Any of you that know me well, and even some who do not, are aware that I have a nearly insatiable need for travel. I admit that I romanticize the idea of a truly nomadic life. It was while traveling that I first became aware of the deep love I had for my now wife. It was travel that first opened my eyes to my need for regular solitude. And it has always been travel that challenges me to examine the best and worst versions of myself. The “me” when no one else is around.
I admit, there is something romantic, even adventurous, about being a stranger on an unfamiliar shore. A nameless face among a sea of people. But it is also in these lone excursions that I realize that what makes me, me, is much more than the thoughts, feelings, dreams, and desires swimming around in my head. The true me, the Adam I truly long to be, is 100% wrapped up in the ones I love, the ones I have been created to take care of.
I wrote this short piece as a gift to my wife several years ago. Gray Cities attempts to capture my love for travel and juxtapose it with the understanding that I get a much better picture of who I am when I can see myself reflected in my wife’s eyes. The way she looks at me. Cliche? Probably. True nonetheless.
Some mornings the way you smile at me,
with your eyes half open and your hair
wildly sweeping across your face,
I want to wrap you in an old sweater,
load up the car, and head east
to find our great adventure.
Some mornings my eyes search your face,
hoping to catch a glimpse of a gray city gliding past
a train window, the alleyways and parked cars
reflecting in your eyes.
But this morning,
with the knowledge that time holds
both great promise and great heartache,
and that gray cities will always beckon me away,
I breathe deeply and slowly,
happy to be with you, simply…
To be here now and love you where we are.