Monday, April 30, 2007
The arrival of spring is making our cat crazy. She runs around the house, begging to be let out, speaking in tongues, and generally being a pest. Once I take her out, she wants to go somewhere beyond the backyard. She's not too clear on the details, and much of her quest involves standing in front of objects that are too large for her to jump up to, such as trees and fences, whining for them to pick her up.
Part of the problem is that our neighborhood is infested with cats that are much larger than she is, and so we are not comfortable with the idea of Lola roaming around freely. There are some huge, feral cats in the area, and she has no front claws, not to mention the fact that she hasn't the slightest sense of how tiny she is. Anyway, you can see why we want to be there if she goes outside.
Her wanderlust is insatiable though. She is enchanted by nearly everything in the world. Pieces of junk mail fascinate her with their strange smells. Gobs of lint fascinate her because they fly in all directions when she pucks them. Rolling in the sunlight is rapturous for her. Like all cats, she is a node in a scent and sound network that we can hardly sense. The world is transmitting a vast array of information to her at all times. Unfortunately, however, she still hasn't figured out that trees can't hear her whining.
I know how she feels though. I'm ready to wander wherever I will; but I have to finish my exam readings right now. I've always had a certain wanderlust because things around me have always struck me as trite or temporary. I remember, when I was a teenager, I couldn't wait to get out of the house and live on my own. I moved out about a week after my high school graduation, got a room and a job, and started saving money to travel. Finally, I got enough for a Greyhound ticket to San Francisco and rode out there to spend a summer couch surfing and wandering around. I remember meeting a lot of people, playing golf in the street with a young man who taught me the importance of the word 'ludic', watching a marathon of biker movies with an audience of bikers, reading smut at an open-mic poetry night, sleeping in the forest, witnessing a shooting, and wandering dazed through a near-riot after the Superbowl.
I did a lot of wandering after that, probably culminating in my moving to Canada and getting married. We've done a lot of wandering since then. Currently, we have mason jars where we stick money for future trips. One is marked 'India', another is for Ireland, and a third, I think, is for Alberta. I think we'll spend our lives wandering.
Travel is the best-way to avoid small town depression and it keeps you from taking anything too seriously. It disorients you and makes it possible to think in new and unique ways. Spending all of your time in one place makes you worry about things that are very small and petty. Travelling allows you to wonder about things that are very vague and big. I understand Lola's wanderlust- I feel it too.
Posted by Rufus at 7:49 PM