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Saturday, October 03, 2015

Travelling Thoughts

We always seem to feel a license to suspend the everyday disciplines when we're on vacation.

I always wonder what that context would be where I am truly myself. Would I get up and dance, or run through the streets in my pajamas or lie on the beach...or simply sleep through the day?

Why is it that I contain myself inside the bottled expectations of what we call "normal life"? I often feel I need to express myself in anticipated ways, to stay "true to [a] form" drawn by others (not without my own collusion of course). I find it hard to break free of that. And no one else to blame but myself.

But there are also things you encounter in yourself on a consistent basis, those things that might be the "true form". Like the fact that one of my "essences" is housekeeper. I find myself tidying surfaces, putting things away, folding clothes, making neat piles of paper...you get the picture...no matter where I am.

It is so easy to be away from the structure of one's everyday. The job, the family, the house, the routine--the scaffolding that holds one's life. We tell ourselves that routine is what sustains us but one has to wonder whether the only agency we will/can ever feel is that which comes from controlling or sustaining that routine.

The pockets of time that we discover in the lost spaces of our routines suddenly present themselves to us as opportunities for discovery--of the world-as-yet-undefined and of ourselves-as-yet-unrealised.

Without the maps of the "have-to" and "ought-to" and "plan-to", we are lost, and so lose the chance to break free from that scaffolding and find ourselves in the world.

Perhaps this is why we prefer the conducted tour, the Blue Planet led holidays, the organized vacation. Where the postcards we send are never from the edge of discovery, but from the centre of expected experience.

A friend told me a quaint story about a neighbour in San Diego, California (where it's mostly beautiful weather and there's plenty of sun and sand and palm trees) who went to holiday in Florida (same difference) and posted on Facebook pictures of sun and sand and palm trees, with the comment "In Paradise!" My friend quipped: "It looked a lot like home."

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