As I’m packing, I’m trying to do something else: organize the personal belongings I’m not taking with me. Putting books back on the bookshelf; making piles of unanswered letters; taking mental note of clothes, toiletries, medicines that haven’t been used in a while.
My room is cleaner. My life here is a bit more organized. And yet there’s no way of getting around the irony that I’m leaving.
I wonder if there’s something else going on. That when one really has to be somewhere, there’s the strong but unstated expectation that one will be back. Before, traveling felt a bit freer. Now it feels necessitated, for better or worse.