At night, whenever I’m in a tent, I read poetry – most recently, Rumi. Rumi’s poems take successive readings to really ripen in my head, and I’ve been chewing on one for awhile now. Here’s the part of it I keep coming back to:
Any wine will get you high.
Judge like a king, and choose the purest,
The ones unadulterated with fear,
or some urgency about “what’s needed.”
Drink the wine that moves you
as a camel moves when it’s been untied,
and is just ambling about.
What I’ve been doing this week – traveling around like an ambling camel, letting moments catch me – is one of the wines that move me. I’m often tempted to think that if I could, I would do nothing but travel around and photograph nature – be sort of a workaholic, itinerant nature photographer. I find that the words and the images never flow so easily as when I’m on the road. And there may yet be a period of that in my future. But not now. Because there is more than one wine that moves me. I also want to drink the wine of parenting, of home, of friendship. And yet, as I travel eastward, I can feel a part of my heart receding into the background, slipping away.
But what about this – what if I could bring it home with me? What if my life didn’t have to be so rigidly divided into two camps – this is home, parenting, partnering, working, and this is traveling, creating, being me? What if I could keep a bottle of this wine at home? What if I got better at bringing my road self home, instead of saying, “Oh, excuse me, I need to go on a trip so I can be myself. I’ll be back shortly.”
From here, I’m going to try to bring the Badlands home, keep it around me, keep creating, until it’s time to hit the road again. We’ll see.
I think this is integrity I’m talking about, or rather, wholeness.