• Gina Dang


Updated: Oct 14, 2019

Why can’t I have what I want, when I want it, exactly how I want it?

I asked this question aloud, scouring an aisle of notebooks at an office supply store. A pocket-sized, non-ruled, paper-bound journal was nowhere to be found. I sought something transportable, I could not estimate how many I would fill, and I needed to carry them all back home, which right about then I began to miss. In the growing hours of distance, I managed to coax the demise of a relationship, potentially transmit an illness to someone dear, and fall in love. Ill-equipped to handle the torrent of such terminal experiences, perhaps it was best I left.

I exited without a journal because loose paper and napkins would suffice. It brings comfort, the ink-on-fiber imprints, a reversal akin to the way tissue stretches to heal over ink. Freshly cut rivers of jet black create interlocking mechanisms to the labyrinthine dimensions of my mind. I can hand it to you to wipe up the crumbs and debris of my lost dreams. Most of them I will set ablaze as the coordinates encoded in my written intentions shift and no longer describe the best passages to traverse.

A few days later, my friend gave me a pocket-sized, refillable, leather-bound journal on the fly. This has happened enough times, getting what I want, with some patience, even better than how I want it, so I began to trust in the passing of phenomena.

I also began to trust in my integrity of feeling and thought. I filter less because every place and every interaction takes place on a stage, where I am most at peace because even my shadows serve a purpose as evidence of my presence, light to whatever dark that follows. I learned how much I crave the eye-widening effect of green space, how much I appreciate the sweet taste of rain, and how quickly sadness and acceptance trails new romance in its sobering effect.

The Goal: Write consistently every day and perform (recite, act, dance, facilitate, etc.) something tangible during my three-week stay in each location.

Can I now marry my patience with my passion? Yes, I can. And I do.

“It’s exciting. It’s scary. It’s okay,” I repeat to the friends I meet who are curious about the how and why. I travel on my debt, but not the financial kind. The trade-off to living with material freedom is spiritual responsibility, so that the debt I incur does not deter me so much as the debt I inherited drives me onward. It’s okay, I am figuring out what that means too.

My friends and I are in it for the slow burn. Shovel by shovel, digging fire pits, seed by seed, planting futures, hour by hour, savoring the herbs of the roast wafting through us, so that line by line, we exchange the stories that give us reason for it all.

We want more than this. Fortunately, the path to the success of our endeavors winds much like the plot of a good novel or a good trip, most times the access we want and the messages we need arrive on much later pages and further distances from our initial point of departure. When the moment comes, the sheer weight of our gratitude makes us hover in the moment, aware of how satisfaction washes into the crevices of our hearts and soothes the length of our spines. I want more than this, but today I have ink on fiber and light on a screen, enough for as long as it takes to achieve what I want, with patience, better than how I want it.

Ms. Gina Dang of Freedom Crow Healing feeding a squirrel friend at the Oregon Lava Lands

#patience #FCTrail #writing #travel

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