The hierarchy of longing.

This is the Macal River, which winds through San Ignacio. Yesterday, I took off my flip-flops and walked barefoot along the banks, living the dream I’ve been having ever since I first visited last winter.

Apparently I can feel intense longing for a place even when I’m physically here.

But then I feel longing for the places I haven’t gone back to yet, like Kerala.

Then, for the places I haven’t seen yet, like New Zealand.

Then, for the places I’ll never get to see at all.

They ache the most.


2 Comments on “The hierarchy of longing.”

  1. Karen says:

    When Marshall and I were in Italy, we spent a few days in Sorrento. Sorrento is a small, touristy beach town just south of Naples and we quickly ran out of things to do/see there during our 3-day visit. At one point, Marshall said something along the lines of “we won’t come back here the next time we come to Italy” and I was saddened and heartbroken at the idea of never returning to this place again in my life. For me, the longing for a place I saw and might never return to (even if I didn’t love it) is somewhere near the achiest end of the hierarchy. Have I already seen some things for the last time?

    • KAREN. Sorrento is literally the first place I ever traveled abroad! Lemon groves and the Bay of Naples!

      And I know the feeling you mean. Why does traveling remind us of mortality? Something about the singularity of those sights you see while traveling…you never think, “This is the last time I’ll ever chop tomatoes” or “This is the last time I’ll ever hike the Eno.” Because it probably isn’t. I feel like I’m stating the obvious here…hmmm, food for thought, lemme think more… 🙂


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