Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A Farewell to Oxford

[or how Oxford was won]

I imagined writing an epic ode to this fair city and my time here. Expression beyond the cliche, directed more squarely at the magic inherent in an individual experience of dreams realized: of how it feels to actually finish your exams at the "Examination Schools" in full tuxedo dress, your buddy meeting you at the conclusion to dump Champagne on you, and then to hit the glory of the Turf. And a virtual infinite number of other such classics snapshots of the year abroad.

I imagined a fine dedication to Pimm's No. 1 cup, and to fine friends and to sweeter sweethearts.

But I find myself drunk, my Kiwi mate passed out nearby after puking for the first time in the Northern Hemisphere, and needing to do laundry and pack in order to get to London in time for the Les Mis matinee. In 7 hours. Ack. May not get much sleep. But worth it - especially my genius move of filling this flower vase with Hoegaarden.

[True connoisseurs will note that glass of Pimm's in my other hand... 'twas a good send-off.]

"Many times I gazed along the open road... Many dreams come true. I live for my dreams, and a pocket full of gold." Listen to that classic Zepplin tune - one of my favorites of the Domus basement and one that ages well. "Take what you have gathered from coincidence." And may you too someday feel these emotions.

Long live the dreamers of Oxon and its fabulous spires. I now find myself in a transition phase with no big overarching dreams. I will be seeking them anew in a cubicle in Halifax soon.

But until then, I have a quick tour through London, Friday at St. Andrews [let's see you make the cut, Jack!], maybe old Ben Nevis, and otherwise before Mush-a-Mush lake outside Lunenburg in time to celebrate the 63rd wedding anniversary of the most magical couple the world has seen. Two weeks of movement, so no blogging from your man MacDuff 'til the 25th of July.

Cooper and McNair, Ahab's task now falls to you... Keep the updates flowing. I will only remind the old Dream co-founder of his New Year's TO airport pledge of four posts a week to roll that proverbial ball onward...

Oh - I will miss this Theatre of Dreams. I am a part of all that I have met, says Tennyson. And as we come full circle, I am comforted by the image and thoughts of worldly folk succeeding me in the pilgrimage here, of the contined journey, that this powerful play goes on.

The opening photo is from the entry gate to Christ Church, the most famous of colleges, engraved for those who perished in WWII. Well: I hereby pass on my Oxford torch to those who would succeed me in this ever successful pilgrimage. I held it for only a brief flicker, and probably didn't take proper advantage. But I treasured it all the same. To whoever remains, bloggers Dilettante and Lindsay and the rest, run with it boys. And to those who are to come, my very best.

Who was it that said the most beautiful words in the English language were: "To Be Continued". That person was right. We roll on. My bags will soon be packed and soon I'll be leaving on that jet plane. But how deep did Kerouac understand it all when he wrote, so simply, that: "Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life." That is it.

Because Yes, the road is life at its purest. No matter. But every now and then, you must look over your shoulder and recognize magic: Fare thee well, my friend. May you live another 1000 years. No one in their right mind would bet against it.


Anonymous Ian Scott said...

Filling that flower vase was a genius move :).

Pimms.. never tried it. My beer of choice is Caffrey's.

3:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must say, you did take advantage, and it was glorious. One more epic go round on this side of the Atlantic, Wingman. Are you up for it? Is Scotland? May God have mercy on our souls...

6:45 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Congrats on being done MacDuff!

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go James. Glad to see you were unharmed. Damn terrorists.


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