30 Apr

Apocalypse Ale Works

When the wandering ceases, when the traveler stops upon the path and unloads the heart and mind, in the slow breath there is allowing. The soul’s compass can realign, measured out against the horizon as dusk is wrapped into night’s blanket. Darkness comes, shards of stars in an indigo sky reflect low fire over the mountains. Stretching out the curled tendrils of perception, Beloved dwells in the stillness. This skill of being, of fully expanding the soul comes from an awareness of the field of time that is hard to explain to most. A spiritualist once told me that I had a tremendously large higher consciousness, but that trying to bring it all down here was the main conflict I experience on this journey. Feeling the world as I do can make it difficult to connect with others, to find those who also understand this way of perceiving existence. I’ve encountered many souls across the years, but there are only a few in whom I can intuit an understanding, an unstated sense of “being”ness. Like leaves burst forth from the branch upon which I also grow, the wind moves us both in tandem.

Saturday, I had the good fortune to share an evening with another wandering soul. Pausing in his own journey, a friend whom I had not seen in over a decade stopped in to re-connect. A wayfarer, like me, he has wandered the globe on his own path to becoming and it was a joy to share his company. We spent the early evening at a local brewery, Apocalypse Ale Works, sampling their Belgian dubbel and chocolate stout. The Ale Works is new to the Lynchburg area, and is as simple an establishment as they come. No menu other than their beer and perhaps some pretzels allows for me to bring my own favorite beer food, peppered almonds and walnuts or Dubliner cheese. What endears this taproom to me most is the genuine and committed company of folks who run it and the quality which permeates its character. I often write here on their large deck facing the tracks. A train will usually pass by, its roar and clacking cadence and high humming whine rushing by. The sky is open to wide winged hawks peering down as they fly over a grassy plain of a backyard.

I rarely take friends to one of my writing spots, but it has the feel of the tavern or the campfire; it is a place to box the compass. We caught up on life as much as one can, condensing the life events of thirteen years. The factual high points become moot after a while, but the stories that rise to the telling are the most importnant. Moments of significance tell of the journey. In the hours we spent together, I began to reflect on what it means to live fully, to follow one’s bliss for my friend does so effortlessly. He is tied only to himself. His eagerness to find the Truth in life and his resiliency to events as his path unfolds is testament to a way of living few can claim and many envy, including me. I am only beginning to see the unfolding and to feed the courage I use daily to seek my bliss despite societal pressures.

We are both multi-abilitied people with insatiable curiosities. Align that with a disdain for in-the-box living and you have individuals who seek authenticity and yet feel the pain of isolation and disconnection at times. But the way in which we both live places us in the same mind, the same understanding of being-ness. Simply put, we “get it” and in each other’s company, we find simpatico.

So the night spread out before us like the blue black expanse of a Southwestern sky peppered with stars. Beers were had upon a  lattice table with food, then stories and pictures from the road. We hopped over to a local pizza place and during dinner, he noticed my journal that I always carry with me. I generally don’t ready it when I am with others, but I think unconsciously I knew that there would be a moment where a thought or phrase would inspire me. From the first movement of conversation I knew I’d be learning from the connection and I tend to pay quite close attention when the Universe nudges.

“Is that your book?”, he asked.

“Yes,” I said. “I carry it with me when I go places by myself. The experiences go here in bits and thoughts …I hear lines or phrases…I have thoughts… then later, I write.”

I opened it to show him, flipping half folded and dog-eared pages, pen and multi-colored ink and pencil lines, colors wildly mixing in straight and diagonal shapes from page to page. I’m a third of the way through this one, bought in Staunton in March.

“I’ve started sketching again.” I said, showing him a pen and ink of one of the trees outside of the Ale Works I had drawn one Sunday a few weeks ago. I haven’t drawn or painted in a long while. A long while.


Flipping open to a blank page spread, I wrote his name and our position on the compass and then, Old Souls Unite

For that is the way of it. The awareness to wander comes after many years…many lifetimes.

My left hand was testament to the moment. And without a hesitation, after I sketched around its outline, he placed his right upon the page.

Left hand…right hand.

Two leaves, one limb….one tree.


As as we parted ways, the lesson in connection became clear to me. Each moment of living is significant to our own becoming whether we are aware of it at the time or not. Times of rest create a space for Truth and Beauty, for being lost in ourselves. In this pausing, the infinite lies. The now is so necessary, yet its significance is so hard to see. What a kindness from the Universe to share that space with a kindred soul and to rest on this journey, to re- align sights to the horizon, compass in hand.

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