To Your Adventurous 2010

prayer flags in tibet

“With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow – I have still joy in the midst of these things. Riches and honors acquired by unrighteousness are to me as a floating cloud.” Confucius

Before we began our Asian tandem bicycle adventure, I read Confucian quotes and often couldn’t relate.  This I chalked up to lack of depth on my part, and perhaps the enigmatic (to us) nature of Eastern thought.

Muddling my way through jet lag on our return, and as one friend opined, postpartum depression at the end of another adventure, I pondered the above Confucianism anew, and discovered I suddenly understood. Oh, I had known the surface meaning, from earlier adventures involving discomfort, danger, but not the full depth of his thought. I suddenly noticed that he says, “…have still joy…”  not “…still have joy…” as I had first read it. His meaning was hidden from me until I had eaten enough coarse rice, drank enough wood smoke infused water and slept sufficient times with my bended arm for a pillow.

To have a still joy, a quiet joy, a joy devoid of external condition, of riches or renown, is to have a profound joy, a lasting joy. I will look back on the past four months for as many years as I have left. I will remember the struggles, the discomforts, the challenge of the unknown, even the moments of  near panic, and I will smile. Confucius traveled China, seeking knowledge, seeking deep understanding. And Claire and I did also.

On this blog we have shared the light moments as well as the challenges and discomforts. I hope in coming months, as we integrate the lessons learned and share them, that you will be enriched through our seeking. And then I hope some of you will open a new path for learning, and seek out the adventure that fits your nature and capabilities. We all have the desire to continue to grow, to explore the previously unknown, no matter our age or condition in life. To suppress that desire is to suffer loss.

Here’s to your adventurous 2010, and beyond.

Happy New Year


To Your Adventurous 2010 — 4 Comments

  1. You must be happy being home. It’s New Year’s Eve and I’ve finally wound down enough to catch up on some of the sites that I’ve not visited for several days. How wonderful to read your comments and to see your Nippon video! We’ve all enjoyed following along during your trial, tribulations and triumphs. We are not worthy…

    After you’ve had a chance to wind down, please write a nice long recap of your trip for the readers of We’ve all been watching you and keeping up on your regular reports, but now we’d like to know what you think, looking back, about your experiences.

    Just remember, on your trip to Alaska, you always have a place to stay in Oregon…

  2. John and Sharon,
    I’ll get to work on the recap as soon as we dance in 2010 tonight, do our favorite things tomorrow (a tradition of ours) and settle in for a short, hopefully productive, winter. We are planning on boondocking in your driveway on our way north!

  3. We look forward to both your recap article on JOO and your visit to our humble manse later in the year. Let us know far enough in advance so that we can move our logging truck, snowplow, and hearse out of the driveway to make room for your camper. Hopefully we will have walls and floors inside the house by then (more to come on this subject later).

    Enjoy your New Year’s Day (we spent the morning in bed watching the Rose Parade from beginning to end for the first time in ten years). We’ll probably watch the Rose Bowl game (Go Ducks!) and then hit the sack early so that we too can have a productive winter.

    Let’s hear it for productivity!!!