Doug from Canada writes:

Dearest Sol, Intrepid Traveller of This Glorious Orb, Grand Vicarious Leader of The Landlocked and Self-Chained Masses, Shucker of The Meaningless and Mundane, Fountainhead of Global Inspiration and Ceaseless Metaphysical Mystery Seeker,

I beseech thee an answer to but one eternal question…

Where the hell did you go? 🙂


*laughing obnoxiously at the address*

Dear Doug…

That same question is spinning a broken record in my head.

Physically, I’ve been travelling up and down the West Coast.

Mentally, I’ve been hopping through hoops of intense “reverse culture shock” on an emotional pogo stick.

I’ve tried to convey my confusion to the company I keep, but find my words a poor conductor of the shock I am absorbing. I’ve pointed at the television screens playing advertisements at the end of each supermarket checkout lane and in the booth of every bar, but eyebrows don’t raise. I’ve tried to explain why I innocently ignore prohibition signs or cross streets failing to notice flashing red signals, but it seems it’s ME who’s forgotten the game. A disorderly girl in an orderly world. My mouth is open (gaped really), but the dictionary is down; Just trying to find a place to put in context all I face.

So it is for this reason (and the fact that I’ve been wire and laptop-less for the last two weeks), that I’ve been quiet; Silently absorbing the reality of the West’s world and carefully choosing how I will attempt to illustrate my revelations with words.

And then there is an extensive to-do list; reunions (family and friends), work contracts, flight arrangements, gear purchases, digital device maintenance (they’ve ALL broken down), posting long overdue letters and presents, digging diligently through a heavily neglected email list, fall lesson planning, Nepali study, preparing for an upcoming 10-day wilderness first aid (responder) course, and a couple dozen more bullet points trail the list; These things are all quite worthy of my attention, but perhaps not yours. And so I get quiet as I concentrate and get down to ironing out all the dirty details that make the adventures on this blog appear seamless and clean.

But having been away from my laptop for a record two weeks, you can bet my fingers are itchy to catch up with my feet. And they will. So please excuse my past absence and accept this excerpt from an email I’ve recently written to a new friend as a meager appetizer to the full course of words to come…

“Just as you speak louder with your eyes, more is also written in the spaces between your words; short pauses that sigh and leave room for essence to settle and mystery to rise, as all who have poetic thoughts, if they follow their intuition, are inclined to do.”

And perhaps now I am reading too much into your type, but do capital letters also feel too big to you? I’ve found that as my Silence (one of the few words in my dictionary deserving of emphasizing punctuation) grows louder, my name (and especially the letter, “I”) grows softer and smaller, as Stillness and the space around the words grows longer. Word reflective of world, it is this place — where the mountains put you, and the sea puts me — infinitely tiny and without identity, that seems to be the home I turn circles around the world to reach.

How far we travel just to get back.

And here it is. Even in LA. I’m sure of it. But there’s so much smog that I feel myself already losing receptivity to the touch of the sun and her delicate reminders (on both sides of the world) of the warmth of being upon our necks. Funny to think that here, where it is 70 degrees year round, I am weakest to the elements. Which I suppose is why I continue to crave those jagged cold edges of the Himalayas, for like a razor to a cutter, they make me feel alive.


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