Friday, 26 February 2010
Rise of the renunciate
The weight of posessions. Whether you drag them or carry them. When they merely surround you, they only suffocate your soul slowly. When you're travelling they scream at your arms and stab your back. And weigh on your mind at the thought of moving or the sight of steps. Even the convenience of wheels is a pain. Your whole navigation is trained as you look for the smoothest surfaces, the
shortest route, the elevators. You are self-disabled.
Luxuries become agonies, and the trials of travelling shed them as a runner sheds fat. In bursts of enlightment the unnecessary extras are wrapped up as generosity to unwitting acquintances, left in hotel rooms for cleaners, or fed into dustbins with the rest of waste. While the consumer impulses whittle to nothing but fantasies for food and drink. Tobacco. Newspapers replace books. Only that which can be ingested, excreted, discarded or are desired. You develop a taste for the weightless. An automatic gasp at the discovery of accidental loss is expelled in a sigh of joy at the realisation of
Like a disciplined mountain climber, without the forethought. This mountain is anything but lonely. Hoards line the slopes with necessities for your pack, deoderants. Getting full? Further up they sell larger bags. Run out of money? Lenders are on hand.
Not even the most absent minded can fail to notice their excesses when they carry it all with them. All excess are tamed by motion.
Travel as the elequent antidote to all lifes ills. Overweight? Walk. Depressed? Take the next train. Biggotted, racist...? Travel broadens the narrowist minds.
The solution is consistent motion. The mystified questions of those with matted roots when a tumbleweed goes by is testament to. Preserve precious momentum.
Wings fold only when they enter the home. All decisions are informed. If in doubt choose less.
Partly inspired by Up in the Air, and partly forced to by another flight I have reduced again. Out go luxuries like the extra pair of trousers, I'll double-day on the underwear so I can get down to four
Soon I will be down to the absolute minimum: guitar, laptop and CDs. It's still my dream to get down to just a passport and a credit card.
Travelling is quite a sedantry lifestyle. You wait for the bus to sit on the train to slouch in the taxi to hunch in a cafe over the internet and then putting my feet up in the venue before the show, folliwed by a good lie down in the hotel. Standing up on stage really goes against the grain. In that you have to go out of your way to get some exercise, it's like most modern lives.