“ ‘Fear seeks noisy company and pandemonium to scare away the demons.” ~ Carl Jung’
“I fear silence because it leads me to myself, a self I may not wish to confront. It asks that I listen. And in listening, I am taken to an unknown place. Silence leaves me alone in a place of feeling. It is not necessarily a place of comfort …
Within silence our voices dwell. What is required of both is that we be still. We focus. We listen. We see and we hear. The unexpected emerges.”
~ Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds
I realize that I’ve spent two-thirds of this trip alone; that much consecutive time by and with myself is a first. Especially on Whidbey, I notice a peaceful inner silence; at St. Rita’s, the week prior, it’s a noisy, unpleasant inner silence. Both lead me to myself.
The initial question on my Walkabout was “Can I do it?” Now I see that a “better” question is “Can I do it and enjoy/appreciate it?” The answer to both is yes.
After leaving Whidbey Island, I head off to Portland for an overnight at my friend Lola’s to break up my trip down to the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, Oregon. Staying there has been on my bucket list for a while now. Each room is decorated with an author as theme. Mine is Lincoln Jeffers, an early journalist.
For dinner there, I’m seated with five strangers. The hostess suggests we play “Two Truths and a Lie.” We each make three statements about ourselves: two true and one false. Each person gets to ask three questions in order to figure out which is the lie. It is such a great way to talk with strangers and get to know interesting and obscure things about people you don’t know. One person talks about their religious beliefs and history; another about health; me about travels. I enjoy it.
The next morning I head off to Bandon to hit another bucket wish list item: West Coast Game Park Safari. They have a petting zoo there for wild animal cubs. I get to pet a baby cougar and a baby bob-cat.
I stay at the Bandon Beach Motel “where it’s all about the view.” Their slogan kind of alarms me; I think it’s a warning about how bad the rooms are going to be. False alarm: even though the hallways are not well maintained, the room is really quite nice.
I take myself out for a delicious fish dinner at the Wheelhouse Restaurant to celebrate my last night on the road. I spent one Father’s Day there with my husband and sons. Instead of eating in the more formal dining room where we ate before, I eat upstairs in the bar. Seems right to be revisiting the old but in a new way.
The last three days have been too much jumping around – a different place each night – and too much driving each day (note to self for future reference). I’m getting tired and homesick. I notice my tendency to take these “unpleasant” feelings as something wrong with me, instead of letting myself know that I simply want to get home. More and more, I’m starting to catch myself editorializing on my experience and what I think I should be feeling. My ability to accept what I’m feeling as simply what I’m feeling and to act accordingly is increasing.
On my last day on my way home, I take small, picturesque Route 42S. Definitely feels like the road less traveled. I stop at the coolest drive through coffee place ever, Drink Coffee Be Happy, in Camas Valley (near the little town of Remote) in the middle of nowhere. The proprietress has created all kinds of wacky art assemblages.The unexpected emerges.
Next post: wrapping it up