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Visas and Changes

As you can probably guess this is not a good time to travel. There is basically nowhere to go at this point in Southeast Asia. The edge for me has reduced to Vietnam. So each three months I must get an extension. Pandemic or no visa laws are laws. I just got my three month extension so things are good until November now. When November arrives I get one more to February. That’s the last one. Who knows what things will be like then? I don’t.

So what I decided is not to decide. Some believe in meditation the idea is to escape and quiet the mind or zone out. This is not true for me. For one thing the mind is a busy neighborhood. You cannot just shove everything to the off position. What I do is let all things in gratefully. Thoughts, feelings, emotions, sounds, feelings. All are welcomed. Then I let them go for the time I practice. It’s called creating space but it does not mean to quiet the ravaging mind. I give myself 10 minutes a day to see and feel and hear and relate but then I acknowledge it all and let it go.

When I did archeology, my mentor RWR had a saying,

There is nothing so constant as change

We would walk the buttes, foothills, and dunes in the western Mojave Desert back then. Doing archeological survey is a solitary endeavor for the most part. Being 30m apart from each other lessened casual conversation. But there came a time to stop. We often camped under the stars and soon the beer would come out and RWR would often prepare his homemade and award winning chili. Sometimes with rattlesnake meat in it but always with pan cornbread. Then the talk delayed from the day would start. We would hear amazing stories mixing fact and fiction. Then RWR would tell us a few things after chili and some beer. Questions about life, about archeology, about change. All were brought out to the evening fire. We did not reach an accord of answers often but we got better at asking questions. But then the stars would dance overhead and the moon lit the Joshua Trees and rhyolite buttes and we would take the answers and questions to our sleeping bags. Content with all. Away from most. The desert at night is sublimely peaceful.

Now time has spun past and I have questions. Unfortunately RWR is far away but I still heed other of his advice,

Always know where you are and where you are going

So while I know now where I am I put off the last part. I think RWR would understand. If I get back to California I’ll visit and ask. Perhaps over warm Budweiser beers and homemade chili. He still does all those things because while change is constant one needs the stability too. Cheers RWR.

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