the simple minded suburbanite


Nothing upstairs
March 3, 2010, 2:37 am
Filed under: authenticity, voluntary simplicity | Tags: , ,

Just thinking again about my recent trip to meet my oldest, dearest friend for our annual reunion.  We met in Mexico.  It was a four-hour flight for me and I left Friday morning and returned on Monday.  I was so thrilled about seeing my friend and even jazzed about the plane trip.  Hours!  Imagine, hours of uninterupted me time!  Just think about all I can read!  Reading is one of my passions so, as I do every year on this trip, I packed books.  Three of them.  And purchased two magazines, the kind with real articles in them.

I have a phobia when I travel.  It’s not about losing my passport.  It’s not about not packing the right shoes.  It’s purely about running out of reading material.  It’s a phobia because it is completely irrational.  How many places do you go that you don’t pass a bookstore, newsstand or at least a convenience store that carries magazines, newspapers, or the latest trashy paperback?

But reading material I did pack, to the point that it hurt my shoulder to carry my purse on the plane.

I was astounded.  This trip I was amazed at one literary revelation.  It wasn’t the unpredictable story arch.  It wasn’t the surprise hero.  It wasn’t the turn of phrase or twist of fate.  It was that I read next to nothing.

Zip.  Next to nada.

I stared out the plane’s window at the cumulus clouds.  I got lost in the cool, crashing waters of the ocean.  I gawked from behind voyeuristic sunglasses at the winter/spring couple across the pool.  I closed my lids and dreamed lightly. 

My mind was quiet. 

And I guess that’s where it needed to be with nothing going on upstairs for a little while.

How often does that happen?  How often do we think that a good thing?

It just so happens, I highly recommend turning the lights off once in awhile.

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