PANAMA (Macrh 2010)

There is a lyric by Steven Wilson that's been on my mind a lot lately: "Strange how you never become / The person you see when you're young." As my fortieth year approaches, I suppose it's not unexpected to be looking back. When I was younger, my passion was writing. I was not only going to be a writer, but a great writer. I wanted to rival William Faulkner, with Cormac McCarthy revealing that great writing could still exist in this digital age. While an undergraduate, I drafted out two novels and a short story collection. Stories and poems of mine started appearing in small journals and anthologies.

In grad school, I shifted to mostly writing poetry, as poems can be quicker to draft than a story. A decade later my first poetry collection was published, with my second following a few years later. I have two other collections in draft form and a third researched but never written. Only thing is, I rarely write any more and can't imagine finishing any of these unfinished collections. I've become an academic and a scholar, the demon-driven writer in me driven down. Oh, and there's also the travel.

One writes for self-discovery; one travels to escape. This time I am escaping to Panama, one of the last Central American countries I haven't set foot on.

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