The agony and the ecstasy.
I can’t believe it’s still like this, after all this time. In another of the contrasts and contradictions of human existence, the thing that gives me so much ecstasy, travel, insists on bringing its share of agony too.
The Agony: I don’t know if it’s the plane flights, the profound change of place, or the looming dangers, but the start of a trip still wrecks me. My body loves to inform me of the tension, and is prone to doing so with theatrical poignancy, waking me up with a racing heart in the pre-dawn hours the night after I buy my tickets.
The dream that vomits me out of sleep is rarely informative. I can’t even remember last night’s, the details jettisoned in a thumping attempt to return to reality (except the one time, when shady street figures were honing in on me and K, and I was trying to avoid them without her noticing they were there, that one was clear, inspired by the time I pulled out my digital SLR on the night time streets of Nepal and we got followed home).
Last night’s anxiety attack was relatively mild, I could stay in bed, just do some Thread Words on my Kindle until the heart rate slowed back to human levels. God I hate that feeling.
But the Ecstasy! Next Wednesday I’ll fly to Lima, where I’ll interview amazing people doing inspiring work with street kids, see a surfing competition if the timing works out right, and hopefully produce some words that somebody can use…
Then I have time to fly over to Cuzco to see more radiant people, search for more words, and make my way to some place called Machu Picchu. Picchu Machu? Something like that.
Then on the way back, what the hell, let’s stop in El Salvador for a week. It seems like just the right level of danger, and is one of the two countries in North America I haven’t visited yet. Honduras next door…not quite yet.
Is there time for one more contrast and contradiction? Because I’ll finally have material of the sort I love to write about, but I’m not sure what kind of internet access I’ll have. But either while I’m there, or once I get back, I hope to have something to tell you. Stay tuned, and happy rest of January!