No Mars trip for me, thank you…

Ah1 The lure of the exotic, the different.  Canadians want to travel to Mars, already. But why Mars?  Just because it is there? Why not the adventure down the nearby block, or alley, or path? There is enough strangeness, exoticism, difference close by. Why, the other day, as I was dragging my groceries home, my left elbow cramping, I stopped on the sidewalk and looked up, just because. The tree girdled by sidewalk concrete rose in its spiky wintery brushiness. Dark green-black speckled bark glistened with rain. A winter bleak sky as is only possible on the West coast of BC. A sleek crow busily fastened twigs into a rough area which on closer consideration appeared to be a rudimentary nest. It was joined by its mate, landing with economy and proffering another twig. The crows deliberated upon the placement of this fragment, seemed to be engaged in a telepathic discussion. The twig was added to the bristling mass, and they moved around in tandem inspecting. What a new and strange treat for me. A promise of spring continuity, of maybe a nestling soon to be observed.  Perhaps an occasion of observing flight lessons, of the cajoling that all parents implement in motivating their young. An opportunity to hear the sounds of crowish language, encouraging, prompting, cautioning.

Daily, I am reminded of the ubiquity of the uncanny, the novel, the never-before-experienced… and of joy in the present place.

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4 Responses to “No Mars trip for me, thank you…”

  1. HUnter4086 Says:

    I often am bitched at by my far-travelling friends (I am not much of a traveler). They insist I am missing so much. I am “wasting” opportunities to see wonders far and wide.

    I realize that this is partially true, but I still cannot fetishize travel for the sake of it, a consumer experience, though one relatively new (the jet age and all), despite never having seen Paris or Turkey or even the Dublin suburb where my dad was born. I am not about to discredit the backyard and alley explorations, like you describe here. All the blazes of distant lands can not compensate for having eyes wide open for the day-to-day sparkle.

  2. suburbanlife Says:

    Hunter – your friends insisting that you are missing out on much really is a matter of a push by every one of us to have our own choices validated by others taking part in the same. And we are such a herd animal, we human beings, we hate to not be in on the thing.
    I have been to Paris and Rome, have seen the slant of light on wet pavement and suffocated in the dust of a hot summer’s day in each of those places. I felt always as I have always felt, like myself, whether in a far flung locale or taking out garbage to the dumpster behind my apartment building. No huge epiphanies, just experiences of the moment, of being in time and in my skin, which is really the only true limitation. Yes strange and different sensations are curiosity making – and those can be had anywhere.
    Think of this, as you are embarking on your nursing training – the presence of a person in a hospital bed, surrounded by weird implements, antiseptic atmosphere, neutrally attentive workers, the strange textures of bedding, the beeping of IV machines – is as much similar to the experience of a traveller to an exotic locale. Right down to the weird, room-temperature food. One is pre-processed at intake, as at a Customs stand. Fills out forms. Given directions. In the final analysis one either survives or doesn’t the hospital holiday. Life. G

  3. bronxboy55 Says:

    There will always be some of us who are driven to leave here and go see what’s there. And there will always be others who prefer to stay put and take a good look around (or not). My love of travel once extended to Mars, too, until I realized that no matter how unique the landscape, after a day or two it would become familiar and boring, and I’d likely have to spend the rest of my life looking at it. To use just a few of your examples: no crows, no speckled bark, no grocery store.

  4. suburbanlife Says:

    Mind you, Bronxboy, rows, speckled bark, grocery store take on the flavour and texture of their specific locales – however the differences are far outweighed by the similarities people experience of their particular place and its details. It’s sort of the way we human beings are programmed to operate as a species. You know the French have the saying “the more things change, the more they are the same”. maybe the good of travel is to experience the realities of universality. Thanks for the visit! G

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