How We Travel

31 Dec

I read a lot.  And because I check out 4-5 books at a time, and because I read a little in one and then a little in another, they all become one story.  Interwoven.  Characters from one novel  coexist in relationship with characters from different books, becoming one huge pot of stew. So when I think about a particular book, I often cannot truly  say whether or not I’m remembering the book as it was–or rather as it is now, in my mind.  After the merging of people and plots and pages.  And I’m noticing that I like this because it feels so much like life itself.

What brought this to mind was just now trying to remember where I had recently read that for each year we live, the earth travels 584 million + miles in its orbit around the sun.  And I realized that I wasn’t sure which book it was in–and it didn’t matter anyway.  What mattered about the thought was this–that this is another example of how so many other things are always at play, even when we’re focused on only ONE thing.  So many levels at work.  So many parallel and concurrent dimensions and events existing simultaneously.   And while I thought I had spent 2013 in a relatively fixed position, in fact I had travelled, along with everyone else, over 584 million miles.  More than 160,000 miles a day.  There’s a seed of wonder in this, for me.

So.  WV.  A four-day trip.  To embrace family.  To embrace the land.  To remind myself that even when I can’t see it in person, this land-of-my-early years, this ground of ancient wonder, remains intact.


The New River Gorge. Beauty Mountain. Near Fayetteville, WV.

And every morning, because I still get up with the chickens, even though my rooster is only a distant memory now, every morning I had the delightful opportunity to sit before a wood stove and nurse embers into flame. fire

I wonder about that–nursing embers into flame. How that speaks of seeing. Really seeing as opposed to just looking.

And even though very little stitching took place, cloth travelled with me. And what seemed only a trip of 800 miles was in fact part of a much longer journey around the sun.

24 Responses to “How We Travel”

  1. karmadondruplhamo....grace forrest December 31, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    this is beautiful. the thoughts are beautiful. how you were able to place the thoughts
    into words, just right, beautifully. i want to keep on reading, more of this story. more


    • Patricia December 31, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

      hi Grace. it’s funny how this arose. i was going to just post pics from WV, but it’s impossible to behold the mountains and the gorge w/o being so moved by the concept of eons and ages and time. and yesterday i was telling Logan about the number of miles we travel through space, every year, without much awareness that we’re travelling–and he thought that was so over the top–and even though i don’t know if there’s more to this story, this is a little bit i can share with you. much love.


  2. Patricia Danco December 31, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    I do the same thing with books … And can never remember where I read what … But it has never mattered, as long as I’m able to travel into another life, another world. I had never really considered our traveling so far, out here, orbiting with the earth. How delightful to know that! It sure puts a new perspective on things!
    Anyway, I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how very much I enjoy your blog, and to thank you for taking the time to share your life with all of us, your fellow “Earth Travelers”. Wishing you and yours a very happy new year!


    • Patricia December 31, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

      hi Patricia. somehow it makes me feel better that you have this same experience with books. and thank YOU for taking the time to comment here–i love that “fellow earth traveler.” yes. yes. yes. sending you best wishes too.


  3. Anonymous December 31, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    I love this particular musing and knowing that you are back in the sacred land of your DNA!


    • Patricia December 31, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

      “sacred land of my DNA.” it’s true. returning is like revisiting the well. thanks for that insight.


  4. Linda December 31, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Perfectly expressed…..


    • Patricia December 31, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

      it really came out of nowhere–well somewhere–but certainly not planned. maybe that’s the best way to go.


  5. cynthia craig December 31, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    ..smiling here..for years i worked in a wonderful montessori school..and i never grew tired of the celebration of each child on their birthdays..not a birthday party per se but a celebration of their life, their time on this earth..a circle of children, the sun (candle) the child carrying a globe and circling one time for each year on the planet…finishing..even the youngest child..the phrase..and when the earth moves around the sun….”time passes”

    moving in a circle through time and seasons..describing ..sometimes alone , sometimes with a parents help, the milestones of that particular orbit, and hey were personal..individual, sometimes things they could now do themselves..sometimes special moments with pets, families, friends…always very real and very of the moment

    because there are a number of birthdays in a class..over the year the concept was always present..the years when the solar system was a became even more real..and a trip to the playground, a walk in the woods, small daily happenings became time to watch
    shadows change, look at the trees, not just to see them..but to see how this amazing trip around the sun changed them as to day, season to season..

    it was especially nice to find this post marking this last day of this year this journey in a way that gave me so many small sweet memories..many thank yous happy new year’s eve…cynthia


    • Patricia December 31, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

      oh, these memories you share here are absolutely priceless to me–especially here on the 31st of December. it is truly a time to review. to give thanks. to honor and commemorate two-leggeds, four-leggeds, plants and places. i will have grandson tonight. we will discuss this journey more–the milestones. the changes. thank you, Cynthia, for your comment here.


  6. Mo Crow December 31, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    beautiful words Patricia!
    & Happy New Year from the Land Down Under!


    • Patricia December 31, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

      and how does 2014 look so far?


      • Mo Crow January 2, 2014 at 12:05 am #

        Hi again Patricia, it’s the afternoon of a very hot day 2 of 2014, a cooling few spots of rain has just begun and so far it’s easy!
        there’s a beautiful post by Lynda Merry over on her iWonder blog
        Love this-
        “The past few years, I’ve come to the end of the year saying “enough already!” My personal wish for 2014 is that it’s a year so good I won’t want to see it end. Not a resolution – more of an intention…
        Wishing you a 2014 too good to limit to just 12 months…”
        isn’t that the best thought?
        oh and re reading, are you a Gemini by any chance? Old Man Crow is and he reads at least 4 books at any given time usually polishing them off in a week! I read one book at a time and slowly these days as I often fall asleep with the book in my hand and add in extra scenes from dreamland that don’t really exist… makes it hard to discuss books with other people later!


        • Patricia January 2, 2014 at 6:38 am #

          hey Mo. it’s interesting to take your lead here–to hear how Jan 2 looks from down under just as we begin it here–and are we “up over?” i’m a Sag with strong connections to Geminis–and love that OMC is a voracious reader as well. and often, yes, i fall asleep with book in hand, and in my own dreams find that i’m wandering through the landscape of what it was i was reading. NOW i understand a little more why often, in discussing a book, i get really odd looks.


  7. Eileen Mele December 31, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    Beautiful words! Your reading habits are unusual. If I find myself in a book that’s going nowhere I might start a second one. Usually of a different type and subject. Then I tend to skim the first blah book, just to say I finished it. Piles of books around here just waiting for me. We are teaching ourselves many things that we couldn’t learn first hand. I share my books, often begging friends to not bring them back , so that’s the way I travel while this old earth spins. May you always have peace, and time for this pleasure!!


    • Patricia January 1, 2014 at 10:51 am #

      after reading your comment here, I realize that i pick up other books when i am, in fact, bored with the one i’m on. and yes, i also will usually skim to the end. i’m thinking that i may pay more attention to this tendency and just return books that don’t capture me completely. and now that i consider this further, i realize that i also leave books laying around in different places–the car, grandson’s home, lr, work room–and this also contributes to my weird reading style. because when i’m not stitching i’m probably reading–oh. and now i see into this even more–how the cloth story also gets tied into everything else. this is all sounding too complicated this morning. loved your comment. and thanks for the blessing.


  8. Nancy December 31, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    I love so much here…the reading of many so they can mingle-and that it is OK for this to happen! Love that. The traveling, all together…all us little specks, seeds traveling together-something very comforting about that thought. Thank you for YOU and for sharing. I’ve enjoyed circling with you. May 2014 bring you many more laps around and multitudes of priceless moments as you go.


    • Patricia January 1, 2014 at 10:53 am #

      i’m getting clearer on why and when i have multiple stories running concurrently. will be interesting to see if i make any modifications–and i too always enjoy your blog postings and comments. here’s to one more go-round. much love.


  9. julie January 1, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    I too find that books often become one single blob in my memory (and I read them one at a time). I thought it would help to keep a list of each book that I’ve read, with its author. I have a great list of titles that I still can’t differentiate much past three or four weeks. Thank you for the tour of WV, I have loved winding around those mountains in real life too.


    • Patricia January 1, 2014 at 10:54 am #

      oh yes, and if i could tell you the number of times i check out a book only to realize at some point that i’ve already read it. have to confess that sometimes i wonder just what it is i’m doing WHEN i think i’m reading.


  10. Marti January 1, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    Well I’m an orderly sort, reading mostly, one book at a time. Used to keep lists of book titles and authors and still have a small list in my purse as I come across books that look promising. Over rthe years though, my lists filled up shoe boxes so I tossed them all when I moved to Maui. As happens when we get older, sometimes I find myself rereading many times a book that I have enjoyed and when that happens, I think of it as welcoming a long lost friend. Some books I purposefully reread every year.

    I’m never without a book and for many years, only read women authors across many genres. When I knew I was coming to New Mexico, I wanted to read words by those who call this place home and so I found author Rudolfo Anaya. He is one of the founders of the Chicano literature moment and a retired Professor Emeritus at the University of New Mexico. He has written adult fiction, children’s fiction and many essays and non fiction. Reading his nonfiction Essays, I found a heart connection: we both learned to speak English when we went to school and we both found the world when we first set foot in our local library. He was 7 yrs old, I was 8 yrs old when I got my first library card. You would have thought that I had been given the golden ticket from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. . Reading his words, my heart simply expanded and a connection was made so I wrote to him as he still lives in Albuquerque. To my everlasting joy, he replied via a handwritten letter that I will treasure all the days of my life…

    Patricia, as we move into 2014, books, blogs, notes on life; you never know when something written and something read will profoundly reach out and move you. For those times here when you have, many thanks and blessings as we move into 2014..


    • Marti January 1, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

      Meant to say, (when describing author Rudolfo Anaya) that he was one of the founders of the Chicano literatuire Movement, not moment!)


    • Patricia January 1, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

      yes to all of this. i’m realizing now how the world of reading for me has been a journey of its own–a parallel journey to everything else in my life. often supporting it–always enrichening it. the wonders of it. and whenever i have moved somewhere, the library card has been almost the very first thing i’ve gotten–sometimes before utilities. and when in college i realized i could major in–of all things–reading (english) well it seemed too good to be true.

      what i’m looking at today, have been looking at for a while now, is the role reading plays in my life. just looking at it. wanting to determine if i read to escape or if i read to encompass. there seems to be a difference — maybe i’ll talk about this more when i’ve sorted it out.


  11. nadia January 2, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    Hi, Patricia. Thoroughly enjoyed this thoughtful post about reading and traveling. I never looked at either in the ways that you have…May the New Year by happy and full of creativity…and good books!
    best, nadia


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