Horizon at Sandy Point

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Comings and goings

Once, many moons ago, I thought I could be a flight attendant. The rolling stone life - life in a suitcase - seemed to fit my mood as a twenty-something out of college. Even though I was interviewed I did not get the "stewardess" - my mother would have said "high class waitress" - job. I like to think it was because I was not a national of the country whose flag the airline carried. No, it was not Beewee - and even when I did land a job at the Caribbean airline much much later in life, I thought long and hard about going away and did it as little as possible.

Today, preparing to spend a week - far less two, or a month - becomes a campaign that must be mapped and planned long in advance. And it's not just figuring out how much dog food and wishing they could help themselves to it, or what to pack (what to leave behind!) - figuring out the theme to dress by - will it be colour or monotone? - the car arrangements (who gets us to the airport, and back), it's a thing in the head that I think I've suffered from since childhood. The pull of inertness, the pressure of gravity?

I hated going back to school. The end of the vacation bothered me yes, but even more, the apprehensions and expectations of re-entering a space where I would have to "perform." By the time the term was ending, I dreaded the days to be spent working on the farm, in the house, without the "freedom of being away." In the groove of being on vacation, I wished to be on vacation forever. Other times, the routine and rhythm of the school term was comforting. Would that it should go on, rather stopped just to restart.

Going to college, the fear of "leaving home" materialised in being strange in a strange land with people who looked at me as if I had landed from space. But whenever I came home, there would be a huge emotional hump that came with the blast of humidity at the plane door, the bulk of the Northern Range black on a dark sky, that left me sulky and moody for days, until my head - or heart - caught up with the place my body was moving in.

Beginnings and endings are fraught with risk, but also loaded with possibility.  It's easy to be turning over like a perpetual motion machine. (Is that why some people don't take vacations?) Much simpler to not have to think or be alert for every unexpected thing that will happen when one shifts gears, goes to a different country, engages a foreign language, or just decides to move in a different space, a new frame of mind - like retirement.

So although the heart might wish to stay in one place, still as a rock; when the mind says "move!" it's time to go. So long as there are reasons to keep moving, you know that you are still alive!

Today I am a living being, wishing to be a rock!

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