Spirit moving around the world


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The day begins...

The day begins as have the last 7. I awaken early, the call of the singular bird the conductor to the symphony of birds to soon follow. In one moment, all comes to life: the gong from nearby Sheshen monastery calling the monks to morning prayer, dogs barking, motorcycles revving, the local mobile tea merchant calling out. I dress quickly in the early light and walk through the cobbled alleyways to the Bouddarth Stupa, one of the two most important in Kathmandu. The mass of circumambulating bodies draws me in and I join thousands of the devout- in varying shapes, sizes, age, physical ability and disability, traditional and western dress.

We circumvent prostrate bodies praying, the local dogs will sleeping since they have been up all nite defending their territory, the physically disabled making their way, in any way their can. Their prayers permeate my soul and I find myself chanting along, though not knowing the words. Malas (prayer beads) swing back and forth from old weathered hands

Incense infuses the atmosphere, I carry the scent with me at all times here. (A blessing since the air pollution is quite intense). My air passages continue to adjust. Its a wild circus for the senses. Yet I never feel assaulted in the same was as I have in India. The "Namaste" greeting (the soul in me sees the soul in you) sets the tone of honor and respect.

Grab The Bull By The Horns

On Imported Blog

“I’m a bull running rockstar!”

These are the words I use to describe myself these days, but on July 11, 2012, the only words I could speak with certainty and sincere humbleness were, “Jesus keep us near the cross.” You see, before my rockstar status kicked in, I was just one person in a group of people from the Nomad.ness Travel Tribe heading to Pamplona, Spain to participate in the annual running with the bulls.

Yes, you read that right.

Led by our friend and leader Evita Robinson, our group prepared to go where very few minorities have gone. To say we were scared out of our minds would be an understatement. We were scared -- not just by the thought of being gored by a bull, terrorized from the knowledge of its own impending death, but by the fear of the unknown. There were no other black people to ask for detailed advice (although we got some help from our friend Oneika, who participated a few days before). Even watching countless videos and maps of the route and previous runs did little to squash our fears.

As we sat in our house in Madrid waiting for our bus and making small talk, you could feel the nervousness of uncertainty in the air. Even I had to admit that I was ready to punk out at the last minute when talk began of writing down everyone’s travel life insurance information “just in case.” The bus arrived and we scurried towards it. We were aware of our fate, but determined to go strong until the end. We tried to ease the thick air on the bus by taking pictures and cracking jokes, but it was clear by the bible nearby and the recently purchased rosary around my neck that our minds were elsewhere. I couldn’t hear the thoughts of my friends, but mine were loud and clear “Should I do this?,” “We are crazy! Black folk DO NOT run with bulls!,” “I can’t believe we’re doing this! I can’t believe I WANT to do this!,” “Jesus, just keep us all near the cross and help us make it out safely.”

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