Life In Obscura: Part Two

27 May
We are all living in a time of unprecedented change that may make us feel as if we are standing on a suddenly unfamiliar road in a thick fog that stretches too far ahead for us to see any end. Except we are not up there, we are here and this is where life is happening, all around us. There will be a magic in these moments of our lives if we choose to wander off the usual track and walk alone for a while in a different direction. And we must be curious. Curiously courageous. Imagine the places we could find and what we’ll learn along the way. It can be difficult to envision our lives in a different format particularly if we were functioning on regular schedules and routines with all our habits and behaviors and beliefs attached. Our working and social lives are a huge part of how we identify with ourselves so who are we going to be from now on? We will be explorers of unknown terrain and it will be remarkable.
Along the way we might experience lovely gestures. The kindness of strangers. This was a bouquet of flowers given to me as a gift by a young woman working at the check-out at a local grocery store. She had appreciated my point of view. We need to always be aware of the effect that our words might have on people, not just during a pandemic.
A time for self-discovery. Aimless solo wanderings often lead to the amazing and the unexpected. They can make us realize that there is a whole other world happening around us and that we don’t have to travel far to go on a significant journey. Follow along and discover a different way of looking at things. One step at a time, one day at a time.
There used to be a large old house here at one time, but walking up the steps I found no trace of it. The property has become a small forest with a canopy of tall trees shading what was once the yard. I like to wonder about who lived here and what their lives were like. There’s a park bench that provides a quiet corner for a spot of contemplation. The peace of solitude.
We’re going to encounter some special people. I came across an elderly couple on one of my travels. I asked the wife if I could have permission to take this photo and perhaps use it on my blog. She asked her husband and here we are. I think his costume is Wiley Coyote with Cookie Monster. There was a sign on the back of his motorized wheelchair that said something like we need to spread happiness. I was very taken by this stranger. He was simply amazing to me. And not a word was spoken between us.
There will be contemplative observations in-between. This is one of my favorite benches in Stanley Park where I can stop and observe the world moving by for a time. It’s also a great place to catch up with friends and family members that I am unable to see in-person.
Places and memories. The beloved Cardero Cafe down the street. It’s a small, old house with living quarters on the second floor. A cat sometimes wandered down and napped on one of the chairs. I’ve spent a lot of time sitting on the outdoor patio with friends. I can still get my coffee from a window in the front door but now I do it alone and then go sit elsewhere while practicing social distancing. Alone but never lonely. My coffee wanderings looking for places to sit have led me to many a new place and experience. There is a free book kiosk across the street that has provided me with many an enjoyable read and I often make donations back.
We must remember to look up. These are heron’s nests at the end of my street just inside the park. They are currently filled with new chicks. There are also trees on my street that, if you peer up inside, contain in their hollow interiors what sounds like hundreds of chirping birds all singing at once. They are tiny and powerful and glorious. Some things never change, but some do. Cars are currently not allowed to drive through the park so wandering freely to bird watch and discover new paths, of which there are hundreds, is even more enjoyable than before. Wanderlust at its best.
The shortest paths can lead to the most intriguing of places. Sometimes it’s simply the way the path looks that makes it unique. Sometimes it’s just the being there and how it can make us feel. Imagine.
From time to time we’ll be joined on our journey. I often come across wild animals and birds on my strolls and it’s always a wonderful surprise to discover these delightful creatures so close by. Over the years, I have learned a lot about living from them. They are a lot wiser than we give them credit for.

I am dedicating this blog post to my two house mates, my long-time partner Adrian, and our newest cat, Fausto who keep it all real and remind me of how much I have to be grateful for. Also, to everyone out there trying to make a difference, to those who are the most challenged, and those who remind me of how I love this glorious magical mystery tour called life even through the more difficult days. Now every time I log into my laptop, I can see the message that I uploaded to remind myself of all this…’I can. I will. End of story.’

This post was written by Jude Gorgopa, Reinvention Consultant and the founder of Clout Et Cetera @ cloutetcetera.com Log on for more information and resources.

2 Responses to “Life In Obscura: Part Two”

  1. June A. Quiroga May 27, 2020 at 7:19 pm #

    Jude, ok so this story is simply outstanding. Mostly, because for me it is so uplifting. I seem to be on the same page as you. I have been walking early, early in the mornings. Just under 6k daily. I have seen so much, have met so many different people along the way, some smile and say hello, others look as though they are an advertisement for lemons, sour and absolutely no happiness oozing out of them. For me, I am as you mentioned above, alone but not lonely at this time of Covid. I am blessed to have Nelson in my life, LOST without my beloved Cami, but definitely grateful and appreciative of everything that surrounds me. I will never ever again take for granted my little coffee shops, I love our neighbourhood and will just plod along quietly til this is all settled and behind us. Thank you for the most fantastic, inspiring blog. Everyone should have access to this. Thanks for sharing. June

  2. Maggie Rader May 30, 2020 at 2:31 pm #

    Excellent blog; a tribute to Adrian and Fausto! As I read and look at your photos I am transformed back to my home and the loveliness of our city! I, too, believe that being alone in nature is a wonderful gift to give ourselves! Happy trails, Jude!

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