Monday, June 14, 2010

The Journey of 1000 Miles

I must have been 18 when I first romanced the idea of travelling and exploring. Not the boys-weekend variety or the family vacation travel. I toyed with the idea of buying a motorbike and riding across the country taking pictures and writing poetry. I'd written poetry since I was 15 and had this dream of pinning my words to trees along my route. Maybe it was all those French movies I grew up watching. Either way, I stopped writing poetry and very soon thereafter I forgot about my dream of biking across the land and littering tree's with my babble.

Then I stumbled upon a book today.
A book bursting at the seams with the innocence of a child's fantasies.
A book abundant with colours and sounds and sights and smells, all written in black.
A book depicting the exuberance of youth hastily scribbled to form a rhyme.
I had found my old and dusty poetry book dating back about 20 years! Reading through it reminded me just how much I had changed, and how much I had remained the same. I always loved words, and the powers they wield.
Reading through my book took me on a fantastic journey through some of the most amazing moments and memories of my life.
It took me on road trips with awesome friends, and horseback rides through the relationship landscape, and boat trips with the folks, and all this while basking in the afternoon sun in the comfort of my armchair.

It reminded me of the day I wrote an essay for school titled "Grey Matters". I think I was about 14 at the time. The essay was about multiracial couples, and the possibility of a society filled with "Grey kids" if whites and blacks had children. This was before apartheid was abolished, and before we as a society were exposed to mixed-marriages. I remember fondly my classmates having a debate over what the world would be like when the day arrived. The innocence of youth. Played back so vividly to me in a magical afternoon of memories.

It reminded me of my first "Love Letter" to a girl I fancied so much, I once promised her i'd become a carpenter just so I could work for her dad, also a carpenter, which would mean we'd be together forever! Again, the innocence of youth.

It also reminded me of my first "Break Up Letter". Not to the same girl thankfully.
Who would think that the infamous phrase "Its not you, its me" would define men and their relationships from their early teens?!

So I finally put my poetry book down when the sun set and the chill began to set in.
I wondered as I closed the last page, whether I had also closed a chapter on my life I would only ever visit in my dreams.
I'd like to think that some day I could still buy that motorbike, and do that road trip, and write my poetry, and pin them to those trees.
But the reality is probably a much less romantic picture...... or is it?

"I bring you with reverent hands, the books of my numberless dreams."
W.B Yeats