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  • From Traveling to Resting

    Posted on July 7th, 2009 Michele Sun No comments

    I was at Borders on Friday morning continuing on a James Patterson fiction that I had started at Barnes & Noble the prior weekend. The characters have travelled to Maui, Paris and Santa Barbara…etc, and I guess that had stuck in my head somehow. A thought came into my mind later while driving through one lane street of San Rafel heading toward the small town Fairfax, and this idea, the “dream”, that often popped up resurfaced again – I want to rent a room for couple months, just a small room surrounded by trees with view of a lake, where I can read, write, kayak, hike and some trail running…whatever my heart fancy. It could be in Santa Fe, Lake Tahoe, or anywhere away from city and people; I just need a place where I can close my mind and open my heart and eyes.

    Someone has told me about this Sylvia Beach Hotel in New Port, OR, which prides itself for being the hotel for book lovers. There are volumes of journals and books in all the rooms and library, but no TVs,  no radios, no phones, and are decorated with different themes like Edgar Allan Poe, Hemingway, Mark Twain, Tolkien…etc. Let’s say you pick the Hemingway’s room, then you will find the old typewriter on your desk, antelope horn mounted on the wall, with beautiful sunset out side of the window that remind you of The Sun Also Rises. Or one may walk in the Sherlock Holmes room and see a British tweed coat and a double-brimmed cap on the coat hanger, or a smoking pipe and magnifier on the desk to prepare you to sleuth for the truth – is 221B Baker Street in Oregon after-all?

    It’s website described itself as “a place that time seems to slow way down, almost to a standstill”. I can’t confirm that since I have never been there, but I once was at a hotel by Lake Lucerne in Switzerland and I had that time standstill experience there. It was a lodge facing the lake, and the room had no TV, no telephone, no air-conditioner, and I found there actually  was no need for any need of those anyway. I walked around the lake in the early morning and had to hug myself because it’s quite chilly; I stood infront the lake and watched the the fog and mist above the lake — the water was very cold even in the summer. I took in the view of the mountain with tiny cottages dotted here and there, and could hear the cowbell chanting in a distance – that was the moment that time seemed to have come to a stop and I wasn’t sure where I was. There was this little church by the lake and I went and walked into the graveyard at the rear end of the church; I read those tombstones and found people resting there were born in 1902, 1907, and lived for average of 90 years to 100 years at this little town- what a life journey!!

    Travel is an interesting thing and it plays an essential role in our life; the traveling part is a start of our adventure, or a stop to provide much needed rest in our life. But sometimes the stop and rest is the journey itself, like the Sylvia Beach Hotel that can transform you into Poe or Holmes. Couple years ago I went on a two weeks business trip in early spring, by the time I got back I found beautiful cherry blossoms in my front yard that weren’t there when I left two week ago, so I said to myself– one does not have to travel far for his journey.

    Today, I am still dreaming about my two months in a small room nested in the forest…

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