Monday, December 17, 2012


TRAVELERS

Some say that the first half of life is spent acquiring things, and the last half is spent letting them go. That's generally true, I suppose, but it's different for travelers, who from the start of their journey begin to let things go. One of the unsung benefits of travel is learning how to do this, how not to invest too much of your presence in static physical things.

If you're a traveler, by now you know the deepest meaning of goodbye. As to physical things, you've learned to never accumulate more than you wish to carry, and from your first day of wander you've worked to pare even that down, to give yourself maximum mileage; you therefore reduce all that matters to practicals, minimals, symbols, essences, thoughts, memories, things you can take with you when you go-- as you always do, or at least always think of doing.

If in your latter travels you physically settle down somewhere, in spirit you still treat time like a traveler, still live like a traveler, consider like a traveler, eye your surrounds like a traveler, always thinking: maybe next month, maybe next year; viewing all your trappings with a measuring eye, plotting what to do with them at departure, give them to friends who might need them, enjoy them, pass them on... for you know what anchors possessions can be to fluent passage on the endless river - known only to travelers - that runs always through the world and has carried you here, the marvelous river you've never really left, that runs now inside you, calling to the boat of your soul...

The traveler spends his life letting go and going on, and at death it is the same.

4 comments:

Sandy miller said...

I am in the middle of a huge purge and let many things go. Never put much stock in stuff but after 30 years in one house it just accumulates. Have friends who hang onto paperclips, never got it. After reading this it occurred to me I spent quite a few years with nothing but a backpack strapped to my back and enough money to get me to the next adventure. Tickets were and are still better then stuff ...... and so it will be in the final journey. Paperclip hoarders never bought the ticket....
Thanks!

Robert Brady said...

Welcome back to the river, Sandy!

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Your last line sums it up well!.

Entre Nous said...

Age seems to allow the letting go each time it becomes easier than the last until finally there is nothing left to let go of but life but hopefully not too soon