[insert picture here]
10 days to going ;
10 days to leaving.
5 days keeping the name,
16 days to forget and rename.
21 days to a new role,
and also the comfortable refrain that brought me there. 5 months since (coincidentally also) 5 months that i got struck by a peculiar kind of lightning. 5 months since i learnt seeing things through is a pretty good way of coming to terms with the end of things.
About 6 years since i would be stepping on the same cobblestones, looking at the same churches.
Time, we can always self-select and decide our markers. Do i want to remember an end or a beginning? Is the inception more important than the formality? Which anniversaries of the self should i collect; where do i lay my milestones?
Place, on the other hand, is absolute.
You don’t pick your place, the place remembers you. There’s no escaping when you enter again a place you had touched before; all of the before comes back.
This is why nations spend time building place, and destroying spaces.
Munich in april 2011 will be my second trip to germany, and it will feel completely new. While in all my trips, i go for the same things– that strangers become friends, and that the self becomes better, there are major differences: i will be going solo instead of in a pack, i will ‘hit’ just a small area, instead of doing a multi-city trample. I will be learning a skill with someone hopefully for long enough, so no revolving door of faces.
Also, while i got supertanned that summer, i reckon this time i just have all of 9degrees celsius to deal with. For someone born of a tropical island, you have no idea how intimidating that can seem. For someone who chronically underpacks, this could be life-threatening– new delhi at 13degrees got me wishing for gloves.
I like scheduling things just so. So i got pretty stressed by, amongst other things, surfing the annals of the internet: apparently, just as november/december (2011) is the worst time in the wide whole year to visit munich (rain and cold), so as april (2012) also a test for the brave (rain, still cold, maybe heat). Bad time and bad timing. Why did i agree, my mind raged. Then my mind also realised, i have agreed and it is done. There’s something wonderfully calming and stabilising about commitment, and so in that zen moment, i decided to apply the seemingly hopeless philosophy of April, es macht was es will* to my own spirits.
The hows and whys of this second trip is another story, a long one.
If i must explain this solitary fire in my heart, i will say it involves, in no certain order, an always burning curiosity, an old yearning, fated friend(s), an honest mistake, and missteps that are all my own. And im beginning to realise going the way i have, i’ll probably be old one day and have this longtime [insert any noun akin to interest rolled with passion] seen as just strange; unusualness entertained by the old is merely eccentricity, not inspiration. My kids will not know, my partner will not understand. I will have no friends to talk it over with. I will never have shared, indulged, open to discussion. I will not have opened it to life, basically.
That won’t do. And it brings to mind another saying: once you get going, the going gets easier.
Anyway, 10 days to going! The second time always carries the weight of the first; so i’ll be crossing my fingers that i make it good.
*april, it does what it will