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7:37 p.m. - August 18, 2003
A leash, a noose: What's the difference, really?
The history of leisure travel has its genesis in the Victorian era when transportation and the English language became standardized and the responsibilities of Empire beckoned. During the Edwardian era, transportation and money colluded to entice the upper middle class to leave the servants at home and travel not simply for amusement but for the stated - and expected - broadening of vistas and minds, the luxury of viewing both home and Away through a new lens. I've been thinking about that travel meme, if I can call it so, off and on today while doing my errands and opening two months' worth of credit card offers and catalogues and whoo hoo - a real live letter from Maya. In many ways I've become snared in an ever-shrinking circle shaped like a noose (therefore ovoid, eh?) though through this travel lens, so to speak, I recognize complacency and disinterest for what it is: Asphyxiating. Hmm. Get it? Noose, ever-shrinking, asphyxiation? All that was unplanned, to boot. Each time I come home the more I recognize the need Ė the want Ė the compulsion Ė to leave, almost flee in a sense, I guess. Perhaps a childish metonym, that desire to start fresh and make it work the second time Ďround, but one that pulls without gain. No, thatís inaccurate; seeing things clearly is a gain and while I resist and obfuscate and ignore, I donít deny. Iím back in Northern California not because I own a house, not because I love my job, not because I have a great circle of friends, not because of the weather or culture or a smitten topographerís Eden. Iím here because I fear the unknown and trying something new Ė somewhere new Ė is too much. I suppose itís axiomatic to presume that the more I fear something, the more home looks better, but thatís not the case. The more I fear, the more I loathe and the less I do.

Anyway, I was thinking about how easy some people have it to get up and go in the U-Haul and strike out for something new. It isnít wanderlust, itís wanderconfidence and for me, I wander just far enough to forget the leash.


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