To be human is to be hungry. Our life, just like our metabolism, is a perpetual cycle driven by temporary satisfaction. We are born hungry. We find food, and the body digests it, giving enough energy to continue searching for another meal. Just enough to keep the cycle going. Eat so that you may be hungry.
So we are imbued with this divine life force, this metabolism that keeps us relentlessly living, and the question arises: Why? I have tried to maximize the RPM of this cycle, burning and burning, adding purer fuel to live faster and more efficiently. But it’s still just movement for movement’s sake. Is it not wasted if we don’t move toward anything?
In a sense, the life purpose of a gas tank is to simply get to the next gas station.
You drive your car to work and home again, frequent the same spots and use the same gas stations, probably the ones closest to your house. With a few interesting exceptions, your car’s entire function is to drive you around in a big circle.
You do the same things day in and out, eat the same meals, do the same exercises, see the same friends, work the same job. The driver of your car isn’t very happy with you–just like how you don’t like thinking about the sad existence of your car’s gas tank.
But of course during a long beautiful road trip you’re not living on the inside of your engine, where the spark plugs fire cylinders in endless repetition, slowly burning through the dwindling supply of gasoline. You’re looking out the window at the hills, smelling the ocean air and feeling the wind in your hair, or getting out to hike a trail or climb a mountain while your car sits patiently in the parking lot.
Your body’s the vehicle, after all, and once all these trips are done and gone the memory remains, pristine and fresh in the mind’s eye.
Do these memories brighten up your spirit when you recollect them on the daily commute? Is that all they’re good for–a temporary escape? Do you look on the photos you took with an intense longing and loathe the fact that you’re here, and not there?
I guess it’s a good reminder, in the most positive light, that you are a man who can go on trips, who has the power to plan and execute, and put himself in a foreign setting where he can learn something new.
I feel this way about the high times of the spirit, that consciousness which drives your body. Remember those times where you were in full gratitude of the moment. Recall that love, and go forth so that you may abide again under the soft light of the country stars. Or even visit a new place each time—feel a different kind of love, a new shade of melancholy streaming through grey raindropped windows, a new warmth radiating off the hot rocks under your back, a new scent of satisfaction rolling off the ocean over the waves.
We are all travellers. I think that’s what it boils down to.