Last night’s farewell with friends was the first that felt like a true bon voyage. ‘Til then, we were saying so-long goodbye adieu, not certain that we meant it. It’s happening, though; we’re leaving. I’m waiting for a knock on the door from fedex with our passports and pretty Indian visas. Not all visas are pretty but surely the Indian visa must be pretty – look at the lettering on this map! It’s deliciously, nerve-wrackingly, beautifully unintelligible.
Last week, Noirin sent a lovely little card which contained these thoughts on travelling by Cesare Pavese:
Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.
Trust and Being Off-Balance. This is what I’m most afraid of and this is what I most want. When my visa application was slightly delayed, I doubted and fretted, needlessly in retrospect (always in retrospect, I’m so very brave in retrospect). My fears always stem from uncertainty and a perceived lack of control. It’s rarely the thing itself that scares me when I’m (also rarely) faced with it. It’s the unknowing moments before: the limbo of it all.
I don’t know how to be completely other than who I am but I like the word Ian used when we lay in bed and exchanged apprehensions: Mitigate. I am going to try to mitigate my Self. And I’m going to memorise these quotes I love and repeat them like a mantra whenever I am too much like a Deborah.
See you in India everyone. Wish me luck!
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step – Lao Tzu.
Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page – St. Augustine.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover – Mark Twain.