London or bust; poetic reflections on the innate desire to explore

by Anna Blanch on December 23, 2009

Today I head south to spend Christmas in Kent. I am looking forward to the journey and to the destination. Five days of rest and merriment with friends sounds just like the right way to spend Christmas if it cannot be with family. This Christmas my immediate family is scattered across three continents. I think the wanderlust might be a littler heriditary – there has to be something in the blood to have made my ancestors trek from various parts of Ireland, Scotland, England, and Alabama (i’ll explain that one some other time) to the great south land. The sea voyage alone doesn’t much bear thinking about. I’ve written about my internal desire for wide open spaces and new territories before but today i want to share a little poetic reflection.

The last ITIA seminar of the Martinmas semester was a paper by Durham Professor and poet Michael O’Neill. Prof. O’Neill read part of his version of Baudelaire’s The Voyage:

It begins with a child, engrossed by maps,
the globe answering his wish for adventure.
How huge the world seems under the lamp’s clear light.
How small a thing memory make of it.

One morning we set out, our brains on fire,
hearts a blur of hurt and desire,
and off we go, borne by the waves,
infinite questers stuck on finite seas.

This brought to mind memories of pouring over the old globe i kept in my bedroom and the large laminated map of the world my mum had on the office wall tracing my aunt’s working holiday travels and my grandparents trips around Australia. This was the beginning of my own imaginings of travels and adventures to see the world and all that God has made! and boy has it been an adventure.

To  finish off today’s post I have the privilege of sharing this beautiful photo of the London Eye taken just a few days ago by a fabulous photographer and a friend of mine, Kevin Kelly. Kevin’s Flickr album is spectacular (and i don’t say that glibly) so go check it out (you’ll even find a shot with me in it if you look hard enough). You’ll hopefully be seeing many more of Kevin’s landscape shots over the new few months!

90/365: The London Eye of Christmas

Let me know what you think.

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