Monday’s Meditation: On My Best "Bad Blogger" Excuse & Why Preparation Can Be Pointless
Please forgive the lack of posts around here the past two weeks. I don’t have much of a good excuse, except that I was busy stealing away to my fantasy land of the Greek islands with my man/ boofriend of the last century/ exploration expert, travel author and photographer/ all around brilliant human being and object of my unending affection for our private wedding (more on that later).
We did lots of shopping and returning and general prepping before the trip. I mean, it was a rawther big occasion and we wanted to look and feel our best (if one is going to play tourist, one must at least play fashionable tourist, no? If one is going to elope in Greece, one must wed one’s hardest and Greekest, yes? (?)).
Our bags were packed with the usual suspects: gold sandals, sunglasses, SPF, wedding dress. We had done our best to show up prepared, and had resigned ourselves to not possessing those items which we hadn’t been able to locate prior to the trip.
But you know, something funny happened, which was that upon arrival, we discovered that all those things we had been wanting for Greece were (go figure!) in Greece.
There, for instance, was the most incredible little jewelry shop, its entire inventory perfectly appealing to my sensibilities in every way. I had tried to find pieces I loved at home; I had nearly given myself carpal tunnel scrolling through page after page of online retailer, not to mention ransacking the inventory of several local shops. And now, poof, here it was, Annie’s dream jewelry shop. Step inside, won’t you? I bought the bracelet I wished I had been able to find at the mall, and the necklace, too.
And there were the sandals he had been wanting! The precise kind of shoes I had been trying to find!
It’s worth noting there were at least two dresses swaying slightly in the breeze of a tiny Greek shop that I looked at and thought: well, I could have worn that for the wedding, easy. Where were you when I scouring every designer and retailer I could conceive of to (almost) no avail??
There’s a lesson in there somewhere, I’m almost certain. And it isn’t about travel prep or packing. It’s about how what we need for a time and place far off and away in the future has a way of being there, waiting for us. And the version that lives there is so much more fitting than the one we might have stockpiled in anticipation of need.
We think we’re being smart, that we’re outsmarting the system even, by collecting what’s available to us now for later on. Only, when we arrive there, we realize we needn’t have worried so much, nor held so tightly to our preparatory means. For what we need and want is always available to us, at the precise moment we desire it, in the exact form we need it.
Of course, there is a fine line between being prepared and winging it. Too much of either one is limiting. If you pack your bag full of every thing you might possibly need or want on the journey, you’ll be left with no room to accomodate the treasures you may discover along the way. If you show up with nothing more than a toothbrush, claiming spontaneity, you’ll be the idiot rushing from souvenir shop to taverna asking if they sell underpants.
So bring along what you love in life, but leave room for the unexpected. Have the necessary means to abate anxiety, but be not so tied to them as to prevent your being open to new discoveries.
What’s needed and ideal for here and now is here and now. What’s desired and required for then and there has a way of uncannily, perfectly, waiting in that time and place just for you.
The trick is: you never know until you’ve already arrived.
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