I read your email with great enthusiasm, it was short, only one paragraph, two continents, Kilimanjaro and lions, leopards and a cheetah. So forgive me if it is all just too much to take in.
Kilimanjaro? Just crazy. I first read the Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Short Stories when I was living in Nanaimo in 1995. I have dreamed about it ever since. So, you went to the highest mountain in the world, then climbed the highest mountain on another continent. No big deal!
The safari sounded amazing. What a gorgeous array of large cats. It must have been thrilling. There you are in Africa. Africa, Heath. Good Gawd.
The last of your trip up to Goa, and then inland to see the three UNESCO sites sounded brilliant. The rock caves looked stunning.
And then that was it. On to another continent and new adventures! Did you suffer culture shock after leaving India and going to Africa? Your biggest culture shock will, of course, be when you come back here to all the spoiled, affluent, bored, unhappy people.
You already know this. But it seems as though you have reached a much higher plane of consciousness on this journey. How could you not? What you have been through as a family can never be known by anyone other than yourselves. An experience of such great learning and adventure. Difficult times, too. The stress you felt in many situations is the thing that makes most people stay home. Foreign countries with foreign languages writes about half of everyone off the list.
You guys had some harrowing adventures, from cockroaches, to epic train journeys, wildlife viewing, meditation and stimulation.
Your memories of that ashram will be forever burned into you, too. What a time you all had there.
The picture of Raven and Su beside the Sampan boat is amazing. They both look wiser, intrepid, travelled. Like they belong there. They looked more like tourists in earlier photos. Granted, the Sun has been on them longer and in the earlier photos you guys were all red-cheaked and cherub smiles, up in the Himalaya. Now you have ridden thousands of miles on trains and buses, crossing the better half of the Indian Subcontinent. You are all looking a bit Ewan and Charlie near the end of 'Long Way Round'.
Which is good. There is a distinct change in all of you that I can see immediately, even in photographs.
You are on a fast paced leg of the journey now, heading to Europe. I see that you are going to England and Scotland? I will be visiting there in September, so you will have to give me some info on Edinburgh and such. Are you taking the train up there from London?
Are you still thinking of going over to Amsterdam?
At least you will have sort of a halfway point of easing yourself back into North American culture. At least they still sit down and enjoy their coffee or tea, whereas here, there are fucking drive through windows for people to pick up their morning caffeine fix. If that isn't the meaning of North American car culture, I don't what is.
I know words cannot do it justice but how were the snows of Kilimanjaro? Did you hike it alone or did you all go? I take it the view from up there was alright?
Your blog is really quite amazing. ( http://castlegriffeyadventure.blogspot.ca/ ) The pictures are breathtaking, for chrissakes. The one of the owl is award winning, for sure. I feel as though I have taken the journey with you, in a way. When we were all travelling around in the 90s, the experience was much different. One would be lucky to get a phone call in the middle of the night or a letter that had taken 3 weeks to reach it's destination. Now, I can see and hear all that you have done and with style, no less.
The writing has improved markedly over the course of your absence. Both of you have discovered your stride and settled into an interesting prose. Su has found that place where she is more feeling and less thinking and you have fine tuned your narrative, making for a nicer, more streamlined body of words.
I sincerely hope that you continue with your writing, both of you, when you return home. As your attorney, I advise you.
Colbs and I have moved into a new place. Our other place was sold out from under us, so we moved a block away. It is a way better place, in every way. Less noise, more room, more fun. Seriously.
I am off for another month before I go back for season 9. I am making art, writing my web series, shooting another one and Jay's film trailer project, the Grade Nine piece I was telling you about, made it to the top 5 yesterday. Out of 91 films. http://www.cinecoup.com/gradeninemovie
Everyone worked so hard, and it has paid off. The man has vision. If he wins, it's a million bucks to make the actual film. So everyone is pretty excited.