I began my long many legged journey back to Montana at 5:30am GMT+1. Most of my west coast friends haven’t even gone to sleep for their Friday nights as I set off before dawn on Saturday. Time zones are fun.
Journeys home make for a great narrative arc as we follow our hero from foreign lands back to his or her native land. My home is Montana so the trek from Prague is many legs and transitions.
She knows, now, absolutely, hearing the white noise that is London, that Damien’s theory of jet lag is correct: that her mortal soul is leagues behind her, being reeled in on some ghostly umbilical down the vanished wake of the plane that brought her here, hundreds of thousands of feet above the Atlantic. Souls can’t move that quickly, and are left behind, and must be awaited, upon arrival, like lost luggage.William Gibson, Pattern Recognition
The first quote that comes to my mind is William Gibson’s theory of jet lag from Pattern Recognition. My soul finally caught up with me in Prague and now I’ll be waiting on my soul tail cruising behind me as I cross a continent, a channel, an ocean and another continent. I’ve got no lost luggage but a lost soul is a perpetual risk of globe trotting.
I used “The Voyage Home” as my title as it happens to be tied for my favorite Star Trek movie (along with Wrath of Khan). Yes, it is l own as “the whale movie” in which a pair of humpback whales must be brought from the past to save Earth. It is called the Voyage Home as Spock is being brought back from Vulcan by his crew after a death and rebirth sequence.
Trailing souls and rebirths are satisfactory metaphors for traveling. We work to maintain our sense of self even as our surroundings change. Sometimes those changes are transformative.
And like Spock I am stumped by a key question. “How do you feel?” Unlike Spock I do not fail to understand the nature of the question. I am sad, ashamed, angry and tired after the second visa failure. But if I must imitate everyone’s favorite Vulcan, you can tell my my mother I feel fine. Or I will soon. I am knitting together the timeline of my future with my soul in tow.