In response to the news about my upcoming pilgrimage to Delphi, my friend Gary suggested that there’s ‘no need to travel to the dusty realms of the world’ to find enlightenment. I’m sure this is true. In cult classic The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension, neurosurgeon/rock star/superhero Buckaroo says, “No matter where you go, there you are.” And my former boss at Tiffany & Co. used to say, “You always take yourself with you.” I think the idea here is to look within instead of running around trying to find what seems to be missing in our lives.
But what of desire? When I graduated from high school, my best friend and I jumped on a Greyhound Bus headed for California. I can’t remember what inspired this trip, but I think it may have been my cute second-cousin Jeffrey whom I had met on a road trip with my parents. What I hoped to accomplish by seeing him again, I have no idea. But no matter; I think my friend and I just needed to experience the world outside our conservative Midwest suburban environs.
So after saving a dollar each week for four years, we bought our tickets, packed our bags and were off despite parental admonitions. I don’t think we even met up with Cousin Jeffrey. But we learned that we could take care of ourselves and we found out that we could do it without much money. Having spent almost all our savings on our tickets, we decided to bring Carnation Instant Breakfast, powdered soup, and crackers with us. I remember gazing through a restaurant window in Denver at chickens turning slowly on a rotisserie longing for a hot meal that didn’t include soup. But we didn’t starve, and we returned with our virginity intact in spite of our encounter with two cute guys we met at the Claremont Hotel in Oakland.
I guess I could opt for hours of meditation instead of traveling to Delphi. Who knows? I may come back having felt nothing. If that happens, dealing with disappointment will be an adventure in itself.