Dear Sweet & Supportive Friends & Family,
It’s been 5 weeks since we left our cozy comfy home in clean California. We have seen and experienced so much that it is hard to put it in a package or comprehensive sentences, but we’ll do our best.
The lessons we’re learning are many and yet have a real subtle undertone. It’s like the contents underneath the sea are changing, but the surface layer still appears the same. In that way our conscious mind hasn’t completely caught up yet. The countries we are touring are confronting to the senses and confusing to our logic and knowns.
We just spent 7 days in Cambodia and it was a jarring roller coaster of emotions. Cambodia’s history is one of great ancient civilization juxtaposed with genocide and civil war. The amazing Angkor Temples are world renown, and so are the disturbing crimes of the Khemer Rouge & Pol Pot. We basically didn’t see any elderly people because nearly 3 million Cambodians were killed only 35 years ago. Ever heard of the killing fields? The country is slowly rebuilding its infrastructure however the scars of the past are visible on the people and children. The kids there work hard. They sell basically anything they can to the many tourist who come and go. The look in their eyes is flat lined, like the freedom of childhood was never theirs to have. It’s very sad and hard to witness.
Our friend, before we left, said to us, “You’re going to the countries people are trying to get out of.” It struck us because we hadn’t looked at it like that. But essentially 3rd world countries, namely India and Cambodia, are not exactly known for easy and luxurious vacations, let alone honeymoons.
These are places one’s spirit must be called to; whether it be for the history, culture, architecture, or mystery. They are not about comfort or beauty in the traditional & aesthetic sense. These countries jar you and poke you and demand your strength & patience. They are the quintessential ‘diamonds in the ruff.’ They break you open to show very clearly: history, humanity and your own ability to simply bear witness & to look without turning away.
It feels like we are being tested everyday, and the mantra “attitude is everything” literally echoes in the backdrop of every test. How much control or ‘illusion of control’ are we willing to let go of? How willing are we to accept EVERYTHING as it is, ALWAYS?! Can we really smile from our heart at the blessing of these lessons which are not logical, but absolutely magical and mystical?!!!!
God works in mysterious ways. Through our travels, He is continually reminding us that it’s not about “knowing” or “figuring it out”. Instead, it is simply about opening to what’s right in front of us NOW. This pure, raw, dusty moment. May 2013 be a big wide opening to what IS, as life is always unraveling.
All our Love,
Annie & Tyler