It’s the liminal time and space. I actually have a little vertigo, probably from excitement and fatigue, but certainly because I am moving now between two worlds. I’ve probably been in this space for a while, which is why, a few days ago, I threw myself on the sofa and wondered what the hell I had gotten myself into. I’ve set a goal and that goal has tickets and an itinerary and other people committed here and expecting us there. In a few hours we will set out. We will drive to Toronto and leave – on a jet plane (those 60s songs are coming back spontaneously now) – for a 16 hour flight to Taipei and a two hour flight to Saigon.
Our goals as individuals are varied and will change as we learn, or as we encounter things that will take a while to learn. I go because I love to watch the encounters between cultures. Like fusion cooking, something new happens using the ingredients of each. That interests me.
As a nation we did not take the time to learn, 50-some years ago. Now individuals and groups of individuals go to make some sense, not of the war – the war has ended – but of why Americans could not have done that better and could we not do it better now. I go because the answer there is, “of course we can. Come, sit with us and talk. Share stories. Laugh. Cry. Live.”