"I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea, and at last wake up in Naples, and there beside me is the stern fact, the sad self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled from." Ralph Waldo Emerson
I've been thinking about this line from Emerson a lot lately. Here I am, 21 days into a 109-day trip and beginning to wonder who I'll be when I return. Me, of course, because as Emerson points out, you take you with you wherever you go. But I hope I don't develop bad habits. It's said that it takes 28 days to make a habit (and 28 days to break one?). I'll have lots of time, then, to change for the worse - or better? And also lots of time to analyze my current habits and decide whether to lose them, or not.
I'm going to see Shanghai at night tonight. (I hope it's not a lesson in the hookers of Shanghai.) At any rate, I'll have time to think about who I am. Remember that question put to a retired person: Who did you used to be? Tune in tomorrow and find out....
SO: it's tomorrow now, Saturday, April 11, 5 a.m. Oceania is calling this Day 1, Shanghai, because it marks a new segment of the cruise. When the World Cruise was truncated, and fewer people were signed on to the remaining 109 days, from Singapore to Miami, portions of the trip were sold off. I have made friends with people who are leaving today, ad with others who are going as far as Sydney, plus a few destined for Miami. It's hard because I have to work at names. Bags dotard my corridor last night, luggage set to go out with its owners; a lot of new people will be coming on boarrd today. To get us long-termers out of the way, the organizers have recommended room service; we have ordered a continental breakfast for 6:30. So I don't have to leave here (the library) quite so soon. I don't need to, anyway, because the outside air temperature is in the 50s F., not comfortable for early morning swimmers.
I haven't forgotten my subject for today - and always - the person you take with you on your travels, in life. Where to begin? I have a favourite question: Would you be married to you? Or, to be more exact: Would you live with you? My cabin-mate and I are exploring this on a daily basis as we get to know each other. I think it must be hard for her to live with a writer and I am more aware of my quirks and foibles as I tiptoe out of the cabin at 4 in the morning. She agreed to "mate' with me because I am an early riser, but she didn't know how early.
I can't deal with this in a blog, of course. The line between the the private and the public persona that everyone presents is very fine, almost transparent in some cases. That takes more analysis.
I don't think I should publish this blog.