He pays the toll
She’s the vehicle for
over-heavy for the road
burdened by billboards
Her engine rattles,
down the road.
The convoy carries on
Small gawky boy
Nose like the beak of an eyas,
I pass a glance to his hands
bronzed and thin upon the table
and find myself time travelling.
Immersed in visions of those hands
Stroking keys, coaxing music,
Mesmerizing me. Those hands
On other arms years ago.
I blink back to now and stare as he stumbles,
Endearingly uncoordinated, into a wall.
I watch him in a crowd, catch the flash of his smile
And am transported into that smile
Gleaming at me in another time
from another face.
Wondering at my sanity,
I check his files,
Find the name I know from long ago
History is written in our blood
And carved upon our bones.
The tilt of our heads,
The rhythm of our laughter
The angle of our shoulders,
the shape of our souls,
Are revealed in the genetic mystery
That can be read through time,
by those who see the story.
The case is packed full
of memories and you are
preparing for the trip
back to routine.
All that remains
are the images in the
camera and in
On a non-stop eight hour drive,
we paused for fuel.
“What?” you asked
As you intercepted smirks
passed over your head,
when you climbed into the back seat
after the gas station bathroom break.
“Nothing,” we said, as we pulled
back onto the highway.
Even though your sister had been
traumatized when I left her
standing in the driveway as we tore off to the bus stop
while you waved at her from the back seat
and waited for me to notice,
when your dad slammed the car door,
and drove away,
destination in his mind,
she was the one who said,
so when you climbed into the car,
you never even knew
you’d ever been left behind.
I was four years old when I joined a group of men in our back alley looking up into the sky. At their pointing, I was certain that I could see a little black dot: the rocket carrying the astronaut crew that arrived on the moon.
I was in my teens, when I was in an audience to hear astronaut Jim Irwin talking about what it was like. He described looking back on Earth and thinking it was just a blue marble.
Neil Armstrong echoed that thought when he said,
“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”
You may remember how in the movie Men in Black the alien disguised as a talking pug says,
“You humans! When will you learn size doesn’t matter? Just because something’s important, doesn’t mean it’s not very small.”
This concept is reiterated at the end of the movie in this clip:
Requisate in pace, Neil Armstrong. You captured a moment of greatness that emphasizes our exiguity.
I sitting here feeling wobbly. My head hurts when I move too quickly, and I’m so tired I can barely move. It’s been almost a week since we stepped onto the plane in London for the journey home, and I still feel like I did the first night when we pulled into the driveway after 24 straight hours of travel: gross.
Normally, I don’t even feel jet lag. I’ve been to Europe six times over the years, and after the first 12 to 15 hour sleep, my clock has reset and I’m fine. So what’s different this time?
Sure, I’m older than my first trip when I was eighteen, but I didn’t react like this last year, so I don’t think that’s it. I’ve pondered all week, and the only thing I can think of is that we had daylight flights this time. Both going and coming we followed the sun. In previous years, I believe most of the flights were over night.
How about you? Do you get jet lag? Is it worse after day flights than it is after night flights? How do you deal with it?
While we were travelling this Spring Break, my husband had an epiphany: you can live anywhere. This is old news for exchange students who quickly discover a new meaning for home fairly soon in their exchange year.
It doesn’t take long to feel so comfortable in your new life that you can hardly remember the old. When it’s time to return, you are torn between two worlds. Home is two places.
But really, home isn’t about the place, it’s about the people.
the old adage says, and it’s true.