is it not ironic that today even when we voyage often we are not really travelling? it is almost like we have polished to perfection the ideal of the destination being more important than the journey.
in my fantasies, i dream of travelling for months aimlessly across a trail of places untouched, unspoiled, un-pimped by pretty pictures in tourism booklets. uncluttered by civilised, erudite, intellectuals rushing past in stylish coats, and smiling in the arms of secret holiday girlfriends, escaping from their real lives for a luxurious stolen half day break. Or groups of stressed foreigners (seemingly foreign from everywhere) frantically checking off must-see lists. Or perfect families, with perfectly coordinated holiday outfits. i dream of smiles of real people, with imperfect un-manicured teeth, untouched by the obsession for perfect appearances. to travel for the sake of travel. aimlessly rambling. one foot in front of the other in surprised serendipity. like an exuberantly solitary child exploring the beach and the hills on a summer holiday.
in another dream i long to be a part of a simpler world. a world where i would have been un-torn by choices, happy, sad, angry, alive, but at peace because i know no other ways. a simple safe childhood. a normal life. and un-fragmented mind. coherent thought. aligned with normalcy. to not be the one 'normal kids' sneer at and hurl casual stones at. some that glance off. and some that fall to your shoes and slip in and hide there, forever, becoming a gently nagging companian who's barbs you grow so accustomed to, that perhaps it is something close to what 'normal people' call 'love'.
yet in such a world i could not have gone travelling for months in deserts and frozen landscapes. or read of and dreamed about seeing the idatrod. when i was a child in it was in a moment of frustration and escape seeking that i happened to read about it.
perhaps in solitude we can forget the real world and be lost in some world of dreams, or fancies. forget how ugly the real world is. full of dwarf-brained-ugly people, acid soaked hearts full of hatred and zeal for punishment. the gleam in the eye of the purist as he condemns a man, and marks him out for punishment forms some part of my nightmares. perhaps because i am such a sinner myself. if we all were to grow our own personal gods, out of our fertile brains backyards, mine would be wise and wistful, yet funny. sometimes angry, sometimes passionate, sometimes childish. switching roles. back and forth. loving. living. laughing. and sometimes sitting on a park bench talking of the moon. my god would laugh at my screw-ups as he bends down to tie my laces. and he would run home to me excited to tell me about a new world i conquered. first and foremost be a friend. and friends don't judge or punish you. (now i am laughing at the picture i painted & an inside joke).
if we could only find and understand ourselves. if we could look within and know what we see. if we could convince ourselves of the reality that is. see people as they are, not as we build them in our heads.
enjoy the moment, as it flits. not let today slip out of our fingers like sand while we hunt and grasp for some obscure goal. not let this moment slip out of our fingers like air while screech out our silently and wring our hands in quiet desperation eyes tightly shut in petrified fear of some ill-perceived, half-probably tomorrow.
if only we found the courage and grace to live. to voyage. aimlessly. leave everything that is meaningless. and run away with everything that is precious. stop living for fear of perceptions, and poorly fitting "should be"s and "out to be"s evolved and inherited from a forgotten time and a far away place.
if only today i could run away from hear and now, and hide on my childhood beaches of tartous, or the streets of alleppo, the oldest city in the world, and spend my days drinking, smoking, eating the 'food of purity' and reading rumi.