To go, to stay, to plan, to play
We're almost ready to go. And by ready, I mean we acknowledge the inevitability of that 6:15am flight - it hasn't been cancelled yet - and we are moving towards it. We're whittling down our checklist, task by task; labeling and stowing boxes under beds and in closets, fruit rollup-ing all our shirts and pants and laboring over the use of each book. My thoughts are at war: the sea of tasks still left and the sadness of leaving home are wrestling with the adventure to come.
All the copying and faxing and scanning and storing, moving intangible bits of data from this pink plastic box to that blue one seems never-ending. And yet it's a cathartic process. If we could just be in Peru - BANG! - we would probably pass out from the disorientation. Some of life's big changes need little steps to allow for us to adjust, to grieve, to let go and to get EXCITED.
It's usually during these mindless tasks that things hit me. Like packing up boxes of clothing and labeling them and wondering what it'll be like to unpack them; wondering how this time capsule will affect me in two years. And then I realize it's impossible to guess. The weight of that impossibility catches me off guard and I wonder what the f*ck we're doing. How could we possibly go through with something that's so unknowable? But is planning ever enough?
At this point we've done enough due diligence to set even my risk-assessing father a bit more at ease. But still we wonder and with each moment I seem change my mind - is this right? Can calculated measures from far away make you safe when you arrive?
While my heart is flittering about, my mind is charging through these tasks. And each of these stupid, little tasks is like overturning a rock and exposing something unexpected.
Earlier I picked up each and every piece of clothing I'd already decided I absolutely needed and tried to decide which I would really miss. Beyond warmth and comfort, they'll all just symbols of home and comfort. What I really want to bring is the feeling of being with family and friends and of waking up in the crispness of a New England morning. I want to record voices. I want to be able to bottle the smell and taste of home cooking. So I pack a bunch of tiny little containers filled with the cumin and cinnamon we brought back from India, the cloves we got in Mexico, and the oregano my mom grew in her garden.
Of course the other part of my brain is going - you don't need anything! This is all just cushy comfort stuff. Pack light, ultralight. A few shirts, toothbrush and you're done!
So I find a compromise for now, between excited and sad; between thoughts of home and travel ahead.