“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Augustine of Hippo
THE THIEF OF WISDOM
I am a thief of wisdom.
I journey the Grand Canyon
of many souls long gone
as their whispers float
through my cells and blood,
the thirsty mind
drinks the rain of ancient times.
If you offer to share
all that you have learned
you must know
I will take
all which will find its way
into the hungry heart of mine,
into the eye of light.
But even this thief of truths
will give thanks, even a smile,
sharing her plate with you,
tender fruits decorating its side.
I can’t even imagine who I would be without traveling. I’m not sure where I’d be if I couldn’t spread my wings and explore the skies of life. Countless paths, beautiful people, breathtaking sights, mesmerizing vistas, even enemies, made me into the soul I am today. I am so many stories shared with me, so many eyes viewing broad horizons, so many tongues speaking about their dreams, sunsets and even a few sunrises. At times, letting rain wash the weary spirit and renew the hunger for adventure, for the truth of the universe.
However, one doesn’t have to travel far to reap the benefits of exploration and discovery. Perhaps stepping outside one’s comfort zone, or meeting others half way and opening one’s heart to their story, is a journey to take; a journey to one’s inner self.
I have always been quite greedy about the direction of my journey once I could make a decision for myself. I wished to see as much as possible, hear as many legends and experiences, as many cultures as available for one to absorb. For the most part of my adult life I’ve been a seeker, a foreigner, a visitor, an outsider, a student of life. I’ve never fully belonged anywhere, as I was a constant traveler at heart. No place has been my home, yet, the whole world seemed to be generous in its offering and acceptance of my existence. I’ve tried to take as much in as my heart could hold and tried to share all I could for others to keep dear and perhaps with their imagination experience the same or even better.
However, not all sharing was taken with a seed of gratitude. I was at times misjudged to be arrogant if I knew too much about the outside world, and called a fool if I didn’t know enough about local customs. Was ridiculed for my accent or pronouncing foreign words correctly. Often dismissed or belittled for not fitting in people’s idea of what a woman or wife should be.
Deep inside I am a storyteller and even the unpleasant encounters, the dark roads of hopelessness, are part of life to speak about and accept them as such. For I know, people of substance don’t just happen. They travel, they study, they learn, they fall and they get up again. They understand with experience that others often judge because of their own fear, bitterness or ignorance. And although it takes discipline at times or perhaps acquired wisdom, there’s truth to Dr. Wayne W. Dyer’s quote:
“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”
And so, I might not fit, I might not even belong to one place, but I’ll take all those views the world offered me and with those I’ll journey on. My soul full, my mind questing, and my heart open a little wider because I saw many different ways of life. I saw suffering as well as dancing children in a meadow, enjoying the wet ground under their bare feet and laughing, reflecting hope in their eyes. Not all of them felt that they fit, but somehow they captured the essence of life, made their stories shine and be heard for others not to feel alone. That’s the power of storytelling.
I’m not one of naïve nature, but it would be a beautiful feat if we all could sit in a circle and share a plate of wisdom without judgment, decorated only with the ripe fruits of the world and stories to tell.
By Sharka Waite