June 24, 2010

I am surrounded by animals on a daily basis, mostly by birds. The Bird Hotel gives me the pleasure to meet many of my beautiful feathered friends in my own house.   

Looking back, though, in my life I had several encounters with a variety of different species. Sometimes just for one specific purpose like providing transportation, needed at one particular moment and other times they came into my life for other reasons.

Throughout the book in different Chapters, you’ll find selected references to these encounters. Today I stick with some of the sturdy animals I have had the pleasure with on my travels in Egypt.  

The camel :     


In[w]hale – ex[w]hale

June 17, 2010

Last week I spoke about the bear tracks in Alaska. This week I go back to my times in Mexico.

Chapter 21, titled “The Spiritual r[E]volution”, talks about my time in Guadalajara, Mexico. We spent many weekends in Puerto Vallarta for sun, fun and beer on the beach.  One New Year’s we spent several days savoring the intense sunshine and we also decided to see the whales. A big party Yacht took us out to the open sea. There they had little sea kayaks. I took one and went out to explore the ocean.  

It was all nice and relaxed when suddenly I felt a surge of water coming at me and saw a huge shadow swimming by only inches beneath the water’s surface. I was worried. This was a shadow of the size of a small island. The surge turned into full blown waves, the kayak bounced around in the ocean like rubber duck in the bathtub. I inhaled and watched the eerie shadows in silence– seconds later, I was sprayed by a shower of water from a jet as high as six feet, leaving me soaking wet: a whale had exhaled! I had the front row seat to see the spectacle of a family of  whales crossing my waterway. It was exhilarating and scary; my little wobbly sea kayak against the biggest marine mammals in existence. That moment I felt small and insignificant. The family passed by, pushing forward the waves they created with their huge bodies propelled by the incredible tail fins. I was privileged to be at the right time at the right place to have seen this so close by.

Unfortunately this picture only captures the aftermath of the experience.

Bear tracks

June 10, 2010

I am currently working on the third round of editing of  “To Drink the Wild Air”. I feel like I am under pressure to finish up. Fortunately this process cannot be rushed. Quality takes time. However, when I edited one of the Alaska Chapters I felt like giving the text some life. Here is a little excerpt of the Chapter with a couple of pictures.   


                                    Alaskan Journal, Part 3: No Peace without Faith

Life is a constant process of relating.

~ Bruce Lee ~

Another amazing day…. I took a short, thirty-minute “flight seeing” trip from Gustavus to Haines, Alaska, crossing the fjords and glacial lakes below; and from above, I was able to spot and follow a herd of wandering moose. Once we landed in Haines, I rented a car and drove up the Alaska Highway, crossing the Canadian Yukon Territory to get to Haines Junction. I stopped for a hike in the Kluane National Park, and after registering at the ranger’s station, off I went alone into bear country.

It was a breathtaking, five-mile, steep, upward climb in every sense of the word. Untouched wilderness surrounded me as I hiked, and though it was summer, it was cool enough for me to see my breath steaming from my nostrils…when suddenly, my path intersected the path of huge, fresh bear tracks! The imprints in the sand of this massive bear’s paw made my feet, protected by sturdy hiking boots, look like the print of a miniature action figure in comparison.     I stayed still and listened for rummaging noises in the bushes, keeping all my senses sharpened. Up there at the heights where mountain goats scamper across the rocky cliffs, where bald eagles circle and bear mystics meditate, I sat down on an old, gnarled tree trunk and read Jack London’s The Call of the Wild. I looked up into the sun, following the sounds of the ravens, and started drifting off once again into the little private world of my own thoughts.

            I think I need to get out. No…I know I need to get out. Out of my current job and out of the Company, I mean. Having all this time to be alone, in nature, without having to be at the beck and call of the freaking Company is showing me just how far gone I’ve really been and how much I already was suffering on the inside. I am at the breaking point, and I know it. I don’t know how much more I can really tolerate. I am not sure if it is possible for me to pull myself together again to keep my head down, continue to work, and just ignore my inner urge to revolt. Already the mere suggestion of this course of action feels like a brutal self-betrayal. I’m not sure I’m ready to jump ship tomorrow, but I can feel it’s not far off, and sooner or later I’ll have to deal with that.


June 4, 2010

Dear readers,

I will skip this week because I have too much going on.

The stories will continue next Thursday.