SUNDAY MUSINGS / On Travelling
Sausage charcuterie, chocolate espresso beans and a Granny Smith apple are clearly etched into my mind, and into my arm by a drunken Polish man, simply, as an already fading black “X.”
I’ve found that, for me, sudden transient moments occur quite often. Sensations send me sweeping back into tangible and pungent memories...back a year to the canal on a bright Sunday afternoon under the elderflower trees. New York has this transient quality about it. From a certain angle, in a certain moment it can transform into any moment or any place in time. I appropriate this to New York being nothing much, anymore. If a city is defined, there is no way it can be every other place in the world, even if only for a moment. Perhaps it has taken on the characteristics of all of the places people come from - lost in it’s own deep, dark sea of opportunity that hovers in tension above.
Long gone, I think, are Morrison’s days of jazz. Not the rampant racism or pedantics of course, but the pandemonium of the spring streets caused by an infatuating, elusive beat that swarms through the skyscrapers. But in moments, it can transform into itself...in a soft glow of blue light pouring through the subway tunnel from the grate in the footpath above. Pear tree petals fall softly onto the rusty track, dancing to “I’ll Be Seeing You” as the tumble in the wind. As the train rushes by one stop, two stop, three I-beams floating beyond glass transform into tall trees planted firmly in rolling hills and vineyards. Hidden deep and drunk on summer wine, I sat around a table of strangers speaking romance to my ears. The soft hum of cicadas and glow from the country house secured the warmth in the night.
The Swiss Alps sat solemn behind crystal waters populated with rainbow unicorns and floating frogs. Perched atop were screaming children wielding mighty cornetti as swords. They guarded the beauty that surrounded them.
A warm air pouring onto my face through the open windows of an old minivan. Gaia held a breath in me. We passed under the shade of 14 crosses on our pilgrimage up the Holy Road. At the top of the Sacred Mountain was a town with winding, needle-narrow cobble streets. Morning laundry hung to dry was stretched between the buildings. We bathed in the cool breeze of the morning; the bittersweet taste of a negroni still sat on my tongue. There was an openness and lightness in the air. We looked past the blinding sparkle of Milano, and into the horizon. The train halts and I am jolted forward into reality with the old realisation that “Next stop” has none the charm of “Prossima fermata.”