ClearingOut

clearout
" … open to discovering fresh futures."

At some point near the end of the first reel or the beginning of the second, the desperadoes would have done about as much damage as they could, given that a posse was at that very minute closing in on them. One of the bad guys, not necessarily the leader, would stand a little taller in his saddle and proclaim, "Let's clear out, boys!" Amid general disarray, then, the desperadoes would depart. I'm thinking about the notion of ClearingOut this morning, as The Muse and I pack up to head on toward our next destination. The refrigerator's emptied and swabbed out. Counters clean. All but the last load of garbage already sits in the bottom of the bin. The bathroom's returned to its original state, our bag's packed, and I'm an hour ahead of our scheduled departure time.

In my home life, I clear out about once a year, usually as spring threatens to cast a scornful light upon accumulated remaining winter sloth, but I never clear out to this degree except when moving.
I recognize that I wreck my own unique kind of havoc on any environment I inhabit, but most of it amounts to little more than personally eccentric clutter. I'm not the sort, like those movie desperadoes, to leave a festering blood trail behind me. I fancy myself rather tidy in my living habits, and I more or less keep myself picked up most of the time. Traveling's different, though. Unzip the rollaway and it's like opening one of those spring-loaded phony popcorn cans clown use, everything just sort of pops out, coming to rest where it will. There it stays for the duration of our stay. Clearing out of a short term apartment or hotel room, I reload the phony popcorn can, a discernible tension tugging around the closing zipper.

ClearingOut brings a cleansing absolution, clearly demarking the edge between today and tomorrow. Today marks an end to our raid on BuddahPesht. We'll hop a west-bound train and sink slowly toward the sunset, no posse training behind us. We've settled our debts, expressed our regrets, and will feel, for the next little time, free and clear. We expect no wanted posters featuring our mugs and no bounty hunters sniffing after our trail. It will be as if we were never even here, our visit securely sequestered into its own thin slice of time never to return to make any spectacle of itself. Clearing out manifests the nagging invisibility we felt during our stay, showing up for certain and forever just after we go away.

My life might be more satisfying if I could Clear Out more often, not just put away my stuff, but really clear the boards and move on. I have always felt more akin with the hunter-gatherer cultures, a community deeply rooted to severing deep roots and moving on. Some treasures must remain behind, creating space for fresh treasures to fill the fresh void. The ancients called these uprisings Jubilees, connoting a sort of celebration. Debt would be forgiven, replaced with a fresh blank slate aching with potential and possibilities. Hoarding, that poisoner of the human spirit, would be replaced with a general openness after ClearingOut. Hungry for different rather than satiated with the familiar, real adventure could invade what had been formally settled territory. We abandon our possessions to make space for acquiring untainted new ones. Out into the wilderness again, doing what we people seem to do best, open to discovering fresh futures.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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