Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Constant State of Motion

Friends, I saw this illustration/painting this AM and it prompted me to do what I haven't done in too long: just a little bit of writing about this career that keeps me in a perpetual state of motion, always going going, going.
Thought I'd take a moment to touch on the personal and more honest, even bittersweet side of it all, in a blog dedicated to those of you who might also stir from somewhere deep inside when they see this which, for some, I know also hits very close to "home"

My writing below is for
the lover
the traveler
the passionate
the spirited heart
creature people.

I saw this painting this morning and it brought tears to my eyes, as i am once again in the last few days of being in one place for very long. i do think there's an irreversible beauty that can come from nowhere else but in the experiences we find in traveling:

Those we meet and live and laugh with along the way but, as with all things, we become attached to places, people, animals and the things we keep to remember them, even love, because they kept us so heartily well and if they didn't keep us well, perhaps we are attached to the memory or the lessons they left instead.
We are so humanly, honestly, vulnerably and beautifully attached to the way we know or remember feeling in certain moments.

In nostalgia, today i think of berlin subway adventures. italian accents and the men who wore them. the rainforests of the PNW, that i am soon going back to. i think of bands that started on trains heading westbound when two people met and had to do something with their perfectly harmonized voices, she from america, he from england. i think of the way my dog is sleeping right now, along my feet and breathing so softly that i know it will be impossible to say goodbye this coming thursday morning when i trade her beautiful spirit for an inanimate suitcase's weight and where I know in my absence, she will just look for me out the window. I think of how minnesota waited and waited and waited for the snow to melt and how when i first got here on the 18th of April after nearly three months away, i was the only person happy to arrive in such a blizzard, such a perfect signature for this flat land I grew up on.
...And then... I think of the plane i was flying in last summer, as it landed in iceland, before I ever went to england or scotland, before i ever knew what was going to happen on that 2 month trip that turned into 5...... how that plane flew through a dawn and through a rainbow and through lightning bolts, over lava rocks and bobbling foggy boat harbors where icelandic men were pulling their nets through their clenched fists, half standing in ocean and their own pipe smoke.

I think about how i took that all into my permanent memory before the wheels ever touched the tarmac. and then i think of the cows in the alps that have giant bells like wreaths around their necks, that I got to know in 2011 and how they wander through city streets in the north of provence, completely stopping the traffic lanes. i think of the sunflower fields that roll along the swiss mountains' many spines and the gypsy white dress i wore my last day in geneva before it unraveled. i think of how pretty i felt in that dress and how i'd slip into photobooths to get a quick photo of the feeling of that whole day.

I think of how i left photoshoot prop dresses to lighten my load of too many suitcases back in west yorkshire and then another box in storage in edinburgh and finally, just to make weight and board a plane, another load in Berlin, 20 minutes before I left the continent, where I not only left my things, but also a solo girl, a friend, who was her Irish toughest in not crying in the international terminal of TXL (because I did) as I had to keep going and our fates were parted. How many months had I not slept alone, had we been in constant company to suddenly have to be parted - An example in hundreds, maybe even thousands like it. So many airport, train, bus, street corner hugs and goodbyes. I remember each and all of them.

I think of how many years it'll be, if ever, that i see any of those boxes again or any of the people that helped me fill them or...help me carry them, along footpaths, along holy wells, in and out of trains.

And in all of this introspection, especially in my last days of being 29 years old, i feel very quiet, contemplative, even old sometimes, like a tree that is half uprooted and think there's a certain yearning to find a home that can be longer than a week, a month, a year, perfectly/utterly mixed with the confusion in knowing the fact that i love to get onto a plane and ride through that light that rises & sets over people's whole lives or how much i love seeing the mountains from a sky, knowing that that span of land has never been settled, that it's always been wild. it's a raw peace and a bittersweet one as well and i know when I arrive back "home" in Portland, that i'll lay late into the night, after all of roommates lay asleep, after the city becomes silent, with my window cracked open and I'll listen for the midnight train calls that start so late and run through the night, burning their sounds out, knowing that I've been on them, many of them, seemingly being beckoned to get on yet another when noone is looking. And i hope for the all the travel i have yet to do, the loves i have yet to meet and know, the leaving that is still coming and the arriving that also has yet to happen and that will continue to happen again and again, as is life... in every shifting change or settling in,
...all the solo sojourns, i simply hope to recognize the importance of staying grounded within it, while all else spins in perpetual motion, an adult merry-go-round I suppose.
Again, I hope to continue to not only appreciate it but also to recognize that spin and how it affects the human spirit, a life, one whole identity, allowing it to always grow and ebb and flow and for me to stay myself within it, whatever I want for that to be.

To NYC, to PHX and Boston, keep this little filly safe and sound and rested and held while she goes through you in May. Especially you, New Yawk, you've got a reputation.

At any rate, as you can see, I thought that picture a touchingly beautiful illustration and wanted to share.
My love to all of you, ashley x

1 comment:

Leon said...

This was such a pleasure to read. Great inspiration. Thank you for posting. :)