And though the world be silhouette, the definition of thy lines holds more power than any vibrant memory. In each stroke I remember, each molecule of ink I feel. This is no random symmetry, no desperate thought reformed, but all I was and am and wish. Brush strokes on a canvas to you and she and them, but not to me. In silhouette, I remain here: Japan.
Author’s Note: I drew this picture and wrote these words after watching a BBC series on the art of Japan. I wasn’t going to post it, but hope you like it. This piece means more to me than most as it’s a place I dream of someday visiting.
Balancing we trek
Across ancient dragon’s teeth
Waiting for his bite
We were tired, so tired. The trip by train across two continents and seventeen nations had worn at our souls if not our eyes. Each new day had offered experience, adventure, and a test of not falling asleep. Yet in all those hours, those moments in time, the one view I’d savoured most was the last. Home was a sight for sore eyes and the one place to rest them. Home was a beginning, an end and everything in-between.
The road coughed up dust like a cat a hairball, neither pleasant and both lasting too long. I'd traveled the same baked mud for ten days on an incline that wore at the soul. When the horizon fell away, however, a new land unrolling like a tapestry, I remembered why.
The problem with Venice? Wet streets.
Curvaceous she rolled
Of green perfection
From meandering vineyards
Through Florentine joys we roamed
It doesn't matter how many pairs of boots you wear, the miles they've covered, what they've seen, they'll never replace a pair of slippers by your own door. It was a simple detail, lesson learned, but learn it I did. I just wish you'd been there to pass me them.
“I’m chasing the Summer.”
“But it’s Winter?”
“Gotta be Summer somewhere.”
He leapt on his Hog.
“No plan, then?”
“Never coming back?”
“Not even when Summer returns?”
He lowered his shades.
“Summer ain’t ever returning, not here.”
He left in a cloud of dust; it never settled.
I never stay.
I hum the same song. The words chug out with the same repetition as the tracks, a beat only I appreciate. It’s no life, mum claimed, travelling without a destination. She never understood. No one does. Only the songwriter and me.
I wandered the shores of infinity, stars lapping at my polished, black shoes. I'd never felt closer to the beginning than at the end, swimming in star stuff. By choice, I should've lingered, alas, time was against me. I left those shoes to find my way back in their reflection.