The Year of Yes, ep. 11: YES TO BOKETTO

 Me, White Sands National Monument, New Mexico   (All photos taken with my Canon EOS 7D Mark II.)

Me, White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

 (All photos taken with my Canon EOS 7D Mark II.)

Boketto is a Japanese noun that means: “blank stare” or “gazing vacantly into the distance without really thinking about anything specific.”

 Fossilized reef mountains, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, West Texas

Fossilized reef mountains, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, West Texas

Last week, I reconnected with this beautiful world in which we live. I had the great fortune to take a road trip through two national parks - Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and one national monument - White Sands. I gazed vacantly at a lot of splendid natural things for long periods of time. My week-long digital detox helped immensely to allow the sun-soaked arid rawness of the Southwestern desert and mountains seep into my bones. I am learning that periods of downtime like this reawaken the bedrock of our humanness.

 Bendy road, Big Bend

Bendy road, Big Bend

Cloud-gazing. ✓

Star-bathing. ✓

Otherworldly landscapes. ✓

Respite. ✓

 Roadrunner buddy, Big Bend National Park

Roadrunner buddy, Big Bend National Park

What I learned this week:

voyaging + digital detox = vacation

digital detox + time in nature = aliveness and awe

time in nature + stillness = reflection

stillness + sleep = rest

sleep + seeing = dreaming

seeing + looking = perception

looking + gazing = boketto

boketto + clouds/stars/landscapes = quiet mind.

 Prickly pear, Big Bend National Park

Prickly pear, Big Bend National Park

I am utterly grateful that the National Park Service exists. There are 58 national parks in America. I prefer to visit the overlooked ones, which tend to be less populated oases, overflowing with majestic beauty rather than people. But, really, any will do. Try one out! And remember, we can keep them protected with our votes.

 Marfa, Texas

Marfa, Texas

Finally, Stephen Hawking once said: “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up.” Yes, Dr. Hawking, yes! May you R. I. P. ♡

 

The Year of Yes is a weekly photo-and-word installment by Dr. Shah written with the purpose of evoking hope, resilience, and a gentle movement toward healthy change in all of us.