Here I am, half a world away from the place I´ve called home for the last dozen-plus years, living the dream, wandering a new continent, and the longer I am here, the more I realize that what I need to do is write.
There´s a part of me that wants to be disappointed. I can write anywhere, this part of me says. Why can´t I put it aside, make the most of this opportunity to see new places and explore new things? The pressure is immense. After all, when, realistically, will I be here again? I should make the most of it while I can. All this business of facing my personal darkness and finding something like redemption or purpose in my work can be done later, when I get home and have nothing better to do.
When I look back, this part of me says, I will regret squandering this opportunity to explore. The worst, most insidious thing is this: the voice is right. It has a legitimate point.
After all, what is the purpose of travel, if not to see new places, meet new people, explore the vast and wondrous variety this world has to offer? To shuck the comfort and security of the familiar and find yourself anew, shorn of the habits of mind and life that normally circumscribe your passage through this world, and, you know, have a little fun while you do it?
Thing is, all that shucking and shearing and finding myself anew has led me to a different conclusion than the part of me that says I need to make the most of my journey-as-journey says it should. That what I thought this journey would do, take me outside myself, offer me respite from the darkness always hovering over me, is not what this journey has done. What this journey has done is, rather, the complete opposite: it has brought all the things I thought it would liberate me from to the forefront, and demanded that I face them.
Son of a bitch. Continue reading “The Conspiracy, For and Against”