We left for Washington, DC, earlyTuesday morning and returned Friday evening. We walked and hailed cabs and took the bus and the metro. We went to bookstores and restaurants and museums and even a Trader Joe's that was two blocks from our hotel. We saw senators on the street and toured the West Wing of the White House. Eight hundred forty two minivan miles later, my journal is full of receipts and postcards and empty sugar packets and stories of amazement and wonder. My mind is full of memories and questions and dreams for future travel.
When I travel, my soul follows at a distance, catching up to me in places and at times that I least expect. "Soul lag" is the name a local writer gave to a poem published in Skirt Magazine. That's exactly the right name for what happens to me every single time I hit the road. There is a distinct moment when I feel my soul catch up with my body. It is nearly indescribable, that moment, but it is also undeniable. Suddenly, I find myself quietly, happily, peacefully, gratefully saying, "I am here. I am here. I am here." Over and over.
I wish I could say that I feel the same level of happiness and contentment in my daily life - and sometimes I do. Often I do. But when I am on the road, when I am a woman on the move, emotions are more intense. Hunger and thirst are deeper. Longings are stronger.
Lavinia Spalding's book, Writing Away
, is my current travel writing infatuation. She wrote: "Any way you look at it, travel stirs us up. It's a stimuli smorgasbord with a menu of curiosity, frustration, self-consciousness, bliss, courage, vulnerability, stress, alienation, titillation, fear, loss, boredom, lust, loneliness, awe - you name it."
Two women-sisters-friends on the move. How happy we were...
The view from the entrance to our hotel. I would soooooo love to live in one of those houses.
Sitting in the President's chair in the Situation Room. Making a point.
Pretending I know something when in reality, I don't know anything at all.
Having snuck out alone one morning for coffee, I did what I do best.
I drank and I wrote.
One of the gorgeous patios in the National Gallery.
I love to travel. I love what it teaches me and how it challenges me and how it has made me into the wandering, wondering, dreamy, curious, stirred up person I am today.
John Steinbeck wrote: "People don't take trips; trips take people."
This trip has certainly taken me - in many ways, in many directions.