Monday, October 13, 2008

the return to california: culture shock and the unkindest cut

the return to california has been, uh, interesting. i thought i was going to return to california to get some loose ends tied up and then spend some quality time with my friends and family before returning to europe and the continuation of the journey i began in april. what i returned to was the astounding visual and auditory overload of western culture; the news of the growing global economic crisis; raging wildfires threatening my family and friends’ homes; a sister-in-law who had just undergone brain surgery to remove a tumor the size of an orange; my family’s failing business and their personal financial crisis; and to the progression of my 88 year old father’s congestive heart failure and the waning of his energy.

and i returned to california to the unkindest cut of all. my ex-partner - the man who in november 2007 kicked me out of the home that i had just finished pouring two years of my heart and soul into designing, sourcing the materials for, managing the building of – all while defending my right to do so in a protracted legal battle with a neighbor who tried to stop us from building via malicious and false claims- emailed me that he no longer wished to honor our agreement to give me back the cash – my life savings - that i put into the house. when he kicked me out of my home shortly after its completion, he robbed me of the future that i had just spent two years pouring my heart and soul - and life savings - into. now he is trying to rob me again, this time of the new future that i found for myself. i’m not angry, just blindsided, stunned and incredibly saddened.

i’m trying to hold onto the abundance of the last six months. i’m trying to hold onto the assuredness deep in my soul that everything is going to be ok. i’m trying to find and heal the part of me that was betrayed in such a sneaky and ruthless way. i’m trying to navigate all of the family health and financial crises and gain the wisdom of these lessons. i close my eyes and remember the exhilaration, the sense of everything-is-right-the-way-it-is-ness, and the human kindness and generosity i found on the road. i close my eyes and recapture that feeling. but when i open my eyes, the culture shock of returning to california and the seeming meltdown of everything around me is a bit staggering. i am a stranger in a strange land, overwhelmed and overloaded. and oh how i just want to run away from it all.

Friday, October 10, 2008

leaving england: sigh....

i left europe the way i'd come in - via england - only this time i didn't get detained.

before flying back to california, i spent two nights at j's sister mary's house. on my last night there, mary gathered together the same group of friends that she'd introduced to me when i arrived in england back in april. such a great way to wrap up the journey. and so surreal! when I first met these fun and funny women, i had no idea where i was headed next. sitting there six months later - an entire lifetime later - i knew exactly what i wanted to do next. and it wasn't to go back to california...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

leaving italy: do i have to?

at the trieste airport, still not thrilled about leaving....

leaving slovenia: i really don't want to go

valentin picked me up at the bus station in ljubljana, slovenia last night, and had dinner waiting in the car for the drive to zali log. this morning he dropped me off at the podbrdo (yes that's how it's spelled) train station for the next leg of my trip back to california - the train from slovenia to trieste italy to catch a flight to england.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

leaving bosnia: i don't want to go

today zeljko put me on the bus from banja luka to ljubljana - the first leg of my trip back to california. what can i say. leaving sucks. big.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

finally, an update!

so i finally made it into banja luka today and to an internet connection at this swanky little cafe
that specializes in all things chocolate, including real hot chocolate. i mean chocolate, melted in a cup. none of that watery stuff we like to call hot chocolate. this is the real thing. banja luka is on the river vrbas and is the capital of the republika srpska. with somewhere around 200,000 residents, its not another little fairytale village; it's a pretty active city.

anyway, for those of you wondering what in the world i've been doing and if i'm ever going to return to california (yes i am), i posted updates for all of september and added a few to august for the 12th, 16th and 27th.