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travel, n.


. Labour, toil; suffering, trouble; labour of child-birth, etc.: see travail n.1

The action of travelling or journeying.

  1. (ellipt.) ‘Account of occurrences and observations of a journey into foreign parts’ (Johnson).


My eyes look down distant roads, movement, distance and change. Staring out this window watching rain make paths down the glass, my mind wanders. Scenes of far off places flicker by—Rome, London, and Berlin…. My fingers have traversed the entire continents of Europe and Asia, gently following the curve of an ancient globe. Before I die, my feet will have done the same.

As a child I spent two years of my life on Guam, the largest island in a string of islands known as the Mariana’s. My mother would take us shell hunting on deserted beaches littered with World War II wreckage. I was mesmerized by blue water lapping at the heels of history. I have stolen into Canada thrilled by currency exchange storefronts, scribbled with the cryptic beauty of Chinese, French, German, and Arabic. I have sat on a beach watching countries compete with each other—who can make an explosion more beautiful than the last. That day, the Chinese won. New York was a journey into culinary delight; my taste buds set afire journeying the planet a spoonful at a time. Mexico is a place of brightly dilapidated colors. A world lacquered blue, green, red, and yellow as it decays with time. History sits heavily in the eyes of its people.
Every new adventure has only set my bones with anticipation. I want more.

When my body is made to sit still my mind wanders. Open eyes build worlds on pages. Hands search out others adventures. What is next? Turn a page—write a page. I am meant to travail.

travail, v. Etymology:  Middle English travaill-en, -vaylle, -vaile, -veyle, -veile, etc. (usually with u, or Scots w, for v), < Old French travaillier, -vailler, -veillier, -veiller, modern French travailler= Provençal trebalhar(also Portuguese trabalhar, Spanish trabajar, Italian travagliare); held by Romanic scholars generally to represent a late popular Latin or Common Romance *trepāliāre, derivative of trepālium(582 a.d. in Du Cange), an instrument or engine of torture (probably < Latin trēs, triathree + pālusstake, being so named from its structure). The etymological sense was thus ‘to put to torture, torment’, passing at an early stage into those of ‘afflict, vex, trouble, harass, weary’. Through the refl. sense ‘to trouble, afflict, or weary oneself’, came the intrans. ‘to toil, work hard, labour’. Thence also (as is generally thought) the verbal nouns. Old French travail(masculine) and travaille< Middle English travail, travaile: see travail n.1

I must find myself stretched over the Trepālium. An ancient roman touture device brought to life in my mind. It is pieced together by Trēs (three) Pālus (stake). The actual construction of this device has been lost to the ages. I will have to choose stakes of my own making. Though weariness and pain are to be my constant companions, this will not trouble me. This is the root of travel. It is begun in sacrifice.
The next steps in my journey are fraught with hardship. I must accept the coming travails through all odds. In this way I may be transformed and made ready. The need to move/become opening a slow and deep wound pouring resource into another’s hands. I struggle, laboring on pins and needles in an effort to lessen the outpour. Alone! My mind screams as my heart tears itself, longing for things to far to touch; yet.

In the end, it will make me whole.
What will I find when the transformation is complete? Will I have travailed in childbirth? Or birth of the mind? The pains of creation and birth are one and the same, each made of differing substances. From constant effort travel is found. The distance from one point to another requires a change, a struggle: the will in action.

travail, n.

/ˈtrævəl/ /-eɪl/

Bodily or mental labour or toil, especially of a painful or oppressive nature; exertion; trouble; hardship; suffering. arch.

†The outcome, product, or result of toil or labour; a (finished) ‘work’; esp. a literary work.

transf. The straining movement of a vessel in rough seas. (Cf. labour v. 7b) Obs. rare—1.


A journey once begun must be finished. Turn a page—write a page. Movement is the key.

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