The thing is, I am not a people person when travelling. Or at any other time, for that matter. All that little chitchat wears me down. But every once in a while there is gift of a connection, a spark, a conversation, sharing ideas and dreams and wishes at the boarding gate or on the overnight train, just because you know you will never ever see the other person again, you don’t even know their names, or you forget anyway. But the message stays on, and after a while, its echo does. And no use trying to hold on to anything or anyone, it’s the whole point.
’’You should write a book’’, this guy said to me a couple of weeks ago, on Christmas eve, just by looking into my eyes. A dramatic drama teacher. Handed a business card to me and floated off in the direction of California. And, heck, I’ve always been meaning to write a book, but still haven’t figured out what it should be about. This is my most recent echo now.
So that’s the grownups. Then there’s the kids. I’m no good at grownups, but the kids, there is an instant connection. I’m the one who would fool around with the weary, exhausted ones crawling under the seats at that boarding gate, splash and chase on the beach, draw silly pictures at the guesthouse table, chitchat in my fragmented Indonesian or Chinese. (No adult ever understood my Chinese, only the kids, like a secret language, and I actually liked it that way.)
Those sparkling eyes, that’s my best connection to the eternal. To God, or call it what you will. The question is, is this experience meant to be fleeting and transient as well, the depth and meaning only given by having to let it go? Or is it something I should fight to be able to keep?