Thursday, July 13, 2017

New Memoir, Action, Adventure, Romance


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I wanted to share this image from my site because it sums up so many emotions involved in travel. And travel, the adventure, the romance, is the theme of my new book.

In the late nineteen-eighties I sold everything and moved into an abandoned house on the Caribbean. I spear fished for meat. I will let the book and the writing speak for itself. Here is the introduction:

From 1979 to 1987 I was a vagabond in Europe. I hitchhiked from Scandinavia to Spain several times and camped along the way. During that time I bailed hay, harvested apples, worked construction and taught English. My dream of becoming a writer pushed me to sell travel articles. At night I worked on a novel. I also married a European woman. However, in 1987, after a divorce, I returned to California.

The culture shock, compounded by the pain of divorce, was overwhelming. I sought professional help. The therapist I found changed my life by introducing me to meditation. While working with the therapist, I was startled when a radical idea popped into my head: I needed a time-out from the demands of daily life in the US. I needed to escape schedules, work, stress, traffic, sirens and noise.

Could I find a simple village where I could rebuild my life? Could I manage that for three months? As my escape plan formulated, and it seemed I might actually move to a foreign country, I found the most difficult part of the preparation was giving myself permission. I constantly had to
confront a nagging voice that was saying: What will the neighbors think? I counteracted that voice with: ‘This is a needed process. I am allowing myself to do this.'

My cover story to friends and relatives was: I'm going abroad to work on a novel. That didn't meet with quite so much mockery as, ‘I'm leaving the US to meditate for a few months.' But where would I go? I focused on Mexico because it was close and inexpensive. I began reading all I could find about that country.

If you begin inner work and ask for guidance, you have to stay open to direction from the universe. It may come in a way you never suspected. For example, if your normal route to work is shut down, don't think: Nothing goes my way. No, relax and stay open. Maybe your detour will take you past a billboard that sparks a new idea, or supplies the direction you need.

My own guidance came about in a similar fashion. I got the idea that it would be great to go for a walk along the beach. I don't usually walk on the beach, but I followed the prompt. While walking, I was intrigued by a dive shop window that displayed snorkeling equipment. Inside the shop I met a Mexican man. We chatted for over an hour. When I mentioned a coming trip to Mexico he told me about a village on the Caribbean where he lived. His description made me curious and I made plans to visit. The rest is history.

***

The village was two sandy streets between the Caribbean and the swamp. Morning and evening, when the sun was kind, Mayan women in flower-embroidered dresses, walked to the tin roof market. Children dropped bicycles at the broken curb, shooed away the town dogs, and disappeared inside. Moments later they returned, clutching plastic bags filled with cola, and shouted to friends playing basketball on the square.

In that forgotten village I felt the weight of big city life drop from my shoulders. I knew it was home. Within days I found an abandoned house, shoveled out the sand, strung up a hammock, built a table of driftwood, barnacles here and there.

There I began a routine of meditation, affirmations, and writing. It was my way transitioning from married life to living as a single man, preparing myself for a new future, imagining what my life would be without my mate. When I wasn't doing my inner work or writing, I was spearfishing in the warm Caribbean. Fish of every color swarmed around the coral as I floated past. Words did not exist in that under water jungle. My mind was free to process the inner work. Day by day the waves, the sea water, dissolved the memories. The arguments washed away.

My time beside the Caribbean came about because I had been open to the idea of going for a walk. Because I acted on that idea the universe delivered what I needed. I took the time to listen and the answers came. I hope your way is equally fulfilling. I hope you enjoy these stories.

I will soon be releasing Bigger Bowl soon. If you would like a free copy for joining my review group, or Free copies of my other books, visit Want Free Books?