Nature To It All...
My first trip to Europe was over eleven years ago, almost to the date, and I was a spry thirty three year old kid attempting to sort himself out a bit. The objective is not to live in the past so I'm merely referring to the past in order to bring context to the present. The place I find myself now is in the present as the past has obviously past and there's no dwelling in it, nor a future which has yet to present itself, too.
My travels, initially, were an attempt to strike back in a way at some who doubted my ability to put a little money together in order to see the world, it was also an attempt to prove to myself that I could unshackle my fears and allow myself to fly. The latter has always been an issue, as I tend to overthink when on the ground and then overthink times one thousand when in the air. If only I were more grounded is how I used to feel, used to, as in up to maybe a few months back.
In 2013, I took some buddies along with me to visit Switzerland for their first times. There were five of us in total, five different personalities who had five different objectives, with mine forever being, leisure, food, music, and laughter. Our welcome into Switzerland was ridiculous as we were picked up and whisked away to Lake Geneva for a night of food, music, laughter, and rum. My buddy Bobby, aka, Robert, aka, Ricky Bobby, aka Honey Bobby, aka, close your mouth when you eat, often says that was the best introduction to a city, any city he has ever received in his life as an actor. I like to think, the groundwork was laid down pre our arrival, pre me telling those French boys I'd return with others at some point (the point being two years later).
The joke is at times that I'm not really a people person but there's truth to that in many ways. As much as I enjoy good conversation, I do observe people even when they think I'm not paying any attention to their movements. In 2011, I observed a group of friends who allowed me into their worlds as if we'd grown up within the same circles though thousands of miles away from each other. The best friendships and relationships are the ones which are effortless, though there are many of the same which are beautiful due to the hard work and effort needed to maintain such bonds. For the sake of this story, please understand that for over a decade we rarely go weeks without some form of communication; mind you, I don't speak with some people I call friends, for a full year and we act as though nothing has ever changed and I share a city with some of these rascals.
This pandemic has placed so much into perspective, first and foremost being friendships, who are allowed to share time, music, food, and laughter. The world has been closed off from something so simple as touch, it's strange to think of but it's also a true reality. An acquaintance text me an article about this very fact, back in April of last year and it has stayed at at the forefront of my mind ever since (you can read it her): https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/04/what-do-you-miss-most-about-touch-during-pandemic/609943/ .
The truth is we do need interaction and rum from time to time, we need adventure, music, food, and laughter too but I'm starting to believe it's going to take a Covid card and a miracle to allow many of us to do any of the aforementioned things which I've outlined. Now, mind you, 2020 was due to be my year of adventure, my year to sit back and go passport stamp for passport stamp with some folks but a pandemic changed so much about how I view things.
There's a certain NATURE TO IT ALL, a feeling which remains, a hope which still lingers though unsure of how, when, if, any of the pieces will fall into place; nonetheless, we still look up, face forward, look to the side, and in the trees for the signs that one day, one day soon, we'll all be able to drink Havana Rum into the wee hours of the morning, while listening to reggae, and reminiscing about yesterday.
The only reality which exists is today, so I'll remain present and patient, within the days I'm afforded, I pray you all do the same.