Preparations to be made. Loose ends to tie. Lists to write. Packing, packing, packing -- what'd I forget?!? And that's just for a single, untethered young yogi. Also, that knot of pre-trip considerations is just the start, not even touching on the finer points: inconveniences, deprivations; the breaking of the hallowed Routine; the loss of the creature comforts that have made sedentary life the norm in many parts of the modern world.
Logistical mayhem, this.
To leave one's home, however temporal that home might be, and however temporal the leaving -- it's no small thing, for mind as much as body. For the un-traveled, this reaction might come as something of a surprise (if not a shock). These attachments run deep, and strong, so much that, for many, there's ultimately no preparing oneself for The Departure, same as there's no preparing to leave the womb.
And so that's why a death is necessary.
For me, the process has become quite pronounced, as to be predictable. Before the departure commences, a stoppage must occur, an end to the primal continuity which constitutes the infrastructure of the average man's linear, time-lined, earthbound existence. The mind must shift from an orientation of survival and posterity and movement, to one of in-the-moment stillness -- a mentality of planning and tomorrows and progress, to that of Here and Now, and these things only.
There is resistance to this letting-go, of course, that of the ties that bind us (so securely, yes, but oh so restrictively). But, slowly, surely ... release is attained, either climatically, with our fingernail marks on it, or quietly, whimper-style. Then, a timelessness ensues, a cessation -- sometimes uneasy, sometimes tranquil, but always inevitable.
The hands untense. The bag is hoisted. The slate is wiped. The horizon opens up, and with it, the road.
* * *
Such was the case for my latest journey, requiring this bittersweet ritual and its mental gymnastics. And, for all its ado (adieu?), this journey was a short one. Likewise, the journey was rather routine, just a few days of van-camping in some relatively staid suburban environs (without even crossing state lines, as it were). So routine and pedestrian, I once more will refrain from so much as my uninteresting pictures.
But I loved it, loved it, loved it. Loved the dying as much as the living that followed.