These are the final entries I put down during our honeymoon. I feel I have to mention there were weeks of dense experience surrounding these small notes, at which they only hint, but time and energy engaged in those experiences precluded capturing them in words. When I did put pen to paper I found it difficult to contemplate, there was so much to describe. Those sensations will come out in writing, someday, somehow. Perhaps here, perhaps in a letter to you.
April 18th, 2017
This morning we departed Scotland, after three weeks in its various landscapes, ancient and modern compressed together. Who knows when we’ll be back. We were lifted into the sky by an unseen hand. This kind of travel doesn’t promote ritual, acknowledgment of leave-taking.
We board a plane and in less than an hour we arrive in Dublin. The more surreal for how mundane it has become, launching into the sky, knifing through the clouds, as commonplace as boarding a bus. To become an expert traveler is to become jaded, at least in part. To be astonished at rocketing into the sky, over and over, a matter of course, a matter of arithmetic if we are to reach our destination in this little window of time we have – to be astonished at this every time would mean exhaustion. We both feel it, the fatigue of being uprooted, un-grounded, shot through time and space almost too quickly to grasp, to be plucked up and deposited in some distant place. Displacement.
I feel the ties in memory pulled taught. I feel myself worrying, anxious whether I can keep the details in memory, whether this whirlwind trip has been a kind of whimsy without real substance or lasting impact.
If I feel into it further I know this can’t be true. In the Azores, in Devon, in Sheffield, in Aberdeen, the Orkneys, Tain and Glasgow, I felt so intensely that it must be in me, it cannot have left. Only anxiety brought on by this disconcerting mode of travel, and also by feeling so much at such a duration. Like a rich meal; I feel full to the brim.
Once again this surreal space of travel, launching from the ground into inconceivable heights. This time, heading home.
This afternoon we left rainy England, her deep green woods and pasture suddenly falling away beneath us. We landed in Iceland where it snowed all afternoon, our flight delayed. In a spot of clear weather we took off on the last leg of the journey. Above white clouds flowing under us. We slept and woke to see Greenland in sunset light, glaciers like elephant skin, the perfect planes of frozen lakes, the jagged saw teeth of the mountains, everything white, opalescent. Now open water in a fjord, in contrast black as oil, a fissure opening into the dark heart of the earth.
We sleep as best we can, shades down against the sun we are chasing. On the trip out the sunset was sudden, a curtain of black we flew into; now the day has been elongated to accommodate these detached hours.
At last the sun out paces us. I wake in the half-light of the cabin, raise the shade.
Below are the cities of North America shuttling past in a dark land, street lights splashed like paint on a dark floor, growths of iridescent fungus.
We are nearly home, the hours passing dreamlike. The flowing of this chapter into another.