March 16, 2005
I am strangely calm. Since I arrived at the hotel yesterday I haven’t felt all that nervous or anxious at all. I’ve been somewhat sick though – probably the recycled air on the plane, the cold wind, and the dirty conditions of London are all contributors.
London has been alright. Already, in only 24 hours, I travel the subways like I’ve lived here all my life. I walk with a confidence I rarely, if ever, have. And it almost doesn’t feel like me. But it feels good, really good.
Last night, I went to The Old Vic and saw the play “National Anthems” starring Kevin Spacey, Steven Weber (from the tv show “Wings”), and Mary Stuart Masterson (“Fried Green Tomatoes”). It was amazing! Not only was it really funny but the depth and intensity that only actors of this calibur can bring made it a very powerful experience. Kevin Spacey is an awsome actor but I would venture to say that this was one of, if not THE, best performances he’s ever played. All I can say is, WOW!
Feeling a bit under the weather was not helped much by the flight into Belfast. While I didn’t get sick I was about uncomfortable as one can be short of losing it. It was rough.
Despite the quality of the flight itself, as I gazed out the window and saw the country for the first time my excitement really began to grow. Though I had always known that this is where my family is from, I never thought of it in terms of being my homeland or anything like that. It’s strange how real it becomes, how quickly it changes from a vacation into something a bit closer to a pilgrimage.
I notice now, as Belfast zips by the bus window, that, in many ways, a city is a city, especially in the West. London and Belfast are a lot more like Boston than I had anticipated. And it is a tiny bit of a let down.