I remember reading once, maybe it was a haiku or a Chinese proverb, I don't know. Anyway, the gist of it was that it is better to travel hopefully than to arrive. Hmmmm...unless we can replace distance with time and therefore speak of a metaphorical journey towards Christmas and the usual childhood anti-climax involving socks and selection boxes, I think we can safely say our oriental chappy was a few grains short of a full bowl or had travelled to some pretty gruesome places in his time.
For myself, unless I am actually driving or journeying on water, the travel holds little fascination and arriving is all. Moreover, I have never, ever travelled without hope and this time will be no exception. And yet, this will be such a weird journey and each emotion I feel will be balanced by one which, if not exactly equal, is most certainly opposite. Paradox whichever which way.
In a very real sense, I'm going home. Where I belong and where I was destined to be. There will be an ease, a comfort and a familiarity yet at the same time a sense of dislocation. Not immense, no. Maybe just as if everything has suddenly moved one molecule's width to the right. Subtle, but a change all the same. I shall be full of hope, yes...and my doubts will soon subside. I shall be me and yet more and less than me. I shall be filled and yet will have emptied myself of all I have. I shall regret not doing this sooner and still know that this is the only time it could have happened. I shall recognise the language and yet some of the message will be hard to interpret. Nothing will change and yet nothing will ever be the same again.
Knowing all this, I shall place one foot in front of the other tomorrow morning. Deliberately. With forethought. I go because I desire it. I go because I must. And I go because this is where my life has led me. And I travel with hope, yes. How could I not?
There will be much laughter and a few tears. And that which has been apart for too long will be together again. And I shall use many names. Each shall have its own power. And its own weight. Its own magic. And they will issue from my lips. In my voice. With my love.
I am an extremely lucky man. And I am very content.
RogerB seems awfully concerned that, at my current rate of weight loss, there is some danger of my disappearing along with the bath water and he would appreciate an up-date. So, ever sensitive to the requirements of my readers, here you go, Rog.
No danger at all...14 1/2 kilos (32 lbs) so far and, along with the loss, some redistribution of inches from the abdomen to the upper torso.
I think I would wedge, dear heart.