There are moments that I — that indelible mental abstraction — cease to exist. My mind pauses and my eyes stare vacantly out the window. Such as the fleeting moment just before I typed these few words.
It must look odd to the casual voyeur, glancing about the coffee shop people-watching. “He must be deep in thought,” they think to themselves, as they look at my hunched form in the corner, neck cocked to the side and eyes staring intently at nothing.
But, thankfully, misperceptions abound. No two people view a subject in the same way unless they tap into that elusive oneness of being, and there are no swamis in saffron-colored robes in my immediate premises. Unless they are undercover… I must be careful.
Swami’s aside, I find myself in a strange position. Mentally.
Since I took that fateful philosophy class entitled “Idea of God” all those years ago in college, I’ve had one foot flopping around in the world of higher meaning, and the other firmly planted on the face of perceptual reality, the here and now, this hard wooden bench and an empty cup of espresso. The Reality vs. reality debate is roiling within.
On one hand nothing really matters as much as we make it out to, because this world is fleeting, our lives are short, and whether I decide to get a job or create a job doesn’t have much to do with the ultimate Reality. On the other, I need money and I crave respect.
Thankfully, when there are two extremes, there is usually a balance point somewhere in the middle. The Middle Way, as the Buddhists call it. Which, if it is actually used, is a good solution to pretty much any problem (i.e. “everything in moderation”).
And, as of now, my “middle way” solution is travel, with the catch that I will get jobs and experience along the way, as well as a healthy dose of adventure. This will be the first time I’ve ever traveled by myself for an extended period of time, which will be an interesting experiment in independence. I’m going to be trekking the Himalaya’s in Nepal, exercising my spirituality in India and my liver in Thailand, so if anytime is a good time to find this balance, it will be this trip. Damn you Elizabeth Gilbert, you’re making my journey sound eerily similar to Eat, Pray, Love.
Good thing I don’t like gelato.