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My coffee table is a jumble of desorden (disorderliness), cables and goretex and the occasional piece of paper with the word “cubrebotines” (shoe-covers, a biking thing) scribbled upon it. It is packing central, and it is the perfect metaphor for my brain, a giant jumble of some things I need, some things I don’t need but will bring anyway, and some stuff that I hope I have the good sense to leave home.

A friend just asked me exactly where I was planning on going to this trip to New Zealand and I sent her a map I’ve been looking at to look at possible cycling routes, terrain and whatnot. And I held down NZ and scanned to the left and saw Australia, and then nothing, and I scanned to the right, and there was nothing at all.

And for the first time, I got butterflies. Big, flappity ones with wings that shushh shut while they pretend to have a giant eye on their back end to discourage predators. There is so. much. ocean.

This may seem strange, because after all, in Santiago I’m a solid ten hours from anyone who remembers me with a gap-toothed smile or during any of the many unfortunate oh! bangs are curly, and get shorter after you cut them! events. But I could, in theory, walk to my family. It might take me three years, but I could get there.

Have you seen New Zealand? If the world’s transportation network breaks down, you’re not going anywhere. Just walking in giant circles for the rest of time.

This is an irrational thought. And I know this.

These are the first of many butterflies, fluttering languidly and then in panic, like moths against a lampshade. Not because of what might happen on the trip, but because of what might not. I have a set of things I want to sort out, write, dream, believe, inspire. And during the year, I often tell myself that I’m not in that space, that I don’t get there because there’s too much coffeetable and accoutrements and distractions and the idea that hey! I could put cardomom in these pancakes and that would be different!

And my greatest fear, giant oceans and bike mishaps aside, is to not reach that elusive space of me when I need her. Because really? I’m going to New Zealand, but more than that, I’m going to my bearshapedsphere.

I know, it’s a very, Wizard-of-Oz-like moment.

Because I was always here.

T-minus six days.