|sent from: London, UK. destination: Richmond, VA, USA|
We have a friend visiting at the moment. He’s at the tail end of a year long trip to places far and wide. A journey of self-destruction more than discovery, I think he might say. I love the idea of such a journey, the romance of travel, and yet I’m always skeptical. Why can’t one find enlightenment (or, indeed destruction) in your own backyard? I say this even as I admit I needed to go to the USA as a young man to emerge more fully into adulthood. I think I would forever be asking myself if I’m merely following in a tradition of yet another white person finding themselves in brown places.
And yet… I’m cautiously seduced and challenged by his new found wisdom. It sounds good in theory, I say, but how do you apply that thought to action right here, in this moment, with all of our constraints and responsibilities. He challenges my assumptions, the scaffolding of my mental prison. “Burn your bridges,” he says. OK, but what will the bridge trolls do if I get rid of them. Poor trolls. I need my trolls.