:Misty:Posted: August 11, 2014 Filed under: Meditation, Yoga | Tags: Afghanistan, blogging, compassion, family, fitness, free range, freshly pressed, gluten free, gratitude, Gravel Worlds, happiness, health, life, love, lululemon, marathon, meditation, motivation, musings, natural, nature, Omaha, paleo, passion, perspective, pilates, running, simplicity, trail running, Travel, walking, writing 10 Comments
I’m grateful for what you’ve done—and I’m ungrateful for what you haven’t done. A cup half full of coffee is also half full of sleep-
A little over 8 years ago, I traveled and worked in the Middle East and Southwest Asia for two years. I was miserable, unhappy, and I spent a vast amount of time alone, worrying about what the future had in store for me.
Travelling around Afghanistan and parts of western Pakistan had a profound effect on me. I befriended a local man on the Pakistan border named Ajiphan, we were close in age and shared many similarities in life. I feel in love with his country. However, Ajiphans life was a daily struggle of survival for him and his family – Will there be enough food and water to make it through the day, shelter at night and fuel to warm themselves during the harsh winter months.
When I returned home to Nebraska, I felt as though I had a completely new perspective on life. I felt incredibly lucky to live in a part of the world where life is easy, where even the poorest folks seemed wealthy when viewed from my perspective. After witnessing many beautiful people struggling with the basics of life, I felt incredibly lucky to be healthy, a roof over our heads and not having to worry about what will be for dinner. Looking back now I remember saying to myself when I arrived home, “‘My days of complaining about trivial things in life are over … ”
Of course it didn’t last. My appreciative frame of mind lingered for a few weeks, then slowly I began to take my situation for granted, and returned to the same state of unhappiness and dissatisfaction as before. Instead of “waking up” to the reality of the our phenomenal world and of life’s situations? Bitching and moaning (for me) was easier.
My Son and I watched Big Trouble in Little China over the weekend, a favorite movie of mine and Ajiphans. We watched this movie no fewer than a dozen times on my computer, which was powered by a generator. Sitting in a warm shelter, snacking on naan-e afghani, while enjoying a cup of black tea. I genuinely miss his companionship, and everything he taught me about this “thing” called life. Be well my friend, I miss you.
xxx that has really touched me xxx thank you for sharing.
I miss him more each and every day … May your heart be filled with kindness this beautiful morning, take care 🙂
What a beautiful tribute to a friend. We are off to the BWCA, hoping to reconnect with that which is simple again. Simple but not easy. 🙂
Travel safe my friend 🙂
It’s so wonderful you got to have that experience.
A long time ago I had a relationship with a man who was a Marxist, always talking about revolution and 3rd world countries, yet he lived quite a cush life in San Francisco. I left there and moved to the Navajo reservation, where once you cross the cattle guard you are in a third world country. Many don’t speak English, many don’t have running water or electricity. The poverty there is appalling as it is on many Native American reservations.
And yes, it makes you appreciate the simple things.
The Pine Ridge Indian reservation near Whiteclay, NE serves as a chilling reminder to me personally, on a deep and profound level, just how “easy” we live our daily lives. How sanctimonious of me to say that? Typing away, drinking coffee with no struggles to speak of … I have of late, been having a hard time accepting where we are as a society, and I don’t know what to do … Be well today my friend 🙂
I don’t feel you are being “sanctimonious”. I feel you are a very sensitive, empathic, caring man. Please have heart as the world is in the midst of a very deep and profound shift and you will soon see a world that reflects your values. It looks grim now as the dirt is rising to the surface as it is being washed away.
I miss my friend, a friend who helped me immensely on my journey to becoming who I really am …