Tabula Rasa Redux

Piece of chalk and blackboard
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The end of my marriage has led to some new traditions for me.  One of those is the need for a periodic wiping of the slate, a tabula rasa of sorts where I disengage from my normal surroundings for a brief period and ensconce myself in a new environment surrounded by strangers.  I feel pulled to do this, an itching that consumes me until I make the arrangements.

Part of this need is simply a break from my normal routine.  My daily life is very scheduled and planned.  As a teacher, one day looks much like the next and my days are broken down into almost-identical segments separated by a bell.  Outside of school is not much better, as I have to carefully plan workouts, menus, newsletter writing, and shopping lists to make sure that everything happens.  Sometimes, I just need a break where I do not have to think about next week’s menu or tomorrow’s lesson plan.  I need to be able to flow through the day, unconcerned with the arrival of second period or getting to the store before the post-church rush. A new environment with no one to care for but myself allows me to be in the moment without having to plan for the next.

I also enjoy the anonymity of these trips.  The blank box of a hotel room, navigating through crowds alone, slipping through the town leaving only the traces I choose, all give me a sense of freedom.  It is a time for reflection and rebirth.  My spirit and creativity feel refreshed by the lack of definition.  It gives me a chance to see myself without the decorations of daily life.

My need for adventure is also satisfied through these jaunts.  I enjoy exploring a new environment, exposure to new sights and sounds.  There is not much opportunity in my daily life to stimulate curiosity, so I try to inoculate with a large dose periodically.

This blank slate trip is an over-nighter to a nearby city, deferring to time and money constraints.  It is a city I have driven through, but never visited.  It is nothing special, but it is new to me.   I hope to visit the botanical gardens and the art museum.  I want to run the trails of a nearby state park and enjoy the springtime vistas.  I desire to walk the “funky” shopping streets, as I thrive off the energy in those areas.  I may venture into a venue for live music, or I may spend the evening in meditation.  It doesn’t matter. I can flow with my rhythm and not worry about an agenda.

So here goes tabula rasa redux IV, where I can clean off the residue of daily life and emerge refreshed and invigorated.


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