Two weeks of adventure, yes relaxing, yes, exciting, but also exhausting. We reach for familiar tunes, comforting narratives and that elusive pilot to ease us back into harbour. The birds at home squawk a different squawk to those in rural France. So it’s to stories and thoughts that help us find our feet again. Familiar things, as well as fictional escapades, can act as footholds and resting places to find sanctuary while the sparkly dust of traveling settles.
The smell of the crowd, paint and powder, brighter lights and plastic promise are built up around us. Back in boxes, with keys and codes to pass through and gain access, so-called civilisation rattles and hums around us. We will try and hold on to the fresher air and cleaner lines of the natural. The stars and glowworms seemed more beautiful than the digital polish of contemporary consumable culture. A dash of fine coffee and a biscuit eases the contrast.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but last night I had a dream where everyone from my past ( quite possibly including you) met up at Lemon’s house and ate carrot cake and bacon, we all sang and danced, giggled and laughed, there was little inhibition, minimal anxiety, no expectation, no possessions, but an honest knowledge that we briefly knew each other. You may say I’m a dreamer, I do hope I’m not the only one…
Then I awoke with the song in my head, ‘On a wonderful day like today’. One of those songs we sang in a show as a teenager, happy days. “On a morning like this…”
Of course, said the jester, we share and invite others to reside in our world. We live as a cocktail of roles and characters. Our actions, our lives, taking on hints and suggestions from scripts and directions beyond our control… Yes, we are of course confident individuals, but when it comes to it we all subscribe, imbibe, consume and share others’ worlds.
A foreign culture and language can resonate an intoxicating nuance. Turning blue to bleu and red to rouge. Simple differences make the others’ customary things seem exotic, exciting, delightful and fun.
Can you picture, or even feel, the bluest sky, pin-sharp shadows on whitewashed walls, a lizard scurries beneath the Persian Albizia’s silky blooms. A bowl of grapes and a tall glass of iced tea… silence, except the wind…
We pop down the road to the bustling super-barn that stores bounteous delights. Lords and yacht-owners devise ludicrous luxuries; Crusty Crocs and Choco Boules, pop-wines and processed delicacies. And market people trade trinkets and trivia. Novelties might be purchased and imbued with meaning by travellers taking time-out from the mills, factories, and the familiar. Faced with abundant provisions, including a fine selection of Belgian biers, we relaxed and imbibed a jolly good holiday.
Without the need to discipline a routine our refocusing eyes journey and our minds race.
In the ancient village square, we encountered new people, novel ideas, new hopes, but essential to it all something akin to Nightingale’s vestigium reminds us of ghosts of yesteryear, old fears, old ideas and perhaps wiser elders. A newfound peace, albeit written on ancient parchments.
A new morning, waking to nature’s chorus, closed eyes might reach for new tunes and new narratives, new stories and thoughts. New escapades might invigorate, bright skies and sizzling seas soothe and delight…
But now back in harbour the crew need rest, familiar tunes, comforting narratives and a sense of that elusive pilot.
At home. Our dog looks with expectant eyes and gives me a lick. With a loving tweak, my wife whispers “pinch punch first of the month, no returns”. My daughter brings me a coffee, and a smile…