Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Remembering Early Travel

sometimes the words to leave, to go away
suggest a backward glance -
but - to set off -
holds such a promise -
nothing left behind

(from Gold Tracks, Fallen Fruit)

Sunrise in the Sierra

I want to hear foreign music on the radio, turned down low, faint sounds of piano, then a voice, rising and falling, a texture of the air for no words can be made out, just this rhythm with, perhaps, a phrase coming into being like a lisp of foam, a rip of silky foam ….et puis......des orages.......agité....le sud...and then fading again, into background...wind in the trees, almost.

In your twenties you think you are beginning, just beginning, something long, this life that seems to stretch ahead of you....you have a beginner’s eagerness, fresh into the lists, this race....for you want to move quickly, full of this desire for life....it’s only later, looking back, you realise that it is life’s intensest moments that will be remembered, these will be the moments when you touched – what you were always longing to reach, and imagined would come further down the line, imagined that they would be reached, attained, at what you envisaged as some culmination, some cresting wave you were just beginning to ascend...but it is not like that. 

Castilla la Mancha

Looking back, the high points were often when you were most open to the unplanned and unexpected, open to what life made possible for you, only if you did not push it aside because it did not fit in with your prearranged idea of what it might and could be, what you wanted it to be and what you imagined you were looking for. When you are moving and when you are without a definite plan, without that barrier of outcome, life can inhabit that open place –

So I remember – when I first set out travelling in my twenties - cafés in France with the radio playing in the background, roadside cafés along the straight trail, poplar bordered, to the south east, to Switzerland, Basel...these straight roads, avenues of trees, and at night, the yellow headlights. It was all so other, so ailleurs and I let it all in, it was exactly what I wanted, this otherness, exactly why I had left behind what seemed like the sameness – of views, light, streets, oh just everything the same, unchanging, that’s it, a sense of nothing changing. So I had to initiate change, by moving, by travelling, by setting off...


Anonymous said...

As John Lennon once said, 'Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans'.

I have experienced in my work people who are literally here one minute and gone the next.

We should all live for the day the best we can...

dritanje said...

Thanks Anonymous, yes it's true that such a feeling or idea has been said in different ways by various people. An interesting synchronicity with what you said - I read last night, after posting this, - ‘our loved ones are there one minute and gone the next’ - written by musicwithinyou in response to Washed Stones ‘Windy Lake’ post (Nov 24 2012). Washed Stones is an inspiring blog, can be found in my blog list, I do recommend it!

Forest Dream Weaver said...

As I read this I'm reminded of "The Alchemist" on his journey through the desert - don't quite know why.Once begun there is no option but to carry on.
Sweet dreams!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Morelle. I will certainly add it to my list of blogs to read. Isn't it a strange feeling when synchronicity strikes!? Hope you are well and enjoying your journey.x

The Solitary Walker said...

Oh yes. I remember clearly those youthful travelling days. The hitch-hiking. The exoticism. And those long straight roads bordered by poplar trees.