Lost or found…

When you lose your luggage and arrive in a foreign city with just the clothes on your back, you are more a survivor than a tourist. You wander the streets of a suburban, sun burnt city on a hot, golden afternoon. The streets are dunked in gold. The mountainous terrain exudes a strangely picturesque quaintness to an otherwise harsh landscape. The heat is reminiscent of the summer days of yore. You think of all that has been left behind and quell the mild sense of panic that comes from the realization of having lost most of your packed belongings. We are no strangers to loss, any of us. But we pretend that we are defined by what we possess and we shudder at having to find sense in a void when really the void has been there all along.

But.Yet. There is a footloose liberation in travelling light. Because your baggage does not define you anymore. You know that every journey is its own destination –but how many times do you get to learn the lesson that every destination is really a journey too? You sit down on a park bench and watch life go by. People meandering back to the lives they have built carefully or perhaps accidentally. People buying groceries and cooking their dinners and cleaning their cars. People walking their dogs and people getting their takeaway. Families and individuals and people that are in between either stage. You watch them like watching a play unravel. Because you are here for the sunset, wandering footloose, like we said. And you are here defined merely by the spot you have subjugated onΒ a park bench.

You wander past a jeweller’s shop and something in your heart twitches a little. For all the nonchalance about losing everything, there are irreplaceable trinkets in everyone’s luggage. You wonder if you will ever see the old and shiny golden chain that has withstood generations and time and family ties. After a while, all links to the past become muted and indiscernible. And we forget sometimes, that just because something can no longer be seen, it does not cease to exist.

When the past becomes a part of the present, you can no longer imagine a future without either entity. And so you rue over the loss for a while. And then it occurs to you that when someone gifts you a memory worth keeping, it is a gift without a return by date. No matter how much change seeps into our lives, a bit of the old always percolates in with the new. So you have lost the family heirloom as things stand but really, fragments of the past that contribute towards defining you still stand intact and unsullied. And no amount of drifting or baggage will ever take away that which is innate. Perhaps you should travel light; you arrive at better places that way.

When all is done and said and the evening shadows have lengthened; when the sun has gone his own way and the silences are preparing to roost near you, when the quiet murmurs of the heart that talk of loss and longing can no longer be shushed, you realize that no matter what stays and what goes – you are defined only by what the heart salvaged from the depredation of your travels. Everything else can be discarded and renounced and left behind. You carry your destination in your heart. The journey is a mere formality.

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ardra
    Aug 27, 2009 @ 09:19:49

    Came here, read this post, tried to say something…but could not word it the way I wanted to express.
    Came back again…

    Came here expecting to read some kind of rant, tirade about losing and finding baggage…
    But I go back with something else altogether…One is defined only by what the heart salvages from the ravages of one’s travels…

    “no amount of drifting or baggage will ever take away that which is innate”.

    Reply

  2. scarlettletters
    Aug 31, 2009 @ 04:39:29

    Thanks, Ardra. Your very kind comments always make my day πŸ™‚

    Love,
    Scarlett

    Reply

  3. bilbo
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 08:27:51

    “you are defined only by what the heart salvaged from the depredation of your travels. Everything else can be discarded and renounced and left behind. You carry your destination in your heart. The journey is a mere formality.”

    loved these lines.

    I wonder if you realize that your posts are life lessons.

    Do post more often.
    Take care.

    Reply

  4. scarlettletters
    Sep 05, 2009 @ 02:53:31

    Thanks Billy.

    I am trying to make sense of the Big Picture as I stumble along myself – life lessons, we all need them, hey? πŸ™‚

    Posting more often is definitely on the agenda.

    Love,
    S

    Reply

  5. La Louve
    Sep 06, 2009 @ 17:31:28

    Only Scarlett can write so beautifullly on lost luggage and the trip.
    how do you do that?
    Nice read again. Was with you in that park.
    LL

    Reply

  6. Scarlett
    Sep 08, 2009 @ 00:15:16

    LL,
    Thank you my girl πŸ™‚

    I guess the voice of sanity resurges _after_ the madness πŸ™‚
    I certainly was not this poetic when I was shopping for day to day stuff after having lost all my luggage πŸ™‚

    Hindsight is a great motivator.

    Love,
    S

    Reply

  7. Aria
    Sep 08, 2009 @ 14:56:25

    “And we forget sometimes, that just because something can no longer be seen, it does not cease to exist.”

    I read few lines like those again and again and found some solace in those thoughts.. really ..
    how beautifully you write Scarlett.. (I can never get tired of saying that .. )

    Reply

  8. Scarlett
    Sep 10, 2009 @ 04:52:02

    Thanks Aria. It is a lesson that I have learnt the hard way. The mind has eyes too – and it sees what is often left behind from every other picture….

    I know that dreams live on in our mind long after the world has moved on. And one day, they do not hurt so much.

    Love,
    S

    Reply

  9. Priyamvada
    Sep 15, 2009 @ 15:35:21

    “you are defined only by what the heart salvaged from the depredation of your travels”

    ONLY you can write like this! That was an astonishingly-worded nugget.

    Priya.

    Reply

  10. enig
    Oct 23, 2009 @ 01:13:03

    and this too….only you are capable of giving so many variations to the journeys of life, Scarlett….and writing so beautifully about them…

    enig

    Reply

  11. Scarlett
    Oct 23, 2009 @ 02:18:29

    Thanks Priya and Enig πŸ™‚ Hearing from you, lovely ladies, always makes my day.

    Hugs,
    S

    Reply

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