Friday, May 28, 2004

Return of the Native

I took as a title of this web log Tales of Brave Ulysses, which some of you may recognize or remember as a song by the 1960s rock band Cream. It also alludes to Tennyson's poem Ulysses. And now here we are. In a mere 12 hours's time I shall sail, like Tennyson's Ulysses, beyond the sunset and the baths of all the Western stars. My plane is scheduled to leave for Istanbul at 4:20 am local time, and a mere six(!) hours after landing, I'm flying to New York, then Cincinnati, then Houston. I'm calling it the mini-express tour. I should be home around 11:45 pm Houston time on the same calendar day as I leave Damascus. Stay tuned; hopefully I'll add some pictures thanks to the repeated suggestions of one Fraulien Wagner, and there are many more adventures to follow. I yet must tell you about magical Crac des Chevaliers and the musty Damascus Museum, but we're about out of time and I must take my leave of you. This shall be my final post from Damascus and the Middle East, so I feel compelled to provide some form of closure. I'll leave you, then, with another passage from Ulysses. See you soon!

I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rest unburnish'd, not to shine in use!
As tho' to breathe were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains; but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
-- Ulysses


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