Sunday, July 28, 2013

"In My Own Little Corner"

This post by Jurgen Wolff came into my email at the end of May. I have saved and savored it.  At this time in my life I am contemplating the third act of my life.  How shall I live? To what shall I devote my time? Where will I live?

There is a small part of me that loves the idea of going adventuring. I love to visit beautiful places. A little corner of my heart would love to travel and experience new and different people, food, music and (most of all) beautiful scenery. Truth be told, I like the "idea" of traveling far better than the reality. I think some culturally brainwashed part of me believes that I should want to travel and go on adventures, as opposed to any real wanderlust burning in my heart. 

I have been blessed to have traveled a lot when I was young. I've been to a some incredible places and had some wonderful (and a few far from wonderful) travel adventures. I have to be honest and admit that I'd rather sleep in my own bed at night. I like my own cooking. Even when I was young my stomach never adapted well to changes in water, and it hasn't got any more adaptable with age. I have always been an adventurous diner, but I like to try new things when I'm close to home -- just in case.  I'm afraid of heights, so traveling in the mountainous places is such a challenge that I am more or less committed to avoid that. I don't like cold weather. I am fastidious about bathroom privacy, which has always created problems for me when travelling.

I'm too much of a chicken to go trekking off the beaten path alone. I don't have the money (or the personality) for organized tours.  I might trek off the beaten path with a pal (male or female), but I don't know anyone who would be interested in doing that right now. If I meet a potential travel pal, I'll reconsider.

For now, I am quite content with my small life by the sea. I fill my need for beauty with daily sunrise walks by the ocean. The clouds and birds and the very ocean itself nurture my spirit. My walks on the beach fill both my body's need for exercise and my soul's need for beauty.  Why should I visit faraway places when I can experience the magnificence of the ocean outside my door? (Besides, through the magic of the Internet, I can visit anywhere in the world in pictures, movies, or on Google Maps, without leaving my chair.)

The Rogers and Hammerstein musical, Cinderella, features a song that resonated with me the first time I heard it as a teenager. I remember part of the lyrics even though I haven't seen the play in years. (I NEVER remember the words to songs.) In part it says:
In my own little corner in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be.  On the wings of my fancy I can fly anywhere and the world will open its arms to me.
 The truth is that I've always been more of a spiritual adventurer than a physical adventurer. I love to read books and watch movies about people and places from faraway times and lands -- and even totally imaginary times and places. While sitting on my living room couch, my mind and my soul can travel to distant places, experience wild things, and be back in time for supper.

When I'm not reading, I make up my own stories. Characters emerge from the mists of my imagination. I build imaginary homes, businesses, schools and entire worlds. It sometimes gets very busy inside my head. I am a person who lives a very circumscribed life, physically, but I live a life of big ideas. The truth is, I'd be totally happy if I never again had to travel more than a few miles from my house, as long as I can live at the beach and have a some disposable money to pay for WiFi and e-books.

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