A literary insight for a not so Literary gal…

Going into this trip a lot of the authors that have Literature majors absolutely buzzing were new to me. I had heard of them, Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens and of course William Shakespeare, just t name a few. Now I grew up in a theatre family so Shakespeare has always been a part of my life. So much so that at family dinners there are often Shakespeare offs. Yeah… that happens… be jealous.

Anyways, I had a different perspective on all the literary goodness in England. I was more of an outside viewer rather than a fangirl. I so loved seeing the people who were so in love with these authors be in the place where they wrote. More so, though, I was really amazed by the idea that England is home to these iconic people and places and yet to them England was just home. England was just where they were in the time. Unlike Rome, England wasn’t a place for artists to flock necessarily (or at least not these authors) I was intrigued that because of Jane Austen and her book Persuasion in particular, Bath England is now a place on the bucket lists of die hard fans. Because of Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare our class went on a walking tour ( Which was cool and fun) all over London to see the many places they stayed, lived, wrote and immortalized. To them it was just home, to us it’s a treasure, a dream come true to stand on the same round and breathe the same crisp air.

So for me the literary insight I got from England is that it is rich with literary history. What art is to Rome Literature is to England. Literature is alive, powerful and part of the heart beat of England. These places hold history like they never thought they would. As an artist and art therapy major it is easy for me to geek out over art. I appreciated being in England and allowing myself to have a new appreciation and knowledge for the literary history that flows deep in the veins of England.

-Travelin’ Tori

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The British Library- London England.

Growing up I was never really a book worm. My older sister Sammee had that role in the family. I fancied bookstores just about as much as I did root canals. But now? Now I can’t stop reading. I love reading, I want everyone to leave me alone and let me read. I am often jealous of the English and Lit majors who get to read all the time! This shift happened for me when I started college. I was no longer the girl with the lazy eye who always struggled with reading. One day I told myself, ” Hey Tori, you know you can just read and believe in yourself right?” and boom that’s all it took.

For this reason I was really excited for the British Library (and not just because it was next door to King’s Cross ;)) I was so excited so see all the old books, the invaluable collection. My grandparents are antique collectors and my greatgrandma lived to be 107 years old so I have always been surrounded my the vintage and the old.

On September 7th we arrived at the amazing British Library and it felt so alive. Everyone was buzzing around, many people were reading old manuscripts. There were books from floor to ceiling and it was glorious. Our group took a guided tour of the treasure room. I was blown away with some of the original manuscripts they had in there. Immediately upon walking into the hall of treasures we stopped at the original music scores. Woah, my eyes began to water as I was overcome by the power and beauty of seeing these. Original Chopin, Bach, Mozart, Debussy, all musicians I have learned about, performed, and enjoyed through my years of being a choir kid. My boyfriend really love Chopin too so it was an amazing thing to see (and sneak a picture of)

That was just the beginning and we roamed through this room filled with original Jane Austen, Shakespeare, bibles, and even block prints (AMAZING!)! I was blown away, I was teary eyed the majority of the time and I was so grateful to be in that room all together.

There was so much more to that day but I will leave this post as it is, We’ll be here all day otherwise!

-Travelin’ Tori

Oh last secret thing, there are pictures of these treasures I may post here. Our guide said, and I quote, ” Pictures aren’t allowed but I can’t see behind me. I didn’t say that. Let’s go!”

Loved it!

We are here!! Ello from London!

We got to London this morning around 11 am. Its a chilly, cloudy day here and I love it! I cried of coure when I said goodbye to Kirk, then again on the firt plane, again on the second and then once more when I saw London break hrought the clouds below us. The first cry was a sad one but the others were excitment plus pure awe that this is my real like righ now! The plane ride was pretty smooth but it was loooooong. Boy! Once we got to the airport here in London we were also in line at customs for a good hour and a half, zigging and zagging throught the ropes waiting to cross to the other side where Meg, our instructor, was waiting for us! We finally made it through then on to the tube!! The Tube here is pretty neato! This was my first experience with an underground system like that. My favorite part was probably watching the bodies through out the car sway to and frow together so beautifully. Also I got to sit by Meg for a good portion of our ride and I don’t know that I’ve mentioned it here before but she is simply wonderful. As a teacher and a human. So today and yeterday were long, traveling days but they are still amazing. We are going out to dinner tonight as one big group and then resting to hit the ground running tomorrow! Buckingham Palace is for sure on the docket! I’m excited!! Our apartment is the epitome of a tiny house too complete with bunkbeds and a bathroom that is the whole shower. If we flip the wrong switch to wash our hands we’ll be soaked! Silly London! That’s all for now I suppose. I truly am in awe of the fact that I am currently writing this from an apartment in London England. What a life.

-Travelin Tori
Oh really quickly, my GoFundMe is still active and get deposited right into my account so if you feel like continuing to give I can still recieve through my trip! I am unexplicably grateful for all I’ve gotten already. Truly I am surrounded by amazing people and this trip wouldn’t have happened without them. Heres the link.

gofundme.com/toriroamsrome

Thanks all!

Why couldn’t I write beautiful things like Geoffrey of Monmouth?

Well you know what? I can! I’ve always been interested in the way we don’t allow ourselves to explore all sorts of artistic expressions. We often say phrases like, ” I’m no poet.” or the classic, ” I can’t even draw a stick figure” but I feel like all people posses the ability to create beautiful things. I do also think that it just comes easier to some, and that’s where one can feel inadequate. In the very first couple of lines of The History of the Kings of Britain written by Geoffery of Monmouth he beautifully describes England.

He says,

” Britain is the best of isles, situated in the western ocean between France and Ireland. Stretching eight hundred miles north to south and two hundred miles east to west, it supplies ceaseless abundance for every human necessity. It is rich in every type of medal and likewise has wide fields and hills, which are well-suited crops, each in its proper seasons. The island also has forests filled with all types of wild beast and pastures filled with domestic animals and with the colors of flowers that offer their nectar to the flying bees. It also possesses the greenest fields stretching pleasantly beneath lofty mountains, in which sparkling waters flow by in sweetly murmuring streams, promising sweet slumbers on their banks.Moreover, Britain is watered with lakes and rivers full of fish, and on its southern edge by a channel over which one can sail to France.” (Geoffery 42)

The way he describes Britain with such elegance is inspiring.  I wonder why we don’t talk about the places we love like this more often. So I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and I’m going to write a little bit about a place I love, Marylhurst University.

Here goes.

Marylhurst University: My love.

Campus is calm and quite, one can feel the presence of peace, serenity, life.

This place has history. You can see it in the trees.

The buildings tell you the stories they hold in their bricks as the wind hums the songs of the past.

You walk as if you are floating, gliding through the air of comfort.

The classrooms are buzzing with knowledge and conversation.

Each class you take is a channel of understanding that flows seamlessly into the river of your soul.

Here you are alive, here you learn to thrive.

As you look up at the sky you realize just how free you are to fly.

Marylhurst University hugs you hello and gently releases you goodbye.

Marylhurst is life, knowledge, and beauty.

-Travelin’ Tori