Most of this post, in bits and pieces, was written longhand on an airplane. I’ve traveled a lot for work over the past two years. I spend a lot of time in airports, hotels, taxis, rental cars, coach seats. I have been a woman in transit, as much as a woman in transition.
When you travel for work you leave behind the comfort of being-at-homeness. You become Odysseus on the uncertain seas of corporate travel. Your level of acceptance for that probably depends on a lot of different variables, not the least of which is your general level of skill at negotiating those seas.
As for myself, I’m no Ryan Bingham, but I’ve gotten passably decent at business travel. I am practiced at the bizarre ritual of humility and submission that is airport security. You take off your shoes like Moses on holy ground. You pray that they all-seeing eye of the scanner finds nothing detestable or taboo in your carry-on offering before spitting it back out at you. You may be required to allow the magic wand of metal detection to further test and approve your worthiness to travel.
If that seems a bit mystical and primitive, I apologize. Life in perpetual motion does odd things to your perspective. Much of what my head and soul have been wrestling with for a while relates to the tension between connection and motion–between roots and wings.
I love the way the movie Sweet Home Alabama captures this tug-of-war. We long to escape our pasts, to outgrow our childhoods, to be free of our limitations. But we also long for comfort, continuity, and connection. We desire the comforting sense of being-at-homeness, even if it’s just being at home in our own skins.
But we are also adventurers and explorers. Our pioneer souls pull us onward to new frontiers of experience.
In an episode of LOST, a young man on a commune asked Locke if he was a Farmer or a Hunter–the two most primal archetypes.
I think we are all both. A rich life is a mix of cultivation and exploration. Discovery and curation. Investigating what could be and investing in what is.