When we are sad, certainly. We long to be in a place where we were happy,
or where we will be happy. It may no longer exist, or it may not yet exist,
but we know that if we were there, a waiter would come by, and hand us a
drink and seat us and we would think: we have arrived at this place where
we were/will be happy.
When we are adventuresome, there is no doubt. When i was younger i listened
to old radios. Cities were painted on the front, and a slight shift of a
dial would take you from London to Dusseldorf to New York. I could travel
from one city to another with a turn of a wheel, and i could imagine being
in front of a radio in a parlour of a house in some great city. Such radios
are antiques now. Instead we travel the world with laptops and browsers and
high speed Internet connections. We scan photos on iphones taken in the
Mumbai dawns or the Palo Alto dusks. We can go anywhere, in a limited way.
We yearn to travel with the ease of the electrons that leave our computers.
Or we may look to the sky and watch planes go by and imagine us in them. Or
we may stand before rivers, stand at edge of oceans and seas, and see
ourselves setting out on boats that take us down stream. Always we are
From time to time we will arrive where we are happy, are content. We will
wish to stay there forever or else a very long time. We tie up our boats,
shelve our passports, leave our radios tuned to one station.
when that happens, the song of the Sirens will sing out to us and promise
us lands of even greater happiness. And friends will haul steamer trunks
past our path and speak of great travels they are embarking on. We will
recall that one trip we never found the time to take. That one friend, far
away, we must visit once more. That last pilgrimage.
When that happens, we will once again long to be where we are not. For only
the dead are settled.
Sent from my BlackBerry Handheld at September 15 2012, 10:50 PM to my old posterous blog.