Saturday, February 27, 2010

When the bags are packed

"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go
I'm standin' here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye

But the dawn is breakin', it's early morn
The taxi's waitin', he's blowin' his horn
Already I'm so lonesome I could die

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me
Hold me like you'll never let me go

'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane
I don't know when I'll be back again
Oh, babe, I hate to go
."

Looking at this image made me think of this song -- which meant a lot to me, long ago, when I was going to school far away from my boyfriend, and had to keep leaving him in order to return to the life I was leading at the time.

But of course, these are sailbags: which means that as long as they're packed, this boat isn't going anywhere -- at least not under wind power. So then I wonder, why did I choose this image? It was next to the one I ended up using for this morning's rewrite of the Thomas meditation. And I really love the look of it: the colors, the contrasts, the ripples.

And it's true, we have a destination today, though it won't require a plane ride: we're heading off to a farewell party for some friends who are moving away -- which means I'll be on a ferry again, for the fifth time this week; very unusual.

But I'm more interested in what it means to keep our sails bagged up. Is there some part of me that isn't ready to unfurl? That doesn't trust there will be winds and currents to carry me along? Am I resolutely running under my own power, my own control, my own engines? Might they be running low on fuel?

And what about this song: did it just come to mind because it's about the bags being packed and ready? Yes, that's part of it. But another part of me is thinking of a friend who's hovering near death: her bags are packed now, for what it's worth, but I'm not all that sure she's ready to go, and I ache for her in that transition.

So maybe that's the heart of the image: the tension between the leaning forward of the boat, and the sails so resolutely still unfurled. There is a longing for what's next, and a resistance as well. And yes, this, too, is all part of the journey.

Time to open up those bags, and release the tight controls that keep us docked, and tangled up in lines. Time to trust the winds of spirit to take us where we need to go.


2 comments:

Maureen said...

I look at that image and think also: rigging, the structures, sometimes complicated, that we create to brace our lives, that depend on this or that yet always are subject to the unknown, the things we cannot control and usually don't expect. We can bind ourselves to our rigging and wait a lifetime to catch the "right" wind, try to control how much we let out and how much we pull in and find we've cast ourselves adrift because we get nowhere; or we can risk what we may, let the lines go all the way out, and let experience, knowledge, and wisdom guide us through all kinds of weather. Trust self and let the sails fill.

snickell said...

Beautiful. And I love the old John Denver, (or Peter, Paul and Mary if you prefer) tune.