hells_half_acre: (Mount Carleton)
('tis a little sappy, I know...but that's what happens when you write something at 3am.)

The world today is not made for wanderers. It’s a world of stability, and rules to keep it that way, where one doesn’t think anything abnormal about the routine of school, permanent job, steady lover that becomes a fiancé, that becomes a spouse - you live in an apartment and save for a house. You have children and save for retirement. You live out your days and you say, “Look at this tree. 40 years ago I fell out of it and broke my arm and yours when you tried to catch me.” You are as permanent as that tree, though you have legs un-rooted to the ground.

Citizenship became a loaded word somewhere along the way; though if asked I would say Canadian, english-Canadian, while my traveling companion replied with the same but french. We both have stood on a mountain top and looked over vast forest, lakes and rivers, and wondered if there was a spot where nobody had yet stepped, though in our intellect we knew the land was never empty. We have told others of the beauty of our homeland, the place we were born, and yet we wander - not unsatisfied, but driven for more.

When we were in Ireland we stood on soil that was soaked with the blood of centuries of violence. We stood in a land where lines blurred between enemies and friends, between right and wrong, where you began to wonder where the line fell between honourable and pointless death. We stood and looked out on the country that was neither our birthplace nor our home and we knew we had found a part of paradise. We felt peace in our souls and if someone had struck us down right there we would have died happy.

We walked through the forest and lane ways of Germany. We looked at buildings that attempted to look like old parents they had never known. The sun shone down on a land where people had been uprooted, shipped off and never returned. We learned to cherish friends, strangers, and enemies, in a peculiar way that comes from being unsettled by the deep horrible meaning of the past.

We drank wine in Prague. We got lost and walked by monuments to heroes of many nations. The souvenir salesmen spoke to us in every language of the continent and oddly held truth in the simple act of selling their wares.

I watched the Scottish Highlands move around me from a train window and believed myself in a dream of love, life, and loneliness, that comforted the soul. I was on the edge of the world with the irrepressible desire to fall off. I laughed and was content.

He promised to marry China and laughed. I gave my blessings and saw him off. He smiled at children who stared at him in bafflement. He danced and became lonely in a sea of people. He stood on the garden wall and knew the meaning of friendship.

We will meet up again, and laugh and speak the languages of our hearts. Our stability in our own and each others minds, hearts, and hands. Our citizenship to the country of ourselves.


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April 2019

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