I’m not a big fan of inspirational quotes. Some speak to me, but add a sunset or ladybug as backdrop and you have lost me. Mind you, I’m also not a big fan of poetry in general. Maybe I’m lacking a gene that you need in order to appreciate the description of silence or water meandering.
Then again, while not being a fan of poetry, I’m a fan of poetic words, especially when they are travel related. Anaïs Nin comes to my mind and if you read something here that sounds so otherworldly clear and beautiful, you can be pretty certain I’m quoting her (not that I would try to sell it as my own, I wouldn’t dare…). Another person is Charles Baudelaire. I would be utterly in love with him if he was alive just by reading him.
„Astonishing voyageurs! What splendid stories
We read in your eyes
As deep as the seas…“
While a poem, I kind of like it, but what really hit me is why he wrote it:
„Astonishing“ voyageurs“ is an attempt to illustrate the visions, the postures, of those who came here in this wonderful country, trying to find the ultimate meaning of life. Our eyes see and meet others’ eyes, of those who, behind the huge diversity of time and beings, like us, walked their faces in the wind, at olives, slept under the shade of fig trees, put honey on their fingers, felt love, and died.”
Of course, he is describing none other than Morocco, a country that just somehow made its way into my heart as well and that I frequently miss terribly. More than just talking about a country, I love how he sees human connection beyond divisions like upbringing and language. It is something I can always find comfort in when I travel and have moments when I feel lost or disconnected. Sometimes I connect with cats. But sometimes I need to look into someones’ eyes in order to lift the veil and find a connection, and this fleeting moment will be enough to make me feel like I belong again. This is a mutual experience, sharing common ground whether that be laughter, sorrow, a flirtation or really any emotion. It is easy to see it in kids and how they interact. Regardless of where you are in the world there is always a shy one, a class clown, a bully, one who wants to be a princess, and one who has pigtails.
I find great comfort in the fact that ultimately we have more in common than dividing us. Especially in a world as it is today when so many want us to believe that our differences are too great to be bridged. I think in the end we are all made of stars. Or something like it…
The exhibition “Etonnants voyageurs” with pictures of Morocco, dating back to 1870, is still on at the Maison de la Photographie in Marrakech, one of the most wonderful places in the world. Until you can go, listen to this live Moby version, read more Baudelaire, and fall in love too.