Dita Parker

Monday, February 11, 2013


I feel a sense of rebirth every time I travel. It starts the moment I leave home because I know the person that steps through that door...I never see them again. I come home transformed, sometimes in some minor way, sometimes in major ways, and that metamorphosis is not dependant on either the destination or the length of the journey. Neither do you know in advance what will touch you, move you, shock you, disturb you, and what will leave you cold.

That's the beauty, the horror and excitement of travel. If you do it with all your senses engaged and open, and all your electronic devices closed (OK, take a picture if you must, but remember: by the time the camera is out, the moment is usually gone, wasted), something always happens to derail the way in which you view the world, think about it. And yourself.

I rarely travel alone these days, but even with friends and/or family in tow, I always try to find a moment all to myself, go where I've never gone before, see something I've never set eyes on. It's a moment of zero reason and logic and total concentration and connection. All emotion, all sensation. Animal existence. Often fleeting, flashing, but I find there's something terribly healthy and healing in those moments. It's a chance to reboot. (I hate these computer terms, but in lack of a better term to explain the inexplicable...)

What you're seeing is of course totally indifferent to you. It demands nothing, asks for nothing, expects nothing. In that moment, you see exactly how tiny a place you occupy on this planet and how big an influence and importance you grant things that are of no consequence. Human pursuits seem mad, our aspirations moving, our fears ludicrous, and much of what is going on absurd. And your life...

You know the person who walks through your door upon return will feel strange. Strange because of what they brought home. Strange because of things they left behind. Some without thought. Some on purpose. This person who now occupies your house starts a string of interrogations. They question everything. Your thoughts. Your actions. Goals. Aspirations. Is this who you are? Is this what you commit yourself to? Is this what you want? Are these your thoughts and choices? Still?

Some things in this life bulldoze you with their implications and consequences. And then there are moments like the sting of a bee. More may be revealed to you in such a moment than you might find in a decade of determined search. What you do with that vision...now that's an altogether different journey.

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