Pre-Trip Trip/Leaving Behind

Several months ago the prospect of an early Springtime trip to Kenya entered our family’s running dialogue - somewhere in between where the youngest one would go to high school, why the eldest one refused to shave, why the middle one was still a mess (only messes write blogs), and what the parents were going to do with all three - as a replacement for the annual vacation that was skipped last year. The prompt was the availability of a rather lavish and opportunistically priced package that, at least superficially, did not involve extensive direct contact with Somali pirates, human traffickers, and/or illegal poachers (American ignorance is bliss). The idea bounced around, was ignored, then resurfaced, ignored again, and re-resurfaced, then finally, in what has become a very apparent family trait, at the almost very last moment arranged, albeit lamentably. The lament being that only the parents and youngest would be able to take the trip. This remained status quo until the very last moment, apparent family trait withstanding, when the parents’ plans went awry and circumstances changed such that only the middle and youngest would be able to go. By this time the running dialogue had shifted somewhat, as it had been decided where the youngest one would be going to high school (the entire world has already heard from all of us that he’s going to the best high school in the city and the same place his brothers went but it bears repeating because bragging about it is fun). Now the question was how would the youngest one survive a week abroad in a completely foreign continent on the other side of the world with the wreck of a middle child. The eldest was still growing his beard.

To be frank it could not have come at a better time, this trip. The world was starting to become much too real and far too small; challenges of each day overcome and completed victoriously, but enough incomplete to linger into the next, compounding compounding. Fragmentation of self blurring the larger product, a mind forced to exist in several spaces at once. Wearying. This could be a chance to redefine the lines between fragments and reattach where necessary or applicable or useful. The past several weeks had been spent in such an effort, and quite successfully, such productivity and satisfaction had only been achieved in small bursts throughout self’s history, but the slightest seam began to unravel at the very end and before any structure could be truly compromised here now lies this escape, a chance to solidify the work of these unprecedented past weeks. Not to mention actual work, which is tiring in and of itself, and the thing that is traditionally vacationed from.

Truthfully, while this trip does have the afore mentioned self-centered ramifications and significance, the theme going in will be brotherhood. This is about us. And lions and zebras and pirates and giraffes and stuff.

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