Travel Tales 

Laptop malfunctions and some travelling has pushed me offline of late. This post comes started from a tablet (awkward to type) in an airport stop over in South East Asia.

But what bountiful fodder for musings is travel?! No wonder writers , musicians and artists have written, sung and painted from postings far afield, aboard trains, caravans, boats and from mountain tops, desserts and villages.

My travels have taken me to Vietnam and Laos – countries rich with history, narrative and art.
I can’t help but share here my thoughts in coming days.

The Treasure

This Hasidic Jewish story is said to be inspiration for Paulo Coelho’s famous tale “The Alchemist.

Claimed by the self-help movement, Coelho’s novel outlines how desire and the universe conspire to aid the wanderer and their goals. Moreover, the journey away from home is necessary to discover the treasure that lies within.

 

alchemist 2

_________________________________________________________________

The Treasure under the Bridge

adapted by Gedaliah Fleer

from the stories of Rebbe Nachman

There was once a poor, G-d fearing Jew who lived in the city of Prague. One night he dreamt that he should journey to Vienna. There, at the base of a bridge leading to the King’s palace, he would find a buried treasure.

alchemist

Night after night the dream recurred until, leaving his family behind, he traveled to Vienna to claim his fortune. The bridge, however, was heavily guarded. The watchful eyes of the King’s soldiers afforded little opportunity to retrieve the treasure. Every day the poor Jew spent hours pacing back and forth across the bridge waiting for his chance.

After two weeks time one of the guards grabbed him by the lapels of his coat and demanded gruffly, “Jew! What are you plotting? Why do you keep returning to this place day after, day?” Frustrated and anxious, he blurted out the story of his dream. When he finished, the soldier, who had been containing his mirth, broke into uncontrollable laughter.

The poor Jew looked on in astonishment, not knowing what to make of the man’s attitude. Finally, the King’s guard caught his breath. He stopped laughing long enough to say, “What a foolish Jew you are believing in dreams. Why, if I let my life be guided by visions, I would be well on my way to the city of Prague. For just last night I dreamt that a poor Jew in that city has, buried in his cellar, a treasure which awaits discovery.”

The poor Jew returned home. He dug in his cellar and found the fortune. Upon reflection he thought, the treasure was always in my.possession. Yet, I had to travel to Vienna to know of its existence.

So too, in our time, many spiritually impoverished Jews travel in search… finally returning to Judaism to claim what was always their own.

alchemist 1

You can read more tales like this at Hasidic Stories.

Bear Skin goes to New Zealand

Hello all from the Land of the Long White Cloud.

Jennifer from Bear Skin,  this week week has been fortunate enough to have had some time travelling around the South Island of New Zealand with her best mate Tamlyn. As a Tokein fan, this trip is exciting beyond words.

Mountains, snow, white water rivers, gorges, mysterious forrests, wide plains – New Zealand has it all.

I fully recommend any lover of literature and story to travel to the scenes of stories they love and re-imagine it all again.

Travel Narrative

It’s curious that traveling can stimulate the imagination.  For centuries, writers have used road trips or journeys to bring up deep emotions and thoughts, much the way a brisk walk might stimulate the heart.

city scape

There seems to be a definite parallel between the journey one makes across land and the journey one makes into ones own heart. One experiences life differently while traveling.  It’s like an exercise in relativity: ones experience of time is relative to the speed one is moving.

magic

An earlier post examined the relativity of time in narrative. Stories take us out of time into another world, sending us on a journey into our own hearts to be deeply changed.

hiker 2

This for me is why stories are spiritual experiences and should be treasured and should be taken very seriously.