Seek not water; seek thirstRumi
When I was a little girl, I tried to learn American Sign Language. I loved putting my face and sometimes my entire body into a word. More than that, I believed that if I became fluent in sign language, I could travel the whole world, going from one deaf community to another. Then when I was about ten years old, I learned that signed languages are as diverse and varied as spoken languages. Just like that, my globe-trotting plan was gone. A decade later, I was settling down but hadn’t given up on seeing the world. I just wanted someone to see the world with. Adventures are more fun with an accomplice. My marriage didn’t work out that way, or any other way.
It’s probably the most universal human desire to love and be loved. I think it’s something we want as newborns and still on our deathbeds, this thread weaving through our lives as other desires bloom and die and disappear. I wanted to love, be loved, and devote myself to a lasting partnership. But if that’s not an option, then there has to be something else to look forward to. I am addicted to silver linings. There always has to be something exciting enough to make getting out of bed tomorrow feel worth it.
So I returned to the dreams I’d had before I started dreaming of being kissed passionately. If I couldn’t have love, I would have the world. I pinned all my hopes on traveling. As soon as my youngest child turned eighteen, I would go to ALL the places! Of course, the part where that happened in 2020 didn’t help, but that wasn’t the only change of plans. This isn’t the same economy I came of age in. My kids need more support as young adults, and I’m less adept at providing it. I’m a broke, divorced, middle-aged undergraduate with family responsibilities. It’s not exactly a great recipe for jet setting.
Still, I’ve researched a dozen different routes to walk El Camino de Santiago and a handful for the Pacific Crest Trail. I’ve fantasized about getting an RV, a dog, and an as-of-yet elusive comfort behind the wheel. Or riding all the best trains without a dog. I could take the Southwest Chief from L.A. to Chicago and the Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul. I could even go on a nine-month cruise around the world. I’ve daydreamed about crashing on couches in every city where I have a friend or an acquaintance or the ability to convince myself that kind strangers probably won’t murder me. I want to volunteer anywhere where volunteers aren’t a problem unto themselves.
It is my nature to be curious about everyone and everything. Adventure is just another word for finding out. To love and be loved would be the sweetest adventure, but to travel could be pretty exciting, too. Maybe I’ll do both or nearly neither. Whatever happens, I’ll live; perhaps that could be adventure enough.
Nothing much to say, I guessU2
just the same as all the rest
Been tryin’ to throw your arms ‘round the world
And a woman needs a man
like a fish needs a bicycle
when you’re tryin’ to throw your arms around the world
Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World