Saturday, September 12, 2009

Moments of Travel

Moments of travel are the most nostalgic, like you haven't done enough where you were at. They make you feel as though one needed more time or perhaps desired more events to have taken place before you were to leave where you were at. It's mostly a feeling that you are parting with someone or something you've come to know; something you've experienced firsthand, something you've examined up close. No matter where you're heading, that feeling of some sort of slightly palpable but deep sorrow generates a cloud around you much like invisible vapor droplets that occasionally stimulate your skin with a sense of touch. It's this parting that I dread and which weighs on me heavily even when the destination is desirable.

Yes, even when the destination holds brilliant promises of great times and unforgettable experiences, I can feel that weight, for even with the splendor of a promise it remains lacking in one aspect when compared to reality, in that it remains unfulfilled. The smallest bit of reality can conquer the greatest promise by exploiting that weakness which all promises are fated with. It is this contrast that causes the dilemma predominantly for a materialist. For reality manifests itself through everything that can be seen, touched, heard or smelled but promises manifest themselves in the realm of imagination drawing their images from fragments of memories combined with many thoughts and mixed by brain churns that place them in their proper place inside that jigsaw puzzle offered by promises. The reality of parting is ever so present at moments of departure when you can see all you left behind and can only imagine what's ahead.

But despite the weakness that each promise possesses, it can offer something beyond reality. It can create a better version of something experienced, perhaps even a version that cannot be imagined. Certain promises rely only on faith; faith in something beyond creative imagination; faith in the limitations of human abilities; faith in experiences and words of others. Even when reality is at its best, promises combined with faith can overturn it, can change all of its sweetness and take away its bitterness. But even then how can you overcome the feeling of parting?

I guess that's the way it is with journeys, even death the journey of the greatest distance in perhaps the least amount of time. Parting is almost insurmountable and even the best of promises cannot change that. The promise of an afterlife can only rely on faith and fragmented memories of the happiest times magnified to trigger the imagination. While the imagination can take you far away places, it can fail to reflect what’s to come, offering far better alternatives to reality. Yet to wait a lifetime for a promise is a little too much, and some will choose this moment over a promise that might not be fulfilled.

Once you’ve made the journey, things start to change, when you're en route or in the air you can only attempt to focus on what's to come. You look to fulfill the yet unfulfilled promises relying on faith to turn these promises into reality. But once these promises are fulfilled, they disappear and the faith that brought them life dissipates.

Note: Written BR (Before Riyadh)

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