Separated from my anxieties.

Hello from Chengdu…I’m safe and happy. The flight (on August 30) to
Beijing was long and uneventful and the night there was fine. I landed
late in the evening of the 31st and on the 1st made my way here. It
took most of the day. I was met at the airport by the folks I’m
traveling to Yushu with and we all went out for dinner–gorgeous,
spicy hot, Sichuan food.

This morning I’m in a small hostel in Chengdu that caters mostly to
20-somethings traveling the world by backpack (Wait a minute, you mean
I’m not a 20-something traveling the world by backpack??).

Flying here I finished two books…one of them, Terra Incognito by
Sara Wheeler (about her travels in Antarctica) blew me away.
In writing about her desire to return there she says:
“I’ll never feel quite so separated from my anxieties. It’s as though
God has given me a gift, a once in my life, to step off the planet for
two months and listen to a different music.”

And I thought…that’s what traveling–especially to places that test
us, make us see differently, take us out of the warm cocoons of our
everyday–does to us: it separates us from our anxieties, from the
psychopathology of everyday life.

Later today we–Tamdin, Jamphel, and Tsering (all staff from Tibetan
Village Project) and I– will visit the factory where the tents were
made and begin loading the trucks. If all goes as planned, we’ll begin
driving tomorrow and delivering tents on Monday. We’ve enough tents
and other supplies to help nearly 2000 people. We’ll also be bringing
solar lighting and other supplies.

Much love to you all.

  • kirklove

    Best of luck and continued success on your journey there (and in life).

    • jerrycolonna

      Thanks kirklove. We leave shortly for Yushu.

  • johnmccarthy

    While you are out doing such good work, enjoy the hot-oil hot pot in Chengdu. Some of my most memorable Chinese food experiences are from that fun city.

    • jerrycolonna

      I already availed myself John!

  • Viktor Ovurmind

    Not being of a particular learned variety a few years ago I did not know a Kapuscinski from a Kandinsky, but today I do know how certain is uncertainty. The monster in my head is thought hence “Viktor Ovurmind”, but I also enjoy the emergent view of life (hence “Emeri Gent”). I have come here with my thanks for in that discussion about religion at AVC; I read your post and it brought home to me the beauty of silence. To quieten oneself to hear the sensitivity in humanity rather than the anxious waterfall of conversation crashing against the rocks of cause. It is silence which I will employ as my chief way forward, so this is why I speak of my gratitude, for here I have found my way and that way is good but of hard work and constancy of effort that will be fashioned out of love.Thank You[v.o.M.]

    • jerrycolonna

      Well said my friend.

      • Emeri Gent [Em]

        The end of thought or at least the silencing of thought is just a beginning of turning rebellion inward unto ones own thinking, though I will know more when my Albert Camus book arrivesIt is then quite appropriate that a fine way to silence thought is on the backdrop of examining new beginnings rather than new ends, or at least looking at the life glass as half abundant, rather than the life glass as half scarce. Thought is an abundance and yet I have been treating it like a scarce resource – for information abounds everywhere and yet I chose to abound on thoughts and information?I looked at my life, not just the quality of my life but that 70% of my life that does work. I find that it is mostly is the product of accidents, grace and good fortune. Yet I squeeze attention through that other 30% of my life that cannot work, for it represents the natural existence of that will always be waste, a most immovable object. That darkness within that 30% is but a cruel pathology because it’s matter is made of that which is dead to life. It should not really preoccupy or govern my thinking but somehow it does. How did I let life be commanded through the minority myopia of such pathology?Much I realize can be explained today by new thinking such as the emergence of chaos theory and here I must raise a glass to Henri Poincaré to realize that all good things arise no matter the direction of our individual disposition or attention that makes more, less :Henri Poincaré transformation in my life in these last days comes not with the silencing of things but improved sense because of silence. I see now that I don’t need to swing somewhere between Bible and the Bibliography in order to learn to enjoy life itself. I however do also acknowledge a debt of thanks to the writer of Ecclesiastes for this expression “there is nothing new under the sun”, or least that it pointed me towards an awareness that our spiritual ego drains life upon a vain immortality. Immortality is but the most faulty wine of idolatry that will ever be made.Why would I view life through the lens of pathology rather than hear the wiser words of John 3:6 “Flesh gives birth flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit”. Why would I willfully ignore the 70% of my life that not only works, but that which is most alive? Yet there are wise words also from Buddha, Confucius as well as Evolutionists and Creationists. That I became dull to wise words is because I had chosen the 30% of thought that represents the aging and draining of existence, rather than the 70% that is a far more reasonable form of human reason that turns existence into a brand new day :That 30% of life are the synonyms of pathology: 70% of life then must be the antonym of pathology: until I had searched it now, I did not even know that the word “apithological” even existed. That I found this on a website about “emrgnc” is but synchronicity if not serendipity. What better place to discover and explore what this apithology maybe or is, then by first leaving this note, with someone who I recognize not only as a caring soul but like the consideration we should give to all, a friend. I will get on with my life as I said I would, but whether life crosses paths or not, I will offer a glass of water and speak nothing so that my found freedom continues to transform silence into an apithological wisdom rather than the attentive pathology it is today. Thank You again Jerry, for sometimes in speaking little or not at all, life speaks to us rather than we speak to life. The 30% that is pathology is not at all self-defeat, for it simply is because it is a part of life, but so much global victory is to be found where life itself chooses to live. I think I will enjoy immensely my life going forward in finding where life lives and allow life itself to do this work.Now I think I must get on with observing life as I had written under “Viktor Ovurmind”. [Em]

  • panterosa,

    Vacation is about rest and travel is about perspective. Too many people mistake vacationing as travel these days, and I love Daniel Boorstin’s spot on section on travel in The Image which pointed this out years ago.

    Perspective is part of what separates you from your every day grind/anxieties/place in life. Whatever is it people don’t do it enough, reach outside their experence. You seem to thrive on it. I’m sure the natural growth that comes from perspective will be your gift. Enjoy.

    • jerrycolonna

      You’re right. I thrive and grow finding new perspective. It never
      feels like a replacement, only an expansion. Hello from Ganzi, China

      • panterosa,

        Ganzi, and your many destinations, shall craft your new perspective then, expanding upon the previous one. How lovely.

        As you know, I have a longstanding desire to design tents and impermanent portable shelters (and other accessories) for travelers and emergency victims alike. Fabric as architecture. And so I follow your trajectory with some longing to provide in the future what you provide now. I hope to be lucky enough to design something ‘elegant and relevant’ and then follow your footsteps one day out to a disaster area to bring relief in the form of my favorite pastime – better living though better design. I hope my design skills will be up to the task, for my desire is in place.