Thursday, 16 April 2009

Reflections on the Trip

I think I am in danger of getting back to normal. Getting on the phone to do a round of sorting things out; organising stuff out of the bag and delivering fridge magnets to my parents (nice ones). I am pretty pleased with the mug I bought, too, so all is not lost.

In spite of the normality of England and an inital wave of news media and information, the heart still glows with the memories of being out in the winds of the trip. I expect this to condense down into something of greatest hits package over time but presently I can still access some of the detail, so I'll try to mention a few things before they get compressed and filed away until I am old.

I remember driving with Helen back from the meeting in Tesaria; both sites of the pillars of Hercules visible to the left and down separated by a great swathe of water. I remember meeting people who seemed similar to other people I know or have known in my life including some very similar versions of 'the original': Chris was very much like Chirs; Benji a bit like Matt etc. I remember having met the Antonios and walked past an old Moorish city wall in Seville, then taking the bus and finding myself on a kind of high. I can feel the dissonance between expectation and reality challenging my tourism of the otherness of places like Morocco where their point of relating is largely out of desperation and our point of relating is out of curiosity. I can see the influence of power and politics allowing and preventing travel and grading citizens of nations into classes according to their nations relative power and prestige, as well defining borders that include or exclude (or both at the same in the case of Gibraltar) and so go on to influence the language, customs, belief, prosperity and values of the relative territories.

I could feel the ego straining against the reality of being a tourist whilst wishing to be doing something entirely unknown and original; finding people on remarkably similar itineraries to my own. I guess, though, if they were going to anywhere, they'd be in Andalucia. I can feel a sense of a liberal American confidence, with an international presence, growing strong now that the figurehead of the Iraq travesties, Bush, has been removed. I know that the adventurous heart would not, of its own accord, wish the Faustian pact to be over with; it does not relish the routines and rigours of London life.

I can feel that I am perhaps more defined by my hopes, beliefs and faith than by anything else. I can see these flags flying above the level of hardship and pointing to a fulfilment that one's present circumstances may seem to preclude. It is these keep the body moving forward through what ever it has to face; the roots in the heart that allow me to answer 'yes' to the question 'is it worth it?'

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