Beside me a baby screams. To be honest it is more of a shriek. A terrible, blood curtling shriek, like that of a baby velociraptor, better put down fresh from the egg, than allowed to breed and hunt and kill on Isla Nublar. And what do the parents do when their detestable creation of one unplanned nights union makes way its unholy sound? Do they try to silence their monstrosity? Do they look awkwardly around as if to say, I'm sorry – I hate this thing too. No, they pick it up and giggle at it. Then the mother looks at the father, they both waggle their faces, with a scrunched up face, and nothing but undying love in their eyes, and hold that pose until it breaks the silence once more with its, please let it be, death wail.
Do they have no understanding of the fact that their most treasured possession might not be the cutest thing to everyone else in the room? Have they no insight into the fact that while they dream of strollers, and bonnets, and other such googads, some of us think of nothing but the steep steps at Tallinna, coat hangers, and George Foreman?
And that's what travel writing is like – I think. But I have no cover to close, no page to browse away from. Oh no. I'm trapped on this boat for the next two hours, and for the love of everything truth, honest and good, if something doesn't happen I will not be in good shape by the time we get to port!
Weathering the Coming Storm
Being trapped on this boat has given me a lot of time to think, and to write. For the most part my entries have been “here's what I did today,” pieces that manage to encompass more than a thousand words – and that's a short piece.
I understand that most people reading look at the pictures, perhaps read the first paragraph, and then skip to the last line. Twenty eight of you, without fail, also view the youtube videos. And that's fine. You're reading for you. And that's how I should be writing. For myself.
For a while now I've been afraid of flooding RSS readers, and I've been fearful of alienating a readership. What a silly thing to think when this is simply my travelogue, put on display for other people to follow along – if they want to.
I've limited my posting, chosen to word some things differently than I might otherwise have (though, as I plan to go back into teaching, I will still keep a good amount of self-censoring here,) and have basically – not been writing for myself.
Sure, I like the long winded “here's what I did” posts, because they're important to me. They will be important to me when I look back over them, with endless amounts of time, and nothing at all better to do than read through them. But who have I been writing them for? Not really for myself – reading back over some past ones from New York I'm bored myself before paragraph two.
The e-mails I send out are far more entertaining to me, and have a more personal touch. So what do I do when I need both? The answer – for me – is simple. I'll keep writing my posts as normal, but if a thought pops up, or there's something I feel needs expressing, that will find its way here as well.
I can't say I quite rightly know what direction this will take, but it will take one. I hope, anyway.
A Little Adrift… Dispatch from Africa: Impressions
11 hours ago