Thursday, June 30, 2011

Our Other Place

I've started a new book, a teen book, Ruby Red, by Kerstin Gier. Teenage girl from London, time traveler, mysterious society, good-looking-but-conceited-possible-boyfriend-even-though-they-hate-each-other-at-first-sight, crazy family, quirky best far it's a terrific read. I am also saying to myself, "Another book set in London Shannon? Really how predictable". Alas yes another book set in my favorite place. Actually it was the time travel that interested me, but modern day and historical London as a backdrop is a bonus.

So I wonder, why London? As far back as I can remember I've been an anglophile. When my high school/college boyfriend studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies University of London in 1991 his Christmas gift to me was an airline ticket for my first trip to London. He knew how much I longed to experience the country I was continually reading about. We broke up before I made it there but I still have the love letters we wrote to each other during his first semester about the places we planned to visit together when I arrived. I finally made it to London in 1997 and as soon as I arrived, I felt like I was home. For me, it's my missing piece.

I have friends who have the same longing for cities such as Paris, New York, Rome, and countries such as India and Japan. The locations that call to them. I reckon it to the coins in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, "We will find you Poppet. You've got something of ours and it calls to us. The gold calls to us". Certain places call you back.

As I read Ruby Red and the heroine Gwyneth time travels, I wonder, is deja vu real? Can you have a connection to a time or place and not have any rational idea why? For example, my friend, "M" LOVES and I mean LOVES everything to do with the Southwest United States but she is a born and raised Chicagoan. Another friend, a small town girl from the Midwest loves everything about the Japanese culture. Another friend travels again and again to cowboy country, loves country music and pickup trucks but she's an Illinois gal. Hmmmm...curious and curiouser.

Do you have a place that calls to you. Or maybe a culture or time in history? If you do, then you know the magic of Woody Allen's latest film, Midnight in Paris. A good movie, not a great one, but for those of us who are called somewhere, you will understand the appeal.

Here is my very fitting summer song, One Republic's Good Life...
Woke up in London...Gotta be the good life...

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