My mind is in a tangle. As expected.
I just got home last night after being in Gawan’s company for about two weeks, almost all of which we spent on vacation together.
We live very far apart and if we wanted to meet, significant travel would be required. Taking a trip together really did make the most sense, but it was also trial by fire. The destination we chose was challenging, advanced-level travel: different language, different culture, difficult weather, no credit cards, and cut off from the outside world. In retrospect, it wasn’t the best choice if we wanted an experience that was guaranteed to go smoothly. But dealing with challenges also reveals character, so perhaps we learned more about each other than we would have at an easier destination.
During a travel adventure, time behaves oddly and seems to pass at a different rate because it’s filled with more than the usual number of new experiences per day. The sensation of the passage of time doesn’t relate to hours but experiences, and you learn to associate a certain number of experiences with a certain length of time. When you have more experiences, it feels like more time has passed. I’d say that those 12 days felt more like 3 or 4 weeks — ages to be spending with someone I’d never even been in a room with before.
My sensitivity means that I absorb a lot more information from my surroundings and experiences than the average person does. In effect, I’ve gathered a tremendous amount of data from the trip and I’m now in the processing stage. It seems that I’m able to sort information and make connections mostly without really thinking about it — it’s like a program that runs in the background and when a pattern is detected it pops up into my conscious awareness. (To people who don’t work this way, it looks rather like ruminating, but I assure you it’s not. I keep getting new information and I’m not just going around in circles.)
From time to time, specific issues bubble up to the surface without an accompanying conclusion. I might find a raw nerve or some other puzzle, which I will think on to see if I can discover what’s happening below the surface and gain insight.
In those 12 days I learned a tremendous amount about Gawan (which I expected), and about myself (which was a bit of a surprise). I had had a persistent and unsettling feeling of having major gaps in my understanding of him, and a lot of those gaps have been filled in, which is all to the good.
There were ups and downs, but on the whole I had a good time and am glad I went. Details to follow once I’ve done some more processing.