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Breakage: travel as moral principle

Interruption, disruption: these may be the chief phenomena of travel, and what make it so desirable to some and to others so detestable. At the root of both phenomena is breakage (from the Latin _rumpere_, to break). Etymologically speaking, the different charge of these prefixes (inter: between, dis: from the Greek for "two": implying separation, even reversal) is impossible to pinpoint with confidence, the weight of that "breakage" to which they are affixed annihilates their distinction. What matters is that something is broken, divided, split asunder. Corrupt is essentially the same word and has come to bear with it all of the language's moral fury at breakage, all of the conservative prejudice in favor of the whole. But what is it that is broken, so delightedly by some and only unwillingly by others? I write with the bias of a life dedicated to travel as a moral principle: it is the false idol that we cast down and shatter. The breakage embraced by the righteous traveler (even without leaving the kitchen chair) is nothing short of the shattering of an attachment to an illusion, to maya.

Once that illusion has been broken, interrupted, disrupted, corrupted, what remains? Memories and projections: shards of an imaginary wholeness that have all of and their only vitality in the attention that is yielded to them. And besides those memories and projections? The immanence, the vitality, bursting through the portals of our senses: there is a blue sky in Brooklyn this morning and the light on a spider filament stretching across the window, with every shifting breeze, reminds me that, even though it is minute to the point of near invisibility, the difference between what is there and what is not there is the only absolute to which I can hope to have any access.