XIII. Our magic hats

Le 2 décembre 2016

Am I seating in the right bus? Am I wearing the right hat? Metaphorically, these might be the questions we ask ourselves the most. Well, at least I do… First of all, because it's never easy to know where you really wanna go. I mean where you really wanna go, making the difference between your uttermost intimate dreams and what the world wants for you, or what the world makes you think you want. Secondly, because it is quite rare to find an authentic human mirror that can display a true reflection of yourself. Our trend is set to politeness, our tendency is to keep a lot of feelings inside. Toward others, we can be afraid to offend as much as we can be afraid to show our affection. Think about it: love is the finest sentiment you can have for someone, but when it wondrously arises would you express it right away? Probably not. There is an odd shame about being in love, a fear of judgment, a desire of self protection, although there is absolutely nothing wrong about it. Also, I'm sure that you can usually think of countless reasons not to tell a complete jerk that he's a complete jerk when you come by one. Then, if most people never tell you what they deeply think, how can you find your own landmarks in such a chaotic social canvas? How can you know whether you're wearing the witch's hat, the gentleman's topper, the magician's headgear or the cow-boy's stetson? It all comes down to faith.

In my coach headed to Trujillo during this night of September twelve, I was asking myself this same question again: am I seating in the right bus? I was in the grip of what I now call the traveler's blues. I absolutely loved my time around Huaraz. Once again I did wonderful hikes, saw wonderful places and met wonderful fellows from all around the earth. And once again I was dreaming alone in a damn cold transport going god knows where to do god knows what… I wonder if other backpackers sometimes feel the same. Do they have these wandering thoughts, watching the landscape fly by the window with this strange impression that everything is to start over again in a new unknown setting? Occasionally, I even catch myself thinking that maybe the best moments already lie behind. Of course, it's a feeling that never lasts very long, but it's a feeling all the same and I often wonder how to deal with it (I know, I do wonder a lot). Every now and then, I certainly appreciate a touch of bluesy brain boosting bile, a mere mind motivating melancholic mood. This bus ride was different however. I had nothing to cheer me up and bring the curse upside down. Nothing to write nor to sing in my head. I just felt empty between two parting plates of time, trapped in the middle of a few no man's hours as the coach brought me down the steep Andes (and god it was curvy).

Luckily, I had my magic hat on still slowly distilling ethereal thoughts on the top of my head. And suddenly, it hit me. Every step of my journey so far had been a complete blast. Why should it start to be different? I guess it's always plain easy to dwell on everything you leave behind (the fear of loosing is loud and noisy), not so much to pay attention to the soft whispers of unknown newborn adventures. I don't think I'll ever get used to stepping out of my comfort zone (or else it would not be stepping out anymore) but I can definitely learn to nurture and savor the excitation it brings around. If every good thing has to come to an end, a good asset one can develop is to continuously trust that your next stride will wrap all what you've become so far into an even brighter future. It's not even about hope. Again, it all comes down to faith, which this time just showed up at the most unexpected moment.

I swear, in a matter of a heartbeat, I went from total absence to a full body shivering of beatitude. I experienced the craziest goosebumps ever, just like that, because one rebellious neuron somehow decided “fuck this shit, I want to be happy” and opened the way for a whole bunch of tiny cells to thrive in optimism. Regarding my endorphin flow, it was Iguazu falls all over again. That's how I learned my first magic trick: a powerful buff I can cast anytime to remind myself that the best is always to come. Always. And I believe this so strongly that even my pinky toe could tell you about it! You see, the alchemy of the mind is somehow marvelous because whatever you believe can become as true as reality in your own personal realm. Did you know that the word placebo actually means “I will please” in Latin? Just like in the sentence “I will please my heart and soul as I simply decide to be cheerful”. Never underestimate how potent this spell can be. Faith is not a tough buddy to rally to your side, it's actually just a switch you can turn on at will (mana cost: 0 / charging time: 0) to enhance whatever beautiful ride you'd like to go on.

And that's it. That's how I became a magician! I haven't really checked the career opportunities yet, but I'm still pretty sure I want to follow the path ^^ So what about you? What are the superpowers entangled deep in there that your own experience taught you? I'm now very curious about all those wizardries that help you make your own way through life. Which one is the hat you like to place on your head, not because it's fancy or pleases appearances but because it's the one you feel the most like wearing? Which one is the hat that digs out your dreams and ambitions, the one that makes you realize how powerful you are? What imaginary piece of clothe is the best fit catalyst for your spirit? Because should you be the cow-boy or the fireman, tank or carry, no hero sombrero ever packs its own enchantment. You just need to pick your trick. Flick a stick or kick the brick but light the wick! You are the magic in the fabric.

To finish, I would like to send many thanks to the beautiful people who shared the path of the Santa Cruz trek with me. During four days, this hike brought me to the most fascinating mountainous landscape I've ever seen. If you ever happen to go to Peru, you should definitely consider Huaraz and its surroundings! Thank you also for all the pictures I robbed. I must admit that close to none of them displayed here were taken by me… Special thanks to Ben for his amazing conversation and curiosity (unfortunately you were wrong about Trump :/) to Sheila who is one of the rare women I met who know what LXC and Docker are (Asians…) and to Ramiro for all his useful tips about Ecuador which later turned out to be very handy. May god almighty have mercy on your everlasting souls ;)

Chemin Parcouru

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