I keep getting these bursts of excitement about this summer: that feeling of joy, like the feeling of a bubbling giggle, that starts expanding in your chest. They come upon me randomly sometimes. My veins start to feel like yarn conducting lightning and I just have to smile. It’s those unexpected moments, when I’m not nervous, just excited- they’re like physical surprise presents from my body. You cannot plan to feel like that.
There are plenty of those feelings- bodily things that aren’t fully there. Like when you wake up in the morning, tumble toward your day, and somewhere in that getting ready process or even right in the middle of your day, for some reason, because of some unknown trigger, you get an inkling of what your dreams were about last night. It’s just a fuzzy presence in the base of your head. It makes you ache because now you really want to know and you’re unsatisfied. Or you see someone you know; you recognize their face, but you cannot, for the life of you, figure out how you know them. True realization is there but deep and you feel incomplete and unsatisfied and half of your body is running into a mirror.
Or this one: I went and saw the University of Michigan Musical Theatre’s “Ragtime” with a friend a little while back. The theatre was chilly and I kept getting these feelings of surprised cold: the hair on my arms and neck stood up, little rays of energy. But I realized by the end of the show that it was not the cold but the moments of grandiose, emotion, key change that caused this bristle of cold energy. These are unexpected feelings that even your body cannot interpret correctly, so difficult to describe and come to terms with. Maybe all of us experience them differently, maybe we each get these feelings from different things (I from dreams and duets and you from donations, say, or dungeons and dragons…). Maybe I’m simply the only one. Everyone’s is currently laughing at this. Lightning yarn? Mirrors? My blog has negative views…
But that’s what this blog is about. These feelings of excitement that I cannot but share with you; the experiences I am going to have abroad; a glimpse through someone elses eyes. How can you understand your own life whilst always remaining in it? I’ve learned that we cannot fully understand ourselves and our culture when we are always inside them; when we have nothing to compare them to.
I leave for Florence, Italy on May 16th 2010. There I will be learning about art and the Renaissance, and science and Galileo. I am staying in ‘The Villa’. That’s basically all I know about it and that’s enough. The program ends on the 17th of June and from there I will be traveling Europe for ten days. I have yet to plan what I am doing during those ten days but if you have ANY suggestions please tell me! On the 27th of June I will be in Salamanca, Spain starting my second University of Michigan study abroad program. I am taking a Spanish literature class taught by a UofM professor and another class taught by a local profesor. I am doing a home stay, that’s basically all I know and that’s enough... I hope. I am coming home on August 8th.
While I’m away I want to keep track of my activities and growth. I also want to share with you some of the experiences that I will have, some of which will help us all see what in America (as well as in ourselves), although unbeknownst to us now, is special.