I always have grand ideas to write or to plot, plan, and finish things when I travel. I’ll have all this time, I tell myself, surely I can get it all done. Invariably, I overestimate the amount of viable available time I do have. I usually stay up too late, sleep too late, and get so out of whack on my internal schedule that I rarely feel like doing anything other than playing WoW or reading a book. Not to mention, I’m here visiting family, and that takes priority over everything else. So while my time off isn’t as productive as I’d like, I am getting the exposure of the past. Memories are powerful. They shape us, mold us, remind us of the history that has sliced into our hearts and soul. Surrounded as I am by the memories of the past, it helps me give life to a story I want to tell. Sitting at the table with my mother, I can feel Cimin’s pain anew when she loses hers, and I thank God that what I wrote is fiction.
So I suppose in that way that the trip has been productive. The little details of our lives are what bring them into sharp relief. The smells that surround a particular moment. The feel of the fabric beneath the fingertips. The ache of missing home while dreading leaving the place you’re visiting.
We embarked on a journey to my aunt’s house. It’s like tripping down the lanes of the past and rifling through the old bones of memories. As a child, you see things and make up the stories around them without understanding the complexities of human nature. You make misconceptions and jump to the wrong conclusions and believe that your world is safe and free of darkness. That isn’t always true, and the monsters you do believe in aren’t always really monsters. As a child, the mistakes an adult makes is ground-breaking, heart-wrenching, but as an adult, it’s easy to see the steps that lead to the choices people make.
This trip is good for me in so many ways. Not only am I visiting and reconnecting with family but I’m reminded of the intricacies of the human spirit. The resilience of life after death and the will to go on and enjoy life. The world isn’t as rosy as we view it as a child, but it’s not as dark as it can feel like an adult. I will hold onto some of that innocence I had as a child where houses were magical, and people were wonderful beyond belief.
All of this will help shade the story I will write for the ending is nigh, and the ending is the hardest part. Not because I do not know where to go, but because the path it must go is difficult. Hearing the stories of relatives of the past, of what they went through, I know that it is possible to lose everything and still hold onto the resiliency of hope. I also have a better understanding of how important a driving connection can be.
I am a sponge that soaks up these shades of emotion, remembers them, so that I may craft them later into the people who have become larger than life in my thoughts.
Many lessons I have learned from this trip.