Are not all lovely things far away?
-- Edgar Allen Poe
Well, at least I think it's Poe. It's from a reading on a Lou Reed album that is based on Poe's Raven.
But far away is where we are going. To Southeast Asia for six months. Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia... we're leaving it all behind- taking what the Aussies call a 'gap year', but much later in life.
I had a career- but it wasn't my life. When it was wrenched away last January I was left with nothing anchoring me. Then friends died, close friends. A life rich enough and full enough, a loving wife and family, the faith of my friends in me, eased the brunt of the loss. But the pace of life's passing didn't slow. Aches that don't go away, new stress replacing the old. It was time to do something to live life to the fullest.
We cleared out our home, filled dumpsters and the Sally Ann with junk and ephemera we've carried these decades. The hardest is leaving our precious dog, Comet, with friends while we're away. She's cared for but she is the one loser in this, the one left behind. We tell ourselves she'll be fine 'til we get back.
So here we are sitting in the coach section of a China Air 747. The plane's umbilicals are disconnected, we are cut off from the gangway, from North America, from our past, heading to new possibilities. That's the key to all life, creating conditions for new possibilities.
We have a few bags with us, but we take other baggage too- our prejudices and predispositions and hang-ups. We'll find out in the weeks to come what is Not Wanted on Passage.
I hope you enjoy this blog and look forward to your comments. It's the first non-business writing I've done so I'm curious about what will come out.
Since I'm starting this, due to popular demand, about two months into the trip, the first few posts are remembrances... but starting now (Jan 23) I'll be as live as possible.
Raven is a great album by the way... pick it up (if you can find it) for some good Hallowe'en listening.