Thursday, May 24, 2012
3) Morning of The Night Before
Preparations are like that. A teenager spends all sorts of time getting himself ready. He might even iron out his wrinkles. But does he leave his room, his domain, his real life in any better shape before he goes? We prepare ourselves for what is out there, believing its newness will bring us yet more, but once there, experience tends to reveal, we take ourselves with us. Problem for the teenager though, with his sudden put-on-courtliness, is that he has to come back. To be himself. And the chores of real life, the expectations of the day to day, become the average of his life's progress. Not just the date. But there is certainly an excitement in the air, one must admit, the morning of the night before. Journeys can take on a significance altogether invigorating. Seems trite to say, but 'tis so! The days away for the leaver are different from the succession of ordinary days for the one who stays. Time away is rich with new images, experiences, sensations, and the quest for making the most of time is alive with possibility. Staying at home is not at all like that. Consciously. The view from the window will be tomorrow and tomorrow, so why make any more of the petty pace from day to day? But when away? Why, there is always something new to see! Some new place to be. Some new older face to face. Being natural wherever one is, is a state of grace. Wedding photos, graduation photos, photos of poses when the camera and you are aware of each other are pictures of happiness and beauty. But when caught by the camera in that moment of being all to oneself, when the face is not prepared, the wind blows the wrong way, the reality of life is not layered with drinks and fine food and swell company, there is the repose of the day to day etched into the droop of reality. We are human beings caught up in everything. As such, the big camera in the sky does not lie; it sees all. That gorgeous teenager, boy or girl, can look altogether different asleep, aged, with years yet to go by. We take ourselves with us. Pain does not surcease at the movies. We merely are able to pit present reality against the projection on the screen, and should the screen portray life bigger than it is, involve us beyond the natural narcissism of our own interests, we get transported into another world sufficiently to forget for awhile the slings and arrows of our own outrageous fortune. Such is catharsis. Holidays, dates, new horizons, they lift us out of the stupor of the self in the daily bind, give flight to fancy, and provide scope for breathing air elsewhere. Not here. Over there. Here, on the morning of the night before, I do what I can to prepare. The check list is helpful. The timing of some things needs to be precise. Without a visa and a passport and a confirmation number one might as well stay home. And then too, there are all the things back here that need doing during my sojourn, before I return. Life has a way of involving us in details. Bills want paying. Datelines need meeting. Deadlines is another matter. One posts two letters with one stamp, rather than kills two birds with one stone. This morning of the night before I watch time tick toward the journey of a fulcrum between now, and later. And even when there, or when back, that 'now' is all one has.