Abu Simbel as metaphor for life


Our greatest glory is not in never falling,
but in rising every time we fall.

~ Confucius


Abu Simbel, Nubia, Egypt

If you squint, you can see a wee person near the entrance.


The sentiment expressed in the Confucius quote comes in many forms.  Bits about getting back on the horse or failing only when you do not get back up again have been spouted for centuries.  So what's this have to do with Abu Simbel or me?  Why thank you for asking!

You may have noticed that recently I've not been traveling as much as I'd like.  I've also mentioned feeling hurt and rage over betrayal.  And my posts are not about Italy or my Italian family.  Well, they aren't my family anymore.

I know folks like Adventurous Kate have said that most bloggers can handle this kind of stuff discreetly, and up until this point I've mostly kept it off the blog.  Kate chose to share some of what was going on because her ex had been a major presence in her posts.  My ex, for that is what he is now, was likewise present in some of my most favorite adventures.


Calf vanquishing a sign post inside a castle.

Calf + castle = comedy.


In retrospect, and with the help of a good counselor and great friends, it's clear that his cowardly acts have actually done me a favor by setting me free.  Free from being with someone who thinks nothing of lying and manipulating, free from an emotionally unhealthy situation, free from the frustration that comes from attempting to have a rational discussion with a bleedin' looney.  (That's right, I said it!)  Admittedly, it takes two to tango, but it only takes one to cheat.

I've been working on getting back to center after being figuratively kicked in the gut.  I've had my beliefs in intuition reinforced and also learned to listen to my body more.  Wow, your body is an incredible instrument for telling you when something is wrong – something that your brain doesn't want to hear.  "La la la!  I'm not listening!" says the brain.  Well, your gut (nigh literally in my case) had some other things to say, as did various other bits of my anatomy. 

In the past I've been pretty resilient after breakups, but this one was hard, really hard.  It wasn't helped by the fact that the ex and his family are holding my belongings and my kitty hostage at the moment.  So not only am I without my clothes, family heirlooms, travel treasures, camera equipment, and purring furball, I have lost a family.  I really, really loved them and even defended them against the many vitriolic rants of the ex (yeah, weird, huh?).  It seems that, despite the smiles and apparent gestures of affection – even tears in Mamma's eyes when I left for Ireland the first time – none of it mattered.  The perfect, beloved son ("La la la!  I'm not listening!") has spoken and I have been discarded.  Sigh.

It used to hurt a lot more to say that.  It's still sad, but as I said, friends have been great.  Surprisingly, a number of my fellow travel bloggers confided their stories about being on the receiving end of infidelity in me.  Some had chosen to stick with it and repair the relationship, others moved on.  In each case, the message was the same: you are not alone and it gets better.


Bowl o' trifle

Life gets better – and sweeter!


As you can imagine, the shakeup also led to some sifting and re-evaluation of existing friendships.  There was quite a bit of wheat-from-chaff action going on.  The folks from my very philosophical and very non-dogmatic church stepped up to the plate (or, in some cases, the bowl) in magnificent fashion over the holidays.  A handful of blogger pals and I embarked on a new project, I've got a few business ideas I'm exploring with a friend, and I was recently hired to do some freelance writing work.  The pay is wee, but at least it's moving in the right direction.

Oh, and Abu Simbel?  Well, it was in danger of being submerged in Lake Nasser due to the building of the Aswan High Dam.  It was deconstructed then reconstructed above the water line in 1968 (scale model here).  The solar alignment was even maintained to preserve its orientation toward the sun on ancient holy days, allowing light to enter the temple.  Yeah, a bit of a metaphor for keeping what's precious and true on the inside, and adjusting the surroundings when needed.

So…  a little bit of Chinese philosophy, a big chunk of Egyptian architecture, a downpouring of Irish rain, and a lot less Italian everything.  And now I've got to get ready for a friend who is coming over to conspire about a glorious new future.


Chin up!  The world is still turning and you are loved.


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  1. Deep post and words! It definitely takes time and strength in order to let feelings and thoughts flow out peacefully. Is what one needs and I am happy to read about you feeling better along this way of life. It certainly gets better and sweeter :) You keep growing as you have done to this point, you will see even more freedom every time as you step ahead!

    1. Thank you, Mariana. As always, you’re sentiments are lovely and positive. Much appreciated.

  2. Abu Simbel is an unexpected, but apt metaphor for life, I think. Changed surroundings and circumstances don’t alter the fact that you are of outstanding value. :)

    1. Thank you, Sophie. I can tell myself that all day long, but it’s nice to hear it from someone other than me. :)

  3. Katrina, I’ve waited so long to respond to this.

    I’m sorry that you’ve gone through this. You’re strong and you will continue to rise like a phoenix!

    1. Thanks, Kate. I really appreciate it. Things are finally starting to come together for the next phase. I hope more adventuring and travel will be in the works for this year.

  4. I can hear a bit more of that positive spirit in this post. Man it all sucks…but time is an amazing healer. it’s the only time you want it to move quicker. Hang in there…you’re getting there. xx

    1. Thanks, Lisa. I’ve got the theme from The Jeffersons playing in my head. ;)

  5. Haha i love the cow pic

    1. You should read the story behind it, Hogga: https://www.tourabsurd.com/capture-calf/ It was surreal and hilarious!

  6. Love that you can see the light at the end of tunnel. I know how hard it is, but it really, really does get better, loads better :=)

    1. Thank you, Linda. Was telling my friend about you today (Andrea, too, a bit) and how delightful your company is. Thanks for being a friend. :)

  7. Sounds like things are starting to turn around for you. Glad to hear it! I know things have been tough recently but at least you know it can only get better from here. :) Will I see you at ITB Berlin?

    1. Thanks, Andrea. Really appreciate it. You’ve always been a peach. :)

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