Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Playing Along With God - a Very Special Fishstick Birthday

Birthdays are always a bell weather mark.  Some people make grand plans to make sure they spend their B-day at some memorable place and/or with a memorable person.

I have been to some very B-day worth places and have met some very B-day memorable people while on my quest/adventure but, I have ended up spending it at a place even more awesome than my puny dreams could have made plans for.  I am spending it in exactly where God wanted me to be today so that providence, serendipity, coincidence cannot be explained away by some random crossing of the stars.  It can only be called, as my friend Susie Mac coined a "Godincidence".

It is not important for me to tell you the facts.  They would only be meaningful to me.  But there is no way that I would have ended up in a Holiday Inn in Dansbury, CT by some random choice to go inland 50 miles to to I-84 to get past NYC without going right through it on I-95 then have an old client also be coming though this town, of which I have no idea where I am really at, who was having a chance meeting with a client of his, who needed some photography services, of which my client talked me up and told them that I, too, was "just happening" to be passing through town on my adventure/quest and he was available to meet with me today, only because I happened to be in town, far away from my intended route of following the coast, then most probably snagging a really nice job at a time of my adventure that is needing a cash infusion in a big way.  All of this happening on my B-day.

Oops, I ended up telling you most of the story.  But, doesn't give you goose flesh?  Doesn't it make you realize that God is having a great time with our lives and all he wants us to do is play along?

Days like today will make me give pause for a long time (at least a week) before I want to yank the helm back under my control.

When I think of mutiny from God, I have to remember today.  My birthday.  a day I will never forget (for at least a week)

PS: If that statue looks familiar it is because you are eating too many Gorton's frozen fish sticks.  Gorton's is in Gloucester, MA and ripped off their logo from the Lost FishermanMemorial statue which is right on the waterfront in Gloucester, where I was a few days ago.  I almost didn't even take a picture of the statue because I almost had to stand in line with all the other tourist snapping it.  I am glad I did now.  was this another Godincidence meant for this blog posting??  Let's not get too mystical, Rob

Monday, October 25, 2010

Is Face Book the Face or the Truth?

I have been on my quest for the honest people and places in America for over a month now. So far I have met some incredible people and seen some postcard worthy sights.

But, I am very discouraged by the overall frustration of trying to find joy and contentment by living even the most enlightened lifestyle.  Frankly it sucks and makes me very discouraged that trying to live behind the mask we all present to the outer world is not worth it.

Maybe our Face Book facade is the truth and the more we try to escape it, the more miserable we are.

Now that would be the ultimate irony for me.  I spend my whole life trying to discover, then be who I really am only to find out that what I post on Face Book is who I truly am and not just what I want to be.

That is, a collection of who I want to be perceived as by both myself and by others and not the person who I try to hide.

Is this journey through life just a collection of facades?  Do we ever get to live in peace and contentment with ourselves and with others?  What does NJOYIF mean?

Asking tough questions is very tiring.  But so is not quest-oning.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

America On The Edge?

I am not sure whether to be inspired by whoever posted this flag in such a forlorn spot or be reminded of the desperate state our United Sates are going through.  I guess hope happens most fervently when hope seems lost most desperately.
Photo: Near Rockport, MA which is near Gloucester, which is not near anywhere.

Are You a Root or a Rock?

Rocks seem strong and immovable but is that the best way confront the world?
I remember the game of rocks, paper, scissors. Rock was usually the most powerful symbol but paper covered rock to win. Is paper in the game the root in nature? 
Yes! Roots cover rocks in nature. It may take longer and more seeking for a root to cover a rock.  But the root eventually overcomes the rock to survive and thrive.

Rocks can't move move.  Roots can.
Roots find a way around obstacles in their path to survive.
Rocks can’t prevent roots from growing.
What are the rocks in your path?
How do you root round them?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Contradictions That Aren’t

Sometimes we feel all alone. 

When we find someone else who feels the same way, we are alone together.

In a much larger sense, all of us are alone together.  We are individuals who have the need to live together, to survive each other.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy as a Clam

This was one of those mornings I spoke of yesterday when I said that I sometimes end up after dark at a motel picked randomly from the many roadside inns that speckle Hwy 1.  I have no idea where I really am until I wake up in the morning and see what is around the motel or nearby.

There were a lot of motels along this one stretch of highway South of Kennebunkport, ME which made me curious as to why.  I got up around dawn and went driving around to see what the attraction was.  Turns it Ogunquit is the largest and longest natural sand beach in Maine.  in fact it was the first sand beach I had seen in the entire coast.  Every other beach is rocky and bouldery (bouldery?).

The public beach access and surrounding shops and beachfront hotels were a holdover form the 50's which inspired this postcard.

You just never know what you will wake up to each morning.  That is the fun and the gamble of road tripping with no goal or destination in mind.  Does this mirror life?  I dunno, but the clam shell seemed pretty smiley even though it had long since lost it's owner (or vice versa).

a Robservation for Oct. 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Quest-ioning -or- How to Prevent Cold Feet

I have been on my quest for questions since Sept. 24 and have not written one story about my individual experiences yet.  

I was getting worried about it, not because I haven’t had some amazing encounters and heard some great stories.  It is because the stories are becoming intertwined with one person leading me to the next and all their stories are becoming interconnected. 

It is like I am picking up different color patches for a quilt that hasn’t been designed or sewn together yet.  I know I am going to make a nice, warm quilt and I know it will fit a king size bed, I just don’t have enough patches yet to get started sewing them all together.

I don’t think this journey is going to be about individual stories. It is going to be how we are all interconnected by our individual searches for spiritual understanding, truths, God.  We are all seekers in one way or another.  Some seeking answers, some seeking a way to avoid seeking answers and others, like me, still seeking the right questions.

I have decided that the answers are not as important as continuing to ask questions.  Once we stop asking questions because we think we have it all figured out, we are pulling up short of finding the ultimate answers, or in my case the ultimate questions.  We may have sewn a pretty nice quilt, but is too short and our tootsies will get cold in the winter.

There is always pain involved with any growth.  Most people say, “stop the pain” or try to avoid the pain at any cost.  They find a comfortable spiritual belief system (or lack of one) and are not willing to keep quest-ioning for fear of running into a wall of pain (or cold toes).  Some people think they can prevent pain ( and growth)  by trying to settle down somewhere, put down roots and let many of the spiritual questions they still have pass on by.  Others, like me am constantly curious about what is around the next corner.

On this trip I have found this to be so.  I may find a perfectly good place to stay late some afternoon, but I am always curious to see if there might be something better just around the corner.  Every time I push on until the daylight is almost gone I have discovered a better place.  This is not to say that pushing my luck (curiosity) hasn’t always yielded a softer bed, or a more beautiful vista.  It has resulted a couple of times of into having to stay in a no-tell motel where I feel the compulsion to check for bed bugs and smell the towels before using them.  But, in the morning I usually wake up to a sunrise that reveals that the fleabag motel is actually right on the seashore and I meet someone fascinating that I would not have met had had not pushed on and stayed in the nicer, safer place I found earlier.

It is okay to not know.  It is not okay to not know because I got cold feet and did not keep looking. It is also okay to not find the answers I was looking for.  Because, the answers I find are always better than the ones I thought I’d find.

The only way to find out the right answers is to ask the right questions.  I know when the right questions are being asked when those questions are answered by even more questions that lead me further down the path of questing for the truth.

Rob, on the road, picking up patches and putting them in my pockets.