Where to Begin at The End?
Returning from a whirlwind vacation can be a blessing and a curse simultaneously. Resting up and being comfortable in the familiar back home is the blessing. And yet the sudden end of the intense variety, novelty, fun, and experience overload is jarring in stark contrast, which is the curse. It can leave one feeling bereft of things to do, sensing the uber-ride has ended and all that's left to do is twiddle one's thumbs. And I suppose the more interesting and involving the vacation was, the more this blessing and curse comes into play.
Case in point. To ease my re-entry back home after a recent vacation, one of the things I've tried to do is sort through and backup the photos I took. This has backfired to a great extent for the photos have only reinforced the cursed aspect of being off the vacation ride. After all, I took nearly 3000 photos while in Peru. That's quite a lot to revisit and ultimately relive. I should have expected that processing the photos might delay my full reentry back home.
As a result, in many ways, I feel a significant part of me is still navigating the cobblestones of Cuzco feeling the energy of ancestors long gone after being cut down by the invader's swords, still lost in nature in the Sacred Valley, still enthralled by the ancient creations on display in the museums, still riding the train through deep river gorges to Aqua Calientes, still astonished at the history and details of Machu Picchu, still climbing with amazement through a dozen other Incan and pre-Incan ruin sites, still giving an offering of three coca leaves to Pachamama during my solo entry into the Temple of the Moon, still enjoying the wide energetic sweep and sea-side beauty of Lima, and still enjoying being with the people of Peru.
The more I think about it, the distinction of having a blessing and a curse is not only artificial, it is wrong. When we visit people and places that stay with us, no matter how long ago the journey ended and one gets settled back home - that can only be a good thing, and a blessing all around. Such experiences are meant to become a part of us, and we of them. There is no curse involved unless we stop moving forward. Which leaves me to consider my opening question in a new light - where to begin at the end? Thinking through it, I know the answer now. The way one begins is with even newer experiences, more intense variety and novelty and fun. And all of that, all of those new people and places will also become a part of us. Nothing is ever left behind. We simply expand ourselves to encompass a more complete understanding of our world.