As soon as I boarded the train to London;
as soon as I set foot on the bustling platform
at Euston Station;
as soon as I rode the tube to Bakers Street;
as soon as I looked down at the wet pavement
shining under the shadow of a statue
dedicated to ‘The Great Detective’,
I saw art in everything above me,
everything around me,
and everything underneath my feet,
and the art that I saw left me breathless
because it was so epic.
When I was a child,
I used to look at the cover of The Beatles’ album
‘Abbey Road’ and imagine that I was John Lennon –
dressed all in white, and the one to lead
Ringo, Paul, and George over the crossing
to the other side of the road;
and, while in London, I decided
to follow in the footsteps
of the greatest band that ever was
and go to ‘Abbey Road’,
walk over the famous zebra-crossing –
and I swear that while I was there
I felt incredibly emotional
and so privileged to be there,
and I absolutely felt an abundance of love:
because even though I was walking across by myself,
I didn’t for a second feel alone.
The London Underground is like a warren of rabbits,
a hill of ants, or a hive of bees –
there is so much activity,
and there are so many people
traveling from place to place all over the city,
and everybody is in such a rush;
if you are a daily commuter,
keeping calm and knowing where you are going is a must.
Traveling on the tube is exciting –
everything and everybody I saw
were different from each other,
and to me wonderfully inspiring:
my fellow commuters fascinated me –
all the conversations that I heard,
and all the faces that I saw looking back at me,
were like feeling the pulse of the city,
and it was like the people were the blood
and the plasma of London
traveling down tube tunnels
that made me think of a human bodies
blood-vessels and arteries.
When I first arrived at Trafalgar Square,
and I looked up at Nelson’s Column
towering above two giant statues of Lions
that were the size of two large cars,
as soon as I saw the sight
of the beautiful National Portrait Gallery,
I could literally see hundreds of people outside –
and each person looked to me
like the peaks and waves of a multicolored sea.
While in the National Portrait Gallery,
I found myself completely in-awe
at the beautiful artwork within
which can be found through every open door,
and when I stood in front of Vincent Van Gogh’s
“Sunflowers” painting I was completely entranced
by its magnificence – and every second that I spent
gazing at Van Gogh’s masterpiece of art,
I felt connected to it, and to Vincent Van Gogh
so deeply and profoundly, that I am still engulfed
in the power and the feeling that comes
when you touch something that is
the source of so much inspiration and energy.
From the gallery, I then searched,
and caught a train to Soho,
and eventually came across a wall
that had a piece of art painted on it
by the graffiti artist “Banksy” –
and as soon as I looked at the amazing
piece of modern, incredible,
thought-provoking art that symbolized,
at least to me, the creation of beauty
in the form of the painted outline of a yellow flower,
I was reminded of another incredible artist
that I had seen earlier,
and the day at that moment came full-circle,
and I knew that everything was connected,
and the world was, and is, a gallery of artistic destiny.
On my way home from London,
I mused and I could not stop thinking
about what I had seen and what I had heard,
and what I had felt during the time
that I had been drawn
from one side of the city to the other,
and I wondered what it all meant.
As I sit here now,
I know, as I have always known and believed,
that things in life do not happen by accident:
I know that the world and I
are connected in ways
that no one else but me will ever know.
In this world there are places with many people
living and working in them
that are fountains of inspiration on so many levels,
and every day I see sources of energy that inspire me –
and that is why I return to certain places time after time,
because these sources and places are exquisite art
that will forever continue to endow me and everybody.
London called, and I replied;
London is like a beautiful city from another world,
and the whole time I am there
I feel like I am on a magical ride.
I have always been drawn to inspiring places –
that is why I love going to cities,
because they are filled with so much energy, life,
and a myriad of interesting, fascinating,
fascinated, voices and faces.
London is something else, though,
and like another unbelievable city, New York City,
London is a hive of intense and magnetic activity.
Riding the Underground,
feeling the beating vibe,
while walking and traveling overground –
whether on the tube,
or going from place to place on the city streets –
London takes you and shows you things
you have been imagining and have seen in your mind
in all there grand and epic scales,
and around every corner, or on the skyline,
there is a constant gallery of treats.
Standing outside the gates of Buckingham Palace;
being next to the Houses of Parliament
when Big Ben struck two;
bowing my head while facing the Poppy-wreath flooded Cenotaph,
and remembering the fallen in silence,
as countless people walk past;
crossing Tower Bridge, and marveling at everything about it –
from the sandy colour of it’s castle-like towers,
to its suspensions of white and blue.
The biggest thrill,
and the sudden appearance that wowed me and struck me the most,
was the towering and phenomenal sight of The Shard
shooting up to the sky,
as I was standing outside the London Bridge tube station –
I truly could not believe my eyes;
when I saw it, and every time I could,
I took a chance to look at it,
and be completely lost in instances of fixation,
adoration, and gravitation.
When I reached the Tower of London,
and when I walked around its high walls,
and finally reached the place where the final pieces
of a memorial of red ceramic poppies remained to be seen
and marveled at,
I felt that I had reached the end
of my amazing London journey of discovery;
however, I also knew in my heart that that wasn’t just that.
I came to a realization, as I was looking at the sun setting
behind the city skyscrapers on the other side of the River Thames;
and as I looked at the majestic Shard against the blue and golden sky,
I knew that this time was both a beginning and end:
I realized that London, Great Britain, my home,
was, is, has been, will always be,
one of the most beautiful, gleaming, and timeless, jewels of Earth,
and one of the most important beacons of acceptance
and greatness on the globe;
I realized that London, and our world itself,
is a constant spark in the dark of the universe,
and a powerful shard of hope.
Rising with the sun
to feel the cold morning air;
to see the clear brand new day;
traveling like a bullet
on a train without a care,
I want to go everywhere and see everything,
and nothing can stop me or get in my way.
I have always been a traveler;
I have always been on the move;
I have always loved traveling far –
or almost touching the atmosphere;
I have always rode the roller coaster of youth.
The unknown has never scared me;
outer-space has always been a draw;
where I have never been before
is where I have written my most meaningful poetry;
seeing as much of our beautiful Earth as I can
and being inspired by life is my call.
Every day is a new day;
every life is beautiful in its own way;
every time I embark on a new adventure,
I want all my senses to rocket away;
every moment that eclipses everything from before
are the moments that matter the most,
and it is within those moments that you always want to stay.
Traveling is in my blood;
pilgrimages are a daily ritual that I always entertain and enjoy;
seeing something new, and wanting to go that one step beyond,
is something I would do for a living, if I could;
methods of transportation take me to places
where my dreams can become reality.
Like a man transitioning from a boy,
and an airplane flight growing out of a life-long fascination
with flying toys.
Giving someone, especially a child,
a compass, a path, a hunger, an enthusiasm,
to get out there and to see what is out there,
is something that they will never forget,
and will always compel and never deter.
There is always a reason to be a risk taker, an adventurer –
because everyone can be a traveler.