Saturday 1 January 2011

Romantic reflections

On this, our last day of this trip, it is not uncommon to wax lyrical about the wonderful experiences we have been lucky to enjoy in remote lands, surrounded by tempestuous seas, where albatross glide regally. And we thought it would be fitting to finish this journey with a quotation from a "true" Romantic, British author Mary Shelley, who à propos Coleridge's "Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner", inluded the following text in her famous 1818 book "Frankenstein":

It is impossible to communicate to you a conception of the trembling sensation, half pleasurable and half fearful, with which I am preparing to depart. I am going to unexplored regions, to "the land of the mist and snow", but I shall kill no albatross; therefore do not be alarmed for my safety or if I should come back to you as worn and woeful as the "Ancient Mariner". You will smile at my allusion, but I will disclose a secret... There is something at work in my soul which I do not understand... a love for the marvelous, a belief in the marvelous... which hurries me out of the common pathways... to the wild sea and unvisited regions I am about to explore... Shall I meet you again, after having traversed immense seas, and returned?
 Well, we have come and gone to wild seas, and the land of mist and snow; and dare we say, following the trip, there is something at work in our souls...