The Journey

Beijing, China - April 2016

A massive red wall rises before me. Mao's image hangs on high, watching over all. A soldier stands motionless, eyes squeezed shut against the sun. An endless stream of bodies shuffle forward, phones held high in reverence. One does not visit Beijing without visiting The Forbidden City. The tourists file into the belly of the beast. Hundreds and hundreds of individuals. I turn away and walk against the flow. Not today, thanks.

Those tremors of excitement are contagious. Vibrations that emanate from one body to the other. But: is it because of the history, or because it's famous?

I felt them, too, long ago. It made up for the unsettling numbness inside. Why didn't I feel what I was supposed to feel? What was I doing wrong? There were few famous sites that truly interested me. I went because I was told that this is what one does when one visits ___(insert city here)___.

Paris 1988. The Louvre. The line to see the Mona Lisa stretched down the long corridors. We shuffled forward, a listless procession. And then, there she was, hanging on a wall behind a wall, way behind a glass window. Each person had just enough time for a glimpse before we were ordered to move along. Do I feel like my life is richer for that glimpse? Nope.

And yet, it was not time wasted. Sometimes you have to experience what you don't want to realize what it is that you do want.

I want. To inhabit a place with all my spirit. With every step, every glance, every breath, every sensation.

Paris 1999. Drifting through the streets. Cafes and street art. The little rituals of daily life. The philosophical grafitti scrawled on the metro. The soft pride I felt when I realized that I could understand it. The language that was blossoming into my second.

After the obedience came the period of defiance. Disdain. The deliberate avoidance of the Must See lists. But that didn't last long. Let people be as they wish. There is no perfect way to travel. It's all good.

And so I drift. Until Beijing feels like home. It never takes long, anymore.

Off the main drag and through a vibrant portal. They call these little alleys hutongs. This is where life happens. Tiny teahouses and cafes: battered metal tables and plastic chairs on the sidewalk. The tangy aroma of seafood enveloped in a cloud of cigarette smoke and grease. The rasp of brooms sweeping pavement. The language, so birdlike. Emphatic chirps that pierce the air. Weave in and out of bicycles and carts and cats and dogs. Watch where you step.

This impossible shade of red, everywhere. Like blood, like love.

 

Shop owners lean in doorways or sit on steps. Their heads turn to watch me pass. One waves and calls out, “Where are you from?"

I halt, perplexed. Where am I from, anymore? America, my birth country? France, my adopted nationality? Czech Republic, my current place of residence? Outer Space? Inner Space? The same point of origin from which each human comes into being? Everywhere and nowhere?

“France,” is what flies out of my mouth in reply. I'm traveling on my French passport. It's as good of a response as any.

“Bonjour!” He flashes a tea-stained grin.

I smile and bow my head. “Nĭ hăo”. And mosey along.

On the right, a crimson gateway beckons. The Confucius Temple. I'd hoped I'd find my way here.

The noise from the hutong soon recedes. Once again, I've found the quiet place in the chaos. The solitude in the hive. I peer into the face of this holy man. Set in stone for eternity.

What would you like to say to me, Confucius? Would you say that we are all one? All the same? That's what we're told we're supposed to feel in order to be considered spiritually evolved. But I don't. I know almost nothing about you, or your words, but somehow I feel you'd understand this.
I venture deep into the complex. Through the multi-colored temples. I pause and peer into a koi pond. The fish float motionless. They glow like coins in a wishing well.

We all draw from the same reservoir of thought. Some stand on the edge, completely dry. Some wade in. Others submerge themselves. Luxuriate in the depths. And, in so doing, find treasure.

Shrill music emanates from the back of the complex. I drift back there and peek around a corner. A group of young girls are practicing traditional dance. The teacher, a young man, sashays back and forth, hands on his slim hips. He disappears out of my line of sight. The traditional music comes to an abrupt halt. Chinese pop music takes its place. The teacher pirouettes, and claps his hands, pumping his long arms up and out. The girls imitate his steps, giggling. And then, one by one, they find their unique groove.

I watch, unseen. This hidden little corner is worth more than any famous monument. I turn away and head back through the complex. I pause, once again before a pearly white statue. A face, so inscrutable. A jolt seizes me. It softens into a gentle glimmer of pride. I bow one more time.

All those years ago, I set out to discover myself. That journey will never end, and I don't want it to. And yet, I believe I have succeeded.

Roads were made for journeys, not destinations – Confucius

77 thoughts on “The Journey

  1. Hi, Julie! So lovely that you wrote again. It’s like getting a letter from you. A beautiful sentiment and the moment you caught. I haven’t been anywhere near China but I remember that sorry Mona Lisa from 1991. It took me just a moment to turn my back and walk away fast. I loved napping on a Miro’ statue at the Pompidou though. I wish you a good summer.

  2. Roads were made for journeys, not destinations
    What a wonderful saying. I love your posts, Julie. You capture the sensory details of a place, but not only that. Also the feel of a place, on the outside and the inside. Each step on the journey has something to offer, a taste or smell or bright color, a bit of wisdom, a reflection, a new understanding, a memory. Thanks for the step along your journey. 🙂

    • When this post was nearing completion, I figured I should try to find a Confucius quote to go with it. Talk about synchronicity finding this one. I’m not sure there’s one more perfect. Thank you so much for the compliments, Diana. I’m delighted that you are part of my journey.🙂

  3. I like the quote too, Julie, and I like that you’ve found yourself but are happy to go on looking. I worry that I’m a toe in the water person. I worry… about a lot of things 🙂 🙂 Wishing you a joyful summer!

  4. Your philosophically poetic take on a place, had left me cold, is a reminder of how we senselessly follow lists of ‘places to see before you die’.

    • I have never been interested in those places and created my own list for myself. 🙂 None of them are mainstream. I’ve only got one left, although I wouldn’t mind seeing some others. Who knows if that will be possible. I’m happy with what I’ve managed to accomplish.

  5. For me, the most memorable parts of the Louvre were not the ones with huge crowds. I remember being more impressed by the dungeon underneath the museum’s current structure than by Monalisa. There are billions of people on this planet, and every single one of us has their own preference in traveling, as long as it doesn’t cause harm to others. Thanks for sharing this memory from your trip to Beijing, Julie.

    • The Louvre is so immense. There are lots of treasures that get overlooked in favor of the famous residents. Yes, each person should be able to travel as their heart guides them to. 🙂

  6. Always such a pleasure to read what you write. I’m still thinking about (and seeing so many this year!) the crows from your last post. (I’ve always loved them too but your encounters were profound!)
    I’m with you on way-to-travel as well as the why. The back streets are where I want to go, cycling (always in China!) and walking the streets of a place, peeking in on moments like your dance class so beautifully recalled. And my favorite – discovering local food and drink! In China I remember I always looked for the gardens – made for contemplation (and with those amazing rocks!).
    Love your memories!

    • Thank you, Trisha – my connection to the ravens goes even deeper than that passage in my last post. They are my guardians.

      I only spent a few short days in Beijing(on my way to and from N. Korea) but it left an impression. The city was much more pleasant than I expected.

  7. Hello Julie,
    Yet another wonderful post – as always your writings together with your beautiful images are thought-provoking. Hope you are continuing to stay safe and well.

  8. Almost without exception, ‘must see’ visitor attractions have been a disappointment. “Is that all there is” is my usual reaction – it has diluted my enthusiasm for foreign travel which is no bad thing given current restrictions. I have spent the last few months, invariably on two wheels, getting to know the hidden corners of the North East. Then in May, eight of us did the North Coast 500 on motorbikes – roads I know so well but an entirely different experience on a motorcycle. Confucius was dead right!
    Hope you are keeping OK, Julie. I haven’t posted for ages which is a good sign I suppose – too busy living. All the best, R

    • Too busy living. That’s a great feeling, isn’t it? My enthusiasm for discovery has recently reignited. A decent job (not related to tourism, finally) and relatively reliable transportation have given me more freedom than in the previous couple of years. I live in a heavily-touristed area but I’m finding so many hidden gems. Back roads to drive and isolated trails to hike and wild rivers to kayak. It really makes me grateful that I live where I do. Sounds like you are finding your heaven in your back yard, too. Good for you.🙂

  9. “This impossible shade of red” I thought it too yesterday, Julie. Can you believe it? there was a wooden but short wooden pole, and a concrete small slab next to the sideway, both painted red over their red textures, maybe to signal their position to the cars, but the red was haunting in its depth, as if it were emanating from those surfaces made by hand. I didn’t take a picture because I felt the cellphone would turn them pale, a lost vermillion.
    When life tells me “No” I reply an unsolicited “Yes.” And I feel something similar when reading you. Despite being in a touristic country I don’t feel attracted much to the touristic places, and try to not use touristic tours. I don’t think they are wrong of course, it depends in every person to choose. Is just that to me I rather like to get lost in a forest of rocks whose names can get taken straight from my fantasy, or turn an unknown corner and discover a street of metallic blue stands, populated by cobblers rapted in their work under old yellowish bulbs. Stories alive in my eyes, rather than histories whose life, although important to us, had its time much ago. Somehow it feels like arriving late : ) The other little aspect of rebellion is that somehow here persons just go to where others told them is okay to visit, I understand it because life for most is hard so is good to have a safe program to embrace rather than stress about the unknown, but I like the unknown. People here puzzle about me just walking to an old pier, or climbing an anonymous hills, or the farm streets, it is like I should go to church A, then to museum B, and call it a day, so my missions are secret and intimate. This is a long way to just say that although we have not the same journey I can feel the motivation on yours, and appreciate how personal they are, and that feeling where you don’t know anymore where are you from as you intertwined your life to the magic of different places. The “bonjour” felt quite kind too. Thank you, Julie.

    • Of course I believe it.🙂 “Haunting in its depth” is a good way to describe it. I’ve wondered what it is about the reds in Asia that make them seem so much more vivid. My photos don’t capture it, of course, except maybe the one of the fish.

      I remember asking you if you thought it was worth the aggravation to visit Machu Picchu. I was really hesitant. But, then again, that voyage never came to pass…
      Stories alive rather than dead history. Yes, I understand. 🙂I hope you are well and happy, amigo. Thank you for sharing your light.

      • When I went I was twelve years old, I was already used to see things as normal, but in Machu Picchu, my first time in the jungle, everything seemed bigger than what was in photos. I suspect the fact that this is a mystery, and that there is the rich life of the jungle helped to my awe. I returned twice and each time is beautiful, but less freer to discover. If things get more strict I calculate in thirty years tourists will be yelled by the guides turned guards: “move in line, this is a mine of diamonds, not a touristic vacation!” Life is a bit complicated here, but I am well and happy (certainly happy to read you), amiga, wishing you that nice surprises spark in your days.

        • Guides turned guards. Sad but true observation. As time goes on and the number of tourists continues to grow, such places will become intolerably restrictive. At least you were able to experience it freely. 😊

  10. “And yet, it was not time wasted. Sometimes you have to experience what you don’t want to realize what it is that you do want.” This is my second time around and I will most likely come back a third time to consider your insights and the follow-up conversation. It seems that humanity is always seeking for something they cannot define – perhaps to capture a sensation of wholeness, or is it that we want to feel alive, to live boldly. We recognize when those moments of clarity come, sometimes softly and at other times with a jarring rush. I often wonder if we just want to be unique, to be ourselves and not pushed into the status quo. And then there are others that enjoy the angst of living, of the challenge, of discovery. I have been to the “must see place” – the Louvre and the Mona Lisa. I was overwhelmed by the people who crammed to see the painting. For me, this was a pivotal moment, when I knew, without question, that we are all on a forever search. That doubt is a powerful friend. As Colette once wrote: “The only virtue on which I pride myself is my self-doubt; when a writer loses her self-doubt, the time has come to lay aside her pen.” Sending hugs and more hugs!

    • I believe that some wish to rediscover their uniqueness and find the courage to live it. Others are quite content with inhabiting the status quo. The past year or so has reinforced this belief for me. Doubt is indeed a powerful friend. May we never lose it. Wishing you a delightful summer, dear Rebecca.

  11. “Sometimes you have to experience what you don’t want to realize what it is that you do want.” Haha…I have felt the same in so many places. And I’ve been deeply grateful for the chance to be disappointed by the must-sees of the world. So many do not have such luxury. Wishing you a lovely season of continued discoveries.

    • Thank you for the reminder to feel grateful for the disappointment. It is a luxury that’s easy to take for granted. Hope your summer is full of adventure. 🌞

  12. I love the opening photo and story… The Forbidden City is one of those special places for me, from eating a Big Mac on Tiananmen Square on my first Christmas Eve while smiling at Chairman Mao, to wandering the Forbidden City during the off-season when it is so quiet you can almost hear the whispers of the past. Thank you for bringing back these memories this morning 🙂

    One of the truest lines you write is “I went because I was told that this is what one does when one visits (insert city here).” Absolutely, and I still fall for this, but like you and those in the comments above say, the real adventures begin when you consciously break off this path and get absorbed in something special. And all the chaos of tourists fade away as you carry on with your private adventure. Which comes to another true line you write: “Sometimes you have to experience what you don’t want to realize what it is that you do want.” This explanation is how a life should be lived.

    Your feeling about the Mona Lisa, is hilarious. First time I saw it, I turned to the person I was with and said “I don’t get it…” A few hours later, in some small, dark room of the Louvre I fell deeply for a badly damaged ancient Greek sculpture/bust, triggering so many questions and mysteries in my mind. Still remember this so clearly while all else remains a blur.

    It seems you share the same feelings. With your writing, I see the more you wrap your arms around the mysteries of what it is you are thinking (travel in this case), the more evocative your writing becomes, it is like opening a present. And also, if this is still true, “Czech Republic, my current place of residence?” you owe me an explanation 😂…

    • Haha. Yep, I’ve been hiding in CR all this time. 😎 You know I always write my memoirs in present tense, as if I’m experiencing it again for the first time. My way of playing with space/time and diving into the quantum realm. The mind can be such a beautiful thing when it’s let out to play.

      I’m sure you’ve got such rich memories of China. I actually wondered if there was a sliver of a low season there. Even in Paris you can find it – usually the weeks before Christmas. I also found a dark corner of the Louvre, in the basement, with a Sphinx-like statue that captivated me.

      I seldom fall for the Must See trap anymore. They are here, in northern Michigan, too. Or I go at first light, before the crowds arrive. My serenity is just too precious for me now.

      Wishing you a summer filled with peace and gentle surprises, Randall. 🌞

  13. I love that sense of finding your place in the landscape that weaves through this Julie. Whether that’s in the most visited places or in those away from the beaten track we have to find our way in and it seems that you’ve found a way to do that.

    • Thank you, Andrea. It is a long, strange trip we are all on. We can follow the crowd or dive into the unknown, or both. It’s all good.

  14. “This is where life happens. Tiny teahouses and cafes: battered metal tables and plastic chairs on the sidewalk. The tangy aroma of seafood enveloped in a cloud of cigarette smoke and grease. The rasp of brooms sweeping pavement. The language, so birdlike. Emphatic chirps that pierce the air.”
    Loved this paragraph!

    Your writing is always inspiring in it’s simplicity. 👏

  15. Oh wow, Julie, what a life you have lived. What an adventure you described yet you brought up some interesting questions on the Road to Fulfillment. When is enough? I like what you wrote:

    I want. To inhabit a place with all my spirit. With every step, every glance, every breath, every sensation.

    which resonates perfectly with me. Yes, I understand perfectly but I’ve never put into words that exact wish. Really enjoyed reading this, especially knowing I will not be traveling anywhere near China.

    • Hello, dear Amy. Yes, I have led an incredible life. My spirit still inhabits so many far destinations and always will. These memories are so precious to me now. It’s possible that my days of international travel are done. Wishing you a glorious summer, my friend.🌼

  16. I know what you mean about the Forbidden City – crowds snaking slowly forward, not enough time or space to feel the place, and yet later as I researched and learned about it I was glad I’d been there in person. I was luckier with the Mona Lisa. I was able stand and stare for as long as I wanted – is she smiling? Is she not? I finally got to have my own experience of it.
    But I know exactly what you mean about wanting to fully inhabit a place – I’ve had that in Mexico, and India, and the glow of pleasure that comes from understanding or being understood in a language that’s not your own.
    Your description of flaneuring in Beijing, and of the hutongs, brought me right back there in the loveliest way. Your discovery of the girls dancing, that glimpse into the China behind the tourist sites brought back memories of coming quite by chance upon a local outdoor performance at night in a park in Yangon – 4 men in a slapstick comedy routine. I admit I want to see the sites, but if I had to choose real life would win every time.
    I especially liked the photo that is B&W except for red – so powerful.
    I too feel that I’ve succeeded, and that the journey of self-discovery will not end until I do.
    Alison

    • Hi Alison – we have a bit of synchronicity with our Beijing flânerie posts.🙂 I had begun writing this one when you posted yours. The hutongs were made for drifting. And yet, I took so few photos. It felt like it would spoil the mood somehow. My little traditional hotel was in a hutong as well. Really a pleasant experience, all of it.

      I’m wondering how you were able to have the Mona Lisa to yourself for so long. What time of year did you go?

      The journey is gloriously eternal. May it always be so.😎

  17. Julie, This is such a fine essay and rings true in many ways. I share in those experiences you’ve written about and other “must sees”- I suppose they are called that for a reason, but you’ve illuminated why the hype (and crowds) can lead to feelings of disappointment. After the year we’ve had, I suppose I’d be quite excited for the “must sees” right now. 🙂 For me, the moments that are most memorable usually are quiet ones – the early morning light on a city, the smiles from children at their school, the chat with a vendor in a market or a delicious meal shared with traveling friends. Thanks for this thoughtful post. 🙂

    • Thank you, Jane. I’m sure the Must Sees are going to be overflowing with people when they reopen. Maybe the sites have had a chance to recharge and replenish their magic as well. For me, this time has only reinforced my preference for the quiet moments. Wishing you a summer filled with joyful surprises.🙂

  18. Yes, I think you have succeeded in finding yourself. Thanks for taking us along.
    In a new place, I have a “must do” list, which often includes food, but also make the time to simply wander and feel immersed in local life and be lost for a while. Just wake up and go “that way” today. My memories of Beijing in 1979 are faded but I do partly remember the Forbidden City. Thanks for jogging my memory.

    • Your own must-do lists are always splendid and fun to read about. You are a true flâneur and gourmand of the world Draco-san.😎 Just wake up and go that way and eat. Words to live by. Hope all is well with you and that you will be on the road again soon.

  19. I was 7, and I was tired. We had walked all day long in Paris, but my parents, my mom wanted me to see the Mona Lisa. I was angry and didn’t look, or just took a quick glance, and then said “are you happy now ?, can we go now ?”
    I’ve never been back to the Louvre…

  20. “It’s all good.” A simple comment, but it really says it all. You want the Mona Lisa? (My experience was at the back of a hoard of Japanese tourists and enough of a far off glimpse to claim I’ve sort of seen it. Ho hum.) It’s all good. Same trip, different day; an impromptu orchestra playing the classics in a Paris subway. Even better. The big things trigger a trip, the little ones make it.

  21. In theory, I totally understand your preference for hutongs over Mao on his wall, Parisian street roaming over the Mona Lisa, and at the end of every trip, it is the smaller memories that stick for me, too. And yet … I’m glad you stopped disdaining the Must Sees as I have also because they, too, say something about a place and can, in some weird way, anchor a destination. At times, I see those sites as support posts for all the wandering that happens in between them.

    Like Alison, I was lucky with the Mona Lisa, seeing it with my kids one evening decades ago, all of us able to stand there for as long as we wanted and stare at those eyes. Mao’s red wall and the square were the opposite, and yet the massive crowds there in 2009 for the 60th anniversary of the PRC were somehow the very most appropriate way to fathom/imagine both the lockstep obedience of those early revolutionary years and the 40-years-later defiance in Tiananmen Square.

    I’m very happy to see a post from you, and it’s been hard to wait for reliable wifi while I am on the road to read it! Hope all is good in northern Michigan!

    • Hi Lexie 🙂 Sometimes (rarely) I can see how crowds can enhance an experience in a positive way. And good for you for getting a chance to savor the Mona Lisa. Disdain is often the stage that comes after reluctant obedience. That can apply in many areas of life.

      I’m curious where you are now. And it must mean a new post will be coming from you at long last. Bon voyage!

      • I do hope to post soon, AND I take back my sunny views of crowded tourist sites after a hellish scene at Old Faithful in Yellowstone last week, a day after I so glibly said the Must Sees are OK. I gave it a shot but ultimately walked away from a chance to wait for the geyser to blow – just too many people and too much sitting around for this impatient gal! (Have spent 3 weeks on the road out west – 99% heavenly, with that one area of Yellowstone our only crowded stop.)

        • Aw, we all have to eat our words sometimes.😂 It’s been a while since people have really been able to travel, so I imagine such places are mobbed. I know there are parts of northern Michigan I’m absolutely avoiding right now. A road trip out West sounds like so much fun. Looking forward to your posts.

  22. Ni Hao Julie. 🙏🏻 So you have learnt at least a few words in Mandarin. I have learnt xie xie. (Probably know more words in Hokkien! LOL) Kam siah for a new word. As is my custom now, I have copied your text to a Word file. To read at more leisure. And comment later.
    As an advance: I think you have indeed succeeded.
    Et ça me fait très plaisir.
    A bientôt. 🙏🏻💕🌹

    • I always try to at least learn hello goodbye please and thank you. And, of course, where’s the bathroom? 😎 Very useful, that one. Hope your summer is going well, mon ami. Bises.

      • I do too. Those four words are the basis of human courtesy. Anywhere. And gets you smiles… (Hadn’t thought of the bathroom… 🚽 ) I will put that on my list.
        Just commented fully on your post. A fantastic reflection. Your post. Not my comment. 😉
        Merci Julie. (And I still have to do the Meyers-Briggs…) Biz

  23. Ni Hao Julie… I have read your text. Twice. Possibly one of your most elaborate in its brevity. I like it very much. Allow me to react:
    ‘walk against the flow’ I discovered that in ’97 in Venice. To avoid the – then small – crowds I switched to 2 streets left or right in parallel. Yes, that’s where you find the gems. (Mona Lisa? I go to the Louvre often. avoid her all the time. Stick to the Egyptian section…)
    ‘unsettling numbness’, ‘Inhabit a place with all your spirit’. I think you have been looking for yourself all your life. You have probably found yourself now? (How’s the cabin going?)
    I didn’t realize what I was looking for, traveling to and fro, until fairly recently. On the Petit-Pont, where you have been taken – at least twice – in photo. I was looking at the murky waters of the most beautiful river in the world (Biased I know). Looked up at Notre-Dame and around, and I realized: all my life I had been looking for Beauty till the end of the world, when I had it right there, in that river, in that cathedral, that city…
    ‘blossoming language’. ‘Birdlike language’ true on both counts. Don’t love the music of so many languages? Czech? Polish? English? Mandarin? Different songs that separate our thoughts from the common réservoir. We are one and we’re not. I realized in Grad school the immense difference. The French – and Europeans – think Americans are like them. LOL. Just because they’re – mostly – white live in houses or buildings and drive cars. Nope. No Siree. It is a totally different cutlure. Germans and French are probably closer than they are to Amricans. (Which is fine. We can find points of convergence…) 😉 (I know I can. Just as you can with the Poles or the French…) Different coins (Koi-ns?) in the same pond. (‘coins in a wishing well’? Génial! remarquable)
    ‘Roads were made for journeys, not destinations.’ Indeed. One of the 2 or 3 major disvoveries I made in business library in Bidgood Hall, in Grad school. Not business books, I had more chapters to read every day than I possibly could. Just browsing on the shelves. I found Fros’t ‘Road not taken’. A revelation. Guided my life. Another revelation I found on another shelf. “Don’t set yourself goals or objectives. Objectives are finite. Limited.” (In an American business school library?! LOL) “Choose a road. Roads are infinite. For that is the way of the Tao.” That too has guided my life.
    And yes, going back to you, you have succeeded in finding yourself. And your road is infinite.
    Tous mes compliments mon amie…
    Biz.
    PS. I thought I had your mail. Couldn’t find it…

    • Ni Hao, cher Mzungu. I also discovered that secret of just moving a couple of streets parallel to the crowd when I lived in Prague. I love your thought about different languages being different songs that keep our cultures unique. May it always be so. I’m glad that you found out what you were searching for, in the Ville de la Lumière. Maybe they should call it La Ville de l’Illumination. 😎The cabin is wonderful. My simple little castle in the woods. 😊 Je te souhaite un très bon voyage à ta Paris bien-aime. Bises. 🇫🇷🥖🥐🧀🍷

      • Xie xie, merci. Aren’t those little tricks wonderful when one finds them? I can’t imagine Prague up to 2019. Over packed probably. We went in 2000 or 2001 if I recall. We may have crossed path.
        We want pictures of the cabin!
        And merci. I still can’t believe Monday a week from now we should be in Paris… Looking for Beauty again… 🍷🍷

  24. The richness of your travels only compare with the richness of your perception dearest Julie.. One so wise…. The journey may take us to many continents across many oceans, up mountains, down rivers, but none takes us deeper than the journey few dare travel… And that is to the deepness of ones soul..

    You dear friend who are gifted words that flow like water, Sometimes soothing, other times turbulent, yet never stopping in your analysis of self as you meander down life’s pathway of discovering self..

    Your words here jumped from your blog… And really spoke to me..
    “We all draw from the same reservoir of thought. Some stand on the edge, completely dry. Some wade in. Others submerge themselves. Luxuriate in the depths. And, in so doing, find treasure.”
    I think, no I know dear Julie… You have discovered Treasure…. And it lays deep within your own generous heart..

    Love and well wishes dearest Julie… Stay Blessed… ❤ ❤ ❤ 🙏

    • Sue, your comments always make my heart glow. I have been told that I’m “too deep” as if it’s a bad thing. I wear it as a badge of honor now, but I do often feel as though I don’t belong here. So I keep the treasure to myself or share it here, with those who are capable of appreciating it. So grateful to know you, beautiful one. 💖

      • Maybe it takes one to know one Lol….. And your treasure is a rare gem, that is too precious not to share…
        If being too deep is being true to yourself, I would sooner be Deep any day rather than Shallow!!!….
        Lots of love dearest Julie…. and you are special, remember that… And I am with you, we’re not from around here! 😉 😀 at all…. ❤ ❤ ❤

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