They gave me this drug once. It was called “adventure”. It was injected, a bite, into my brain and filled every cortex, every lobe, every bit of matter. It choked me. It changed me.
This is your brain on adventure. This is your brain when you’re lost in the world.
There’s no seeing the sunrise.
You smell the sunrise. It brings you back to life like a blade of grass woken by the morning dew. Your insides are stroked by the gentle graze of air when you open your arms wide to hug the world’s intangible breath. And you do hold it, the Earth’s elusive exhale, when you close your eyes on top of a peak and let the wind blow you away. Whether an old relic becomes shiny and new again because you see it for the first time or whether your mind is lost in the sunset playing on a never-ending sea, a sigh fills a gap in your lungs you didn’t know was there.
Your memories, they’ll reek of monsoon. Breath in.
This is you smelling the world.
There’s no just watching a mass.
You taste religion that is not your own and let new ways of being dance across your tongue. You swallow, if only for a moment, your own. You let your beliefs be nursed in the arms of your faith. Her arms are strong. She will not let it go.
You allow yourself to leap into a boundless, unfamiliar script. This is you as tabula rasa.
You; a blank slate.
You devouring the beauty of novel devotion in a way unfamiliar to you. You let it scroll across your body, tattooing a translucent cursive across your skin. You enjoy the serenity and clarity that comes with a mind focused purely on prayer, in meditation, on a pot boiling, on rice cooking, on a child playing, on a word you seek only to understand.
You know there is God all around us, if we only rest to look.
You talk to a monk who’s experienced devout silence and let his wise words nourish you like a holiday feast, surrounded with good intention and prepared with spices of the old and in an oven brand new. You remain silent as you let his grace fill your plate with something unread, unspoken and unheard… to you. Take a bite.
This is you tasting adventure.
There’s no want for silence.
You hear the bass of car horns ring in concert with jazzy moped toots. You’re well aware that construction is the symphony of the universe and that the rooster’s crow is the voice that sings. Hum goes the jungle. The ocean lulls you to sleep.
Louder, you cry.
This is you hearing the world.
There’s no fatigue.
With blistered hands worn from weathering the world, you touch the delicate horizon. With calloused feet, it’s been a long walkabout. You wade through drunk, flooded roads and do so happily. Tired, knees screaming, you feel every grain of sand beneath your feet.
You paint temples with your eyes and wonder about the lifetimes it must have taken to engrave that face in that rock and if the carver got paid or was forced by a covetous ruler. You wonder if he was ever truly happy. Thinking this, you feel history. Arriving here, you make history of your own.
Blood runs a marathon through you, breath by its side, holding you up as you exert and step forward and climb and give up everything for a view that makes you taste God, hear the world and smell the moment. You rise with the sun if you lower at all. So play.
This is you feeling adventure.
Adventure is my drug of choice. It’s addictive and strange and it’s like the North Pole. Once you’ve done it, just once, its compass will pull you from the familiar woods back into the unknown. No normal will ever be the same because you’ll want to be on adventure again.
Let it pulverize your senses.
Let it inhabit every cell of your experience in the world.
And if you’re craving it now, if you’re wanting it and dreaming of it, leave your desire for adventure with faith. Her arms are strong.
Leave it with your senses. They’ll bring you back.
Leave it with the world. Your footprints will remain until you seek it again.
And you will.