Well in all honestly we did this quite a lot before we travelled, but it’s increased since. We never did sit down and watch the news on TV every night. Or pursue it on the Internet. Why? It’s all about the “bad” news of the world, about all the things that are “wrong”, about suffering and hurt and sorrow, and evil and greed. And manipulation. With the occasional “good news, tug-at-your-heart-strings, soft and cuddly, sentimental” story thrown in here and there. And sometimes angry-making, and frustrating.
While he was still working Don would listen to the radio driving to and from work so he was more up-to-date than me, and would bring snippets of news to me from time to time. Since we’ve begun travelling even that has stopped of course. We still do get snippets of news from conversation with others, but for the most part we live in our own little world, and are grateful for it. When we’re heading to a new country Don may do a little research on the Internet to check for political unrest, health issues, and weather issues.
Our “job”, our “purpose”, if we have one, is to hold, maintain, nourish, and share peace, presence and joy. At least that’s how I see it. How that will manifest in the coming years remains to be seen, but we both know that we can only live this nomadic life by continually returning to presence. And living our joy. And living the most authentic life we can, doing and being what moves us from the inside. And in the end if that is all we can contribute to the world, that energy of peace, presence and joy, it will have to be enough, and I hope it helps. For us, focusing on all that’s wrong with the world definitely doesn’t.
This is in no way meant to discredit those who do immerse themselves in the news, and are moved to go out into the world to try to bring about change. In fact I am immensely impressed by, and in awe of such people and their actions. I sometimes think I “should” be more active in trying to alleviate the suffering in the world. But in the end everyone has their own unique path, none is more worthy than any other, and we must just follow the truth in our hearts. It feels as if we’ve been graced, and we are enormously grateful for it, and must return that grace by living it as best we can, as authentically as we can.
Photo of the day: Sidewalk breakfast, Ho Chi Minh City.
All words and images by Alison Louise Armstrong unless otherwise noted.
© Alison Louise Armstrong and Adventures in Wonderland – a pilgrimage of the heart, 2010-2015.