I had fully intended to write a blog about my very first trip abroad, which was to Brisbane, Australia for the 2012 MyLanguage Conference in August. Actually, I did write it (a draft is saved on my computer at home), but my grand plan was to have the blog interspersed with all the fascinating photos I took while in the great Down Under. I took hundreds of photos and I soon lost myself in just sifting through all the magnificent pixels. Let it be known, I took far too many pictures of koala bears.
Fast forward a month later, and I’m writing this entry aboard an A330 aircraft, operated by Delta Airlines en route to Rome Fiumicino. It’s rather fun writing my thoughts down knowing full well that thousands of feet below lies the Atlantic Ocean. I immediately imagine a fifteenth century map illuminated with sea-monsters. I still have yet to post my Australian blog. I swear, I really intend to post it. I had also planned on writing about the trip to the Santa Fe Indian Art Market I took the week after I returned to the states, but unlike the Australian blog, I never did actually write anything of my Santa Fe adventure. (It’s all just random sentences floating in me noggin’.) I’m not exactly sure if I ever will write it even though it was an astounding trip. I learned many lessons – professional, personal, and just all around practical. Most importantly, for me, I came back a more confident artist, but that’s a discussion for another day.
So…the question on your mind may be, “Why the heck are you going to Italy, man?”
To which I would retort, “Good question!”
To which I would retort, “Good question!”
2012 has been an extraordinary year for me. It’s been as dramatic as I’ve experienced in my short thirty-three years on Earth. It’s been filled with spiritual decline and reclamation. And there’s even been a few art shows scattered here and there despite it all, or maybe, more than likely, because of it. I’m still in awe at what’s happened to me this year. It would be no exaggeration to say that no other year of my life has caused so much upheaval in my perceptions than that of 2012.
I know, I haven’t answered your question about why I’m going to Italy. I’m attending the Fetzer Institute’s Global Gathering: The Pilgrimage of Love and Forgiveness. I had the honor of being selected to participate by the Institute’s Advisory Council. I will be eternally grateful for Dr. Loriene Roy, a member of the Council, as she is the one who nominated me as a participant for the event. I don’t know if she knew it or not, but traveling to Italy was one of my lifelong dreams. I vividly recall looking through second hand art books my grandmother would procure from thrift stores and the mission. I remember the musty old smell of the paper. Some of the older books’ pictures were actually small prints glued to the pages. Italy was the place where some of the best art in world lived for this kid. In my child’s brain, I wanted to see the art and eat a pizza. Not much has changed since then. Dreams are about to be fulfilled.
As per the Gathering, I don’t claim to be a wise man, a philosopher, or even a person that has anything “figured out.” I am still on the journey of searching, but as with many things in my life, I don’t think of the opportunity to participate in this event is by chance. As I move further away from the decade of my twenties, years filled with overconfidence and overconfusion (is that even a word?), I am realizing just how much I really know of the world (a lot less than I thought), and I am just now arriving at the phase where I am beginning to enjoy the existential journey. Questioning and searching and learning are no longer filled with such distress now. I enjoy the wrinkling of my brain and the expanding of my heart.
So, let’s wrap up: I suppose I should consider this a Pre-Blog. I’m not actually in Italy yet. I haven’t actually posted my Australian trip blog. By the time you read this, I will have probably just finished slogging through customs and will just have gathered my luggage. But this entry will be posted from Italy. But it was all written in the spirit of “intentions.”