Extracts From My Journal – 2

Now that we have made the decision to leave the country, I’ve noticed that my experience of my surroundings has become intensified. I seem to be seeing deeper in to the beauty of things which in turn is creating a deeper sadness about leaving. Not easy. Sometimes I wonder if it isn’t a bit like that intensified seeing a terminally ill person develops as they prepare to leave this world? To say that sounds rather trite and insensitive, but dare I say there may just be a tiny spark of similarity. Is my leaving not an approaching death of some sorts? I would think so.

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About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
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54 Responses to Extracts From My Journal – 2

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Having moved across this country twice, I can say that I think I can understand the sadness of leaving something behind that, even if you visit, will be lost. Mixed emotions I would guess, since you do know where you are going.

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  2. It definitely is from my perspective. I know the feeling so well. It is not only about “graduation goggles” but really about part of us dying – while the rebirth is only a dim sight on the horizon.

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  3. Dear Don, Many blessings. I’ve always lived in the Midwest, USA, but have moved and started over a few times. We miss people, places, nature – even as new joys grow. When I was caring for my mother in her last illness, there was that intensity you speak of so well. It was hard at first to return to everyday life after she was called Home. Your readers will be with you as you journey. Take care, and my best to you and your family, Ellen

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  4. I totally get that Don. Suddenly you pay more attention because you will be leaving soon. It will be bitter/sweet, I’m sure: a grieving of what you are leaving behind and excitement for what lays ahead. ❀
    Diana xo

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  5. I remember just such a feeling as we prepared to leave Yorkshire to return to Cornwall after 40 years. There is a letting go as there is an intensity of seeing. Perhaps it is a need to keep those things dear to us closer and closer as we leave, be it leaving a place or indeed, life itself.
    I’ll be thinking of you as you both make your move and wishing you well. πŸ™‚

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    • Don says:

      Thank you for your kind words Sally. It is, as you say, a letting go, but it’s also in a strange a taking a taking with. Memory is such a treasured gift and there are scenes here that will always live with me, but I look forward with confidence and joy to a new adventure in life. As I said to Dan, I’m feeling strongly alive and I suppose that’s precisely what these kind of decisions do to one.

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  6. davecenker says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you Don. Although I have not moved from one country to another, I have moved from one part of a country to another, and I have felt the exact same thing. Heck, I have even felt that way when moving from an old house to a new one in the same town. We become accustomed and comfortable with our surroundings. We fail to appreciate them fully until the knowledge that they will not be as accessible becomes reality. And I suspect this feeling translates just as well from geographical moves as it does to the realm of relationships. Thank you for sharing and best wishes for new adventures in a new land πŸ˜‰

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    • Don says:

      Thanks Dave. You’re so right. Suddenly your appreciation of your surroundings reaches a new level. I suppose the secret is to experience those levels of appreciation without the event of moving on urging you in to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. nrhatch says:

    Not too surprising that there’s a bittersweet note to your pending move, Don. Humans tend to get attached to the known. Moreover, future plans and past recollections pale in comparison with this moment ~> which intensifies the connection.

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    • Don says:

      Yes, it’s quite amazing Nancy how an event like this helps in teaching you to live in the moment. On the one hand there’s the sense of loss and on the other the uncertainty that lies ahead. In the midst of all of that you have the present moment.

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  8. Bill says:

    I have never left the country on a move but have left the country on many occasions. Some trips longer than others. Those long ones were always more difficult. However, what is out their for you to wrap your arms around can be very rewarding and I am sure you will experience wonderful things as you get settled into your new adventure. Best wishes!

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  9. Susan Feniak says:

    It is never easy to move and leave behind friends, places or what you have grown accustomed or even attached to. Soon you will be closer to your family and the joy that brings. Anticipate finding that new “thinking spot” and new favorite places. Stay in touch. πŸ™‚

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  10. QueasyPeasy says:

    As one who has lived in, loved and left four countries that intensity of perception that one experiences when it is time to leave is real. The idea of seeing something ‘for the last time’ or simply noticing something for the first time despite having lived for so many years in its presence. My heart still aches when I think of the people and places I’ve left behind. My heart still soars when I think of the times ahead with new experiences and friendships waiting for us. Stay well Don πŸ™‚

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    • Don says:

      Linda, you’ve obviously had much experience around this. Thank you for your insight. I really value what you’ve said. I suppose it is always like a double edged sword, the aching and the soaring. Appreciate you sharing your experience.

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  11. Your feelings are valid Don and it is like a death. Suddenly you are awake to what is around you and an appreciation of life and its preciousness. This change will create space within you and lead you to discover more about life and yourself! πŸ™‚

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  12. Your mind and heart are opening, Don, to take in as much as you can of what you are leaving behind. Your perceptions become clearer in order to make an impression that will stay with you. In your mind and heart, you will be taking it all with you even though the physicality will remain behind.
    The sadness is natural, as it is when we leave but, as QueasyPeasy says, think of the times ahead too. When they come, you will have wonderful memories of now as well.

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    • Don says:

      When you think of it in that way Linda it makes it all so meaningful. The thought that the impressions become clearer in order to stay with you is such a valued one. Thank you.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Hi. I think this is exciting news and wish you all the best. When do you hope to leave. We have been in New Zealand since January – furniture, dog and all – and I am convinced we did the right thing. I wish everyone had the opportunity to at least be able to make the choice … we are blessed to have been in a position to do it because Leigh has duel citizenship and a post in the NZMC. much is the same as a ‘normal ‘move – finding a vet, a hairdresser etc., other things are different – but for me – positively different

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  14. Mary says:

    It is a way of saying goodbye, until we meet again – searing the sights into your memory. It is your way of parting and holding on.

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  15. calvin says:

    I looked at the world just now. Spun the globe on my finger tip. And I saw the juxtaposition your in. You really are going from a big blob to a tiny spot. Is it ‘heighten sensitivity in death’ or the beginning of a new life. If part is dying, it is good a new part comes to life. Both have there own itinerary -death and life.

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    • Don says:

      As I’ve always said Calvin, you have a wonderful way with words – “Both have their own itinerary -death and life.” Beautifully said, thank you.

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  16. ladyfi says:

    It’s the coming loss that intensifies everything…

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  17. Don, I think it’s good to grieve for the place you’re leaving. When I say goodbye to people, places, and even rooms I find that I’ve washed out space in my heart (with tears) for the new home. And I embrace newness all the more joyfully because my goodbyes were complete.

    Blessings on you both as you enter newness ~ Wendy ❀

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  18. It’s a very good comparison, Don. Dying…or leaving a beloved place…but with both you “see” deeply and with new appreciation, and then you will later open your hands and heart to welcome the next stage. Many blessings with your next step.

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  19. When I was preparing to move back to South Carolina last year after my four years in Texas, I couldn’t take enough pictures and I’m so glad I did! Whenever I get homesick, I can go back to my photo journals – you will have your sketchbooks!!
    We make our decisions with the facts we have at the moment, and that’s the best we can do. I will say I’ve been back to visit twice since I’ve been gone, and it’s fun to go back. People move on with their lives…sometimes easier than others.
    Bless your heart.

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    • Don says:

      I can understand that Sheila. I have a whole series of photos of where we live and I’ll certainly look after them and go through them. Thanks for sharing. Appreciate your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Darrel H says:

    I totally agree with this Don. Even leaving Hillcrest to move to the highveld I experienced that sadness and intensified emotion and observation. When do you leave for the UK? was it June?

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  21. Sorry I missed this earlier post. All change creates these weird vortices of yes and no. Our ego fires off alarm bells telling us what is familiar is good and right and we should never leave it. Meanwhile, our spirit is ready to launch on the next adventure. So we feel like two separate people walking around all day, both internally coming and going. We even do this with haircuts. Your hair never looks better than on the day you plan to cut it. So comfy is our cozy blanket of familiarity. How bold of you to lay it down and sweetly observe the beauty all around you, as you walk into your next story. I’ve moved many times and re-invented myself in many places. Dynamically, wonderfully, outrageously stressful and you are promised to never be the same again. Bon Voyage, my friend. Your hero’s journey has already begun.

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    • Don says:

      Thank you for your kind and inspiring words, Noelle. We too have moved many times, but never to another country. That’s a completely new experience for us.

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  22. Hariod Brawn says:

    I remember the English writer Dennis Potter saying, after hearing he had contracted a terminal illness, that when he looked out at the fruit trees in his garden, then he saw what he described as ‘the blossomest blossom’ – a lovely phrase, I thought.

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    • Don says:

      I think that’s absolutely beautiful Hariod. I remember someone, in a similar state, saying to me that when they looked at the colour “yellow” they had never seen yellow quite as yellow as that. It was like experiencing the colour yellow for the first time.

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  23. I was thinking of your adventure today. I have a colleague who has lived here in the States for about a decade. He came from the Ivory Coast. He had never seen snow. We got to talking about his first time. How completely disorienting it was for he and his family. It was as if the sky was falling. He laughed and talked a lot about the adjustment. That the first year was nothing but surprises and he wondered if they’d ever settle in or fit in. Now he drives all wheel drive and he’s a pro in the snow. He talked about how he brings all of this newness back with him when he sees family and that when they come to visit he realizes he’s opened a door that never existed for the entire lineage of his family. It was such a powerful conversation. I loved his image of opening up a path for his family that had never existed before. You are, too. Such wild, crazy miracles are coming your way, my friend.

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    • Don says:

      Thank you for this Noelle. Very inspiring. It’s quite something to take things for granted, something like snow for instance, unaware of the fact that there are those who perhaps have never seen it in their lives before.

      “he’s opened a door that never existed for the entire lineage of his family.” I too just love this expression Noelle and it certainly relates to where we are at this moment.

      “Wild and crazy miracles coming our way” – I like that.
      Thank you for your thoughts – they are much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Take for granted, yes. I work in a hospital on the top floor. My colleague, as he spoke, looked up and pointed at the ceiling as if he was seeing the snow again. You should’ve seen his face. I’m sure that the first few years were often a huge struggle, but there was not a trace of the wear and tear on him at all. Just the wonder of what he’d experienced so far. That is a spirit I hope to carry with me every day.

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      • Don says:

        I suppose that’s the power of wonderment, Noelle. πŸ™‚

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