Escape from Tomorrow ~ Machu Picchu

Falling back into the past is easier these days. I close my eyes, search a memory and watch possibilities swim around in my mind. There is a sense of freedom with this escape, many paths branch out and I need only choose.

Today, my mind wanders from above and I find myself looking down on the hallowed grounds of Machu Picchu. Back in a dream, to a place I admire with people I long to see. Memories to embrace.

These days, time has slowed to a point where a calm independence allows my mind to chase down desires and enjoy the peace of yesterday.

Exploration. No better feeling than to look into a window of opportunity and find another piece of life, of truth, to discover. The possibilities of people and cultures mingle together to light up the day. I fall deeper, but reality refuses to let me go.

Outside a siren blares, drowning out dissenting voices. I sit up from my dream; sift through the half-truths and rhetoric surrounding this modern life. The chaos poised to poison the peaceful promise of freedom. Memories are my hope.

Swallowed by the stillness, I dream of the future; a stranger’s hand outstretched to help, united in the wisdom of trust to ascend ever higher.

Even amid ruins of a memory, there are stories of greatness with the poignant reminders of the inevitable struggles of life.

Walking along these terraces, it is hard to tell when struggles begin to turn the tide in this story of greatness. Cracks on the wall and in the voices of people get lost among words of pettiness, ignoring the warnings passed through centuries.

The current stories of today leave me wondering where these memories of mine will take me?

The faint smell of coffee, growing colder as it rests next to me, brings me back to today but my mind is still rolling. To aspire to greatness is a tenant of the human spirit, aspirations fueling new ideas, triggering the evolution of a better world.

A life for the bold is needed. Bold dreamers to lead with courage, and bold leaders to sacrifice and create the possibilities of tomorrow, to inspire society and a great nation.

I take a sip, close my eyes and relax again. True leaders. True explorers. Without, tomorrow fades into a wisp of fog quickly dissipating into an opaque and cold future.

Breathing in the freshness, I wonder if the great societies of the past, seeped with history, can provide guidance? I look at myself on this ledge and understand the fall of innocence is a destiny we all experience in life, a piece of the self-discovery puzzle.

The ringing of the phone snaps me back, and I am surprised to find I am eager to answer the call. A touch, a connection with another, perhaps a catalyst to form a new blueprint of today ~ igniting another idea and another evolutionary leap for tomorrow.

Wrong number, but still enjoyed the politeness of the voice.

Laying back in my mind, on the grasses of Machu Picchu, I take in both the mysteries and destructions of the place. I marvel at the brilliance centuries ago to shape this land into an oasis, bold ideas welded into reality.

Magnificence designed to forever hold promises of the future. A reminder showing even magical places, once deemed invincible, can fade away.

Sounds of politics break the silence outside my window, voices crying out asking who can step up above the pettiness that sink us into destruction. And once again it begins.

How I value being alone. Escaping into new worlds, even with the melancholy twinge it brings this summer day. An apt feeling shared by those around the world I imagine.

The fog lifts exposing an ancient peak, like a curtain pulled back exposing the truth, only to find solace amid the whispers of nature. I like where this memory is taking me ~ down a lonely path. These are the paths where the first step of strength finds those coming together in hope.

The abandoned dwellings, hidden for centuries, now once again break out. This is what I find magical here in Machu Picchu. In the peace of these ruins, abandoned is the weakness that destroyed them. Today there is no fear, no divisiveness, only the acceptance of change and lessons from the past.

The disruption outside grows louder. The fear of today chokes creativity, dulls inspiration needed to thrive. What a damned strange year this has been. I roll out of my chair; pick up my mug with plans to attack the dishes growing in my sink.

Below me, Machu Picchu leaves me wondering, when did this great society stop evolving?

The wisdom of the gritty, soiled and sweat stained hands of those who built this place could hold answers. Greatness is often mirrored by the darkness of greed. Cowards with their soft, smooth hands twisting words with fear to manipulate those who look for truth.

Failure of leadership is a failure in courage, and such rot can only lead to loss of hope. Did Machu Picchu suffer a similar fate?

The clouds part over Seattle, and what I never considered possible today has happened ~ golden rays of sunshine break through and all goes quiet.

This empty Incan Empire, once vibrant with dreams, has now become a bold place of hope, a memory to ignite my soul once again. Putting the dishes away, I am alone for now but it is inevitable we will all come together again.

“Once upon a time, in a land above and beyond the clouds, across cliff-like sloping mountains, fast flowing rivers and mysterious jungles… a land the Spanish Conquistadors could not find, thus being able to keep its undamaged beauty and sanctity.”    ~ Pamela Estevez

169 Comments on “Escape from Tomorrow ~ Machu Picchu

  1. What a humbling experience and how gracious of you to share it with us. Many of us will never reach those heights but thanks to you, we get a glimpse of one of the planet’s treasures.

    Randall, thank you for sharing this breath-taking experience.
    Have a wonderful week.

    • There is something magical in these historical places, and you say it very well – it is a humbling experience. The greatness of people around the world, building up societies and creations such as Machu Picchu, it is hard to wrap my mind around it all at times – but makes me understand how special the world and life is for us, and our need to embrace it all in and not lose the greatness we can create in our time. Cheers to you, Leá, thank you and take care.

  2. Machu Picchu, a place I could never get out of my mind no matter where I am.
    To see it here as you have represented it so well in heart warming word and incredible
    photo is almost like being there in person Randall. Thank you so very much for
    taking us there. Eddie

    • I feel the same, Eddie, there are places on this earth that we can always carry in our dreams whether we have been there or not ~ and the brilliance of such places provide inspiration. Thank you for the appreciation of the photos, it is a land that make photography somewhat easy, an incredible place. Wishing you well, and enjoy the weekend ahead.

      • Thank you dear friend. May your travels in heart and/or mind
        always fulfil those dreams that never seem to fade.

  3. Machu Picchu is a special place, sacred, full, peaceful and like a dream. Hopefully what happened to the Inkas isn’t what is awaiting the whole world. Beautiful images, as always. Yes, it’s possible to see the sky again in Seattle, I’ve heard. Take care, Randall.

    • The Seattle scene is starting to settle down a bit, and most important the skies are clearing up a bit 🙂 Thank you for the comment, Otto, it is always fun to see a bit of the past in the present situation ~ and through photos it is always nice to dream of possibilities. Wish you well ~

  4. Always liked to go to Peru.
    I really love the pictures you have taken. It really makes we want to visit the Andes.

    • Peru is such a diverse place, I could live there quite easily ~ great people, food, and of course an incredible number of scenic places to see and find adventure. Cheers to a nice autumn ahead.

  5. Peaceful wonder is how I felt thinking about this amazing location. Your writing has a relaxing tone to me. Well done. – David

    • Thanks, David. The peace of Machu Picchu perfectly blends with the amazing Andes mountains and the natural surroundings. Truly a peaceful wonder. Wish you a nice weekend ahead. Take care ~

  6. Your ability to go back and grab ahold of feelings and experiences is one you should take great care with, Dalo. What a gift you have and we grateful you are willing to share.
    What I appreciate about this piece is that even the less than perfect moments are sculpted into priceless reminders of how important each experience is. Beauty in the not so pretty, makes the beautiful moments truly exquisite.
    You take us with you each time you write and for that I am fulfilled. One day, I shall meet you on this trail. Look beyond the dust on my freckled cheeks. Way past the tired in my eyes. And find me. I’ll be there.
    Take care, My Photographer Philosopher Extraordinaire.

    • Coming back to this post and seeing your words is a perfect way to start a day. I like the comment where you say “even the less than perfect moments are sculpted into priceless reminders of how important each experience is…” ~ it is this thought can make any day feel pretty special. So very much enjoy hearing from you, and I’ll be walking this trail for quite a long time so I think we’ll be able to meet up on it a few times and I think finding each other should not be too difficult 🙂 Thank you very much, Audacious, and I hope the beginning of autumn is treating you well.

  7. Hi Randall, thank you for allowing me to share in your thoughts and gorgeous photos. I hope all is well with you and yours. Please take good care. ~ Mia

    • Hi Mia, seeing your message today made me smile ~ very happy for you to join me on this journey. Wishing you well, and enjoy the weekend ahead.

      • Dear Randall, thank you for your lovely words. Your post is wonderful and a most welcome distraction, combating the things that currently challenge me. Likewise, wishing you well and enjoy your weekend.

  8. Thank you for taking me to such a beautiful place (on our wish list for ages) through your photography and words. Virtual travel is the future of travel and I was happy to forget (for a brief instant of time) where I was. Being alone can be liberating and calming in a place like this. However, alone has taken a new meaning these days. 🙂 Take care and stay safe! Have a good week!

    • Thank you, and I think you are correct that virtual travel is the future of travel for at least the near future ~ but in those moments we can escape it is well worth it. Wishing you two well, and hope autumn will take you to some new places, either real or virtual. Take care.

  9. I too dream of past travel these days. Your memories bring me back to the beauty of Peru and the many lessons I learned while there. Hoping this finds you safe.

    • Things are going well, having more time to dream of past travel ~ and also dream of future destinations. Thank you, and wish you well.

  10. “The chaos poised to poison the peaceful promise of freedom. Memories are my hope.”… So beautiful, indeed, memories… somehow keeping us afloat sometimes. And such a wonderful post, photos and words, the brightness in your images, that fog… but also, that unique light! While reading your thoughts, and seeing the word “pettiness”, i just remembered something that I too tried so much to keep to, this year, maybe much more than before, I felt, and it said, “My peace is more important than that pettiness.” I don’t know, it may be the appealing alliterations too, but… there is also much truth and clarity in such utterances, they can really stay with me and flip some switch even, interesting feeling. Thank you for this relaxing dreamy stroll over the Inca ruins, Dalo, it was a pleasure to read! 🙂

    • Thank you very much, Nicole. It seems that through my life where I’m on the go and thinking ahead about the future and life in general, there is always time to sit back and contemplate ~ which always involves taking time to sit back and relive the past. Those memories of the past are like fuel for me, always teaching me something about today and tomorrow 🙂 There is a certain peace in reconciling the past with the present, which I think is one reason most everyone is fascinated by history to some extent. Wishing you a great autumn, and thank you for taking this dreamy stroll over the Incan ruins with me! Cheers ~

  11. Beautiful photographs. I too dream of past travel and attempt to paint the places on my bucket list. Enjoyed reading your post. Allowed me to travel some more.

    • Thank you, Smitha, there is something special about being able to revisit a place via memory ~ or even better, being able to travel through the writings of another be it a book or blog 🙂 Wishing you many safe travels in the near future, take care.

  12. Hi Randall, great you are back after long time 🙂 I enjoyed our fantastic virtual tour as always! have a great days! Bye. Kamila

    • Thank you, Kamila, it is good to be back and writing. Wish you a good day and safe travels!

  13. Compliments. You have been to Machu Picchu. A long time dream for me. Thanks for the virtual trip. All well?

    • All is going well ~ although I’m now back in Czech just in time for another mini-lockdown of the country 🙂 The smaller villages are getting more cases, so treading carefully. I hope all is well with you ~ stay safe!

      • Treading carefully is the name of the new game. 😷
        (Do you speak Czech?😀 You seem to spend a lot of time there… I wouldn’t mind living in Prague for a while…)
        Cheers.

      • My Czech consists of only the very basic ~ it is an insanely difficult language, Slavic languages are something else. Prague is amazing, and I live about 70km away in the countryside which is an experience all its own 🙂

      • Must be quite an experience…
        When we went, I was baffled for the first time in my life. Not a clue about any word. Normally I can figure out this or that. But Slavic? No common roots with what I handle. And I found, at the time, that English was not spoken much. I got by better with my scant german…
        Take care…

  14. Beautiful post (as always) 🙂 With stunning pics. Really like the last one. Thanks for taking me away as well. Hang in there. I think we’re all getting kinda crazy with the ways things are going in the states. I’ve been pretty stir crazy.. We’ve only been to Manhattan 4 times. We’re going to head in to go for walks before the winter surge comes. I’m not used to sticking to one area so long, not exactly my nature but I can’t complain we are ok and we know a lot of people are hurting at the moment. Election day is soon, we can’t wait for it to be over! We’re in a swing district of Brooklyn so we get hammered with flyers and political commercials. Hope you, your family, and friends are ok.

    • It really is a pretty crazy time, and while I think everyone is getting a little stir-crazy with all that is going on ~ it does give us a new perspective. I’m back in Czech now, just in time for another mini-lockdown, but will be able to get into the hills and mountains for a bit more exploring. Wishing you and yours a safe autumn, and thank you very much.

  15. What a lovely piece of writing. Your sentiments are very well expressed. And those pictures are stunning!
    Best wishes.

    • Thank you, Leah. Getting back to writing again is always difficult, but always am able to work with photos to get some semblance of what is on my mind 🙂 Wish you a great start to the holiday season ~ and in Czech also wish you great health too 🙂 Take care ~

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