Saturday, January 1, 2011

Liminal Figure

Traveling is timeless. Not only “from the dawn of time…” and all that, but more because you lose all sense of time while doing it. Maybe not so much on a long drive, but when dodge-duck-dip-dive-and-dodging your way airplane-style through Mountain Time and Central Time and Eastern Time and God Only Knows What Time, there is a distinct feeling of purgatory.

And despite the post-reformation era we live in, indulgence-sellers hawk their George Clooney GQs, neck pillows, and overpriced drink-wares at you, in order to help pave the way through these liminal lands of travel.

For me, it was a 21-hour day of wayfaring: Chesterton to Chicago by Prius; Chicago to Philadelphia by a fortunate early flight; Philadelphia to Madrid overnight; and—it was cheaper this way, I swear—an hour hop from Madrid to Seville. With all that bouncing around, all I needed was a caduceus and a pair of winged sandals and I would have been indistinguishable from Hermes (the Greek patron saint of travelers, as well as the classic liminal figure).

However, I am happy to bid my farewell to Hermes (particularly as he is also known as the protector of thieves and I'm staying in a hostel) and welcome my new home for the next month. Seville is an adorable cobblestone town, with inedible-orange groves along the cobblestone streets and tiendas haphazardly sunk into the larger buildings lining them. My hostel is tucked away down one such side-street and remains to be explored.

Perhaps after a nap, that is.

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