Adventure, Spotlight, Travel

Friend, you are talking about yourself

This is an excerpt from a piece from Vodou Priest/blogger Gary Howell at Knitta Please.

Chapo m tonbe nan la Mer.

I have, for most of my life, enjoyed change. In whatever fashion Saturn reared His bearded head, I greeted him with a smile. “Burn the field,” I’d always say, “to make room for the seed.”

…As we sat over a tasty rose, I started to talk, and the more I talked, the more I sounded logical, sane, and strong; not traits that I think I carry on a day to day basis. Was it the wine? Was it the air of gotten stronger from not getting killed by the troubles that have been plaguing me the past months? I can’t honestly say, and I never want to find out.

But, as I was doling out my soothsaying, I more than realized that half of what was coming out of my mouth was meant for me. “Get up!” “Understand that you don’t need to go a long way, to find out you are something!”

Along my journey, many people take on themselves to deliver to me this sagely wisdom: you don’t have to travel to find what you’re looking for. I’ve learned to turn a stony eye to the arrogance of it: invariably, the words spill out of someone who has done little traveling, who lives a completely settled life. They sure feel confident in their evaluation of travel as a practice.

It might carry more weight if Gilgamesh said it.

But more than that, it’s just inaccurate: the journey has changed me. I am not the same person today that I was July 3, 2012—and the changes are an immediate result of how I have pushed my boundaries, far away from home and friends; and the continuous psychological challenge of being the only one to keep me going, toward a dream, toward a horizon I can never reach.

It’s a beautiful heartbreaking practice. It’s what defines me.

Out of all the people who have said “you don’t have to travel” Gary is the first person who then added that what was coming out of his mouth was meant for himself. And as soon as I saw those words, I understood every person who tells me the same advice: they mean it for themselves.


So, if you think I’m going to go 8,000 miles only to discover that I had what I needed the whole time, well, maybe you are right or maybe you are wrong, but certainly—definitely—you are talking about yourself.

Or, as Gary says:

“You know who you are, not all the time, but most of the time, so FUCK everyone else!”

I hope you’ll read the rest of his piece and share it widely.

Spotlight, Vodou

Is the age of the shamans dead?

This is an excerpt from a piece from a Vodou priest at Knitta Please

Working overnights are gruesome. People are different when the sun goes down. Forget phases of the moon, planetary alignments and stellar influences, people do in the dark what they wouldn’t normally do in the light of day. Without the sun to witness, as if the moon cared less, I’ve seen man, woman and child in the grips of one nighttime habit or other.  Usually, I’m pretty OK with what goes on. Usually, their glazed eyes and slurred words become a river of unconscious thought. Their babblings become a prophetic tongue, the science of decoding the pickled Pythias. 

Photo used without permission from Knitta Please.

This is how my story starts. Two young chaps come in from a night of tippling, sit down at my counter and start yelling. Working in a diner, overnight, this is common, and eyes aren’t batted at it.  I give them waters, if that could help, and take their order. Conversation changes between the two of them frequently, greased by the liquid excess pumping through their veins.

Then, as it always does in the small community I live in, they see someone they’d gone to school with. It’s-been-forever’s and It’s-good-to-see-you’s were exchanged and conversation between the two chaps stuck to that. Like two old men recounting their spent youths, these gumshoe yuppies blurted out a Schindler’s List of people they’d known, saw, fucked, or hung out with during their formative years. Then, because I was close enough to spy into their conversation, one asks me, “So, are you in school?”

The question seemed far out of understanding for me. Could they not see my age? Could they not see the transparent mortarboard hanging over my head?

As I looked up from my task at hand, I answered them, “Nope, I’ve actually already graduated.”

Next, inevitably, “So, why are you working here?”

To read the rest of the story click here. Yes, there are shamans.

From now on I’m going to publish the things I enjoy reading, so you can enjoy them too. I don’t believe in a full “reblog” because I want you to actually go to their site and learn to love them. You will always have to click over to get to the good stuff.

I don’t get reimbursed or compensated for this. I just like sharing what I love. 

I will still be publishing my own original work every Wednesday and, sometimes, more often. Now go read Knitta Please.