Today’s article was supposed to be about New Zealand. For almost two months, the front page of my blog signaled to the wandering reader that this was “Carried Away Time”: Carrie was losing herself on the road, again, like every year before, during the summer season.
Today is Wednesday. Today is the day I was supposed to get back to normal. Blogging twice a week, catching up with other people’s writing, getting back to work. You know: whatever happens to you, however far you travel, no matter how many fantastic places and people you live, or however long your absence may be — when you’re back home, when you wake up jet-lagged the following morning, your spirit and your body proudly demonstrate their admirable and despicable ability to just go back to normal, to habits, to patterns. Your travel and wanderings will just have to keep on living within the boundaries of your mind.
But yesterday night, GMT+1, something beautiful happened. Something that shook my spirit and body and made another travel, a previous travel, emerge, come back to life.
I got a comment from Abraham, Venice Beach, Los Angeles.
That stranger, whom I had met just for a few minutes five years ago, whose aura had impressed me, and about whom I had finally written a story, was getting back to me.
I went through a rollercoaster of contradictory emotions: skepticism, realization, happiness, guilt, elation, excitement, curiosity.
I remember you, Abraham. Vividly. I remember your eyes and your hand shaking mine. I thought I had grasped at least a bit of who you were; enough to write an article about “all the rest”: the “you” that I had never got to know.
Yesterday night, all of a sudden, people shared that article. People from Venice. People who know you. Through them, this morning, I glimpsed a bit of “all the rest”: your art, your energy, your daily life, these people. That art, that music… You seem to be infused with it. And yet, I didn’t see any of it five years ago. Of course I didn’t: there I was, a goddam tourist with her goddam camera.
But there has been that photograph. We clicked, only literally.
This morning, Abraham, there is a French woman sitting in a café in Lyon, France. She is smiling. She has been watching your photograph on her wall for many years. Through you, she has remembered Venice. The colors and the sounds. The ocean and the sidewalks.
That woman is a teacher. Every day, she rides a train for almost two hours to spend the day with her students, and train them. Every day, she grasps at least a bit of who they are, enough to help them with “all the rest”: the “them” that will ultimately be out of her hands — their choices, their future, their life.
But every single day, she rides that train back home, pours herself a cup of tea, and looks at her travel photographs, hanging on her living room’s wall. Your message means a lot to her. From now on, when looking at that photograph, she will see you better. She will see you smiling.
Thank you, Abraham.
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