THe glory of a story
Thoughts and threads of passion and experience that have woven the fabric I call my life. Sharing experiences, memories and ideas so that they are out in the world for you to find when the time is right.
THe glory of a story
We started our last morning in Otranto with another sunrise. On the way down to the sea we came across a snail edging along the sidewalk. Cecil picked him up and took him down to the water with us. Spiritually and symbolically speaking, the snail symbolizes steady footing and stability. They carry their homes upon their backs which is symbolic of carrying our security in our hearts. Not only sure of foot snails are also symbols of slow and steady progress. Stability and success do not appear overnight. Rather, success usually comes at a snail's pace.
The snail shell symbolizes the perfection of nature’s creativity, which is also echoed in mathematical fractals (repeated patterns). The spiral shape of the snail shell is symbolic of the labyrinth. Interesting at this time in our lives.
The orange tabby cat that lives here at the resort came down to the water with us that last morning as well. He's been our companion on a few of our early morning ventures. I hope he finds others to accompany when we depart.
On our way back to the apartment we came across another snail going the opposite direction. Hmmmm.
We returned to the apartment to clean it up and get on our way, ensuring that we'd allow more time to make our way to Brindisi and our next challenge, which was to find our way to the rental drop off and get our train to Rome.
Following the route laid out by the GPS, we made our way though and around lazy little towns in the hot, dry sometimes barren southeast corner of Italy. We arrived at Brindisi with plenty of time to kill, so we made our way to the Roman Archaeological museum, near the port. We didn't' realize that it was so close to closing for siesta, but they were good enough to let us in, and allow us the time that we wanted to look over the artifacts, many dating back to BC. It was an amazing opportunity to explore our known histories beginning.
Finishing at the museum, we made our way to the train station and the Maggiore car rental, to drop of the little fiat 500. We got our bearings and headed out to find a place to grab a bite to eat. We ended up at the only pizzeria that we could find open at that time of day. Not sure what some of the ingredients listed were, and both feeling too tired to be too adventurous, we settled on Hawaiian pizza...who'd have thought...in Italy! I am sure that the Italians just cringe when that is ordered, but I was longing for a taste from home. It was only the third pizza we'd had here, but by far my favorite...with a lite covering of ham, fresh pineapple and a hint of curry.
Upon finishing, we headed to drop the car of and begin the long wait at the train station, for our train to Rome that wasn't scheduled to leave until 17:13. Luckily there was no end to the people to watch around, as we put in the next couple of hours. I will admit though, in the time we were waiting, we both found ourselves feeling vulnerable for the first time since our arrival (well, other than at the hands of the crazy cabby on the way to Maratea). As we put in the hours waiting, there were a couple of fellows that seemed to be hanging around the station just watching for opportunity, rather than a connection or a person to pick up. It was just our intuition, but we both felt our radar on high alert with them. Luckily it wasn't a feeling we experienced again on our travels. I was glad when the train finally arrived, and we headed off.
I have had time to do a lot of thinking and planning here, and focusing on my own passions, developing ideas in my head to keep moving them along...knowing full well that is not up to me, but I can still do all I can do for my part.
With every sweet-spot exercise I have done while working with Mark McGregor , my sweet-spot always comes back to travel and writing...travel-writer. So I have begun to ask myself why I am not doing that right now? I travel, I take the pictures that capture my eye, I see places others too must long to see...so my responsibility is to just do what I dream to do, and the rest will unfold as it should. Thus this blog began, and will continue long after I return home. I have thousands of pictures from trips I have taken, places I've been, that all fall into my passions...now I must take the necessary action.
It's up to each of us to take the steps that our intuition tells us we must take to move closer to our dreams. That is why we have that extra sense tugging at our hearts. Thus, I must follow mine. If I do not, I am a fraud, and should not be doing the work I aspire to do. I must live that, not just recommend it to those I support.
After a quiet afternoon we headed into town for a bottle of wine for our sunset routine, and a tomato to finish of the other food we have here at the apartment before we headed to Brindisi, and on to Rome the next day. We got back in time to head down to the beach with wine and chips...a very healthy appetizer, and watched an uneventful sunset. The sunrises are the eye catcher on this side of the country, but the routine of going to the water to check out the sunset is still a nice way to end the day.
As a Passion Test Facilitator, I have been bugging Cecil for days to start thinking about his own passions, so last night on the beach, I started asking him the "when my life is ideal I am" questions.
It was a slow process, but he eventually came up with 10, then I took him through the system that narrowed it down to 5 and recorded them. It was hard for him to do, as his head kept telling him what he thought he should say, but I kept pushing him to respond to what his heart desired. when it was all said and done, he actually did feel good about the top 5, and saw how the others could be worked in as markers. Whether he gets to the point of doing his markers or not is yet to be seen, we'll push more on that when we have a pen and paper and not just my iphone, but it was a good start. It was good also that his passions ended up being quite in line with my own. A few variations, but for the most part, pretty darn close. Close enough, I know that we can both pursue what we are most passionate about and still live our lives in harmony together.
We'd set the clock for 6am the next morning, and headed down to catch the sunrise. That day we got a spectacular view, as the clouds gave way to the glory of the eastern rising. We enjoyed it thoroughly, wondering why we didn't make this a part of our day to day life, rather than a rare occasion in a distant land. It was breathtaking and much more enjoyable because we'd remembered to take our towels and sweaters.
The plan for the day was to explore Otranto. We'd been lost in the town a couple of times, but never really seen too much of it. Over morning coffee, I had read through the brochure that was given to us when we checked into the hotel, and decided to make sure that we saw both the remains of the castle as well as the Cathedral.
We parked a few blocks away and were there in good time, prior to 9am. The streets were relatively calm, with many shops not yet even open as we began to explore the seaboard and the streets leading up to it. We continued to make our way along the marina wall until we found the outer shell of the castle.
Once inside, it was like we'd walked into an entirely different town! The streets became even narrower, lined with shop upon shop selling all manner of souvenirs, jewelry, shoes, clothing, pastas and breads. There was little you couldn't find there, although many of the restaurants and shops were still closed.
We walked to the end of the castle walls, then made our way back, stopping to check a few of the many shops for souvenir ideas, and local crafts. Pottery is a huge thing in the area, and many of the shops had walls and walls of cute chubby little pottery people, dressed in every kind of apparel. They were adorable, and several caught my eye, but the worry about how to get them home with out having them shatter convinced me to leave them where they were.
After finishing most of the first street's sites, we took a walk upward, on another narrow winding street, not knowing where it lead, but curious to continue exploring.
Half way up or so, we realized that we had found the Cathedral that I'd read about. We entered in, and found ourselves in a beautiful ancient structure. There wasn't a clear indication as to when it was built, but the Pantaleone Mosaic on the cathedral floor was to have been done by a monk from the Abbey of San Nicola di Casole between 1163 and 1166. His artistry depicted life of all kinds from that period, both mythological and real, as the floor was covered completely with symbols, animals, humans and what is likely the 'Tree of Life'. How painstakingly patient he must have been to place the tens of thousands of tiny tiles in their position as he created the artwork that remains today.
When the Turks attacked Ontranto on August 14, 1480, many women and children took refuge in the Cathedral we stood in, but history tells that in the end the sanctuary was invaded, and most were killed. Over 800 people died trying to defend the town from the invasion, and in one small room on the right side of the church, glass cases house the bones and skulls of many of the murdered people, the men, women and the children. It's a chilling reminder to all of the brutality of war.
There is an eeriness to spending time in such a place, as you think about the horror of their deaths, the lives unlived, the centuries between then and now. This is but one reminder of atrocities that have been committed when men pit themselves against men. You can't help but think about how the spirits of those who died live on in the history and architecture of this town, and so many other ancient towns like it. It's a reminder of the shortness of life...both theirs and our own. It makes you want to grab onto life with both hands and hold on tight, as all to soon it will be over.
I was left wondering how many dreams were sealed behind the glass with the bones of the dead. Then I had to ask myself what dreams have I put behind glass, not allowing them to breath and come to life. How long will I leave them there stagnant and protected, before I realize that the days are long, but the years are short, and the clock continues to tick.
What dreams do you have tucked behind glass yourself? When will you take them out, dust them off and bring them to life?
It may seem strange that I have a second blog on this website. I want to take a moment to explain it to you if I may.
A big part of what I do is helping people to figure out what their top passions are, and then on a daily basis, find ways to live those passions. I want people to know what makes them happy, and to find ways daily to be able to live their joy. That brings me joy!
I decided that one of the best ways for me to keep encouraging people, is to live by example. With that, I spent the time necessary to clarify my own passions, and have my markers in place, and I realize more and more everyday the things that I am passionate about that truly bring me happiness!
This area of the website allows me to express the things I am most passionate about, by sharing things I am doing, and the things that I have done in the past, things I still dream of and work towards doing. It's a place for me to share my experiences and the magic that has happened in my life to bring my passions closer to me, and the steps I take to keep moving closer to the passionate life that is mine for the taking!
My hope is that in opening up my world a little, those sharing this journey with me will see ways of moving forward towards their own dreams. Finding ways to share the things they are passionate about, that bring them joy, that make life meaningful. There is magic in sharing our stories with each other. They can give people hope, permission, encouragement. It's important to help others to know that even after the worst of times, there can be a light at the end of some very dark tunnels, and life will move forward and get better. Know that, journey with me as we all embrace that things that bring us the most joy and happiness!
Welcome to My Passionate Life!
The Passion Test supports you to live your life more passionately, creating the life you dream of, doing the things you love!