Saturday, June 4, 2011
Searching for Magic
As I rode the night train up the east coast to North Carolina I was definitely a stranger in a strange land. I felt a little like an actor in a foreign film, (Europeans are always riding trains) and I was tempted to re-invent myself, become Lily Ormond, a sulky poet with an obsession for gum drops, or Julia Van Helsing, the wife of a mad doctor escaping a nightmarish marriage. I decided to remain a struggling American author breaking away from her monotonous life; open to everything, and hoping for magic.
Vacations seem a lot like holidays to me, only I get to pick the date, and the object of celebration. I was celebrating life. Ordinarily I’d be snapping photos of everything and everyone, but I didn’t do that on this trip. Actually I was so engrossed in observing my surroundings that, most of the time; I forgot to take pictures, letting myself take in the whole experience without the interruption of having to get my camera out. I found that with most observations came a smell and a sound and then an emotion. I was awake and sentient, alive in a very present way.
So, I don’t have many actual photos to show you, but here are some snippets of moments that I’d like to share.
Being surrounded by big trees…Florida is very scruffy.
Watching Oprah’s final 3 episodes while crying, and sneaking sips of Beth’s martini. Sorry Beth ;)
Meeting cyber friends and finding out that they smell good, and give good hugs, and that they are even more amazing in person.
Hearing my soul sister’s oldest son say “I do” and then crying, because just yesterday he was only twelve.
Singing Christmas carols in May, while tucked in for the night with my four year old grand daughter and her mom…and wishing that that moment would never end.
Dancing in a crush of strangers and laughing so hard that my face hurt.
Eating vanilla ice cream cones with Lano, in the sweltering heat, and us frantically licking at the drips before they crept down to our hands.
Getting a phone call from Mr. Somers, telling me that my novel took first place in the Laine Cunningham/Blotter Literary Magazine Novel Contest, and crying because I knew that my novel was good…I just wanted somebody in the industry to notice it.
Recognizing my husband Mike amongst an army of waiting faces at the train station, and watching him squint into the Florida sun…as he searched the crowd for me.
Visiting our favorite Cuban restaurant on the way home and discovering that it hadn’t changed in twenty years.
I found my magic;)
Posted by Leah Griffith at 9:07 AM