the journey

10/30/2023 1 By BuddyCushman

Way back there in the early 1980’s I started hanging around with some people, and one of the things they often said was this – “The joy is in the journey.” I don’t remember why, but I got thinking about it a couple of hours ago.

Writing today’s Morning Pages I got off on lots of the very cool things I got to do this weekend – go to the zoo, walk a trail above the San Diego big bay, buy peanuts at Trader Joe’s – and how my life’s been sprinkled throughout with all sorts of great stuff. And that includes seemingly endless bouts of loneliness, and years of self-recriminations; with decades of just being the me I am – like it or lump it – and chances to screw stuff up – including serious relationships – and chances to get things right. Ditto the relationship thing. All of which is this kid’s journey, and it’s the journey, the traveling down the road, that I think they were talking about when it comes to joy. Not so much the details and the specifics. Not that I lived in LA for a few months back in the 70’s – way back before I began hanging with the “joy” people – but that I got to work at a pizza place on the Venice Beach walkway, and see the Pacific Ocean when I was 27. And to be a crummy roommate in a way for which I needed to apologize to my best friend years later. Like, it’s never not been the journey.

You hear in Zen that obstacles on the path are the path, and this joy in the journey thing feels like that to me. Like Cervantes saying, “The road is better than the inn.” Like just being able to show up and do my best right there and then is the thing. That’s what’s worth it. So worth it.