Leaving has always been important to me. I like travel and a sense of the unknown. Discovery has been a gateway drug for me for a long time—ever since I was a little boy. Even when I am tethered to a place because of work, lack of money, obligations or illness, I still use my imagination to leave. This as enabled me to stay connected with the world in beneficial ways. Besides seeing the physicality of new places, I have met people, often accidentally, that have taught me things or opened windows that revealed new ways to experience, think or react to life.
As I age, I face a new kind of adventure. My physical body is slowing down. My energy level is waning. Things in my body hurt. To quote Leonard Cohen, “I hurt in the places I used to play.” My mind is, however, as anxious as ever to move-on. This tussle behind the mental and the physical is gathering steam now that we are getting settled in Portland. All of my energy, physical and mental, over the past few months has been invested in leaving our home in Merida and getting moved to Portland. Within a few weeks we will be settled (more or less) into our new home. Interestingly, for the first time in a long time, the internal tug to leave is less strong. I suspect the energy expended in getting here has drained me of my get-up-and-go urges. We shall see what happens after I get fully settled and my batteries recharged.
However, I also feel that I am moving into a new territory for leaving. Staying may be my new leaving. Exploring where the mind takes me in writing, painting and photography seems like a new form of travel that I can do here in my new home—the wonderfully eccentric and welcoming city of Portland, Oregon. I do wrestle with a strange feeling that less travel will diminish me in some odd way. But at the same time I am excited to stay home in order to leave. Who knows where I might find myself, or who I might meet, as I dive deep enough into my psyche. Stay tuned.