As my time in New York comes to an end I am getting a little sentimental, as I do, and thinking of other travels I have been on, and how with most, even the ones that were hard at the time, I look back and remember with joy.
I am thinking this morning of the fact that any time I hear a song with even the slightest whimsy I think of lying among dandelions in Missoula, Montana with a girl who was always somewhat whimsical herself, carrying with her gypsy qualities, floating through this world to places I was not willing to follow, except for that short time when we lay, reading poetry on a hill in Missoula. Then I left again, drove farther west, and was not sure, even at the time, why I was leaving. I have heard that she kept moving, too, and is now a mother. I do not know her child (even if it’s a boy or a girl), and I do not know her anymore, but in moments like these, on mornings like this, I think of her.
And then there was the time in Ireland when I strolled atop the cliffs of the Aran Islands catching in a photograph a friend, legs near his chest, hugged by his arms, contemplating the Ocean below and stretching for an eternity before him. I had viewed and captured in another photograph this same friend in this same state of contemplation on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior within a year of our trip to Ireland. He has now seen more of and in this world than I ever will or would want to, and I’m sure on his subsequent travels he has pondered so much in this same manner.
And there was my time spent on another great lake—Lake Michigan, where the sound of water was omnipresent and constantly soothing. I have never been more at peace with everything around me than with that consistent roll of waves in my ear. On the first anniversary of September 11, 2001 I sat alone on a beach of Lake Michigan and watched it open up and pull the sun from its perch over the Chicago skyline into it in a warm, consoling embrace—the lake knowing the sun had seen too much.
And even on a miserable drive back from southern California, a drive that sunk me into the greatest depths of loneliness and awareness of being alone, I remember that the red hues of the dirt and rocks in Utah were beautiful. Even then I recognized something beyond myself, even if I could not see it in the present, I felt it somewhere. And the sense of comfort that filled me when I thought of once again being around my family and friends, to feel not alone, was a feeling so overwhelming that it almost warranted the depths I had sunk to. Almost.
As I look to the coming weeks I am once again filled with joy at seeing those faces absent for months now. But this time I will not be running from something toward their warm embrace. I will be leaving something I will miss. I am already looking back in fond remembrance. I am already missing New York.
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- David Luke Doody
- David Luke Doody is a freelance writer and editor. He is a founding editor of InDigest Magazine (www.indigestmag.com), an online literary magazine and the blog editor for Guernica Magazine (www.guernicamag.com). His writing and interviews have appeared in those magazines as well as in The Huffington Post, mnartists.org, The Minnesota Twins Yearbook, and Intentionally Urban Magazine, among others.
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