It struck an evocative chord when Aciman indicated that writing about places are coded ways of writing about himself. I, too, have been doing this unintentionally… even when the pandemic caused travel destinations to be proxied by books.
Writing to excavate, rearrange, cipher, decipher, lace a narrative, find a certain space, leave things behind, and even to hold on, are what these essays on elsewhere are inadvertently teaching me as it accompanies me on my current meanderings across this breathtaking archipelago.
“I like thinking that perhaps this is how we should travel, without foresight or answers, adventitiously,” he writes.
My brain violently disagrees, but my heart seems inclined; and it appears to have been orchestrating adventitious travels behind the former’s back.
The first trips post-lockdown are not to places, but to people — to my nerve centers, my life’s capital cities.