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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Salisbury, England

I went to England and by chance Salisbury for the first time in 2006. For no more then it seeming to be centrally located I chose Salisbury as a starting place for my adventure. Ever find yourself looking at yourself, in an event, as if you were looking in from outside when you think about it? From above I see myself standing along side the bus waiting for my bags, listening to as a fellow traveler asks the bus driver directions. Seeing myself looking around in an attempt to get my bearing, while deciding my next move. Watching quietly from the side as bags are picked up, not knowing what direction to head, but start walking.

I had arrived in a city, in a county far from home with no idea of where to go, just as I had planned. That's not much of a plan you may think, however I beg to differ. It was a plan not to have a plan, which worked out beautifully. Watching myself, with a sense of wonder, walk in a complete circle ending back at the bus station by happenstance. The thought came that there was no dread of getting lost, or that some mayhem might come my way. There must have been in my subconscious the beginning of a love affair with this beautiful town.

Again by non-planning I ended up spending four days wandering the streets with head attempting to look in all directions at once. The picture is of Salisbury Cathedral, which was finished in 1254. I happened on it while wandering, having no idea of its age. Once it was learned a feeling of awe entered me, which is still residing there. Soon the town was like home to me, comfortable, safe along with a feeling of peace. Most of my life has been filled with a feeling of not belonging where I am. Something missing, some untouchable, vague feeling that this is not where I really belong.

During my wandering I began to noticed that this feeling was not haunting me. It was dismissed as being silly, yet it felt strange not to have the sensation hanging on like a weight. It was surprising to feel such a sense of belonging to this place, which I have never touched before. Now it took some time to figure this out, really almost a year. When the belief finally came to fruition it was as if someone a jumped out of the shadows, it startled me for it to be true. For the first time I felt as if I were someplace I belonged. stunning!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Bible

I ride my bike as often as possible in order to keep in shape for riding in England. This year the plan is to ride 700 miles in Austria, Spain, and England. So, the ride from my house is ten miles most of which is on the shoulder of I-17. Which is much safer, believe it or not, then riding on the majority of the roads in England which have not shoulder.
Riding along, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a book ling in the dirt. My head resisted that it had been there yesterday, but was ignored. Today, however, I turned abound to get a closer look. Looking down I see that the book has been inserted in to a leather cover. Could this be a Bible ling there forlornly I thought?
As my hand came into contact with the book a feeling desolation, sadness, frustration, anger, and betrayal filled my mind. I saw the book flung out the window with anger after a painful loss. The feelings of betrayal, along with frustration because possibly unanswered prayers, or not answered to the persons liking. The desolation of having depended on something that was not considered undependable. In hast and anger the book flies out the window as the vehicle moves off into history.
After I arrive at my destination I look at the fly page, I think that's what it is called, finding the book is dedicated to Luke, by Mary on the 7th of August 2007. Mary wrote "For your new beginning, I'll love you aways." Only a short three months later the book ended up strewn on the side of the road. I wonder how close I am to the why of its being discarded?
What shall I do with it? Having once been in seminary the one thing that is not needed is another Bible. The thought enters my mind that I'll put it in the Big Brother/Big Sisters bin. However, as I ride the thought occurs that maybe I'll keep it, maybe even read it, maybe.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Ever notice them? I mean really notice them! All shapes and sizes, maybe human, maybe animal, or some other life form. I have a friend, well I really have more the one, whom I went to 1st grade with. Yep we are still friends, still in touch, still going strong. Her mother when to school with my mother way back when. Some times friends kind of sneak up on you. You don't expect them to be friends then they are. What is the criteria for being called a friend?
There are books, articles, movies, songs on what it takes to be a friend. For me I think that it would be really hard to define the criteria for being my friend. There have been many "friends" in my life, who have long ago exited from that relationship. Are they still friends? If I ran into them again would we instantly pick up where we left off? It seems that about 20 years passed between contacts with my first grade friend, then we were back in touch, catching up, sharing our lives as we always had, maybe more so.
It seems that within the last ten years I have renewed several friendships with people who attended high school with me. We were friends long after high school, however after moving to Arizona from New York we "lost touch." Every once in awhile my sister, who was still living in New York, would meet one then pass on information. A few I "ran into" on the Internet, how times have changed. So out of a graduating class of 32 I am currently connected to seven classmates, friends. Sadly out to 32 seven, that I know of, are no longer among the living.
Some friends have chosen not to be friends with me any longer for assorted reasons. I almost chose not to be friends on two occasions, but changed my mind. I am glad to say that in both instances it proved to be a very good decision. There are times I had allot of friends, then times not so many. I could not count all the people who have borne the title "Friend" since the word entered my vocabulary. Funny how that word is used to isolate a select few from the throngs of people who pass through.
I now have friends in England, also Spain. We talk every now and then, each time they refer to me as "friend." First I had friends in the town I grew up in, then I had friends at work, then in other towns, then I had friends in New York and Arizona, then California and Florida, now England and Spain. It is almost overwhelming to think about how many wonderful people have passed through this life; so many of them friends.
Friends and lovers, friends are not lovers or are they?