Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. – Love Actually
The definition of ‘goodbye’is a word “used to express good wishes when parting or at the end of a conversation.Yet for me, the very expression of goodbye appears to be a juxtaposition. The beginning “good” gives false hope that the word denotes something promising and positive and yet I always associate “bye” with the sadness of something ending (unless it’s “goodbye Exams”). For discovery of new countries and islands to have occurred, our long lost ancestors must have dispersed and most likely, had to have said their farewells to loved ones. Did Christopher Columbus send a round robin to his pals- “America bound b******s, miss u all, tke care xx”? For a society which is so dependent on community and in particular families, our predecessors problem, and in fact an issue most of us face today, is making a decision in the ultimatum- family or adventure?
My own conquering stands before me as I sit waiting for my flight to take off. I always find travelling alone slightly like a quest or adventure that has been assigned singularly to you. Tufts of clouds sit pertly in the sky and I realise soon I’ll be soaring through them. I remember as a child how disappointed I was that the clouds weren’t really solid puffy cushions and that angels weren’t perched on them. Heading onto the runway is a stark reminder that I’m taking off and it is always at this moment where I acquire the lurching feeling that I’ve left something behind (which I usually have). Whilst America might have been conquered by good old Chris, my life in New York awaits to be discovered only by me. So I realise now why it’s called goodbye. They may be bitter sweet. But you have to say you’re goodbyes sometimes to be able to say you’re hellos. As Elton John said “You say goodbye, I say hello”.