Departures

The measurement of time rarely seems to correspond to the way in which it moves. Minutes can trickle down like raindrops, while weeks can begin and end with the speed of revolving doors. Having traveled among three time zones in nine days, a trip I spent months anticipating has come to a close, its passage failing to take on a logical sequence in my mind.

There were lunches for the road and dinners to linger over. There were timetables, near misses, drafty train stations, and security checkpoints. There were old faces that temporarily looked new, and unknown features that bore a sense of familiarity. There were moments of hesitation and deliberation, noise and solitude, and moments that I wish I could have stowed away with my belongings.

But instead, I returned with a weary camera and a few small tokens to preserve those fleeting instants I now struggle to quantify.

Are these enough?

Perhaps, when nostalgia runs deep and the tangible is all that is needed to propel me back to the place from which it came. Perhaps not, when I long to be immersed in the languages, sights, sounds, tastes, and ways of living I only briefly tried on.

Or, the question to ask may be not whether such memories, mementos, and photographs are adequate, but whether the moments that inspired them are ones I will wish to reclaim, long after they have passed.