Showing posts from December, 2012

The Last Song Before Running Away

Love chases me through the day.  Thoughts of her that never goes away.  I try to let her go, I succeed for a bit.  But in me, she is ingrained in it.
She calls me, beckons me...  the solitude she has given me a choir of whispers, of sirens... leading me to meaningless hope. fevering  my contagion, my ailment:  Her love of life, my amour accident.
Our embrace, You touch my face, and say...
(Chorus) Turn Around. Be Brave. Run Away. Never, ever look back. Be strong. Dream on. Carry on. ...and one last thing too: I, Love, You.
She runs far from me, ever with a kind face, her duality, no difficulty  in justifying. Darker truth than damage done, collateral for her preservation, she will never give up salvation:
That perhaps she was moved by such ideas, into the same dark corners as I, and found our self-made universe, to be an amicable compromise... in our chaotic intercourse.
Our embrace, I touch your face, and say...

Absinthe Bar

Je ne regrette rien. That's the theme of the day. There were certain touristy things which I've had on my list to do since I arrived. Things that fell through the cracks, over missed dinner dates, or failed rendezvous. Time is running out, and I'll be damned if I'm leaving Belgium with any regrets. I can honestly say, today, I completed the list. In the morning I ran out to Stockel for waffles, then to Chez Leon's for moules provencale followed by a walk from Anderlecht to Vlezenbeek to the secret Neuhaus discount outlet. Then I said good bye to one of the first people I met here, Liz (who is an awesome blogger and you should check her out, read her blog.) Then off to the Grand Market for the Plaisirs d'Hiver, a light show, and finally absinthe.

Absinthe? Oh yeah. I briefly texted a friend while waiting for the eight PM opening time (apparently it's best to be smashed after dark), but she declined. No worries, my bilingual, bisexual, bipedal bar maiden kept …

She Fell From The Sky

So this is goodbye. I wondered what it would feel like. I think I always knew, but hoped that it wouldn't be like this; that I'd manage to take most everyone's non-requested advice and be able to see the positive aspects in it all. Like anyone would choose the alternative, if they could? As if I want to feel any of these final moments in the manner I do. As if my nervous system itself is rooted in this reality, and being ripped from its soil.

It's a terminal diagnosis, knowing I'm leaving the world and I have to say a final goodbye to everyone I love. I did my share of "living like I was dying"  this semester. There's no doubt as I crossed from Paris to Spain, and from Krakow to Rome somewhere between Amsterdam and Brussels I lived with a passion de vivre unlike most. A result of my early prognosis, even before I arrived, and my willingness to make the last four months of my life here count for something more than merely just studying abroad. I lived l…

Reverse culture shock | The Dark Homecoming

This should serve as a warning. To all those who take travel candidly, who see the study abroad experience as nothing more than a footnote on their resumes someday; you may take home more than you ever bargained for. Since first experiencing this phenomenon myself, I’ve been asking the question: where is home, when your heart is oceans apart? This simple question, for me, best describes the dark homecoming many who travel will discover, but never see coming:  reverse culture shock.
It’s a silent disease, in that no one expects it to happen to them, and most of the time you don’t even know what it is, till you’re afflicted with it. But the term has existed since 1963, despite the obscurity of education on the issue (Kramer). Considering the effort of preparing study-abroad students for their arrival on foreign lands, you might assume culture shock is a dangerous phenomenon. I too went through hours of discussions, charts, diagrams of icebergs, and interviews to be sure that I was not a …

Les Amis

Unspoken words, mystery of dislike. Pretend, make an excuse, then run away. I like the plague, every doubt is their strike. Less than human, I must find my own way.
They and I pretend nothing is arye, but by their actions, I am exiled. Looks of disgust leave me wondering why, that I'm less than human: social viled?
But I know a secret that they know not: The knife in my back- I knew you would send. I let you smile, and laugh with your plot. This my last kindness to you my dear friend.
You revel as you reveal your disguise. Irony your companion, friendship dies.

Can Tourism Deliver Egypt?

Build It and They Will Come. | Can Tourism Deliver Egypt?
 “…the overwhelming reason why countries proffer themselves as tourist destinations is for economic benefits.”
Archer, B.H., & Fletcher, J.E. (1990)

Step off the plane in Cairo, and you’ll be welcomed by a relatively modern airport; however, this is where your concept of western tourism must end. Egypt’s economy was locked in stasis during Mubarak’s reign leaving infrastructure in a state of apocalyptic decay for over thirty-five years. Doors missing, windows gone, old signs hanging from fifty year old hardware which tends to spark and flicker, if they work at all. While tourism was big in Egypt prior to the revolution, and slowly it is returning, the infrastructure is almost non-existent, and what little there is, was so poorly funded under the previous regime, that the absolute potential for developing a new economy vibrant enough to provide jobs and develop a nation, is solely defined with the choices Egypt makes going f…

The End is Where We Start From.

A single snowflake falls somewhere in the world. Then another, and then another. Like words, before long, we find ourselves traveling a landscape of art created by our observations. Each step redefines the landscape, and our single set of footprints there to remind us of where we have been.

Much of art is like that, we look at it, we take a single glance and we think we have derived the message that the artist meant to say. Yet it's never about a single message, it's about what it means to you. It's what you perceive from the picture, in essence, it's what we ascribe to the art, the image we want to see- not often what's really there, or what the artist intended.

Look a little closer and we will discover that in those single footprints, someone has been walking in our steps the whole time, walking where we step, so that all along, there was someone else with us the whole time.

 For me, this person was Shannon, my love, my soul-mate, my everything. Every kilometer thro…

The Road to Redemption

Finality is rising. This morning I traveled the snow covered roads of the former Cold War city of Krakow to the airport.  Wheels up at 9:55, I love the smell of jet-fuel in the morning. For the last five weeks I've been traveling from Spain to Paris, to Ypres, to Rome, to Auschwitz, unsure of where any of this leaves me as one final flight remains. I've been thinking a lot about this last trip, and where I'm going. I've tried to make sense out of it, even prayed about it, but there's been no answer, only silence, no way I can rationalize the conflict of heart and mind that is attached to my "luggage" that I take with me on the final flight: the flight "home".

The last thing I wrote before Rome was rather tragic, I admit. I cried for days after writing it, but now I'm out of tears, I'm out of time, and I'm out of the discipline to hold back what's lurking inside.

The truth is, I'm changed. I realized that as I went over to dinne…