|Goes into the post office to mail home some books… 30 minutes and 90 stamps later ^^
Once, a great guru came to a small village.
He gave a long speech and held forth on many subjects, and he claimed that the world rested on the back of four elephants. These, in turn, stood on the back of a turtle.
After the wise man had finished talking, an old woman came to ask him a question.
“Guru-ji,” she said, “You say the world is held by four elephants, which in turn are standing on the back of a turtle. But I want to know, what is the turtle standing on?”
The man’s eyes sparkled as he answered, “Why, it’s standing on the back of another turtle.”
“But what is that turtle standing on?” asked the old woman.
He smiled and said, “Madam, it’s turtles all the way down.”
The above is an amalgamation of a dozen versions of one of my favorite philosophical tales (variously attributed to Eastern and Western lore). It comes to mind today as I slowly, dare I say reluctantly, pack my things and prepare to leave Cape Town.
Why, I’m not exactly sure, but I think its suggestion of infinite yet symmetrical unknowns appeals to me in this moment of transition.
As I clear out the fridge, eating my last grapefruit, savor my last coffee at my favorite cafe, enjoy a last (unseasonably hot) afternoon at Clifton Beach and write a “last blog post” before shipping off to my next destination, I seek a clever way to avoid the “lasts” altogether.
An enigmatic symmetry and circularity have entered into my travels lately. Returns and revisits abound, and endings, more often than not, prove to be intermissions.
And so as I peer into the infinite unknowns ahead, I suspect there is more circularity in my future. Journeys bending and spiraling in on themselves in unexpected ways.
After my last coffee, I go to the post office to mail home a few notebooks’ worth of extra weight. Thirty minutes later, I leave behind a medium-sized envelope impressively plastered with 90 stamps.
The scenario is comical and exaggerated; together, the post office teller and I systematically paste rows of stamps onto the package.
I’m reminded of other boxes and envelopes I have shipped from other locations—usually filled with items whose monetary value falls far short of the cost of shipping. (Of course, you can’t put a price on memories.) Often accompanied by absurd postage situations.
Circularity and symmetry.
No “lasts” in sight.
If I were to ask a wise man to surmise my future, I think I could guess at the conversation:
“What comes after today?”
“It’s another journey ahead for you, of course.”
“And what comes after that journey?”
“Why Madam, it’s journeys all the way down.”
|Journeys all the way down…