This will be a new column/feature on The Egypsy Speaks: The Egypsy's Travelogue. Guess what it's about. Yes, The Egypsy's travels. In other words I dig sharing my photos. And the places I've been. No telling when I'll post on the travelogue, but since there are a few of you die-hard Egypsy fans, I feel I owe it to you...or you owe it to me...
In any case in the PAST PERFECT post you will see the first installment of The Egypsy's Travelogue. I hope you enjoy it.
The Egypsy Has Spoken (and traveled)!
Sunday, May 27, 2012
"Is that all there is? If that's all there is my friends; then let's keep dancing…" You might remember that song from Peggy Lee. My mother used to tell me as a tween that that was my theme song. Unfortunately, it's followed me to adulthood.
I've just come back from a trip to London, Paris and Brussels and while the trip was both a whirlwind and astounding at times, there was something missing. Some of my longtime dreams were fulfilled on that trip and I got to visit places I'd only dreamed of: the Roman Baths at Bath, England, Stonehenge, and an unexpected joy in seeing Salisbury Cathedral—definitely my favorite so far! And therein lays my Theme Song.
The sites that I've fantasized about seeing for so long were just a wee bit…deficient. Not that they weren't beautiful or historic or simply astonishing—they were to the max. Riding the Euro Star has to be the best way of traveling Europe, at least for us. My only complaint about the Tube in London is that it has so many stairwells to climb it nearly amounted to torture for one who needs a knee replacement and soon. Still, there really isn't anywhere you can't get to in London that's as efficient! But even with all that, I was a tiny bit let down.
"What the hell is my problem?" I asked myself. "I should be fainting from ecstasy." I thought about it as the landscapes changed back to Britain from France and Belgium. It wasn't a bad trip, it wasn't disappointing. So what was is that niggled at the back of my brain? What was it that I yearned for as we emerged from the Chunnel back into the magical land of England? What was it that pulled at me as I stared at the place where I could believe in Merlin and King Arthur, in fairies and Elves, in all manner of Fey along with the stunning real history of this place?
It hit me. The history was what was missing. I'd read about these places, nay, made an obsession of them. I knew much about the Romans coming to Britain and creating the famous baths. I'd grown up with Stonehenge; I'd grown up with Shakespeare's MacBeth, Julius Caesar, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, stories of Fey and everything from Sarum to Salisbury and all in between.
But they weren't there. I'd loved the country, the people, and the sheer history of it all. But those historical people weren't there; I'd been fantasizing backward. I guess somewhere in my obsessive mind I thought they would be; alive and well and doing historical things. I wanted to see those serfs, those knights those kings and queens who wrote history with their words and actions. I wanted to see fairies dancing in waters and Elves teaching Men how to be honorable. I wanted to see those Romans bathing and not just for prurient enjoyment. No, I wanted to see them, hear them watch them make that history in Britain, Rome, and the Western World as we know it.
Maybe it's just me. Maybe I take my history a little too seriously or maybe I just live in a fantasy past. Maybe I've studied too long and too deep. Or maybe I'm just nuts…probably.
In any case the only way I can bring those people to life is to do so in story. Maybe that's why I write fiction. It's that yearning desire to see and connect with those people I've imagined for so long. Maybe that's what all historians and archaeologists yearn for; that connection with the people whose personalities shaped the world we now live in. Perhaps they longed to see us too; to see who and what we've become, what we've learned to do, what we've created that will affect those who live after us. We may not be able to see it, that thread of history that runs through us all: those who've come before, those of us here now, and those of us to come, but we all feel it regardless of the time passed or time yet to come. All in all, I'm still grateful that I got to see what is left of our past connection even if I wasn't able to see the ghosts who walked there.
Photos: The Egypsy