I journeyed alone for almost ten years before I found home. Adoptions are like very delicate gardening with transplants and grafts. Mine took hold, rooted, and bloomed, even though there were inevitable adjustments to the new soil and climate. Yet I have not forgotten where my roots started.
The whole universe was stilled as if listening for a voice. For the space of one heartbeat there was peace on earth. For one fraction of a moment there was no deed of violence wrought on earth, no hatred, no fire, no whirlwind, no pain, no fear. Existence rested against the heart of God, then sighed and journeyed again.
Her stare fixed me. Without rancour and without regret; without triumph and without evil; as Desdemona once looked back on Venice. On the incomprehension, the baffled rage of Venice. I had taken myself to be in some way the traitor Iago punished, in an unwritten sixth act. Chained in hell. But I was also Venice; the state left behind; the thing journeyed from.
The man journeyed far, and he heard and saw many strange things on his travels. He learned that - that the friend and the enemy are but two faces of the same self. That the path one believes chosen long since, constant and unchangeable, straight and wide, can alter in an instant. Can branch, and twist and lead the traveler to places far beyond his wildest imaginings. That there are mysteries beyond the mind of mortal man, and that to deny their existence is to spend a life of half-consciousness.
Just like our story, the original Christmas tales were stories of searching, not so much for the lost, as for the familiar. Mary and Joseph sought in Bethlehem- the home of their familial ancestry- a place to start their own family; the three kings from the East journeyed beneath the sentinel star to find the King of Kings; and the shepherds sought a child in a place most familiar to them: a manger.
Richard Paul Evans
Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary. Let us cherish these sentiments, and extend this influence still more widely; in full conviction that that is the happiest society which partakes in the highest degree of the mild and peaceful spirit of Christianity.
All the while, when Nazneen turned to her prayers and tried to empty her mind and accept each new thing with grace or indifference, Chanu worked his own method. He was looking for the same essential thing. But he thought he could grab it from the outside and hold it against his chest like a shield... Where Nazneen turned in, he turned out; where she strove to accept, he was determined to struggle; where she attempted to dull her mind and numb her thoughts, he argued loud; while she wanted to look neither to the past nor to the future, he lived exclusively in both. They took different paths but they had journeyed, so she realized, together.
Gaily bedight, A gallant knight, In sunshine and in shadow, Had journeyed long, Singing a song, In search of Eldorado. But he grew old"" This knight so bold"" And o'er his heart a shadow"" Fell as he found No spot of ground That looked like Eldorado. And, as his strength Failed him at length, He met a pilgrim shadow"" 'Shadow,' said he, 'Where can it be"" This land of Eldorado?' 'Over the Mountains Of the Moon, Down the Valley of the Shadow, Ride, boldly ride,' The shade replied,"" 'If you seek for Eldorado!
Edgar Allan Poe
Eldorado Gaily bedight, A gallant knight, In sunshine and in shadow, Had journeyed long, Singing a song, In search of Eldorado. But he grew old- This knight so bold- And o'er his heart a shadow- Fell as he found No spot of ground That looked like Eldorado. And, as his strength Failed him at length, He met a pilgrim shadow- 'Shadow, ' said he, 'Where can it be- This land of Eldorado?' 'Over the Mountains Of the Moon, Down the Valley of the Shadow, Ride, boldly ride, ' The shade replied, - 'If you seek for Eldorado!
Edgar Allan Poe
A man journeyed to a place Where the road caused him to ponder, Should he travel the wide, clear road? Or should he venture up the other? The wide road was more often traveled, It was level and easy and clear. The narrow one seemed barely a path, With very few footprints there. His senses said to choose for ease And walk where many have wandered. But the map he held in his hand Showed the narrow going somewhere grander. In life we will all come to a point Where a decision must be made. Will we choose to walk with comfort's guide? Or journey the narrow path God says?
Ibn al-Khatib says: Ibn Battutah has a modest share of the sciences. He journeyed to the East in the month of Rajab 725 , travelled through its lands, penetrated into Iraq al-Ajam, then entered India, Sind and China, and returned through Yemen. In India, the king appointed him to the office of qadi. He came away later and returned to the Maghrib [... ]. Our Shaykh Abu l-Barakat Ibn al-Balfiqi told us of many strange things which Ibn Battutah had seen. Among them was that he claimed to have entered Constantinople and to have seen in its church twelve thousands bishops. He subsequently crossed the Strait to the Spanish coast [... ]. Thereafter the ruler of Fez summoned him and commanded him to commit his travels to writing.
If we are inclined to forget how much there is in the world besides that which we anticipate, then works of art are perhaps a little to blame, for in them we find at work the same process of simplification or selection as in the imagination. Artistic accounts include severe abbreviations of what reality will force upon us. A travel book may tell us, for example, that the narrator journeyed through the afternoon to reach the hill town of X and after a night in its medieval monastery awoke to a misty dawn. But we never simply 'journey through an afternoon'. We sit in a train. Lunch digests awkwardly within us. The seat cloth is grey. We look out the window at a field. We look back inside. A drum of anxieties resolves in our consciousness. We notice a luggage label affixed to a suitcase in a rack above the seats opposite. We tap a finger on the window ledge. A broken nail on an index finger catches a thread. It starts to rain. A drop wends a muddy path down the dust-coated window. We wonder where our ticket might be. We look back at the field. It continues to rain. At last, the train starts to move. It passes an iron bridge, after which it inexplicably stops. A fly lands on the window And still we may have reached the end only of the first minute of a comprehensive account of the events lurking within the deceptive sentence 'He journeyed through the afternoon'. A storyteller who provides us with such a profusion of details would rapidly grow maddening. Unfortunately, life itself often subscribes to this mode of storytelling, wearking us out with repetitions, misleading emphases[, ] and inconsequential plot lines. It insists on showing us Burdak Electronics, the safety handle in the car, a stray dog, a Christmas card[, ] and a fly that lands first on the rim and then the centre of a laden ashtray. Which explains the curious phenomenon whereby valuable elements may be easier to experience in art and in anticipation than in reality. The anticipatory and artistic imaginations omit and compress; they cut away the periods of boredom and direct our attention to critical moments, and thus, without either lying or embellishing, they lend to life a vividness and a coherence that it may lack in the distracting woolliness of the present.
Alain de Botton
Kindness Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth. What you held in your hand, what you counted and carefully saved, all this must go so you know how desolate the landscape can be between the regions of kindness. How you ride and ride thinking the bus will never stop, the passengers eating maize and chicken will stare out the window forever. Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness, you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho lies dead by the side of the road. You must see how this could be you, how he too was someone who journeyed through the night with plans and the simple breath that kept him alive. Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow. You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth. Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread, only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say It is I you have been looking for, and then goes with you everywhere like a shadow or a friend. Colombia
Naomi Shihab Nye