Monday, June 28, 2010

The Chameleon's Dilemma

Wanderlust has a firm hold on me. I’m one of its timeless, helpless victims, someone who constantly lives in the future and past, both interconnected, neither allowing ample energy for the present.

At night I dream of my family’s farm, a stretch of land outside of San Antonio where horses and cattle roamed freely. I ride my bicycle up the gravel road to the white gated entrance, and swirl around the circular drive several times before meandering into the house. That front room was one of my grandparents’ finest creations. Behind the sublime wooden dining room table—one big enough to seat practically the entire family—were colorful etchings. Willowy branches crawled along the wall and up to the ceiling. Delicately placed among them were a few, bright birds nests.

I daily fantasize about returning to London, where I easily navigate its cobbled streets, pausing frequently to reflect on magnificent architecture under a low, gray sky. If I were to return today, I’d begin on the Knightsbridge end of Walton Street, my favorite in the city, and enjoy my first sojourn at Battersea or Hyde Park.

Hours, months or years later, I’d turn my thoughts elsewhere. I’d tire of the sprawling metropolis, leafy parks and all. I’d board a flight for Namibia, race by whatever means possible towards Harnas and spend that first evening alone, lulled to sleep by an unusual symphony of African night sounds, most prominent being the lion’s epic roar.

Romantic in theory and on paper, these mental travels are by all accounts equally counterproductive. I grasp at them, and wonder if and when I’ll be able to recreate them, knowing full well that no experience can be properly replicated.

In the meantime, I’ll be content to contemplate the next stopover, all the while worrying that I might become a cliche. I did, after all, read “Eat, Pray, Love.” Perhaps I overrate originality and undervalue the power of tried formulas. In any event, I aim to sit still for a little while longer, at least...

2 comments:

  1. Sitting still is boring (and doesn't provide any content for blog posts). Your adventures are what most of us dream of! Keep wandering, even if it seems cliche (ps - it's not).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Please don't become the chick who wrote Eat, Pray, Love. She was such an incessant complainer. I wanted to reach through the book and bitch slap her. You are way cooler and have more self dignity.
    Monique

    ReplyDelete