The “Does It Give You More Freedom?” Test


In response to a writing provocation from GS:

So many places, only one a week, once? May I buy a ticket for this experience to repeat once every year, or every six months? every eight months? C’MON!!!!

So, a yearning in me is for a tropical beach off Malaysia, reality tweaked. The past brought back and a small hotel I stayed in to still be there, the sea emptied of coral in the area I want to swim in (I know, I’m sorry. I am afraid of coral) and  a small, warm pool inserted into the compound too. It was the happiest time of my life, there on Perhentian Island, with my friend Jo, and with my new family Debbie and Hash, and the wonderful travellers they looked after with love. The cats and dogs, the village down the beach, the amazing hammocks and the food. Beautiful. I’d sit and read and eat and wade and lie in the sea looking up at the sky, while wearing my sunglasses. I’d do this and empty my soul, my mind and fill up on sunshine and love.

I’d like to go to India. I pause there. Do I? In the same way I went to Fogo to see how my soul would change in an alien landscape, I think I’d like to go there. Warm, weird, uncomfortable, to shake me out of myself. To open up my mind and remind me that it doesn’t all revolve around me. I would like to go back to Fogo in the summertime, to see the unfrozen sea, but encounter the icebergs, drifting down from the pole.

I would like to travel across Malaysia, on that train, if it still exists, slicing through the jungle, meeting brown-skinned smiling people, eating rice and sauce for less than nothing. Making people smile with my Malay.

These are places that would make me bigger, they would create more space in me. They’d give me freedom and release from the false complications of modern day life where nothing much is really that important.

PS – Death is coming – Tibetan Buddhist greeting

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