This is an excerpt from a piece from Vodou Priest/blogger Gary Howell at Knitta Please.
I have, for most of my life, enjoyed change. In whatever fashion Saturn reared His bearded head, I greeted him with a smile. “Burn the field,” I’d always say, “to make room for the seed.”
…As we sat over a tasty rose, I started to talk, and the more I talked, the more I sounded logical, sane, and strong; not traits that I think I carry on a day to day basis. Was it the wine? Was it the air of gotten stronger from not getting killed by the troubles that have been plaguing me the past months? I can’t honestly say, and I never want to find out.
But, as I was doling out my soothsaying, I more than realized that half of what was coming out of my mouth was meant for me. “Get up!” “Understand that you don’t need to go a long way, to find out you are something!”
Along my journey, many people take on themselves to deliver to me this sagely wisdom: you don’t have to travel to find what you’re looking for. I’ve learned to turn a stony eye to the arrogance of it: invariably, the words spill out of someone who has done little traveling, who lives a completely settled life. They sure feel confident in their evaluation of travel as a practice.
It might carry more weight if Gilgamesh said it.
But more than that, it’s just inaccurate: the journey has changed me. I am not the same person today that I was July 3, 2012—and the changes are an immediate result of how I have pushed my boundaries, far away from home and friends; and the continuous psychological challenge of being the only one to keep me going, toward a dream, toward a horizon I can never reach.
It’s a beautiful heartbreaking practice. It’s what defines me.
Out of all the people who have said “you don’t have to travel” Gary is the first person who then added that what was coming out of his mouth was meant for himself. And as soon as I saw those words, I understood every person who tells me the same advice: they mean it for themselves.
So, if you think I’m going to go 8,000 miles only to discover that I had what I needed the whole time, well, maybe you are right or maybe you are wrong, but certainly—definitely—you are talking about yourself.
Or, as Gary says:
“You know who you are, not all the time, but most of the time, so FUCK everyone else!”
I hope you’ll read the rest of his piece and share it widely.