The trouble with setting foot outside your door is that grand adventures don't happen often enough. One foot set in front of the other over the threshold of all that is home and hearth usually leads to the grocery store, the post office--work even. And so we read books, imagine on our own and pray for grandchildren with no common sense.
I can think of a whole industry built around making the mundane both unusual and engaging. It was Coleridge's plan, to make the usual strange. He did most beautifully. Nowadays we have The Office to remind us of how insane our sane lives are. But media that finds beauty and magic in our lives without resorting to the sentimental? Can't think of any: just adrenaline junkie shows with lots of people running around either saving the world or looking over their shoulders.
We step out our doors. We find things and people to believe in, things and people to fight, things and people to mock, things to do. But this is not life worth salt. These are all tasks, mechanical for the most part though somewhat spiritual. They are all endeavors that leave us satisfied to some semi-measurable extent. And so we plod to our graves, feeling either somewhat-fulfilled or somewhat-not-fulfilled.
And then occasionally we lift stakes and live in India for two years.
By the way, I never set foot in either an ashram or a call center. Money and God were not my purposes for living there.
Adventures adventures adventures. I have not had adventures, even in India. I lived a life there, no different from others. I stepped out of my door with the same trepidation and resignation that I step out of it here. Another day in the office, so to speak.
Adventures, I am convinced, happen when you step out of your door intentionally, when your foot falls with a finality that wipes away the mundane behind each step and refuses to find any path already taken. Your personal density must be very low, I think, for true adventures, as the baggage of life can only nod you towards the comfortable ruts of yesterday. To crawl through the woods to an uncertain death like a character in Beckett is an adventure. To leave your car in a ditch and tramp without speaking to any family is an adventure. To surprise your family by becoming the parent you always thought you were is an adventure.
They're not too far to find, really, though long distance travel does help adventures occur.
Perhaps now I must step out my door and find them.