Ways of Entry, Ways of Passage

While The Delusional Grandeur Tour: Last Stand of a Rock Star is out of travel status until next weekend, a word on those portals and passages that bring us into other worlds. They are the doorways to different lands, the paths to new destinations. I’ve always been fascinated by such points – the transitory marks that bring us from here to there, and occasionally back again. Whether it’s a car or a plane or a boat, whether it’s a bridge or a road or a hallway – these are the hubs of transformation. A hotel lobby is the perfect, and infinitely fascinating, example of this. Airports, too. The places where people are in motion and flux, going or coming, running to somewhere or running away from somewhere else – these are the in-between states where most people aren’t really themselves, but in which I find myself most true and real.

At its worst, it results in what I see as a tourist’s frame-of-mind. Those frazzled or simply seemingly-mindless people who don’t know where they are or what they’re doing, who suddenly forget how to walk when out of their usual routine, who forget simple human decence because they’re so preoccupied with figuring out how to order a cup of coffee outside of their own kitchen. When I see stuff like that and I’m annoyed, I call it stupidity, but really it’s more of a distracted, out-of-place confusion that many people aren’t accustomed to coping with, at least not well.

Oddly enough, it’s a state I rather favor. I find comfort in not being bound to the usual trappings of home and tradition. Yes, it can be upsetting if you’re stuck in your ways and resistant to change, but if you open your mind to new experiences it’s nothing but exciting.

Those thresholds are my comfort zone. They are where and when I feel the most alive and energized. Part of me fantasizes about working in a job where the majority of time is spent in travel status, on a train platform or at an airport gate, waiting and anticipating the next rush of motion. It’s why I’ve never minded a lengthy layover (which are far preferable to the ten-minute gauntlets thrown down in an airport that’s five miles long) and why I consider a train ride or road trip a destination unto themselves.

It need not be a world-spanning flight or cross-country jaunt – sometimes the simple length of a pool is enough to clear the mind and bring about a new sensation. Sometimes it is even simpler: a doorway, the same doorway you’ve walked through your entire life, can be the starting point for a new beginning. It’s all in how you choose to go through it. The life you knew before can change in that single instant. Make it the one that you want, and don’t be afraid to leave certain doors behind.

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