As I work on my visual memoir, I’m thinking a lot about travel as a creative practice and creative practice as a way of journeying with more ease and joy…and presence.
These are some images from my current sketchbook.
I get into image making to help me write. Help me think.
When I’m deep in writing, I read a lot of poetry, and a lot of other people’s memoirs.
These bits of John O’Donohue’s poem, For the Traveler, are weaving their way into my pages…
Here’s the whole poem (try to image in it recited in Irish brogue)
Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.
New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.
When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:
How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.
A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.
May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.
May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.
~ John O’Donohue
Tell me something wonderFULL…
Imagine you could learn something useful for documenting your own journey…
What would that be?
The theme is: pilgrimage…travel notebooks…visual journals…travel photography…writing and documenting your journey… creative adventures… what do you want guidance or inspiration on most?
Got any favorite traveler poems and quotes?
Ask me in the comments. I’d really appreciate your input. Thanks!