Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A Real Nowhere Man

A Life Less Ordinary
Nine years in Korea, one and a half years in Portland and a year traveling in Europe, India, Nepal, and Hong Kong. A life less than ordinary indeed, resplendent with the glamour of foreign lands, exotic languages and esoteric cultures and cuisines.

All the world as a stage, so to speak, and me one of the actors in a play that is surely an action adventure or a comedy, but that I insist on seeing as a tragedy. And you know, its all in the eye of the beholder ;)

I wandered through the rooms of my cavernous new home today, surveying the scene of my latest adventure, and I wondered about that carefully constructed image of the seasoned flaneur, traveling light and collecting naught but a few photographs and a handful of good stories. the easy breezy me...

And I had to laugh.

Many of the meditative faiths of the world speak of "letting go," escaping attachment in order to free oneself of craving and aversion, but also of tactile goods and even memories - and the mental baggage that they invariably carry with them

And here I was literally looking at my "baggage." For one who is so fancy free amid the wonders of the world and learning the lessons of the road, I sure have a LOT of crap. In fact, it is fair to say that I have learned nary a thing about letting go of attachments. In fact, I am carrying almost 1,000 pounds of attachments - an entire life that doesn't exist anymore except in memory

I am carrying around the photos of a life that I left behind along with the dishes that sat in my kitchen, the 1000s of photos that chronicle that life and hundreds of other artifacts that have no relevance to today, but belong to a yesterday that is already ancient history and should be allowed to moulder away in dusty corners.

I am carrying the lives I lived in Halifax and Kingston in the 90s, in Korea in the late 90s and early 00s, in Portland in 06 and in India in 07/08. Diplomas, clothing, postcards, photographs and more photographs, dishes and duvets, birthday gifts and tokens of affection, testaments to pain and joy that don't need to be memorialized but have been dragged across oceans and a continent.

And will now go on shelves in a musty basement.

And are attachments that may one day be given up...

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