Departures are a kind of death. One who has departed many times, and has seen many depart, is closer to accepting his own death than one who has never departed anywhere, who has never truly strayed from the place he mistakenly calls home. Death is the great departure, but it is only great if you have prepared yourself through prior, smaller, less great departures. The traveler knows death a little more intimately, while never knowing it fully, each time he leaves a place. He is closer to death with each breath, in an active sense, and thereby more connected with life. His departure is not only a cutting of ties; it is also a joining of the ties between life and death, between sorrow and joy, between departure and arrival. He departs one place knowing he will arrive in another. There is freedom in departing. When no place or person holds you, all places and people are open to you. When I leave a place, my heart opens finally to loving the place I had been. When I leave a person, my love for that person grows as the distance between us grows. The traveler, the one who departs, knows without a doubt that closeness and distance are not separate.