Thursday, May 18, 2006

Wandering ...

Sometimes I have to wander to find myself, and when I'm not free to wander I have to read ... searching I guess, for some thing to hold or interest me, to allow movement of another kind.

I love a journey, be it real or imagined; mine or belonging to someone else.

Dan Eldon made sense when he wrote 'The journey is the destination' and he lived his life accordingly.

In 'The Great Arc', Carrithers wrote, 'The first moral is that human life is 'metamorphic'. 'Metamorphic' here is a term of art meant to capture the incessant mutability of human experience, the temporality woven into all human institutions and relationships.'

But that's not how we're encouraged to live ...

Rita Golden Gelman became another I admire when she went wandering: I am a modern-day nomad. I have no permanent address, no possessions except the ones I carry, and I rarely know where I’ll be six months from now. I move through the world without a plan, guided by instinct, connecting through trust, and constantly watching for serendipitous opportunities.

Her book, Tales of a Female Nomad, is one I've often recommended since first reading it back home in New Zealand ... in those days when my acts of nomadism were limited to how far my car would take me.

Robert Burton, in The Anatomy of Melancholy, devoted an immense amount of time and scholarship to showing that travel was not a curse but a cure for melancholy; that is, for the depressions brought on by settlement: 'The heavens themselves turn continually, the sun rises and sets, the moon grows bigger, stars and planets keep their constant motions, the air is tossed by the winds, waters ebb and flow ... teaching us that we should ever be in motion.

He who does not travel does not know the value of men ...
A Moorish proverb.


wandering-woman said...

Lovely post. I read Rita on a plane dashing between cities when I finally started reading instead working on planes during work travel.....I think we can reasonably blame her for getting thoroughly under my corporate skin.

But oh, hadn't heard the Burton quote, beautiful.

woman wandering said...

Thanks w-w. I have all these quotes and things, noted down over time in two of the journals I travel with ... they all kind of came up in yesterday's mood.