Off My Head There Is a Path

Popping up all over China are these engaging signs-like fortune cookies on wood. When I happened upon this one in Lijiang it beckoned me to stop for a minute, to pause for reflection. That’s what Chinese signs do. They don’t sell, harangue,cajole or promise something they can’t deliver. Like the cookie fortunes, their intent is simple; to improve our lives by offering sound advice, food for thought-or food.

Garden path -Chongqing University

Bai village, SW China 

Sometimes signs are warnings;

sometimes brief philosophical homilies, but they also advise us in fashion, gently remind us to be appropriate in dress or demeanor and to use our common sense.

Soometimes they make you laugh.

Condom machine on an outside wall.

Or put out a fire

The ‘Off my head there is a path sign,’ struck a personal note for me- because I actually have a path that leads off my head. Call it metaphorical if you like (or schizophrenic), but it’s there and I’m compelled to follow it frequently without knowing exactly where I’ll end up.

There’s something exhilarating about the unknown, having to use ones senses, trusting your intuition, and those you meet along the way.

Street artist with cerebral palsy

Warming up around fire at Garden Hostel

Ancient path in Chongqing, China

If you don’t get lost, there is no story.

Bus stop in Managua, Nicaragua


Bus in Nicaragua

Sign in Olmetepe on Violence against women.  ‘Live Without Violence’ Women defending the community.’

Maria, my hostess, in her outside kitchen cooking us a chicken she just killed. Olmetepe, Nicaragua. Also one of the women defending the community against male violence by taking in guests.


Family picnicing on Isla de Olmetepe, Nicaragua

Statue in San Jose Costa Rico

I’ll be leaving for Brazil in a few months. I have perused the guide book and am completely overwhelmed. Of course I must trek in the rain forest before it’s gone, and dance in Rio, and kayak on the mighty Amazon: 10 million years old and the second longest river in the world with a mouth that can measure 300 miles wide during the rainy season! Oh my goodness! Hose me down.

” Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  

         Mark Twain