Instructions for travel.

November 22, 2012 § 21 Comments

You will arrive wet and confused in a place too brightly lit, too cold.

But don’t worry, they’re waiting for you.

They will hold you and keep you warm.

You will discover the things I have packed for you as you need them: the good pair of hands, the strong legs, the mind that will throw questions back at me like winged darts.

I also tossed in waltz time and boogie woogie and two feet that’ll know just what to do, so enjoy.

You’ll remember this conversation for a while, but by the time you can speak the local language the memory will have grown thin. You may catch a glimpse of it, like a bird in flight, out of the corner of your eye—then something will distract you.

Where you are going there are many distractions.

You may stay right where I put you, rooted in place, or you may wander. What you do there is up to you. I won’t interfere.

You will be away for an indeterminate length of time—some return so quickly they are remembered there by no name but baby.

How long for you? I know, but for you it will be a surprise. Trust me, it works better that way.

I can’t say this journey will not be hard. Sometimes it will. And you’ll wonder, is all this travail necessary? The cancer, the bunions, the forgetfulness? I’m sorry, but it is. These conditions come with being perishable.

Life, in its quickness, will be more precious to you because it is not built to last. Hopefully, that will keep you alert, engaged. Forever is a sleepy place.

And because there are sorrows there are also joys; the dark reveals the light. You will know first love and true love. You will eat chocolate and pat dogs.

You will forget much but try to remember this. You are there to do and to feel and to learn.

To do what? To feel what? To learn what? Tell me when you get back.

Musical chairs is a game they play there. Know that one day you will no longer be part of the game. Know too that I am the one removing the chairs and that it could happen at any time.

You will think it is unfair, you will fight to stay.


Make the most of your time, and then let go.

For you the trip will seem long. For me, less than a flicker.

Still, I will miss you. And when you come home I will be waiting with the porch light on.

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