Checking Out

May 15, Sunday.

I keep waking up at 3:30 in the morning!   I get up.  I blame it on

Henry David Thoreau. 

He and Waldo first introduced Indian philosophy to America (and to me), and in one of my favorite passages, Thoreau quotes the Indian scriptures on the morning:

” The Vedas say, ‘All intelligences awake with the morning.’  Poetry and art, and the fairest and most memorable of the actions of men, date from such an hour.  All poets and heroes  . . . are the children of Aurora, and emit their music at sunrise. . . . Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me. . . . .  The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?”

And besides, this morning I had to pack, to leave my little hotel room,

of which I had become very fond.

And thinking about natural philosophers, I remember how Kathleen Dean Moore identifies one of the pleasures of wilderness trekking as making our camp into a cozy, domestic space in the middle of the potentially dangerous wilderness.  There’s a similarly satisfying juxtaposition in traveling—in the unfamiliar place we find ourselves in, we make our lodgings, however temporary, into a space uniquely our own.

I’ll miss this little room and Shiva Das,

the crow outside the window.

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