Coming home from a long voyage is not always easy. These days feel as if I have to squeeze an expanded version of myself back into a tiny life that unfolds itself mostly between my little city apartment and the supermarket. It’s as if during the trip I’ve become a massive ball of fire that is now clashing against a wall, dwirling into a million insignificant pieces.
What strikes me is the fact that no matter how long you sit behind your computer to do whatever you do there, it will never take you for the human being that you are. While my trip has filled me with two-way curiosity with friends, family and strangers, my days now pass by behind a desk, where I am always conscious if the curtains are open or closed. A contrast which is sad and disturbing.
One night during my trip when I was looking out over a lake on my own in the dark I realized, maybe not for the first time, that I am pretty much molded to be a lone wolf, even while having a lot of loved ones around. For me, love is an act of giving space, providing freedom, and I do my best to live after that. It’s a path I choose, which constantly drives me to withdraw from its smothering side. I don’t hold on to others, so I often find myself alone. And as with love I seldom smother life, perhaps because I fear it would do the same to me one day. Without wanting to interfere too much, I see things change, friends pass, dreams fade. It happens to us all, no doubt: we are born alone, we die alone, and in the mean time we distract ourselves with the belief that others can provide us happiness. Yes. That I do.
Existential loneliness is somehow easier to deal with when you travel by yourself through warm areas, surrounded by nature than when you try to tune your mind to the rhythm of the digital masses, subconsciously waiting for your girl to come home, troubled by the vision that this may be what the working future looks like. It’s easier when you stand on a mountain top with a friend, than when you walk around in a chilly city full of strangers, then sit on your couch, wondering what you can contribute. It appears that life outside of the safe, protected context is more meaningful. Not true, I hear myself confirm, but still it feels that way.