It’s been 2 plus months since I’ve been States side, and it’s been nagging at me that I never finished writing about my journey. Truthfully, after Vipassana all I wanted to do was enjoy my present company, my present location and my own presence. Now, sitting at the current coronary aneurysm of our fair city’s highway system, the 110 and the 101, for 45 minutes I’ve decided that it’s time to reconnect with those traffic-less, open spaces.
Here among the persistent buzzing of idling motors, the thump, thump of neighboring bass, the occasional honk of pushy, unrelenting intrusion from one lane to the next, I pick up a thread of Melbourne, a beautiful small city in Southern Australia. It has the same heart beat. I insert the gorgeous overtones of trolleys and trams running from St. Kilda to Fitzroy, and I catch myself closing my eyes for a split second to dive into smoky alleyways covered in graffiti. Melbourne is a tough. Tattooed, beauty ringed in a smoky halo. I spend the day with new friends caressing her corners and crevices from Union Lane to the markets near Flinders Station. She’s made herself up in every color, and they mix in the shadows to make new shades.
I’m with my dear friend Sarah, whom I met just past the “noble speech is now permitted” barrier on the last day of Vipassana. We traveled south together 2 days later to explore the musical heart of Australia. Melbourne has a vibrant music scene, with live bands playing on every block, making a strangely harmonious, clamorous din. People here walk in rhythms and counter-rhythms that work with one another and make the inhabitants chill, happy and content. I’m only passing through. I’ve come here to meet with potential travel partners for a camping trip.
After a week in Melbourne, 4 of us take off down the Great Ocean Road, a wild piece of real estate, the object of a constant bidding war between the ocean and the cliffs. The current clan consists of myself, my friend Timothy James from England, whom I have dubbed “T-Jam” for his unnatural need for Tea and biscuits, which he will bravely go without for a week. (The Tea at least… there is no separating a boy from his biscuits.), the managerial minded, lovely, Lisa Liefert: German, and our stalwart captain Mario: also German. We’re motoring down towards Torquay, listening hard for the ocean.
The crashing waves take on a strange timbre, a little less swish and a little more buzz. Traffic is funneling onto the 101, and I have to move with it out of Nostalgia. More rush hour reveries to come…