Whence cometh thee; whither goest thou?

As uncanny as it is most of us are destined to complete a cycle of adventure in our lifetime. The revolution (that is, the completion of the circle) is more accurately defined as an evolution (capturing for example the ecological definition; viz., the movement of a simple substance through the soil, rocks, water, atmosphere and living organisms of the earth). It reputedly has something mystical to do with leaving where you are so that you may know whence you came, a sort of spiritual enterprise akin to the more fundamental retail observation that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

Perhaps because it’s easy or maybe because it is telling, one of the first questions normally asked upon meeting a stranger is, “Where are you from?” Seldom is the answer predicted except when a characteristic twang is heard but even that makes for a gamble. The good (or bad) news of the denomination of the geographic legacy is the same as surrounds the answer. Like it or not some places are more desirable than others (although that too is subject to qualification because there are varied standards by which to adjudge any one place notwithstanding its personal appeal or popular misconception).

What is more universally true is the prediction that whatever the character of one’s place of origin we’re highly unlikely to alter or escape it. Again, to lapse the vernacular, “You is what you is!” This rather vulgar conclusion does however withstand the hogwash of both mysticism and spiritualism by reminding us in the most palatable and digestible manner that not unlike either the majestic oak or the withering roadside weed, we all emanate from tiny but prescriptive seeds wherein is already written fortune and failure, none of which is mutable by the shallow undertakings of humanity.  This is not to say we haven’t capacity for change; rather that our advantage comes from within not without. When we have abstracted ourselves remotely from our currency we may then begin to insinuate the narrow channels that stream within us and occasionally like volcanoes percolate above us, leaving demonstrable scabs as testimony to the eruption. The latter is a painful but substantive rendition of our inward self. It carries with it the nutrition of one’s entire being from beginning to end. No amount of travel will accomplish the identical perception –  which only is to say that getting back to one’s roots, no matter how circuitously, is the primary ambition. The ambition is not seeing the world (which nonetheless remains a laudable goal); rather it is the unwitting discovery of oneself. There is no greater or satisfying achievement because until then, all else are mere shackles upon one’s expression.