I nearly always long to be traveling. Even though we just came home from a lovely 12 days in Ireland, I could quite easily pack up again and leave tomorrow to wander the world. I gain energy, insight, and oh so much joy from experiencing other places on this amazing planet that God created for us, and I have such a long list of locations I want to see or return to for further enjoyment. I found Billy Collins’ sarcastic poem to be a great description of my feelings on this subject this summer, and every summer!
How agreeable it is not to be touring Italy this summer,
wandering her cities and ascending her torrid hilltowns.
How much better to cruise these local, familiar streets,
fully grasping the meaning of every roadsign and billboard
and all the sudden hand gestures of my compatriots.
There are no abbeys here, no crumbling frescoes or famous
domes and there is no need to memorize a succession
of kings or tour the dripping corners of a dungeon.
No need to stand around a sarcophagus, see Napoleon’s
little bed on Elba, or view the bones of a saint under glass.
How much better to command the simple precinct of home
than be dwarfed by pillar, arch, and basilica.
Why hide my head in phrase books and wrinkled maps?
Why feed scenery into a hungry, one-eyes camera
eager to eat the world one monument at a time?
Instead of slouching in a café ignorant of the word for ice,
I will head down to the coffee shop and the waitress
known as Dot. I will slide into the flow of the morning
paper, all language barriers down,
rivers of idiom running freely, eggs over easy on the way.
And after breakfast, I will not have to find someone
willing to photograph me with my arm around the owner.
I will not puzzle over the bill or record in a journal
what I had to eat and how the sun came in the window.
It is enough to climb back into the car
as if it were the great car of English itself
and sounding my loud vernacular horn, speed off
down a road that will never lead to Rome, not even Bologna.
So, yes, I’ve become a little addicted to photo collages. Bear with me for a time while I get it out of my system. Perhaps the faithful few readers of this blog would like to identify the locations of all 16 photos. You have probably seen them all before in one forum or another.