past, I believed everything I was told. This innocence was not lost, but purposely rejected. Exiled to this mysterious, magical land. I have come here to reclaim it.

When we experience pain, pieces of the personality shatter, disperse, and become lodged in hidden corners of the psyche.This is done as a means of survival, so the pain doesn’t reoccur. Those who search for answers find that, eventually, the sanctuaries become prisons. The bandages no longer shelter the wounds. The search must go deeper. Clues are unearthed and examined. Shards and tiny splinters. It is painstaking work. Some discoveries raise more questions than answers. Sometimes the revelations are catastrophic. They invalidate all previous work. If only we could bury it all again. But there is no going back.

Was it carelessness or rat infestation that caused the fatal deforestation? Who constructed the moai? Why do all sites face inland, but one? Certain moai are lined up with the astronomical year. Why? Is Easter Island part of the legacy of a lost civilization that existed millennia before recorded history? The survivors of a cataclysm were ancient mariners who journeyed to the far reaches of the planet, transporting their knowledge of the universe.

So many questions. So much energy is invested in trying to decipher the enigma of our collective past.

The greatest mystery one can solve is that of the self.

Hanga Roa. The only town on this remotest of islands. I drift into a tiny shop. Ocean blue walls close in on me. On display: a dismal selection of tinned food, crackers, cookies, and chips. The Pacific islands are a fussy eater’s worst nightmare. Tourists mill about. Languages intertwine. I get in line behind three young women. Words emerge from their obscure speech. Numbers. It’s Hungarian. Words from each of the languages I’ve taught myself over the years tumble through my mind. I’ve taught myself almost everything I know: how to write, how to navigate the planet, how to unlearn everything I was told I ought to be. How to interpret the secret, personal language that each of us carry into existence. The hieroglyphics scrawled on the walls of my soul.

A tingle to my left. Heat. I glance in that direction. A man stands in front of the cooler. Wiry, small-boned, Polynesian. Stately and youthful. He could be twenty-five or forty-five. His hair falls past his shoulders in inky blue-black waves. His gaze captures mine. Blazing black nuggets. I see you, missy.

I catch my breath and turn away. I pay for my water and stumble into the midday sunlight, head spinning. I get into the Jeep and place my hands on the steering wheel. Breathe, breathe. I stare into the rearview mirror. No one has ever looked at me like that before. Except me. I see you. Missy.

Long ago, I tried to been seen below my surface. The late 1980s. My last year as a teenager. Palm Springs, LA. The don’t-you-know-who-I-am crowd. So many offers of conditional generosity. Do you know who you are? was my reply. The best pickup line annihilator ever. Then, one eternal night club evening, eyes peered into mine. Orbs obscured by the grimy glaze of age. The gaze of a long-dead soul. No man will ever be interested in what goes on in that pretty little head, doll. A sneer. Your deep thoughts. If you’re really smart, you’ll keep your mouth shut and use the real gifts you were given. You’ll be set for life.

My beautiful defiance: take your BMW and shove it up your flabby, wrinkled ass, old man! Just because you’ve been alive since the beginning of time doesn’t mean you know everything!

But even the most determined scientist abandons a theory after finding no evidence to support it.

No one will ever understand me. A realization that can cause such devastation. Or empowerment.

Te Pito Kura. Navel of Light. The place of the magic spheres. Mana, spirit power, was harnessed here. Easter Island is also known as Rapa Nui, but its original name was Te Pito O Te Henua. Navel of the World. We are, each of us, the center. The quantum observers of our lives.

We did not come into existence to be educated into submission. To be herded into a corral of listless uniformity. We are here to observe, to experience, to formulate our own realities. To enter the labyrinth of our spirit, get gloriously lost, find our way to the center of light and back again.

And so the time of the moai came to an end and the Birdman became the mythical ideal. Like the Earth, our personal histories consist of eras. Each one more intricate than the last.

The cold wind tangles my hair into knots. I stand on the precipice and peer into the fog. The percussive hiss of ocean waves crashing into the cliffs rises from far below. A decision looms: sink into the safe and familiar forever or take that step into the unknown. I need my innocence – trust, hope, and belief – more than ever now. The fog dissipates, and, in the distance, the prize becomes visible.

The Rano Kau crater towers over the very edge of the island. A gray minivan pulls up next to me in the parking lot. Tourists spill out, identical blonde males and females. Their language is vague, strangled. Some form of Scandinavian. I follow them up the trail to the lookout. They veer to the left. A figure sits at the very edge, cross-legged and immobile. A monolith of flesh and blood. My heart stops.

Him, again. The wind stirs his hair. Raven wings taking flight and coming to rest again. The tourists cluster around him, oblivious to his presence. Squawks and exclamations engulf him. He does not move.

I walk up the path to the right and sit on a boulder. The crater gapes before me. A most ancient wound. An unsettling, post-cataclysmic stillness rises from within. A void that can never be filled. Some things you never get back. But with the passing of time, scars take on an exquisite beauty. If you let them.

The tingle again. I take a deep breath and reach out. We merge into a soft embrace of resonances. Warm and platonic and steady. I bow my head and smile. I see you, too.

Sadness and wonder coalesce. I close my eyes. Could it be that I’m not alone after all? I sweep my eyes in his direction, but he has vanished. A lone cackle breaks free from the cluster of tourists. It wafts across the crater, hovering for an instant before it’s swept away in the wind. Swallowed up by the emptiness of forever.

“Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others.” – Timothy Leary

Dear Readers: Thank you for being my Others.❤️

119 thoughts on “The Greatest Mystery

  1. And thank YOU dear friend for sharing your wonderful gift with all of us! As always, a marvelous masterpiece! I remember when you wanted to be an archaeologist….and the episode of “In Search of…..Easter Island”. Oh, the memories!! That show rocked!! 🙂

  2. What is it about Rapa Nui that makes one think? And yearn for coming back there again? I must’ve told the Mrs a few dozen times that I miss that place and I want to return. I NEVER do that.
    Like a colleague told me once, it’s as if that island has an answer to a question you haven’t quite figured yet how to pose.
    “No one is interested in what’s in your head”… that man in 1980 Palm Springs must’ve lived a very, very shallow life.
    Great to read from you again!

    • “It’s as if that island has an answer to a question you haven’t quite figured yet how to pose.” Wow. Totally captures the essence of that magical place. I spent most of my life until my trip formulating the questions. Got my answers. Now I carry Rapa Nui inside me forever.

      As for that shallow man…he was one of many who told me such things, Fabrizio. I actually had a boyfriend tell me that I’d be perfect if only I had a lobotomy. He was dead serious. And he considered himself deep. He was deep compared to most. But he didn’t want the intellectual competition. Southern California is probably the most superficial place on Earth. Even the people I knew who called themselves writers and artists were only interested in dressing the part. They had the right books on their bookshelves, but I doubt they even read them. Being around these people was one of the main reasons I spiraled into major depression which lasted for decades.

      • Boy what a sad thing. I might complain about my OCD software engineer colleagues but, compared to these Californians, they seem a great bunch. Hopefully now you’re enjoying better company Julie!

    • Pard! I was just thinking about you the other day. Wonderin’ if you’ve been staying out of trouble and how life is on the ranch. Hope you are doing well, my friend.

  3. Julie, you always make me think so hard, and your words always seem to reach me at an appropriate time. After a nearly year-long interlude of deep satisfaction with life, I was suddenly faced with a shocking confrontation a few weeks ago, followed by a massive flare of anger, a deep look within, and now a shaky questioning of so many things. I might have agreed that “the greatest mystery one can solve is that of the self,” but now I wonder if it’s the mystery of those others.

    “No one will ever understand me. A realization that can cause such devastation. Or empowerment.” Both. Which comes first? Which lasts? Or are we condemned to an endless cycling between the two?

    • Good to hear the words resonated with you, Lexie. Ourselves, the others…who knows. I’ve learned to cherish those times of calm, because you never know what could happen to pull the rug from underneath. The tests never end.

      It’s probably devastating for everyone at first to realize how alone we are. But whether that shifts into empowerment, or back and forth, or into some other emotion depends on the individual. I now love that no one will ever perceive life as I do. It’s a wonderful sense of freedom.

  4. “The greatest mystery one can solve is that of the self”. Quite a statement, and it seems your journey has taken you closer to solving the mystery than anyone I know. I remember you writing about Easter Island previously, and the effect it had on you. Now i understand that even more. The last quote by Timothy Leary is quite a powerhouse, and deserved of a greater consideration.
    Thank you for this post, Julie.

    • Thank you.🙂 My other Easter Island post touched more on my child-self and was more emotional…I had a tough time deciding how much of that I was going to weave into this one. Finally decided to keep the themes/moods mostly separate. I came across that quote a couple of years ago and it is something that has stayed with me, will always stay with me.

  5. What a gorgeous musing. “The greatest mystery one can solve is that of the self.” And what a lifelong journey of contemplation, observation, and courage. Poet John O’Donohue writes about each person’s ultimate aloneness – that no other can truly know the hidden world deep inside us. And love is the manifestation and balm of that yearning to be known. There are things we will never know about our world, and sitting with that mystery can be fascinating and comforting if we can let go. We are both insignificant in the universal ribbon time and the Te Pito O Te Henua. I just loved this read. ❤

    • Thank you so much, Diana. I love the idea of love being the manifestation of yearning to know and be known by another. Letting go is exactly the key to finding bliss rather than terror in the mystery. Such a difficult thing to do when there’s so much anxiety around the unknown.

  6. We are indeed universes unto ourselves, but it’s so easy to forget this fact about other people. Very grateful to the fates (or whatever is in control) that you and I connected so that I have one person I can ask “What do you think deja vu is for?” and get answers.

  7. Dear Julie, your much awaited post was so worth the wait..
    How beautifully you write so descriptive, as you not only describe to us the beauty of your outer exploration but that inner chatter that takes us deeper into the inward journey we are all embarked upon.
    That mysterious Polynesian with those deep dark eyes that ‘Saw YOU’.. that Inner You, your inner light/ spirit as you saw his in that second encounter.. Showing you that yes, we are never alone ever. And as we walk upon our various journey’s each step taking us closer to discovering just WHO WE ARE and Why we are here.. Always Questioning, and discovering, uncovering and unpeeling the layers we have for millennia built around ourselves as we have allowed our True Natures to be duped, indoctrinated and manipulated as our sixth senses have been subdued and memories wiped..

    I truly believe certain places as well as people have the power to unlock those memories, as we begin to unravel the mysteries of just who we are..
    This journey has taken me via many routes, but each road has led me to discover my self.. As I think as yours..
    We live in interesting times Julie, and each of us are now going to play a vital part in our own personal progression via raising our own inner light, letting go of the past.. and learning we are far from alone in the Universe.. As we navigate our way forward to see just how our Ancient past is so much now in our present..
    I would like to share so much with you to which I have found.. May I email you some links? as I think you are well advanced to understand that which I see now to be truth in our evolution and the parts we came to play in the raising or our frequencies.. ❤ I have your email which is in the dashboard comment with your comments you leave me on my site…
    Sending much love your way Julie.. ❤
    Loved your narrative and your amazing photos and insights my friend ❤ 🧡

    • Dear Sue- of course you can email me. I think we’re on the same page about a lot of things, but whether I’m advanced or not is debatable. Haha. I definitely feel like I’m not totally in the world anymore, and some people have recently told me that they can sense that my physical body is here but my spirit is elsewhere. A strange feeling, but very peaceful. You know what I mean. I haven’t encountered anyone else, outside of the virtual realm, in this predicament. Except for the Polynesian. It’s all in the eyes.

      I’m so humbled by the places I’ve visited. Easter Island was the ultimate for me. It is truly magical. The moai are alive, and so benevolent.

  8. As always, you had me from the opening sentences. So much wisdom here with me nodding vigorously at the wonder of it all. Thank you for being one of my ‘others’ too. I am overwhelmed by this post (in a good way) and want to meditate on it more before I fully comment. I’ll just leave it here for now with ‘I love that your favorite color is clear’.

      • I adore every one of your compositions and love the way you that you intertwine the past with the present with your words. I hear the voice of my ‘in-between self’ (the one who I became when the world got ahold of me before I remembered who I was) in your writings, but here is the funny thing …

        Now that I am happy and aligned with my purpose, I feel I have nothing to say.

        I think you too are happier now, that you too remember why you are here and are now living the life you were meant to. If I am correct in this, I would like to know is how you tap into that other voice, from your darker times, and give her life again without dragging yourself into the darkness.

        Does this make sense?

        • It totally makes sense. I think I usually don’t get dragged back down, because I’ve healed so much. The major traumas are completely healed. They no longer trigger any emotional response when I think about them. So I’m able to conjure the scenes with incredible clarity. If there’s an issue that’s still painful, I just let it all out in a first draft and then go back and edit it after the dust settles and I can look at it with less distortion. Hope that all helps/makes sense.

          I’m so happy to hear that you’re happy and aligned with your purpose. You so deserve it.

          • It totally makes sense and I so appreciate you sharing your process. I hope to do some more personal writing in the future and give my ‘in between self’ a chance to share her story. Hugs from Barichara!

  9. I went to a museum dedicated to a human sacrifice in the snow around a volcano from the Inca times. The guide, a college student of archaeology, was explaining the traditions of the persons of that time. Most of those traditions are part of my life, but the student saw them as something dead from the past, and, what was more disheartening, through an Hispanic optic. Something similar to the Egyptian culture of gods and cities that we know through Greek names. Seeing Rapa Nui through you I feel it closer to what would be through archaeologists, there are excellent ones, but mostly they are not unearthing the past but unearthing their own beliefs. Better a honest mystery than a misunderstanding.

    I love the way you taught yourself your knowledge. I suspect you can understand different things, but learned independently they have to have a particular sound or shape inside you. And about rebellion I feel it as a way to preview other paths, and to preview is to create, to not be satisfied with the stone and bring the sculpture that born in your mind, and many times it gets fueled by opposition. Thank you for sharing with us part of you. It’s beautiful.

    • Dear Francis, thank you so much. Science can be so arrogant and rigid. As you stated: “mostly they are not unearthing the past but unearthing their own beliefs.” And when any new theory is presented, it is often ridiculed by the establishment. This isn’t a conspiracy, but more a frantic need to protect jobs and funding and the legacy of a life’s work. Who wants to discover that the theory one has worked on for years is wrong.
      And it’s also a frantic need to feel like we have some kind of control over the universe. We don’t. But this doesn’t need to be terrifying. We can control how we navigate it, and this is very exciting.

      I decided long ago to base my beliefs on personal experience. I’ll listen to theories and understand that they could possibly be correct, but, especially with the ancient past, there’s no way to know for sure. Mystery is beautiful.

  10. “One must bleed until there’s no poison left. The wounds scab over, and it seems we are done with the bleeding. But then they burst open again. And again.” Yep …

    Read through this 3x, once from the bottom up! Sometimes reading you is like putting together a puzzle. It helped to turn it upside down. 😊 I love the photo of the emerald green valley where the hikers are descending.

    • Well, I read my posts from the bottom up, too, before I post. Like playing records backwards to find the subliminal message. You caught on to my secret. 😉 That valley is actually the side of a very ancient volcano.

  11. I returned to this today to read at my leisure rather than a grabbed moment in the car. Beautiful- the internal is so much more interesting now, isn’t it? And the excavating done via journeys like you’ve had. Yes, a different traveler. The kind I like too. And man, you can write! ❤️

    • Thank you, Tricia.❤️ The internal journey is eternally fascinating. I’ve gathered so many pieces of myself on my voyages around this magnificent planet.

  12. Gorgeously evocative and deeply thoughtful as always Julie. A couple of years ago I said I wanted to get back to the ‘girl I was’ before the world made me something different. I’m still working on it….I think these words encapsulate everything. ‘No one will ever understand me. A realization that can cause such devastation. Or empowerment.’

    • Thank you, Andrea. I think the work of unlearning is never done. We are so submerged in conditioning- cultural, ancestral. A certain level of freedom is possible, however. And it sure feels good.

  13. JD, as always, your writing is world-class… thank you for sharing your Easter Island experience with us. Although it is part of what I now call home (Chile) I have not yet been, but hopefully one soon. I hate that with pending death of Ello and my outright disdain for IG that we’ve become disconnected but I do receive your blog updates, so we are not completely out of touch. Un abrazo de la distancia. Saludos, John Bankson

    • Hi John. Thanks so much for keeping in touch. I’m so happy that we still have a way to connect. Social media is not really my thing, either, but I have managed to keep my IG interactions very positive. Let me know if you ever start a blog or website somewhere. I sure hope you can make it to Easter Island. You’re really so close!

  14. As I grow older I begin to realize the importance of having the right people around you. We don’t need the whole village to be with us, only a handful of genuine, sincere human beings… the Others. Reading this post and Fabrizio’s posts about Rapa Nui makes me dream of this far-flung location on Earth and ponder about what it’s capable of doing to those who make the effort to visit it. Thanks for sharing this, Julie!

    • Thanks so much, Bama. I’ve also realized the importance of having the right people in my life. There are ‘others’ out there, even if it doesn’t seem like it. They are often those whom you least expect to be tuned in to such things. A few genuine people are so much more precious than a lot of superficial ones. If you ever make it to Rapa Nui, your efforts will certainly be rewarded. It is a place of miracles.

  15. Oh Julie this is pure gold. I tried to read a couple of days ago and realized that I needed time and space to absorb it properly. Some things you said – about being in a dream without end, we know nothing, and have no control, that there is no one in control. Yes, oh yes to all of that. I call it being done. We are all just being done. And yes, the greatest mystery one can solve, I would say even the only mystery, is that of the self. And I suspect there is no solving it, ever, just sublime acceptance.
    And the bit about there being no going back once the bleeding starts – so true. There’s only going forward into more and more until you see that you don’t have to believe in it, until you start to unlearn everything you’ve been told you should be. A lifetime and still learning.
    I love that “How to interpret the secret, personal language that each of us carry into existence. The hieroglyphics scrawled on the walls of my soul.” So beautifully put. When I grow up I want to be able to write as you do.
    So having read of Rapa Nui from both you and Fabrizio I think I just might need to go there – if only for the wild horses.

    • Thank you so very much, Alison. I love your idea of “being done”. This is exactly what I was trying to convey- we each have our way of interpreting life. We can call it whatever we damn well please. I get very annoyed with the trendy spiritual people who say we must do and think and feel this or that to be considered “evolved”. We can believe whatever we feel like believing, feel whatever emotion we feel like feeling. We do have freedom, but we have been taught that we have to look to others for guidance. It’s all inside of us, a language that only we can interpret. The mystery will never be completely solved and it only becomes vaster, the deeper you go. And this is the beauty of it.

      Please do visit Rapa Nui. I’d love to hear your experience.

  16. Following my discovery that almost everywhere had already been discovered, I stopped wanting to be an explorer at the age of ten and, just like you, turned my attentions to discovering how to become an archaeologist after reading a book by Mortimer Wheeler my Norwegian cousin gave when I was eleven. Unlike you, I never harboured a desire for rainbow coloured hair. I never did discover how to become an archaeologist. Something else caught my attention, and something else after that. Since then I’ve spent the last sixty years trying to discover something I feel I lost along with the innocence of childhood around the time I discovered rebellion. Yet I’m not quite sure what it is. Your writing helps me understand that more.

    • Hey Bryan! Good to hear from you. I never did become an archaeologist, either, at least not one of the outer world. I hope you find that lost innocence. Mine was sent to my shadow side, which is what we do when we reject things about ourselves. I hated it because I trusted the wrong people and I endured too much betrayal and trauma. But when I learned to discern who was worthy of trust, it was time to reclaim it. It’s no longer gullibility, but a sweetness. So lovely to have it back. Now I just need to get myself some rainbow-colored hair.

  17. Julie, this post is so vast I honestly wish I could sit down with you and paragraph by paragraph talk to you about what you wrote. How you touch my Soul! Lump in throat tears threatening to break …. my God! How you touch my Soul! To be not understood is such a lonely place yet empowering all at once for I remember and feel and sense and walk in a different world then what can be physically seen. And so do you.

    This: “Sometimes the revelations are catastrophic. They invalidate all previous work. If only we could bury it all again. But there is no going back.” …. is where I have landed. Seeing my life in such a way that it shocks rocks my very core. I could just lay my head upon my arms and let the tears flow knowing someone someone gets this!

    A masterpiece. Brilliant in its multilayered genius. I FEEL you. I SEE you! As you are, so am I.

    • Dear Amy – Yes, I get it, and so do many others, even though it so often seems like we’re lost among the zombies. We just need to find each other (as Mr. Leary stated so perfectly) and stick together. No one will ever perceive life the same way, but we can support and encourage each other in our otherness. I think I mentioned to you how I recently reached that point (again) where I questioned whether it’s all worth it. But you can’t go back. Only thing you can do is ride it out. Thankfully, just within the past couple of days, the clouds dissipated and calm has returned. Every time, the peace lasts longer and is more balanced. It is worth it. Always. Wishing you a glorious autumn, my friend.

      • Yes you did mention it, Julie. I arrived at a place where I seemed to have super sight and saw down to the minutest detail what my life is about and why. It hurt. It was painful as I saw the truth. And I mourned for the woman I could have been without the start of great violence as a child. Then I rose like bubbles in champagne to the surface and as I did, anger was left behind in the wake. Peace. Love. Laughter. Lightness. I am who I am and yes there are broken pieces in me, yet what I have done with me, healing what I can heal, is a downright miracle. Same goes to you fyi! You have a great day! It is cool but sunny here, typical Fall day and I for one am going to enjoy it. There is a new neighbor in town …. an ex-race horse next door. She’s already following me, talking to me, and I am going to learn how to ride this horse with the help of the owner. I’m spending some time with her today. (((HUGS)))!!!

        • Yes, same goes for me. It is a miracle that we (humans) can heal so much, if we make the effort. You have a magnificent day, too. Fall has arrived, my favorite season. Every day, more color graces the trees. I sure hope the colors are better than last year. We deserve a glorious Indian summer. Your new friend sounds delightful.🙂

  18. Third time around. I have always been fascinated by Easter Island and the mystery that surrounds its history. There are many theories, but still no final conclusions. I read Jared Diamond’s Collapse which suggests the Rapa Nui, experienced a societal collapse after the 17th century because they stripped the island clean of its natural resources. But there is new evidence that sheds a different light. It goes to your thought on do we know ourselves? We are a mystery that unfolds within a complex community that is ever changing. There is always new light, fresh understandings that merge and disappear. Perhaps it is as Prospero says in his final soliloquy:

    Our revels now are ended: These our actors—,
    As I foretold you—, were all spirits and
    Are melted into air, into thin air;
    And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
    The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
    The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
    Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
    And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
    Leave not a rack behind: we are such stuff
    As dreams are made on, and our little life
    Is rounded with a sleep. — The Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1

    • What an exquisite passage from The Tempest. Wow. Easter Island continues to be one of the most mysterious places on the planet. I was living in Prague when I went on that trip, and before I left, one of my students was so proud to tell me that a Czech was the one who (finally!) discovered how the moai were moved. I just smiled. Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t. As you said -“There is always new light, fresh understandings that merge and disappear.” Life is so much funner and more colorful when you stay open to possibilities. To dreams. Thank you, Rebecca.

  19. It’s hard coming late to your posts, because what you thought becomes distilled and lost in the wealth of comments and perceptions, Julie. I only know that it is a real privilege to be included in your Others. And to have you share with me the wonder that is Easter Island. Thank you for your time and support. Sending hugs 🙂 🙂

  20. I read this one a couple times. The first time it was late, I thought perhaps it was just fatigued brain cells on strike – it didn’t really sink in. The second time around it’s still taking its time to percolate. It’s so multilayered it’s hard to fully grasp – like getting a handle on clear.

    It is true we all experience the universe in our own little world, using different flavors of perception to take it in. Perhaps it’s because my flavors differ from yours that some of your thoughts resonate and some don’t – I’m more a thinker than a feeler. Does it matter?

    You’d think people would form tribes based on those flavors of perception. To a degree maybe they do, but I think tribes are more an accident of location and time, and a desire from most to be part of a group. Perhaps the greatest sin is the tribe thinking everyone in their tribe thinks/feels in the same way, and that other tribes should think/feel/perceive the way they do. They may think that’s clear, when it’s merely colorless.

    So if you sometimes feel alone because you see the world differently, not to worry, we all do, privately. Ultimately it’s that “different” that makes us interesting, especially when others are open to it.

    • Hi Dave– I know this one is dense and veers into some abstract territory. “Like getting a handle on clear” is a brilliant way to describe it. God, I was (and still am) a weird kid.

      And, no, it doesn’t matter if you’re a thinker or feeler. No one is obligated to get everything anyone says. Or believe what someone else believes. That’s the beauty of being an individual with a unique perception of reality. And the beauty of the internet is that we can form virtual tribes based on interests and resonance.

      Thank you, as always, for sharing your thoughts. They are very much appreciated.

  21. A precious text again Julie. I think you have found yourself, haven’t you? Maybe you never lost “Little Julie”. She must have been such an interesting child. Difficult to grasp for most adults though. But then it made you roam the world. To where a Moai stands in a Christian graveyard. 🙂
    Answers? There are no answers? Why should there be? I realize I made living asking questions. (Market research) And I remember telling my execs, don’t worry about the answers. They will come naturally. Worry about asking the right question. 🙂
    I hope you are at peace.
    And I (we) are proud to be part of your others.
    Bises mon amie.
    ❤ back attya.

    • Merci, cher Brian. The right questions are so much more important than the answers, for sure, because they’re what motivate us to search. Mine took me all over the planet. Life has never been boring. The “loneliness” has been worth it. 🙂 Bises back attya 🙂

      • 🙂 Pas de quoi Julie. They’re is a Mexican proverb that says “better alone than in bad company”. And I think you will agree that “alone” and “lonely” ain’t the same. 🙂
        Bonne semaine. ❤

  22. And, as often with your posts, and almost never on others, I read the comments. Of some “others” we may or may not share. 🙂 Always enlightening. Like I said, we can’t pretend to get the “right answers”. If there is any such thing. But we sure can ask the right questions. 🙂
    I think you have a rare level of consciousness. Most people go thru life “unawares” of the outside word, of others. But you see more than most. Which is a precious gift. (And great writing). Keep at it.

    • I’m always in awe of the comments I receive. And very grateful, because they help me see new angles of my own thoughts and learn more about how others perceive things.

      Regarding my level of consciousness – there’s a personality test called the Meyers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) which analyzes how people process information. It’s based on Carl Jung’s work. Maybe you’ve heard of it, because companies use it a lot. I’m the rarest type,1% of population: INFJ. Our minds have direct access to the subconscious while awake, so we feel like we’re in a dream. But we also question what’s real and can feel very isolated from the general population. We very easily see behind the masks people wear and can predict the future quite well, because we pick up on patterns and subtle signs easier than most. The funny thing is that I’m not the only WordPress blogger who’s an INFJ (your dear Lisa D. is another) so we do end up eventually finding each other. 🙂

      I don’t think I could stop writing if I tried. 🙂 Take care, mon cher ami. A+

      • Your texts are… unique, and I’m sure you use the feedback to pursue your reflection. (I do suspect 99% of the human population never actually use their brain) 😉
        Hadn’t heard of the test. Not very familiar with Jung, studied Freud’s Introduction à la psychanalyse for 2 years! Leaves an indelebile mark. Why am I not surprised about our dear Lisa. 🙂 (We need to get that beer – or a few – together one day!)
        I made a note of the test. Like I said several times, I lived “inside the book”, And then had leave the book to go into the “real world” so my perception of reality(s) is multi-layered. Made a not about the test. Probably on-line somewhere.
        And your writing? I think it has become so much a part of your thinking process that you couldn’t stop even if you wanted to.
        (Why stick to A, when there are so many letters in the alphabet)

        • I try not to be too harsh on humanity anymore, but I do get very tired of people who don’t take responsibility for their minds. Which, as you stated, is the majority of the population. I often wonder if it was always this bad or if it’s been a slow, steady decline over the ages.

          Freud, eh? I only skimmed his work. Seemed too rigid or something. Jung captured me immediately. I read a little of his writings every day. It’s believed that he was INFJ, which could be why his work has helped me understand myself and transcend so much trauma. You can find the MBTI test online on several websites. They vary in depth, as do the explanations. I’ve taken it many times over the years and it’s always been the same result. If you take it, please share your result with me. 🙂

          Yes…we will all need to have that beer, or cocktail, one of these days. Lisa’s in Columbia right now. We need your Scotty to beam us over there.🙂

          • It may have been always that bad. And we only slowly realize? Or, another theory of mine is the aftermath of war. My parents’ generation, their friends, whom I knew well, had gone through the war and made it. It somehow strengthened their courage, their attitude to life. Noe of their generation would have dreamed to do the things we hear about daily. They frowned on crooks. 🙂 So maybe war is (in)(hu)mankind’s destiny?
            If I take the test, you will be the first to know.
            Yeah we’d need to be beamed over there. In fact we normally spend Xmas and New Year in Colombia but this year we will all go near Tulum. Only my wife will hop to Colombia for a few days. 🙂

          • I love hearing people’s theories about things, and yours is an interesting one. 🙂 I’m sure your Xmas will be a good one. Sometimes it’s good to change things.

          • I like theories too. Especially since I learned that Theoria in ancient Greek means “regard”, look. So for them, it was just the way one looked at things, and for us that has become a theory. A way to look at. 🙂
            Yes, I’m sure it will be nice. Not the biggest fan of Tulum, but there seems to be plenty of things around.
            A +

  23. Julie does it again. ❤ Thank you for your pieces of the puzzle.

    I was twenty in 1990. And I walk the line between INFP and INFJ but even the word ‘perceive’ i like much better than ‘judge’. My amore is INFJ through and through. We sail well, just sometimes it’s rough.

    I never visited anything as remote as this. The only time I left Europe was for Los Angeles. I thought I’d return one day, it had my name in the waves. I found my west coast much closer though, in Tuscany.

    This kind of eye-to-eye lingers and wants out and you nailed it.

    • Hi Manja🙂 Thank you so very much. The ‘judge’ refers to having an analytical side, rather than judging in a self-righteous way. INFJs have both a very imaginative and a rational side, which can be at war sometimes. Can you imagine experiencing something magical and then feeling compelled to dissect the hell out of it? Exhausting. Haha. Your Amore knows what I mean. 🙂

      I’m so happy to hear you found your place in the world, and your love. ❤️ Happiest of autumns to you.

  24. Taking in one of your posts and falling into your writing is similar to a vacation ~ an intense adventure perhaps is a better description, and like all good adventures, there is always something great to be learned 🙂 This piece brings the power of Rapa Nui to life, something I cannot imagine but suppose if I went to visit myself someday I could see it, perhaps understand some part of it and nod knowing “Julie was right about this place…” You paint Rapa Nui so beautifully mysterious, allowing the reader to get lost in your world and then let us figure it all out ~ as you say: “To enter the labyrinth of our spirit, get gloriously lost, find our way to the center of light and back again.”

    Your last line before the Timothy Leary quote sums up this dream adventure so well: “Swallowed up by the emptiness of forever.” And our job in life is to go out and try to find this magic once again. Wishing you a great finish to your weekend, Julie. Great post!

    • Thank you so very much, Dalo. And what a pleasure and honor it is to have you accompany me on my adventures, kindred voyager, even if it’s only through words and images.🙂

      If you ever visited Rapa Nui, you would certainly understand, in your own way, why it called you there. As it is with every place that we are drawn to. Planet Earth is such a glorious labyrinth to get lost in, as is our own soul. Some places are heaven, others are hell, but they all have something to teach us.

      Happiest of trails to you, my friend.

  25. As usually a great piece, you tie greatly the mystery of Rapa Nui, with our own search for Self wonderfully. 🙂

  26. Well that was worth the wait…and the struggle with the creativity. For some reason I’ve been noticing horses everywhere in the last couple of years…in the fields as I journey to work , blogs, Peaky Blinders, new Nick Cave album…they are an enigma, a message and a reminder of an ancient near-forgotten relationship.

    I absolutely love your answer that your favourite colour was clear. I don’t know why that response should provoke hostillity – I love it when children, or anyone, say these things and make me look anew at the world through their eyes. Like the horses, it’s a reminder, something to be deciphered.

    Someone above said dream adventure – a wonderful description of your posts! Timothy Leary was right. Never, ever under-estimate a ‘normal’! Sometimes they dream the most vivid adventures of us all and carry an internal world we would weep for.

    • Thank you, Alex. The writer’s block was tough to overcome. Such a relief that I finally did. Interesting about the horses. Maybe it’s your spirit animal trying to reveal itself. I also love when children, and people, share their unique visions of reality. I think the hostility comes from fear. The masses are afraid of their own minds, of taking responsibility for their own thoughts.

      My adventures all started out as dreams, so I keep on dreaming. 🙂

  27. So nice to come here and find a new piece, Julie, and one that speaks to me so. When you wrote about never being understood, I got that rush of feeling in the center of myself that you get when someone in the crowd is talking about your favorite place, or favorite book or something. That moment when you can’t help yourself and you blurt out something trite because finally, finally, this thread of meaning has been pulled. I’m grateful for the Others I’ve found as well, and I just can’t live in a life that marginalizes the mystery. The rest is just so much trivia. It’s hard to understand sometimes how the simple sensations of being do not bowl everyone over, but some do seem unaffected. Your brand of magic inspires me.


    • Thank you, Michael. So delighted to hear from you, my friend. Those beautiful, simple sensations of being get drowned out in all the useless noise going on in the world. It takes an incredible amount of effort to hear that sweet, soft voice under the cacophony of outrage. And most are simply too lazy. It always feels like magic, like a miracle, when I encounter an Other who is capable of it. We may feel isolated, but we are the lucky ones.

  28. smiling to the accomplished mystery
    which you present me, dear JD!
    you’re perceptions of self & non-self are quite special
    and i’m happy to have briefly encountered
    them on that island of mystery 🙂

  29. Wonderful piece of writing!

    Your favourite colour was clear “But I can see it. It’s all around us.” Love this response, which shows individuality and non-conformist.

    “But I understand. A deep knowing that fills my atoms.” We don’t need to go to school or conform to society to understand. I too was a “problem child”, but was I? Just because I never conformed and always on the periphery of society.

    Funny, you took the Myers-Briggs and came out as INFJ – as did I. Although, doing this test again 10 years later I’m now an ENFJ – how can this be? Is it age? Rhetorical as I’m not sure of the answer, just surprised.

    Brian from equinoxio21 forwarded your blog and I’m excited to explore more of your travels with you…

    • Hello! Sorry it took a while to reply, your comment was in Spam.Thanks so much for visiting. I’m delighted to meet you. How strange that you changed from Introvert to Extravert in 10 years. I’ve never heard of someone switching those qualities. Have you noticed how “problem children” so often grow up to have such colorful, productive lives? If they realize that they’re not the ones with the problem.😉 Those who don’t conform seem to have a greater understanding of life, too. We’re here to be who we were born to be. Again, delighted to meet another Other.

      • Hi, great to meet you too and don’t worry, loads of comments go into my Trash and Spam folders, it’s annoying.

        Yes, I thought it was really strange but that’s what came of both tests. Indeed I have noticed, it’s the ones that don’t ‘conform’ that always push the boundaries in life and want to learn more, not just happy with the ‘norm’. 😉

  30. I ran across your blog by accident and I must say, it is an exceptional beautifully written poignant post.
    Makes me want to go there.
    Thank you.

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