“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
I have been a columnist and travel writer for the past seven decades, and have written and videotaped my way around the globe in the process, and have been fortunate to make the acquaintance of some very interesting people along the way. To date, the most curious and mysterious travel destination turns out to be the state of my own health. As a seasoned traveler, I would regularly think nothing of packing a small bag, heading to the airport, and being whisked off to some far-away land, to arrive, look about, and begin the process of orienting myself to the remarkable everyday of “somewhere else”.
Three months ago I experienced in medical terms what’s called a stroke. Dictionary.com defines a stroke as “a sudden loss of brain function caused by an interruption of blood to the brain.”
What’s curious about this “condition” is that I now find myself both in my own self and yet also in a very odd state of inhabiting this body of mine. In the realm of my brain, I still have thoughts and I still ponder a great deal, much the same way as has been the case my entire life. That seems to be the boundary of the landscape I am familiar with as a result of this reduced blood flow to my very own “Grand Central Station” back in April. Beyond that horizon, the landscape could easily be mistaken for Mars, or Neptune, or the room next door.
I choose to explore this new land with you, both for the same reasons I have always traveled and written, and also to exploit you, the community of readers, for reckonings in this new landscape that currently seem to me elusive.
In the next week I hope to return to my computer and join our exploration in earnest. —John Wilcock