Questions of Travel

Clearly, I've stolen my title from the Elizabeth Bishop poem, a poem I love. I think of this poem when I travel, especially the last two stanzas which read:

"Is it lack of imagination that makes us come
to imagined places, not just stay at home?
Or could Pascal have been not entirely right
about just sitting quietly in one's room?

Continent, city, country, society:
the choice is never wide and never free.
And here, or there . . . No. Should we have stayed at home,
wherever that may be?"

The questions that Bishop poses here resonate with me. I love to travel, but I sometimes wonder, especially right now, about the tensions that my travel decisions involve. Those tensions often lead to feelings of dislocation, wherever I am. I think there are times when I actually find comfort in feeling dislocated. It's so much a part of my life.

One thought on “Questions of Travel

  1. Ted Godfrey

    Yea, sometimes poems really get to me, too. Like Ogden Nash: "Some Scientists may answer first the secrets of our universe, but me I cannot even think why pork is white and ham is pink." I know it doesn't really talk about travel or destinations but sometimes it is just fun to get away and not have to think about the stuff of everyday life. When we used to go to Bear Lake, I loved just sitting outside and looking at the lake from the deck. It always looked more beautiful far away than it did close up at the beach. See, that is the great thing about travel or going to another destination, you can forget about the up close stuff and look at the big picture, e.g. Rome! So anyway I am not a great thinker, but I do like poetry, if songs count.


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