American travel diaries

My American trip. I didn’t take a lot of photos this time around. My camera stayed in my pouch. My fingers were busy gripping something else and there was an urgency at which they did so. I had no control over that. It was a matter of curling up into a comfortable spot and watching how they dug deeper into the textures and contours of people, places and objects. Wanting to remember the smells and the feel of moments. Wanting to become part of the landscape and part of strangers. To be swallowed up, never to be the same self again, alone and separate. Thoughts were what stuck to my fingers. Thoughts that came swelled up and fat with determination and emotion.

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Love. Some love affairs begin because they are meant to begin. Me, clutching a replica of a man on the San Francisco bay, feeling drawn to him even as he gazes out yonder to a distant place. I see vision in him. Wonder. Serenity. Longing. His eyes steadily fixed on the past or the future, I’m not sure which. I just know that when love calls on me I will be ready. I will be ready. Life has taught me of a love that is true and abiding. And the love that lives in my body,ย  it is not a timid love. I stopped being ashamed of it a long time ago. Sometimes we are clumsy in love. We are human so I understand. But to stay clumsy in love is another thing altogether.

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Coils. They wind around the shape of us. We are the epitome of them – links and connections that spread out in twirls, grabbing life here and joining it with another there. It is a beautiful ball of coils. The life force that brings meaning. Life’s essence. Humanity.

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Taking flight. Soaring above all things. Seeing the world as it truly is – small and insignificant. This view is needed for the timees we feel ourselves filling up with air. Maybe not to diminish us but to remind us. That taking to the skies requires some humility. I watched these birds circle the bay, whispering of the wonderful privilege that is freedom but also its responsibility. Because the adage is true and will remain true forever: with great privilege comes great responsibility.

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San Francisco. Maybe there is no city quite like her. I took out my notebook and wrote San Fran on the one side and Melbourne on the other with a big thick line between them. I wanted to collate the differences and similarities. I twiddled my pen as I sat on my hotel bed, my feet dangling. I realised how unfair I was. So I put down my pen. I wished to curl up with the two cities and just have a heart to heart. No accusations. No drama. San Francisco with her charm and Melbourne with her sometimes aloof elegance. They were like two sisters hewn from the same rock and water yet so very different from each other. I wanted to understand why everytime I come to San Francisco I feel like I leave my heart here. And why Melbourne won’t admit just how in love she is with me.

There is a time to package. A time to package thoughts. To sit inside of them and just be with them. This was such a time.

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