West with the Night

Birthday Girls

Last night – we said a sad but so-happy-for-you goodbye to our friends Steve and Stacie as they headed west into the night from Portland to Yangon, Myanmar.

Staring down at our feet without words…(oh look PDX carpet!) – knowing that for this one sad moment, there will be many stories and adventures that make the teary moments worth enduring.  And we count the days until we are sharing a beer and laughing over stories and memories.  Our very own Ithaka…

“Hope the voyage is a long one.

May there be many a summer morning when,

with what pleasure, what joy,

you come into harbors seen for the first time;

may you stop at Phoenician trading stations

to buy fine things,

mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,

sensual perfume of every kind—

as many sensual perfumes as you can;

and may you visit many Egyptian cities

to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.

Arriving there is what you are destined for.

But do not hurry the journey at all.

Better if it lasts for years,

so you are old by the time you reach the island,

wealthy with all you have gained on the way,

not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.”

(excerpt from Ithaka  by C.P. Cavafy)

“Love the Journey” my friend Kathy tells me – and I shall.

Steve and Stac – please love your journey.  Our hugs and tears a launching point to adventure…

Deep Thoughts on the side of the highway

Roadside Theology

I was sitting by the highway yesterday thinking about this…

On July 22nd – my dear life friends Steve and Stacie will get on a flight to Burma, not looking back and starting their adventure of living and teaching overseas.  TWO YEARS!  A year ago I couldn’t imagine any of my friends doing it but when I did – I kind of figured (and hoped) it would be me.  Damn they beat me to it.  Along with that – two acquaintances are walking the Camino de Santiago this year.  A dream I have had for about 15 years.

Flashback to being a Powell’s employee and being able to “borrow” any book on their shelves as long as it was returned in the condition it was when I took it off the shelf – significantly augmenting the paltry hourly wage made there.  But has been one of the best jobs I have ever had – I basically bought books for people – while running all over the three story store.  I lost weight even though the new and now wildly popular Pearl Bakery had just opened a block away.  I could eat all the croissants I wanted and still lose weight!

Flashback II – the book was “Off the Road”  by Jack Hitt – go “borrow” it – it will get you pumped to walk somewhere for three or four months. Or pine about it for years and never go.

Simultaneous to this, after much reading and contemplation of my current state and under the influence of many espresso’s and a few IPA’s – I have decided to embark on my own state-side adventure, since I clearly have been too lame to actually quit my job and embark on my own adventure. I keep watching others do it.  Lame.

Walk with me won’t you as I attempt to un-lame my life.  One day at a time.

Welcome to Thistle Nation


Welcome to the state-side site to StevieVolz.wordpress.com – Thistle elder Stacie Volz and her husband Stevie are traveling to Burma aka Myanmar for two years to teach!  20 years ago Stevie and I used what was then a newfound technology – emails – to stay in touch while I spent 8 months in Washington D.C. working at National Geographic.  We wrote each other almost every day, and on some days two or three times.  It helped me survive being 3,000 miles from my friends and family.  And bonus Stevie turned out to be a hilarious writer.  So welcome to his state-side site… and head over to his site to armchair travel with Stac and Stevie as they have the adventure of their lives.