In my dream, the balloons were in the yard, trying to get in the house.
My grandma once told me of the time she was walking along a beach and came across this blue balloon thing on the sand. She gently reached out toward it. She wasn’t shy, even when she had no clue what something was.
I have seen jellyfish in my distant memory, but since I’ve lost more of my vision, the image of what one looks like has faded.
So now, after my grandma’s description and the dream I had, I think of a balloon whenever I try to imagine what a jellyfish looks like.
I have studied them intensely, on the many ocean documentaries I’ve watched in my time. They aren’t something I would like to touch in the near future. I fear walking along the sea or swimming in it, for fear of coming up against one. I hear the stories of stings and still, for some reason, the jellyfish is still one of my favourite marine creatures.
There is a place, an inland lake, somewhere in the south Pacific Ocean, on an island known as Palau. I want to visit Jellyfish Lake, if I could go anywhere, because then I could stop imagining what a jellyfish looks like, and actually swim with a bunch of non stinging jellies.
What might you envision in your mind, if you’d never before seen a jellyfish? Balloon or something else? Balloon with stinging tentacles of course. Such cool creatures, but it made for one hell of a bad dream.
***This is my first year of joining the A to Z Challenge and so I’ve decided to post randomly, as a way for new visitors to my blog to get to know me a little better. I look forward to discovering some interesting new blogs too.
Thanks, Dr. Seuss, for that one. I love that and the travel it hints at, alludes to. It’s thrilling, just writing that quote and reading it back to myself. I recently carried that quote with me, on my first solo trip to Mexico, reciting it in my mind whenever I needed a shot of bravery.
When it comes to travel, I could go for days and days, writing about it I mean. That much travel, while sounding just as thrilling as Seuss’s quote, would exhaust me. I do it in my imagination though, all the time.
If I had the money and the energy, I’d be off. Sure, I’d always come back to my home, as that’s how travel is most appreciated, but I would not be satisfied to simply stay in one place all my life. I would suffocate in that bubble.
It was in me, of course, ever since forever. My grandparents lived in just such a bubble, but they didn’t stay. They left sometimes, though always coming home again.
My most favourite treasure from my grandmother are the journals she kept, for years, where she jotted down the daily events of her life and family. Then, just a short distance from where she kept those, were the stakcs of photo albums, full of photographic evidence of the places her and my grandfather saw during their fifty five years together: all throughout Canada and the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean, and Australia.
Life and reality are just as important as a life of travel. Some can avoid that, I suppose, but not me.
I have limitations. I fully acknowledge those, but recently I challenged them too.
I immediately started thinking about what I would write, upon reading this week’s prompt for Finish the Sentence Friday
and my first thought was Mexico.
I would write about my recent trip there. Why not? What else could I possibly write about now, while the memories are fresh? But wait…
I have things I want to say, but I can’t get back to it, whether in my own head or when trying to explain to others just why that trip meant so much. I try and try and try to explain the feeling, but somehow, my experience doesn’t come through. I feel unsatisfied with how I am describing it and how they are hearing it described by me. I guess the expression “you had to be there” is right. Oh, so right.
I travel back to every moment of that week, from my fear and intense anticipation. To my sense of peace and calm and rightness with the world and my place in it at that instant. I don’t want to say words now fail me, but perhaps they do. The envelope of photos I now carry in my purse of my trip don’t do the thing justice either, somehow locked in the past of the actual purse I carried with me. Nor does the bracelet I wear on my left wrist, every bead carrying that week’s sense memories within.
I went so far as to create a whole travel website, separate from this blog, while the force was still strong to attempt the world of the travel blogger. I had it all mapped out, saw things so clearly in my mind.
I wrote up an About Me page there, before the new site went live. It laid out all my most favourite spots: Niagara Falls and Ireland.
I put forth an illustrated list of the places I’ve been so far: Cuba, Florida/New York/Michigan/D.C./California, and Germany.
I spelled out everywhere I dreamt of going: Hawaii, Palau, Australia, and New Zealand. I wanted to be adventurous, surprising even myself, and in this dream I stood at the bottom of the world, surrounded by ice and penguins.
I didn’t truly believe I’d have the stamina, resources, or opportunity to make it that far, but, really, who could say?
Then, my website fizzled out. I let myself down. I studied travel blogs galore and somehow, I couldn’t become them, social media and pitching tour companies and all. I couldn’t. I was not a list maker and a personality so strong. My fantasy of becoming someone, I perhaps wasn’t meant to be.
I am a literary writer. That’s who I am. I can take all the travel blog success courses I want, have as many Skype sessions with an already established travel blogger as are offered in any given online course, and I still failed.
But I didn’t. I found a way to travel anyways. I found a group of my people, other literary type writers, somewhere full of magic and reality, all wrapped into one.
I couldn’t hold onto that week forever. It came and went. I may feel a little aimless since then, since arriving home, but that’s okay.
The world is a giant place. Anyone who doesn’t open their mind first, it doesn’t matter how far or how nearby they go or stay.
Travel all sorts of places, in your mind, through reading/watching a good book or movie. That’s just more ways to open your mind to the vistas (boy do I love that word).
Read travel blogs, as I still do, if that makes it all more real.
Acknowledge your limitations while challenging what still might be.
Meet people. Meander through a place. Taste a new food or sample a helping of another culture, far flung from your own.
I may not have that beautiful travel site I saw in my mind, but I am still wandering through this big, beautiful world and I am doing it with all the insight I can manage to unearth as I go.
I will linger here a bit yet still, but I know I will be off again, sooner or later. If you linger too long, you risk getting stuck. I hate to burst your bubble, but it must be done.
I meander and linger and meander some more. I look over those vistas I can no longer see. I meander with these words and with myself. Still figuring it all out.
I’ll be sure to let you know, here, when I’ve been everywhere. In the meantime, Dr. Seuss’s words keep me going, moving, living.
and I went on to expressing my feelings, which meant criticizing the authors involved in the writing.
They were only being humorous, provocative; yet, due to the news of a two-year-old girl and her father being murdered in Alberta (which could be the inspiration for a more on time response I could write for this week’s prompt), this heartbroken Canadian wasn’t able to see any humour whatsoever.
It made me think about writing and its possible consequences because I was able to have a productive discussion with these writers, after-the-fact, and I wanted them to know why I may have sounded at all harsh. That is not how I usually am. Just a bad day.
Something seems odd about this day. What could it be?
Oh yeah, I am pulling into my driveway. Yes, me.
For years it was me, in the passenger seat, the passenger. Shotgun was where I was designated to be.
Now I am driving. All those self driving cars in the works, for so long, well they are out and they are becoming the norm. Sure, it could lead to some sort of science fiction nightmare, cars becoming intelligent and driving their riders into trees and over bridges, but I overlook this fear because things are perfect now, right here, as I don’t have to have sight to operate a motor vehicle.
I enter my house and notice a suitcase sitting out, ready for packing to commence. We are soon off on another trip.
We met at TBEX, a travel expo I finally made it to a few years back. It was in Honolulu, my dream spot. I’d always wanted to visit there and this travel writing/blogging conference was the perfect chance. Two birds with one stone as they say.
I didn’t expect to meet him, but, I must admit, I hoped it would happen, sooner or later. I am comfortable with some independent travel now, after a lot of practice, but it’s still nice to have someone there to experience the world with.
He is a photographer and knows about technology and websites.
I may be able to drive a car, but I haven’t wished hard enough for perfect sight, at least I guess not. Huh.
If I had that, I wouldn’t be The Insightful Wanderer, as the whole position of my travel blog would be altered. I am insightful, just as I am, but I will never stop wandering. It does not have to be a bad, lost, aimless way to go through life.
I struggled to learn about my blog and website, for a few years, but am glad I can leave that responsibility to him.
I am still The Insightful Wanderer and Her Headache. I am KerryKay.com too. Bought that domain ages ago, as my writing needed my real name to be known and featured more prominently.
Branding is a strange thing, but I have embraced it and now am known as three brands in one.
I haven’t given up on my writing, memoir and literary mostly, because fiction is a beautiful thing, but not where my natural talents are.
I walk past one of the many bookshelves in my house, and there are some of my books there, a few are fiction. I had modest success with that, beginning with the anthology I was accepted into, my first real big break really.
I have written three books and am currently working on a fourth, two memoir and two fiction: Piece of Cake, Connecting the Dots, Till Death, and Out Beyond the Hedgerows.
The first two are memoirs about my life, struggles, with disability, being a visually impaired woman in a mostly sighted world.
The third is a fictional story about how death and loss affect three different generations of one family.
And the fourth is an historical novel, based on family who lived through World War II.
I did not start to write a string of genre books, ones that get put on Amazon and Smash Words and of which I would have needed to keep on putting out to gain any momentum in the book world. I found my own path to success.
I have books everywhere, which brings me peace and solace when I’ve had a bad day.
It’s so nice to have found a partner who loves travel and we are a team. He takes care of the site and its visual elements, while I write. Writing has its place, but the world is and always will be a visual one.
I think a world of all blind humans is worse than the one where the cars take over, but I can’t say. Science fiction writing is not my area of expertise.
I have checked off many of the items on my bucket list, which brings me great pleasure, but it’s nice to know I will soon have a husband who is committed, not only to me, but to helping me achieve the rest. Life is precious and it goes by like that! We are making the most of every day.
I have broken the record for longest living kidney transplant recipient and the medications have made it possible that this won’t change anytime soon. When I reached my twenty year mark (June 5, 2017) I had a huge party to celebrate and everybody I know came.
In this fantasy, we have not cured cancer yet, but we are actually getting close this time, no fooling.
We’re still trying to decide what kind of a wedding to have and where to have it. Being the travellers we are, a destination wedding is most appealing, but I don’t want to put that pressure on the people I hope will attend.
I want to have it at the hotel in Niagara Falls, the one from my childhood and its precious memories, moving to the closest hotel to the falls for the wedding night. I will finally feel that vibration of the roaring falls through the window of our room.
Maybe we’ll get married on a beach or on top of the CN Tower in Toronto. I loved it up there, the first time I tried it, and a wedding on that ledge sounds strangely perfect to me. After all, isn’t marriage a little like standing on a ledge?
It’s scary but exhilarating. It’s freeing, once you find love and let yourself feel worthy of having and holding onto it.
I can admit, finally after years, that wanting marriage, a wedding, this does not make me weak. I am not some Disney fairy princess, waiting to be rescued. I want a partnership and that commitment is and always has been important to me. I’ve been shown what that can be like, through the examples of my wonderful parents and their parents before them. It’s in my bones, just like writing and travel.
I can make a living from my writing now. I was afraid that was holding me back from finding a guy who could understand, accept me for me, and not let money and pride and the pressures of that get in the way. I am not rich, but I am rich in all that I really will ever need.
I have seen my words in print, in a book, on my shelf and in a bookstore.
I have an advice column which helps people. I can write and offer my advice, which can be a tricky thing to give others, but I know I’ve had more experience with the hard stuff than most. Plus, this side work allows me freedom to travel. I can answer people’s questions from anywhere I might happen to be.
Blog. Writing. Travel writing is my first love because the world is everything. It’s all around us. We are it.
I had to build up my writing portfolio. I had to practice my craft, art as pure as anything.
Now, I can admit that making a reasonable living off of that is no crime. People are paid for all kinds of things, some that might seem less deserving, but that’s how the world works. It’s all about money, for so many, but it doesn’t have to be.
We discuss having children, after we decide on a wedding spot, but the jury is still out on that. I can accept that, even as I know the rules of this writing challenge aren’t at all limiting, because sometimes life means accepting some realities and hard truths.
It’s still open for discussion. Age doesn’t have to matter because I want to freeze this day, in time, so my parents are here and the children currently in my life stay the sweet age they are.
We will deal with the future tomorrow, but let this day and the moment linger.
Anyway, we are off, to make our flight. I will finally get my chance to swim with jellyfish, in their lake home, on the island of Palau in the south pacific.
Why do we feel so guilty, why do I, just for speaking up and admitting what it is we want for ourselves?
Why do I feel so selfish and awful to be so open with the things I dream about having, the life I would ideally wish for myself?
Do you ever feel that way?
If you could have an ideal day in your own life, what might that include?
I know I am worth it, I am worth everything, and I want to say so. I know what some people say, about the universe and just by saying it, you are actually letting into your life the things you believe you deserve. This is what I am doing here, today, because I am tired of holding myself back.
Yes, believe it or not, this blog has been me holding myself back, up until this point.
I have been blogging for a year and a half now and I continue to be myself, to let my self shine through here. That is what is at the essence of Her Headache.