Oh the Places You'll Go...

I'm sure everyone has glimpsed the front of the book whose title I've snagged, perhaps you've even picked it up and given it a thumb-through or gifted it to a grad, retiree or some member of your social group that is in the midst of a transition in life. I was given a copy when I graduated from high school way back when, I came across it the other day as I was clearing off my book shelves. I didn't feel the need to peruse it though, instead I just closed my eyes and thought about the places that I've been and the places that I have yet to go. I'll admit that some of those places are actual, arrived at by plane or boat or train. Some of the places are metaphysical, found only by trial and error or through diligently practicing rituals associated with one's every day life. Some of the places border on imaginary, found only when giving way to desire or haunting in dreams. Some even exist in all three places in unison, like facets of the same gem; you never quite know how your view will be as you twist your hand from side to side. I decided last week that I'd shatter the gem I currently hold in the palm of my hand, I decided that I would search for a new stone to tame and tease and grind and polish. All right, I'll lay allegory aside: I quit. Not my life or my adventures or my imaginings; my job. I'd come to realize that I've been putting this off: I was set to leave a few days after 9/11 happened, but paused along with a hundred million other people around the country, collectively scratching our heads as we tried to wrap our thoughts and emotions around what happened, what was happening. I think I forgot that I was on track to move ahead, to shake off parts of my life and take a look at new vistas, do new things, meet new friends, develop new skills. I never forgot about the things that I wanted to do, never ceased thinking about the dreams to find intelligent life elsewhere in the world, to hike and run and swim and jump. I started a new chapter of my life, bought a house and altered my thoughts. I figured that someday when I had more money, someday when I had more free time, someday when I reached the pinnacle, then I would go and do those things that I'd always wanted to do. Someone reminded me a wile ago that life is short, someone else reminded me that we live our lives in a linear fashion, that while we have the ability to turn around and look back, we can never retreat from the future that happens tomorrow and the next day and next year. We can sit and wait and say someday or we can pause briefly and say today. I'm not entirely sure where I am going, Eugene is the top of the list right now, but Australia and Japan and Mongolia and India are all blossoming on my horizon. Perhaps I'll settle for a while and then move on, perhaps I'll stay static for 15 more years and then seek new unchartered forests. Whatever I decide to do though, it's always with a step forward in mind and an occasional pause to nod at the past. Stay tuned. Danger may well lie ahead.

1 comment:

  1. t liberates the vandal to travel--you never saw a bigoted, opinionated, stubborn, narrow-minded, self-conceited, almighty mean man in your life but he had stuck in one place since he was born and thought God made the world and dyspepsia and bile for his especial comfort and satisfaction.
    - The American Abroad speech, 1868 - Quote from Mark Twain