01/27/2012 Reflections


I leave Fes and start cycling up the Atlas mountains. I get soaked and shivering cold and decide to stop after 45km at 4500 feet. I stay at the cheapest hotel in town which has no heat, and my breath is frosting all night. My wet clothes do not dry out, and I do not relish the idea of putting on wet clothes and cycling into the 35 degree rain. There’s the risk of hypothermia up here, the lows are below freezing, the highs are in the low 40’s.

It’s raining today, snow is predicted for tomorrow, then there’s a 7 day stretch of sun, enough time to make it to the Sahara. I decide to be patient, and move into a luxury ($26 a night) hotel with heat to sit out the rain and snow. Ahh, very pleasant.

This gives me a chance to reflect on what wisdom I have learned or solidified on this adventure, and at the risk of wearing out my readers patience have endeavored to write it out, for my benefit primarily, but also hoping that there might be some tidings that my readers have not yet considered and might value.

(I’ve been reading Dickens, can you tell?)

Here goes:

The constant application of drive makes one brittle. Acceptance, yielding. conforming and spontaneity are equally powerful. Bend and you won’t break.

Know when to yield and know when to hold fast. See interruptions and changes as alive alternate choices and take a moment and reconsider. Keep your Yes and keep your No.

The truth is never simple. The real truth about people, life, love, happiness, is loaded with contradictions. The more contradictions you can embrace and hold, the closer you will be to truth. Accept contradictions, they bring understanding.

Too much speed and you rip the fabric of relationships and create distance and ill-will. Take a moment till the human-you connects with the human-them. From there move on with your agenda. Connect with others first.

There is a right speed to do things. Too fast and you rip and destroy, live shallowly and miss the moment. Too slowly and you lack courage and resolve, goals and drive. Live at the richest pace.

Cultivate inner wealth. You can’t lose it, it can’t be stolen, and it’s completely portable! Symptoms include flexibility, tolerance, an open heart, enthusiasm, presence, an optimistic attitude, a sense of humor, spontaneity, and curiosity. Cultivate inner wealth.

Before leaving Fes I met Qi (pronounced Chi) and Eve, and enjoyed several great conversations with them. I want to be as good natured and worldly as Qi when I grow up. He’s my hero.

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Just looked out the window and it’s snowing! Snow is, like, building up on things! Wow, so beautiful, such a soft falling. So glad I stayed put!

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10 thoughts on “01/27/2012 Reflections

  1. Too much speed and you rip the fabric of relationships and create distance and ill-will. Take a moment till the human-you connects with the human-them. From there move on with your agenda. Connect with others first. this is one for me.

    as a cycle-tourer, I really get it, what you’ve distilled.

    where is YOUR scarf?

  2. Hi JoAnn,

    I am south of Fes about 40km. Your atlas may not have my town as it
    is quite small. AND, I just noticed that I misspelled Imouzzer
    Kandar, and the location was WRONG on the Blog map. It is now
    corrected.

    I just checked my GPS, and in Europe I have cycled 4.435 miles. In
    the US I have cycled 2,800 miles on my Maine to Key West jaunt.

    The border crossings between Algeria and Morocco have been closed for
    some 15 years now. The closing was prompted by a hotel bombing in
    Marrakech that the Moroccan govt. said was masterminded by Algerians.

    It’s too bad because Algeria is fascinating and used to be a tourist
    destination on par with Morocco.

  3. Thanks Eric, but you give me too much credit. I’m just wandering around on my bike, and one day, like Forest Gump, I’ll stop.

    The weather has cleared today. Think I’ll see what lies over the next hill.

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