A man walks down the street
It’s a street in a strange world
Maybe it’s the third world
Maybe it’s his first time around
Doesn’t speak the language
He holds no currency
He is a foreign man
He is surrounded by the sound, the sound
Cattle in the marketplace
Scatterings and orphanages
He looks around, around
He sees angels in the architecture
Spinning in infinity
He says, “Amen! Hallelujah!”
• Paul Simon, You Can Call Me Al
• • •
When I was younger and new to the experience of visiting other parts of the world, traveling could be, and was often, an epiphany. An experience of transcendence. A journey through a door that awakened thoughts, senses, and feelings I never knew I had before. I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. Everything was different. I found myself stunned by the sensory blitzkrieg and then intoxicated in a kaleidoscope of strange wonder.
Now that I’m in another season of life, it’s more about savoring. It is about appreciating the world and the people I meet. It is about not expecting them to change me or me to change them, but for us merely to be with each other, in my place or theirs, sharing and cherishing what we have been given.
No longer making new roads, but finding and walking the ones made for us.
The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.
• Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road