Slow Moving Dreams

Sunday, August 07, 2005 at 12:09 PM

Traveling

I've been traveling the last week in New York trying to visit bookstores and promote my book. It's certainly not as glamorous as it seems. Here's a problem that I have all the time. I'm either staying with family or in a motel room. When I take a shower, nothing is familiar to me and I can't see without my glasses. The other day I was at a motel taking a shower and they provided little gel bags of shampoo and conditioner and "other things". As I said, I can't read in the shower and I can't really tell what the substance is when it comes out. So I first put conditioner in my hair, which isn't too bad, and then mouthwash, which was terrible. My third try was bodywash. I finally found the shampoo. Some days I just give up and settle for conditioner, or mouthwash. On those days, my breath is awful but you should smell my hair.

Speaking of traveling, I had a unique experience on this trip. I stayed with some monks in upstate New York. I've read about monks and I'm somewhat familiar with their lifestyle but the experience is unique. It was an idyllic setting in the mountains: very peaceful, very tranquil, yet we had great conversations and we laughed a lot. I came away really enjoying my stay, and the monks and their individual personalities. Monks are unlike priests in that they choose to withdraw from the world and live a celibate life. It takes a unique individual to want to live that way. It's not boring though. Each community has to support itself, which means they have to provide a commodity to sell to the outside world whether it be bread or cheesecake or a service such as dog training. So they are busy all the time. As I was driving away, I wondered whether I could live such a rigorous, contemplative lifestyle. Not just yet.

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