(Written on no-Internet-Saturday)
09.00 o’clock – My alarm clock is ringing, unnecessary as today was one of the rare occasions in which I rose even before the sun.
Once again I am on a train. The surrounding landscape is magical. A frosty ground clouded in heavy mist contrasts the dark naked trees that grow sporadically in the scenery, between the hills and fields. The lack of vivid color almost makes it look like a black and white picture – the cheap way to add drama to photography. But the drama is surely there. Yet through thin clouds the shining sun provides a cheery feeling to what might otherwise have been a gloomy view.
I am on my way to meet old friends from the time when I lived in Osnabrück. People I have not seen for over a year and to be honest, feared I never again would – as too often is the case. People have a tendency to remain in certain situations and too rarely effort is made to break the boundaries of circumstance. But in my life, sun and spring means energy and enthusiasm so after confirming with them I simply bought the tickets. It is refreshing how easy and satisfactory it is to “just do it”.
So here I am being rocked on a south bound train. South Germany appeals so much more to me than north Germany. It is like the difference between Sweden and Denmark – following suit of the rooftop scene with the highly unlikable Swedish Doctor in the show “The Kingdom”. The second, flat and cultivated and the first, majestic with forests and mountains.
Last week my mother was visiting, reminding me on the value of human contact and emotional intimacy. Talking the way you only can with the closest of people I reevaluated my life, took a good look in the mirror and it hit me that I am living the life I always dreamed of yet not explicitly knew I wanted. I am traveling the world, seeing it, feeling it, tasting it. The people I meet are fascinating, boring, beautiful and frightening. They tell me about their lives, the way only strangers would – with honest lies. My work stimulates my mind in the bizarre combination of trying to figure out what other people already know and desperately trying to draw some rather clever conclusions of my own. My soul’s emotional demand is satisfied by the strokes of the paintbrush, the combinations of colors and the overly ambitious childhood dream of finishing that first novel. Yet spoiled, I only miss what I do not really want.
Comparing my own life to the lives of more settled people around me, human as I am, I can see the happiness they feel, the enthusiasm their situation produce in them, and I desire it in some abstract over-idealized way. Yet I know that were I put in their shoes it would bring back that feeling of imprisonment I left somewhere along the way. Maybe I am not ready for this kind of life, or maybe this is just who I am.
As to confirm my thoughts for my borderline vagabond lifestyle rather than sweet domestic bliss, on board stepped a bearded beauty with long dark hair and blue eyes, seeking my eye contact. After all it is Valentines day – or as it could be called “desperate singles day”. Considering for a second to listen a few moments to the kind of life story strangers tell on trains I determine that today I am preoccupied and any conversation accompanying attention-seeking eyes is just going to have to wait.