Cleansing The Doors Of Perception

Day 22 and 23: Cleansing The Doors Of Perception

Dear Asher,

There are things known and there are things unknown,
and in between are the doors of perception. ~ Aldous Huxley

If the doors of perception were cleansed,
everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. ~ William Blake


The days are passing quicker on Utila, partly because we know we will be leaving within a week and partly because we are getting ourselves into a pretty good routine. But today, after your big naps, we decided to strap on our shoes and go for a proper hike. We have been keeping our walks to within two or three kilometers of our room, mostly because it has been so hot that the sun forces us home for a cold shower. Today, there was a brisk north wind that cooled the island a few degrees and allowed for a strong breeze to quickly cool our sweat, making it feel even cooler still. We decided to walk to the North East shore of the island in the direction of the wind.

As we left the bustle of the main road, concrete and diesel spewing tuc tucs were replaced with a peaceful meandering dirt road. The road was lined with palms and a tropical pine and it wasn’t long before we could see the frothy north shore surf. We quickly realized that everything is bigger on the north shore; the waves, the wind and the homes. You kicked your legs with glee as the strong warm winds forced your eyes closed and we stared looking out at what appeared to be eternity. On the south bay, the water is calm and we can see distant mainland mountains, but on the north, it is blown out white caps as far as the eye can see. As we walked past enormous beach homes, each with its own solar array and outdoor masonry pizza oven, we talked about how great it is that you love going for walks in your carrier. We have taken you for walks in our Stokke carrier everyday since you were two days old and it has allowed you a front row seat to each new adventure.

By the time we returned to our hostel, it was time for dinner and you enjoyed our homemade veggie burgers topped with fried onions, tomatoes and avocado as much as we did. You have enjoyed the routine of eating dinner then practicing standing up unassisted from sitting on the dock, and as we lay there looking up at the stars, the immensity of life was evident. I quickly noticed a distant satellite then your mother noticed one as well. We realized that all of the stars appeared to be moving rapidly but only because our perception was tricked by fast moving low laying clouds. How quickly reality can change when one changes his perception.

Asher, in life there are always unknowns and it is often difficult to see through the low laying clouds of the humdrum of everyday familiarity. Just as an artist needs to step back from her canvas to cleanse her doors of perception, your mom and I find that long term travel allows us to stand back from the complexities of life. This allows us to return with a clearer perception of reality so our actions align with our goals and the distant is not lost to the nigh.

4 thoughts on “Cleansing The Doors Of Perception

  1. Hey Jim, Alyssa and baby Asher it was nice to catch you guys on skype today. Seeing those pictures of you three on your hike sure makes us jealous of the beautiful scenery and weather your taking in. Right now in London we are having wet flurries 😩😩. Next time you guys are hiking take some pictures of those masonry ovens. I love seeing the different masonry designs from around the world.

    Love Ya
    Team Slee


  2. Wow, I can really see Asher’s teeth in the first photo. And his hair is now long enough to actually blow in the breeze. He is growing so fast!
    Those white caps are really something on the north side of the island.
    Thanks for the Skype the other day – always great to see you all in person!


  3. Hello Jim Alyssa and Asher…you all are such fine examples of slowing down…one of the eight points. Your stories are fascinating and look forward to reading them. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos , philosophies and keen attitudes. Love you 3 and many hugs.


  4. Asher such a nice picture of you with Mom. Your new teeth are in full view! What is the flower in Mommy’s hair? Walking off the beaten track we seem to take in so much more of our surroundings – so much more than in a car! Our senses are alive and responding!
    Walking is the way to go! You have always had a front row seat in your Stokke sturdy carrier!
    The best view ever!
    Hugs to everyone.


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