Friday, July 17, 2009

More on The Art of Travel

Another chapter in The Art of Travel which really resonated with me is the very last one, called On Habit. Without quoting practically the whole thing, I'm afraid I won't really do it justice, but it discusses the "travelling mind-set" and applying it to your everyday environs--seeing things with new eyes if you will.
What, then, is a travelling mind-set? Receptivity might be said to be its chief characteristic. Receptive, we approach new places with humility. We carry with us no rigid ideas about what is or is not interesting.
Like this field? Out of town guests remark on the picturesque views around our house, and we just kind of shrug.
We feel assured that we have discovered everything interesting about our neighbourhood, primarily by virtue of having lived there a long time. It seems inconceivable that there could be anything new to find in a place where we have been living for a decade or more. We have become habituated and therefore blind to it.
I'm glad to be reminded that there are new things, worthwhile things, to see right here at home. Life should be more than just moving through your days, existing, and waiting for the next vacation to open your eyes to something new.

And now, before I get too philosophical about this whole thing, I'll stop.


Allison said...

Funny that I know exactly what that is...I tosses the hay so it dries thoroughly, right?
My garden is like that. I'm so used to it, but to fresh eyes, it's an insane wonderland of vegetation and wildlife.

Angie Rodriguez said...

Thanks for posting your commentary on this book. I'd read another book of his (The Consolations of Philosophy) and really enjoyed it. Looks like I should pick this one up as well.

Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous.

Darling Petunia said...

Allison, all I know is it's a hay rake and it unfolds! I peeked at your garden at your blog, and it's great!

Angie, it's worth a read, especially if you've liked others by him. And thanks for the compliment on the pics! I've not been having much luck with my photos lately, so that's good to hear!