Sunday, July 03, 2011

couchsurfing and the irrigation of joy

i'm back in love with couchsurfing again. that weird freeloader guy was a total couchsurfing anomaly.  in the past couple of weeks, we've had a most delightful retired teacher from norway and a lovely couple from the canary islands. with both sets of guests, we had the most wonderful, deep, philosophical, existential conversations. conversations that play in my head long afterwards and resonate with me, giving me much to think about.

a long discussion of self and ego and whether happiness comes from the self or through others highlighted a discussion that stretched long into the warm summer evening with the retired norwegian teacher. peppered with quotations from philosophers and life experiences, it was one of those evenings you don't want to end. both husband and i have been continuing the conversation long after - in our own heads and together.

the couple from the canary islands brought some fantastic black potatoes from their father's garden. we will try to plant some of them, as our sandy soil is good for potatoes. and we will enjoy the rest of them with the mojo sauce they brought - cooked in salty water as we were instructed before they continued on their bicycle journey. their sunny attitude and accepting and happy way of looking at the world were infectious and i felt reminded not to have so many expectations all the time. sometimes you just have to accept life and people as they come. i am grateful to them for this reminder.

and so i think of all of the joy that has come to me through my online life (spud wrote a great post about it not long ago) - because couchsurfing is a corner of my online put your profile there, you describe yourself, your area, your couch and people get in touch and ask if they can stay. then the virtual intersects the real and you meet them in person - people you wouldn't otherwise have met. the vast majority of which you feel privileged to have met. people who you remain friends with - exchanging emails and photos that inspire - people you'll definitely want to see again and maybe surf their couch one day.

i suppose what i like about couchsurfing is that it makes me more open to the world - it enables me to shed a different light on my world for a day or two. to encounter other ways of thinking and being that leave me feeling richer for the experience.  it most definitely irrigates my joy (thank you for that phrase césar and nuria).

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and speaking of irrigating joy - beth has made blog badges in memory of char, using some of char's beautiful images. please go here to get a badge to remember char.


Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Hello Julie

Yes, we have to accept life as it comes--something I am learning all the time time.

Going to check into this couchsurfing.

Have a great day.

Tracy :)

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

I really love that "irrigate your joy". I think it's been growing on me since you first mentioned it. Now hearing of your wonderful visit with these sunny and lovely people, it really seems such the perfect phrase.

I'm glad your couch-surfing experience has turned around for you, and in such a terrific way too. I love the image of the late-night philosophy session. Keep sharing these, please. I'm living vicariously through you. xo

Loredana said...

'irrigate your joy', I like that. I love this post. I love how you describe the sort of conversation you've had that stays with you long after it's over. Those are some of the best conversations and feelings that you can't put into words because the feeling is so great. Conversations you never thought of have had or opinions and the open mindedness of other people open up your mind. It's a wonderful, wonderful feeling.

Cindy said...

Irrigate your joy, those words will stay with me. Sounds like you had a wonderful visit. take care.,

Suecae Sounds said...

Couchsurfing, something for the rest of us too, perhaps. ;)

Pia K said...

i would so not be comfortable with having strangers on my sofa, as i've said before (or perhaps if i lived differently), but i would love to have conversations like that! more often, i feel i have them far too rarely and when i do i mostly have them with myself and books. that makes me sad. somehow. ah well.