This week, Seetal invited us to share “the things you love that makes your world spin or things about your world that make you delirious with joy.” A simple task, right? Perhaps for some, but not for me. I have many things I’m in love with — family, my hometown of Knoxville, teaching, and volunteering. Yet I’ve never found a trip I didn’t love nor a place near or far that didn’t reveal something of the world I didn’t know before. Travel and learning make me “delirious with joy” — and one of my fondest remembrances brings home both: Viking’s ocean cruise — Cities of Antiquity and the Holy Land.
“…it seemed a part of her life, to step from the ancient to the modern, back and forth. She felt rather sorry for those who knew only one and not the other. It was better, she thought, to be able to select from the whole menu of human achievements than to be bound within one narrow range.”Orson Scott Card in Children of the Mind
As an English major, Latin minor at the University of Tennessee, I fell in love with the study of ancient civilizations and all things old and interesting. But listen as I did, I didn’t retain as much as I should have, so my late-in-life tours have helped me recall what I read in college but also have brought the places we studied to life. On any tour, I rely on guides to share solid, interesting information — and I’ve never been let down. But still, I only retain a small portion of what the guides share. It’s the looking back at photos and the reading of travel books (skimming before, reading more fully afterwards) that solidifies the learning for me — lifelong learning, in its greatest form.
I am still learning.Michelangelo (at age 87)
My heart leaps up during tours of museums when I move closer to look at architectural relics or gaze at ancient ruins revealing the lifestyles, beliefs, and customs of the people who lived ages ago.
Ancient buildings I see today are often in the midst of modernity — people, motorcycles, signage. But it doesn’t matter. It’s as if the juxtaposition of ancient and modern worlds shows how people then and now have settled the planet — at different times and perhaps with different purposes, different needs.
I try to notice artwork, construction of buildings, elements reflective of different lifestyles — and wonder what really went on between the walls of the Vatican or the vast land surrounding Masada.
And I’m grateful for craftsmen who have left us artistry — statues, tilework, tapestries, paintings — that make me ask, “How’d they do that?” when I think of how little they had to work with yet what grand ideas they were trying to reveal.
Travel takes us away, but often brings us back home — with new perspectives, new ideas about how people lived, and new appreciation for what came before, and what may come after.
And so for me, this glimpse into my world brings me full circle to what makes me tick — I’m always looking to learn about the present from studies of the past, with an eye to the future.
I can’t wait until we’re all able to travel again.
Always desire to learn something useful.Sophocles
If you’d like to see more posts on the topic of “Glimpse into My World,” go to Sheetal’s post and look at the entries linked below. Lens-Artists Photo Challenges come out each Saturday, offering insights into the authors who happen to love photos and the art of photography!