Just a fun fact that I’ll
share with you tonight
is that I pack novels
on any given flight;
it’s a little bit funny
and I can tell you why
I care about what I’m reading
on the off chance I will die.
If the plane should crash
and the ground it will hit
I think I will be grateful
that I wasn’t reading shit.
I’ve had some sketchy flights
full of turbulence and dips
but it comforts me to know
I’d die with Vonnegut on my lips.
Home may be where most hearts are
but mine is an iron anchor
travelling the world affixed to myself
providing me the luxury
to render home where I want it to be
and that even if I choose to leave
it will keep me steady while I stay.
They say that time and space
can heal everything
so I bought a train ticket
for my broken heart and
set it loose to see the world.
The hurt began to ebb
as I watched the last train car
fade into the distance and
from time to time I will
get postcards from my heart-
it never stays anywhere for long.
It goes where it wants
when it wants and I
was never very good at letting go
so I am very happy to know
that it is doing so well on its own.
I was walking alone along a path on the waterfront of Catania. I stopped at the kiosks and sifted through rows of fresh fruit and pails of snails for escargot until I was distracted by a lone man on a bench by the sea. I wandered over to him with a forgotten peach in the palm of my hand, drawn by the way he looked sketching the scenic panorama before him.
I sat next to him and watched him execute perfect strokes of lead across the page, envious of the way he could perfectly transcribe what he saw. We performed the traveller’s handshake of telling each other who we were and where we were from, and he showed me his book of sketches. Some of the drawings I recognized from the sights that lay before me but deeper into the book was a visual guide to his home in England. I gazed at expertly composed pages of streams and cottages and felt truly transported to the countryside.
He asked me what Canada was like and I, lacking his artistic skills, instead described the way that pine trees look dusted with snow, and the mountains that cradle crystal lakes between them. I detailed how my city looks split down the middle with a twisting river and deep valleys of green juxtaposed against the cold concrete of the city sky line.
He closed his eyes and said, “Ah yes, I can see it.”
There were two things that I realized in that moment:
The first being how well you can truly appreciate the beauty of home when you are miles and miles away from it. The seemingly mundane things that you would not notice in the day-to-day become features you feel compelled to describe perfectly to do the scene justice to a stranger.
The second was that everyone creates in different ways and being jealous of another’s ability to construct reality is like (as a dear friend would say) counting others’ blessings when you should be counting your own.
If I could time travel
I don’t think I would
try to change the past-
instead I would relive my firsts
slowly and luxuriously.
The first time I fell in love
or jumped from a cliff into water
to remind myself that regardless
of how scary these can be
they were the things that
opened my eyes to new worlds
leading me to where I stand now
and the firsts I have yet to experience.
These days more than not
I am missing Scotland and
being steeped in Highlands air
I am craving lochs and craigs
tartans and crests
and hiking as far as I dare
I want to eat my fill
drink dark beer and sip light tea
while wandering through Greyfriars
With trips to Inverness and Glasgow
fish and chips and haggis
and all of my Scottish desires