(Bautista, Personal Photograph of Mutianyu, The Great Wall, Beijing China, August 2013)
I’m fascinated by the in-betweeness of it all… the splendid greys of life…
Last summer I walked the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China and each step reminded me of something I wrote a while back but just a second… I always imagined myself walking the Great Wall one day and when the moment was placed before me, I made sure to pay attention to it… and now, in hindsight… it was the journey that brought me before the Wall — the sacrifice and the risk and the patience and the fear— all of it was awesome necessity – necessary awesomeness … the life in between…
Here’s a timely piece from about 10 years ago ….
Found in MID-AIR
Life is neither here nor there.
I arrive at this page often, a lifetime of waiting and wading.
In my hands, I have the gift of choice, my volition, to act or not act, to risk or not risk.
I believe that without thought then life is placed here.
I believe that without risk then life is placed there.
Balance creates buoyancy in my being.
I am neither above nor below.
I am flying while living stationary.
Contemplation is truth.
Contemplation swirls the simple with the complex.
Contemplation is life and my life is neither here nor there.
I sit at the cross-roads of self and other wondering where it is I should be headed.
I feel unsure of what is to come
And yet sure in knowing that right now my future will not replace my past.
In fact, they co-exist, they interconnect, and they intertwine.
One is the other.
As I ponder my trodden path,
I remember the footsteps—
happiness, shame, joy, guilt, knowledge, freedom, imprisonment, cowardice, bravery
—all the emotions of growth,
Both spiritual and physical,
Both sacred and beloved,
True growth of self(ves).
These footsteps encompass all lived moments for what they truly are;
They are my experiences.
And though I want the path ahead to be less tiresome, and painful,
In making such a wish,
I delude myself
I do not truly live.
And my life is neither here nor there.
I must travel through hidden passages, tests of patience, challenges of the heart,
Hours of darkness, moments of light, minutes of silence, words of renewal,
storms of ambiguity—
Knowing full well that the scope of my path does not matter.
I travel with few belongings
And some books packed with my nomadic wanderings.
All are always tucked neatly in my satchel.
When I wonder and wander,
I listen to both inner and outer voices.
I wonder about my collective thoughts
I take note of repeated plights and shallow complaints,
Hollow perceptions of what my life should be.
I want to shout “Life is neither here nor there!”
As I scribble these notes to myself, I resume my travels.
There is a story in these words winding its way to the light
As I wind my way through the catacombs of self(ves).
All travels are of time and tide.
I travel through many places searching desperately
Life is neither here nor there and I want you to know
I harbour no secret agenda in my words and thoughts.
I simply believe
Life is MID-AIR.
(Bautista January 2003)