Friday, January 11, 2008

Out of Order

My essays are done, and though I expected to be released of a horrible burden when those papers were finally submitted, the shadowy gloom that hung over me during their creation has not gone. I can only surmise that one gloom seamlessly replaced the next, for now it is not the pressures of the institution that encumber me, but rather the realization of leaving.

What a time I’ve had here, and still more time I have to spend. Yet, I cannot help but be overcome with a furrowed brow and an upset soul. It truth, I’m in the final stretch, my time here is waning, but in my heart I feel as though my journey has just begun. I dread the time when I won’t be able to walk up the stairs of Queens Road to find someone who might quell my boredom. I fear the time when I’ll no longer be able to shout along the halls to see which of my favourite Brits reside in their rooms. It is unfathomable to think of a time when I cannot misuse Natalie’s generosity and invade her room to take comfort in the cozy atmosphere she creates. There is so much to part with, there are so many to leave, while at the same time there is still so much to see and do; there is not enough time to say all my goodbyes while still saying so many new hellos.

Traveling seems a part of me,

Not in the normal way.

I could not go from place to place

and stay for but a lone few days.

It lacks the ample time I need,

To see all there is to see,

To meet the folks,

To see the sights,

To take in and reflect.

Traveling seems a part of me,

Not in the normal way.

I must go down my own long road,

The long and winding way.

It seems to be the only path,

That makes most sense to me,

By going hence and coming home,

But taking time to stay.

Traveling seems a part of me,

Not in the normal way,

To see the world and feel its life,

But in my special way.

I suppose that poem, which is rather rubbish, adequately describes my feelings towards traveling. I’ve gain far more in Bristol than I have on my brief excursions hither or thither (such a cool expression I just had to use it!). I’ve been saying it as long as I can remember: “I need to live here for a while.” Even back when I was still in middle school and we went on a family vacation to Hawaii. I was walking the beaches on Maui one night with my Daddy Dan. The moon was out and there was a warm sprinkling rain falling on us as we strolled along the sand. I remember saying to him, “I think I should live here for a while.” But why have I always said that?

I’ve never understood tourism. Even as I study it in my sociology course, it defies my grasp. People travel to escape the droning repetitiveness of their daily lives, but most places tourists go are shrouded by a facade; a world built for them, by them, so they can enjoy their trip in safety and in luxury without a worried thought. Every major tourist destination has the trademark stores, the complimentary map, the fake smiles, the forced Kodak moments, etc! Every time I’ve traveled I’ve wanted something different, something real. I’ve got a taste of something real over here in Bristol, and I am longing for some more.

I want to live and work, for working is part of the real experience; that means no blowing cash all over the place with disregard for the repercussions. I want to live and work in Barcelona, I want to live and work in London, I want to live and work in San Francisco, Maui, New Zealand, Australia, and Scotland. I want to build a school for a village in the middle of nowhere. I want to teach English as a second language. I want to sail around the world helping students experience life, sailing, and the world. I want to road trip across America and stop in the little towns with little homey diners. I want to vote in the next election… my list of things to do is infinite, but my amount of time is ever trickling away through the hourglass of life. I want to do all these things, but leaving is such sweet sorrow, and I also want to stay.

Carpe Diem. Go with the flow. I have hopes and dreams, postulates and plans, but there is not time like the present. Soak it up, squeeze out every last drop; the time of my departure is a week away and I can’t believe it.


1 comment:

Zach said...

As if sent by some higher power to cheer me after my last post, It is snowing here in Bristol. Snowball fights, yes plural, were had and now I am sipping on some gourmet hot chocolate!