My Personal Interest in the Topic of This Blog (Michelangelo Magasic - Travel Recorder)
I step out onto the footpath as a cat might step onto a uneven floorboard. In front of me shoots a multicoloured, multi-wheeled, multi-peopled and impossibly chaotic rush of traffic. At my sides are handcarts pushed up onto the footpath, selling food, drinks, cigarettes and phone credit. Further up is the noisy playground of a school and across the road are shops - so much happening in so little space - the scene wheeled and danced and spun in front of me. I almost shrink back into the tiny side street from which I came. Unlike the cat, who, while cautious, moves in a way which is light, flexible and elastic, I carry a heavy self consciousness, feeling as if I might be crushed by my incredible incongruency with my surroundings.
It was my first morning in Sumatra. The air hung in the sky curdled with motorcycle smoke, in the background, unmoving, were coconut palms and behind them the vaporous humps of mountains lost to the roily heat of the day. At my feet, the busy hub of a provincial capital, its motion so everyday and automatic that it seemed all the more terrifying for it (like how could all these people do this everyday). Here I hoped to secure passage to the islands which lay out beyond the horizon. That was my goal. I took the first step.
That night I sat in the hull of a dirty, coconut oiled ferry as it chugged out of port. I lay my head down in the spot deemed by common ferry protocol as my own and mumbled something of a shy goodnight lost to the stuttering of the boat. It did not occur to me that when I woke I would be where I wanted to go. My head was reeling, my overworked senses had stupefied the logical part of my brain, it seemed unspeakibly sensible just to go with the flow. The black sea slipped a lullaby against the side of the boat, its steamy brine floating through the pill-shaped portholes to warm my nose. This may not have the moment I decided I wanted to record travel but it was the moment when I feel in love with it.
My interest in travel recordation is spurned by the continued course of this love, which has ran over lands, over roads, over waves, seas, estados, prefectures, countries, islands and deserts. Each word, photo or drawing is a piece taken from the landscape with which to build it elsewhere, a mere fragment of the whole, yet something powerfully evocative. Enough to light a fire in other people and also nourishing to oneself, a chance to give respect and thanks to places seen.