In the same way that your tongue seeks out the space left by a missing tooth, or the way your hands caress different fabrics as they slip through the fingers, my feet crave foreignness. They are desiring that unknown element that comes with venturing into another country and knowing that the earth beneath my feet is something both ancient to the world and yet new to me.
I am driven by that quest for knowledge of hidden textures, other lives and unexplored possibilities. I need to be free to explore and lose myself completely, if but for a short while.
I want to be unknown to others and forget who I was or who I am.
I want no agendas and no constraints.
I want to slip away in a crowd and be swept along by nothing more than my mood or some fleeting thought or desire.
I crave nothingness and yet I want to experience everything. I want to know how it feels to breathe the air in Italy. I want to see the wonders of Africa with my own eyes. I want to know what it’s like to take in the view from the Eiffel Tower. I want to reach out and touch the bark of an ancient tree in New Zealand. These are things that cannot be told and cannot be read, they need to be done for one’s self and savoured as an individual sensory experience.
I want to feel with my fingers pressed against a wall, sense through the ground beneath my feet and imagine with my mind all that has come before. I want to soak in the knowledge that history has passed underneath my hand, beneath my feet or under my gaze. I want to take this knowledge to heart and be thankful for it. I want to be reminded that at this point in time or at this place many more have come before and looked upon this spot or felt the grit beneath their fingers in much the same way as me.
I want to sense all that is still yet to pass. I want to recognise that time does not wait, that everything moves, everything changes, and nothing remains the same. This cannot be done at a distance. It is necessary to reach out and place yourself directly in such a moment to remember, because in the end sometimes memories are all that remain.
While my being in a place at a particular time may not be recognised and recorded by all, such visits do go down in one version of history. They become part of my own personal history. Though these records may never be written they will be with me always and turned to time and time again.