Journal: Recovered

To all of you who diligently supported my quest to have my journal returned to me when it was lost last month, there is good news (several weeks overdue): My journal was found by a fellow Southwest traveler, who is humble enough to have requested anonymity. The journal, it seems, fell out of my bag in transit, and was accidentally put in his luggage instead of mine. When he found it, he got in contact with me (through this blog, in fact!) and was generous enough to return it to me. This is a huge shout-out to him, and to everyone who retweeted, shared, or otherwise helped spread the word of my missing journal, and I’m astonishingly grateful to you all.

Here are a few passages that I’ve written over the last few years. Whether they mean anything to anyone else, they mean something to me, which is why I’m so endlessly grateful to everyone who helped me get them back.

December 7, 2011 – Will I find my destiny today? Will I learn my dreams and desires so that I may build my own, or will chance perhaps lead me to my new life? Does the world know what lies in store for me or is fate just as powerless in this game of free will and dice throws as I feel? But I know myself to be truly powerful, not powerless. My destiny is mine to choose, but I do not know where to turn. But then, is that not the definition of choice? Its fatal flaw? To decide in the present what the future will yield, though the decider can never truly know what lies in store. What if the adventure I seek is no better than that which I leave behind?

May 8, 2012 – Now, I think this just seems so natural for me. I was born to travel, to be on the road, to meet new people and to constantly change myself, and yet remain the same, and I think the larger miracle is that it took me so long to realize it. I love this transience, this impermanence, that makes me feel like a bird who can fly and depart at any single moment. And yet there is also the feeling of having the ability to return, to come back, if I choose. It’s a grand migration, from place to place. And yet I realize that even my transience can only but be temporary, that eventually I must settle, and settle I will.

June 23, 2012 – Ralph is missing at least one-third of his teeth, two of which holes gape out at you like a grinning Jack-O-Lantern when he smiles, which sometimes is perpetually and sometimes is never. He smiles with eyes of loyalty and amusement. Ralph is a story-bearer. Not a storyteller, like Emma, because his stories are a little too rambling and digressive to be a proper storyteller. But the stories he bears – of marriages and divorces, driving on mushrooms and acid, seedy London bars, very old mates, jousting on horseback, etc. etc., – are marvelously evocative of a life lived both richly and poorly, both well and very badly, but most importantly of a life lived. Ralph is marvelous.

March 22, 2013 – O that writing seems my only release from this surprise, loneliness, and deep dissatisfaction with humanity. Only through words do I create worlds I aspire to live in. Only through fantasy do I find real solace. Tragedy indeed! That this world measures not to fiction. And here I find that hope alone lies in words and yet ironically in not-words, for the moments I have felt most connected to others have been moments of stillness and silence. But connection itself seems false. We are all isolated. Connection is an illusion. How do we know one another but in the desperate hope that this time we may not be misled? That this time we will have judged another human correctly? But there is no guarantee. There is never a guarantee. And connection is always temporary, transient. Illusory. And so I write.

September 25, 2013 – Whenever I prepare to quit a place, a strange reluctance, and kind of sadness, descends on me. I know not whence it comes or why, for when I begin my new voyage, all hesitation is lost. But somehow in the moment of preparation, the world begins to weigh in on me and I become suddenly conscious of all I am about to lose. – Such is life. We leave pieces of ourselves in every distant home, like a jigsaw puzzle of identity that begs not to be put together for fear of losing the spirit of each place. We leave droplets of ourselves in door frames, in forks and knives and wineglasses, in chairs and sofas, in cars and fields and starry oceans, in other people’s bodies and in other people’s minds. We are fragmented spirits, we humans, we social beings who delight in casting our nets and reeling in our loved ones. We are scattered across the land like seeds of life.

Thank you all for your support and kind words. They mean the world.