Things That Can't Be Kept

Travel demonstrates as much as any personal intimacy that we cannot elicit perfect, unmoving loyalty. Writing anything down is basically sentimental, an act of preservation, an attempt to hold a moment or image still. Travel writing wants to defeat the impermanence of being in any one place. In keeping records of the intangible—people or places or experiences –we attempt to forget that the things we love are not, in fact, things, and therefore can’t be kept, preserved, or possessed.
-- From the brilliant The New Inquiry - one of my favourite blog finds of late. 
 I've felt a bit untethered the last few days and this essay on The New Inquiry perfectly captures the sad, futile act of trying to cling to moments. I am desperately ready to leave Mexico but strangely sad about it at the same time. I feel like I am trying to capture sand in a bucket filled with holes. 

The rainy cooler days are gone and the humidity and heat is back up. The storms blow in and the thunder rolls for hours but there's not a lot of relief from the heavy, thickness of the air. And the mosquitoes are trying to drink us dry so we are mostly hiding in our flat, working and reading, which I love but I don't really even feel like doing that. I feel a little bit like a character from a Tennessee William play - Maggie the Cat.

The other night I had a bad dream about my sister followed by a wonderful dream about Paris. I woke up longing for a place I've only visited twice and missing people I haven't seen in nearly a year.
What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? — it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-by. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac
Two nights ago we were walking home in the dark and saw a giant coral snake just outside the gate to our complex. I can't stop thinking about the surprise we felt as we came upon it moving around in the dark; and I am obsessed with all the loveless animals I want to rescue from this heat and loneliness.
He began to feed her pomegranate beads, two or three at a time, and she stopped weeping long before her lips were stained red.

- Last Night in Montreal, Emily St. John Mandel
I'm trying to embrace this feeling as part of the experience of traveling that people don't really talk about. It's not all rainbows and sunsets. And I know I will feel better soon.


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