AdventWord 2022—TRAVELER

Today’s #AdventWord is TRAVELER, and for the longest time, I’ve been fixated on a phrase that came to me repurposed from an album title, a phrase that became a kind of philosophy of life in molecular form:

“I am traveling with another.”

I ran that through a readability analyzer and it apparently corresponds to a 10th/12th grade level, which makes sense, because in many ways it captures a high school senior’s style of overthinking the world. Like an essay about serendipity that compares the concept to looking over the school yard fence and noticing a storybook style house you describe like a mother’s embrace; it wins you top marks in high school but would now read mostly as cringe.

I’ve used those five words before as an outline for five scripts: I = identity, am = place, traveling = change, with = community, another = difference. The idea is that it encompasses the whole human condition: existence, emplacement, transformation, sociality, conflict.

By why make the doing word “travel”? Why not put it more directly? More broadly? I am living with an another, I am growing with another, etc.

IDK. You don’t have to agree with this, but I think that the notion of “travel” works wonderfully for creatures who arc towards a destination and rarely get there quickly. It’s not nothing that the word that means “to make a journey” originally meant “to toil & labor.”

I don’t know why this phrase has lodged itself into my brain in this way for this long, but nowadays, I think of it mostly as a means to re-center when the overthinking gets too loud, like a homing beacon in the noise: I am traveling with an-other. And to dust we shall return.


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