Telling people about my travels is like telling them about my dreams.1
When I first wake, the images are vivid and tangible.
I rush to share the stories because it’s the best way to keep the memory alive.
I must keep them alive.
But with each retelling, each remembering, the stories fade.
Obscured by their own repetition and revision.
The actual travel experiences become shrouded in words that aren’t quite true.
The journey through space, time and mind no longer seems real, as if it were just a dream.
And like dreams, the stories fade into fictions and oblivion.
So I reach for future fantasies and dream new stories,
because I’m terrified of waking up.
I wrote this on a red-eye flight from Bangkok to Shanghai and haven’t taken time to polish.
I am often afraid of waking up, both literally and metaphorically, but not as I used to be. Before I spent all my time in the fictions of my history and delusions of the future. Now I spend far more time sitting in the moment. Nonetheless, I often find it to be a terrifying endeavor, which speaks to it’s power.
1) Thanks to Jessica Lawson for this paraphrased quote. Unknown author.