2003-03-24 - 9:34 a.m.

A few years ago I was in the midst of a particularly difficult emotional crisis. It was a time where it was all I could do to get out of bed, to function in the world. It was towards the end of that whole thing that one day I just jumped on my bike even though it was still rather cold outside. That day I had only one thing on my mind, to get as far away from “things” as I could. I didn’t want to drive away, I wanted to ride away. I needed something physical, something that I was actively participating in. I needed that glaring metaphor of a blank road stretching out in front of me with no final destination. I just needed to go, to push myself away. And so I did.

That day I rode and rode. I never thought about the fact that I would have to get back. I just rode forward…escaping. I went until suddenly something in my physical body said…”whoa.” I was cold and I was beyond fatigue. And I had also managed to ride for two hours away from my house. It was then that I sat down on the side of those winding country roads in the middle of no where and realized my plight and upon that realization I also solved my emotional crisis. I realized that in life there are certain roads you can take, you can risk a wrong turn here and there, as long as you can always get back to where you started from if need be. I realized that you can take those roads of life as far as you want, as long as you reserve enough strength to get back to point A if that road you chose doesn’t take you where you need to be.

I barely made it home that day. When I finally did arrive home I was so fatigued that I could not even lift my legs to get up the two steps into my house. I vowed, from that day on, that should I ever endeavor to escape life again, I will always make sure to remember that I need enough spirit, strength and will to get back. I also realized that there are certain things in life that you will always need to get back to, no matter how far you go. The core things of your soul must always be within easy reach.

I live by this creed of mine and it is one of the reasons I declined a trip to Sweden with E. this week. He has to go there for business for a few days and wanted me to go along. The problem is that it has taken me so long to acclimate here, to get comfortable enough to reclaim myself and actually walk around in a lessened state of zombie. For the last couple weeks I lived in kind of a daze, on the edge of myself so to speak. I don’t want to go and disturb the peace I have recently found and reclaimed for myself. Because that peace is part of my core soul without which I cannot survive. I am not the kind of person that thrives in unrest, in exploration. While I do want to see the world, while I do want to take advantage of as much as I can…I know my limits. I am a slow explorer. E. will go anywhere, anytime. E. has seen so much of this world, experienced more than I can hope to in my entire life. But he is different than I. I like to walk the same street over and over again until I have memorized it, until I have become part of the street before I will move on. He will walk as many streets as he can in whatever amount of time he has just so he can see as much as possible. So I told him, no, I am not going to Sweden with you because I am comfortable for the first time in a long time and want to relish it just a little longer.

But then yesterday happened and my whole theory about reserving strength to get back and keeping the parts of your core soul close by is all shot to hell.

I have a route that I walk. It starts at the front of the chateau that looms in E.’s backyard. I then follow the terrace for a couple miles. It is a perfect path, straight as an arrow. I can stand at one end and see it stretch in front of me. It is very poignant to me. I stand there before setting off on my walk and I let my spirit swell with the distance. As I walk, further away from everything that is comfortable, I gain strength. My mind wanders; I do not think about life, I do not think about anything that I can remember when I get back. They are quiet, perfectly solitary moments. Since I started walking this route I have turned back at a certain point, always the same spot. Always smiling softly to myself as I purposely turn around…smiling because I have ventured far but reserved enough strength to return to what I love, just like I had taught myself. Smiling because I have something that I want to return to. I like that thought, that I have something to return to. But yesterday I decided I had gotten strong enough to venture a little farther along the path. I took a chance and let my feet plod on a little more, let myself escape a little further. And what I found was amazing. By just letting myself go a little more, by forsaking my comfortable spots for just a moment, I arrived someplace where I have never felt so right. At the end of the terrace there is a circle of trees. A big ¼ mile or so circle of trees. Perfect. I sat in the middle of that circle yesterday, just barely able to see the path from which I had emerged and realized that I have perhaps cheated myself of finding places like this by being so cautious. By never letting myself live on the edge of myself for too long. I realized that the problem with what happened that day on the bike was that the moment I got too tired to go any further I was in a place I didn’t want to be. Yesterday I ended up in a place I could stay for a long time. If I had happened to end up in a spot where I felt I belonged, that day on the bike, I might have taken away a different experience because I would have happily rested in that spot until I had regained enough strength to get back.

The irony of yesterday’s discovery is that I found the place on this earth that is my perfect spot. There is no better place for me, for my hermit self…but I never would have found it unless I had ventured away from hermit and walked the well trodden, people laden path away from my comfort. So now I wonder, was I right to decline the trip to Sweden? Because possibly there is a circle of trees there too that calls for me, but I will never find it unless I put myself out there again. But then I remember that it is possible that there will not be a perfect circle and that my soul, if forced to live on the edge of itself again, might just jump off and not come back.

Methinks I have too much time on my hands in which to think about things.


Get your own
 diary at! contact me older entries

previous - next

Get your own
 diary at! contact me older entries

about me - read my profile! read other Diar
yLand diaries! recommend my diary to a friend! Get
 your own fun + free diary at!