The newness from traveling alone is magic.
I’m never inspired like that. Everything vibrates with discovery. Head to toe. It smells differently. Literally, when I’d walk to the bus stop in Brisbane each day, I passed a series of three trees/vines/bushes, each with its own specific smell. Each one was impossible to ignore. One was Jasmine, another Tea Tree, and I didn’t know the third. This combination was particular to this spot and combined with the fresh, clean air of Australia, I noticed it more. Relished it for what was finite. Only for this short time I would be there. And I’m not even mad that the mush from the rain-soaked blossoms knocked me flat on my ass on the way in to the studio one day. All of life is falling.
People have their own unique system of relationship. It’s in the small things. It’s in the use of language. My favorite expression here is “no wuckas”, which evolved from “no worries” which became “no fucking worries” which evolved to “no wicking furries” to the eventual Australian abbreviation of “no wuckas”. I had so many conversations about linguistics and found a mutual fascination in each of us explaining ourselves to the other. But it’s also in the bigger, cultural feeling of making everyone feel welcome and no room for too much stress. It’s how driving on the left side of the street makes you walk on the left side of the sidewalk and the militant adherence to this because you are the global minority. It’s having shifted as a culture to not allow for guns and the personal responsibility and relationship to safety that developed from that.
I had a dream one night that I visited a homeless shelter that was set-up with individual apartments for each of the guests and even though it smelled like pee, seemed more hopeful. And the very next day, a homeless man sat next to me at the bus stop and told me about the shelter he had just come from around the corner where he had his very own room. Why was this particular moment fated?
There is such energy in meeting new people. I can see them with a razor sharpness because their details are both unique within their culture and in their own lives. I can see with greater clarity what I need to learn from them because I’m not lazy about any perception in this setting. Everything, if familiar, is still a little off to me and I stay awake to every detail to make sure I’m getting it. They are careful in one way, blatant in another here and learning the line is fascinating.
It’s like staring into a waterfall. You know to expect water, falling, but if you really look at it, you’re looking at infinity. It is different in every, single moment.
It’s like being a baby and the concept of life is not yet filled with expectations and my adult, eye-rolling, trenchant mastery. It’s like a time before oil changes and getting more toilet paper and losing your keys made everything seem the same when it isn’t.
In meeting strangers all of the time, there is no adherence to who I am expected to be. I can be perceived freshly in this moment. There is no attachment to your history with me, and the difference in how I am not is not contradictory for you. It is who I am now. As much as I hate to admit it, I am affected by expectation.
I want to stuff it in my pockets and take this feeling home with me. I want to feel each day as a fresh adventure where don’t expect the very same thing around each corner.