“My desk, most loyal friend thank you. You’ve been with me on every road I’ve taken. My scar and my protection.” ~ Marina Tsvetaeva

Ashley held his breath as the crescendo played, then let it out as the music ended. Grandma Grant had started his education of the Russian composers based on a Danny Kaye song. Ashley’s goal, as a child, was to say the names as fast as the comedian, and a few times, he came close.

How often had he come close to goals only to turn away?

He reread some of the letters, journal entries, and items he wrote in his own travelogue. A missed train, an unexpected layover, a complete wrong turn… If he were to map out any of these journeys, they would have their own movement like a Balkirev, Borodin, Cui, Mussorgsky, or Rimsky-Korsakov.

Where might his path end as he finally took this time, to reflect on his journey so far?