Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tibet Here We Come

on the road again
I’m back. The saddle is cold. But I hope I can get the old nag kicking again as I take off on an other adventure to  expand my soul and freshen up a tattered spirit. I long for distance, peace and simplicity. I need “disafios” or challenges even though I’m sort of between ridiculous and reasonable at age 72 turning soon to 73. I don’t feel that old, thanks to relentless classes in gyrotonics and aerial yoga and daily walks (when possible) along the Mississippi. I’m still vegetarian but I did eat a hotdog at Fenwick Park last summer when my daughter Tasha and I went to a Red Sox ballgame while visiting Boston for the World Association of Flower Arrangers extravaganza. (I was a judge).  Sometimes you have to go with the flow.
I’m consumed with being chairman of 21 Foster Care Review Boards for Memphis-Shelby County Juvenile Court, trying to get 1300 youth out of the Foster Care system and into safe and loving homes. With 170 volunteer angels and a huge transformation in the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services staff under the caring Commissioner O’Day and her staff, we are rocking toward my goal of eliminating that horrid statistic that 80 per cent of the kids who come through Foster Care end up in prison or homeless.  It’s going to be hard to take three and a half weeks off. But I need not only a break but a complete change of environment. Through leaping into other cultures feet first the mind moves, the heart bursts, and one understands the power of faith.  
The task this time is to travel to Tibet in order to reach the base camp of Mt. Everest on the China side and to visit the Potaka Palace (which reminds me of Shangri La) and then get out of my comfort zone by trekking around the very holy mountain of Mt. Kailas in a remote region of Tibet.  I will be one of many pilgrims, but I’ll be a Christian one and the struggle will be to wake up my own soul and travel on the wheels of prayer.
My incredible guide again will be Jim Williams (who has taken all sorts of people up almost every kind of mountain there is) and the sherpa from my previous trek to Mt. Everest base camp on the Nepal side when we hung prayer flags made by school children and girls in prison back in 2008.  I have never removed the protective red string tied on my neck by a very special lama who blesses all climbers on route to Everest. I wear that and pearls. 
If you have nothing else better to do, maybe you will come along on this spiritual journey with me at least through the blog. It makes me feel better if I can share the experiences, give laughter, and encourage others to attempts to do what seems the impossible. As a servant of Jesus Christ, I identify myself with this quote from the Episcopal Bishop of North Carolina, Michael Curry:
Prayer Flag artists
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who actually do. Jesus was Crazy and said, ‘Follow me and be crazy’ - crazy enough to love when it is easier to hate, to forgive when you really don’t want to, to care when it is easier to care less.” And I might add, to never give up when the easy becomes hard.
 I believe in the impossible and often attempt to do that, in love, in work, and in adventure. Whether it is rappelling down a 300 foot water fall in Costa Rica, zipping across a forest 500 feet high on a metal rope, or fighting breast cancer and other fatal diseases, or trying to convince youth with no hope that they can get their dreams if they just have them,  I believe in the human ability to win even while we lose. So come with me on this journey. This time I carry prayer flags made by the lower school of St. Mary’s Episcopal School. And pray.  God bless.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Best of luck from your friends at Hotel Bel-Air!!!!