Like fanning through a deck of cards, my mind flashes on the thousand chances, trivial to profound, that converged to re-create this place. Any arbitrary turning along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different. Where did the expression "a place in the sun" first come from? My rational thought process cling always to the idea of free will, random event; my blood, however, streams easily along a current of fate.
One of those flash epiphanies of travel, the realization that worlds you'd love vibrantly exist outside your ignorance of them. The vitality of many lives you know nothing about. The breeze lifting a blue curtain in a doorway billows just the same whether you are lucky enough to observe it or not. Travel gives such jolts. I could live in this town, so how is it that I've never been here before today?
The Dream Lover-what a bold, insightful, and enticing novel. And how vigorously Elizabeth Berg brings us the iconoclastic life of George Sand. Berg writes with such intimacy and compassion that I think she must have some shared ancestral DNA with Sand. I savored every page.
Travel releases spontaneity. You become a godlike creature full or choice, free to visit the stately pleasure domes, make love in the morning, sketch a bell tower, read a history of Byzantium, stare for one hour at the face of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Madonna dei fusi.' You open, as in childhood, and--for a time--receive this world. There's visceral aspect, too--the huntress who is free. Free to go, free to return home bringing memories to lay on the hearth.
Everything I pick up seems to lure me away. Everything I do in my daily life begins to feel like striking wet matches. The need to travel is a mysterious force. A desire to 'go' runs through me equally with an intense desire to 'stay' at home. An equal and opposite thermodynamic principle. When I travel, I think of home and what it means. At home I'm dreaming of catching trains at night in the gray light of Old Europe, or pushing open shutters to see Florence awaken. The balance just slightly tips in the direction of the airport.
I'm just fascinated by houses. In another life, I'd have probably trained as an architect. If I had enough money, I'd collect them like other people collect teapots. I don't know why I love them so much. I'm just very interested in the idea of a house as a metaphor for the way one lives.