Au Revoir y Hasta Luego ä Geneva: I did it my way.
So tomorrow I return to the US and to my home.
I feel alternately and simultaneously happy and sad about this, like a handful of varying melancholies, light enough for a fairly strong wind to take them away, fragile enough for a few drops of water to make them dissolve – like a tissue, or a cake perhaps, left out in the rain.
Of course I miss very much my friends and family but I will be very sad to leave because not only did I see so many beautiful things, but I also made some very special friendships here, despite my inability – born of a complexity of emotions, like my insecurities (of which I am neither proud nor rueful, but only speak about from an innate tendency to be candid), and tied very closely to my constant quest to be understood even in my native language – to stick to Spanish (thus forcing my hosts to practice their english).
But I feel ready to go home and I wonder if it is because the number of minutes, days, and hours, inherent in a period of two weeks is the perfect amount of time to travel, OR, if because this last day in Geneva has been approaching with such inevitably increasing insistence over the last few day and as a result of that imminence, I have been mentally preparing, inadvertantly because I do not ever wish to leave here, creating this feeling – which would redundantly and inevitably approach – at this moment of readiness for returning to my homes; one consisting of my very humble apartment, and the other of the land which I call home, both with humility, awe, and a fondness of the heart. It is possible that impènding things, and the feelings and mental states that are part and parcel of them, expand, like a gas which always expands to fill any container it is in, to bursting perhaps, and so the feeling of ‘time to leave’ has expanded to this point of readiness.
For we know that one’s state of mind can trump any obvious or expected feelings one might have about things imminent and known to be joyous, and I was apprehensive as I looked forward to this trip for the main reason of concern about my physical limitations, and, most importantly, for being able to communicate this to all the people I would meet, the things I can and cannot do, and the constant and excruciating physical pain and fatigue of which it consists. All this is complicated of course by fears of being an unexciting or boring guest, or of perhaps being a dissappointment to people whom I hope will like me.
Tied in a tight knot to all this is a lack of sufficient traveling money for the most full enjoyment of things because, out of the money I had saved for expenditures on this trip, I had made, relative to me and my situation of economics, a big purchase or two for emergencies which arose in the days before I left; important things like the death of a friend’s mother and another friend in need of something important, and one or two other things I felt were very necessary because we cannot always keep economics in mind, a veces things occur which are more important than sufficient money for a dinner in a special restaurant in a foreign land, things we can perhaps do without, even if perhaps those tables would never be turned in one’s favor, except in terms of harmony with one’s inclinations. To show kindness, even if it is not returned, is to create the aura of the smaller and more personal world in which we live and so always there exists a benefit, even if it is the benefit of doing what is the most natural for us, because to truly and fully follow one’s heart and to be exactly who we most are, is to feel more kindly towards ourselves, in my opinion most humble. As ‘they‘ say, if you can love yourself, you can love others and perhaps mankind in general, and it is not necessary for this to be fully reciprocal and equations like this are not important, even in personal relationships in which one finds oneself most always on one end of the equation. I think the concept of wealth/poverty is relative to the extent to which we feel not only able but willing to share our things. The extent to which we will risk to go out on a precarious limb, to respect and comprehend how closely tied to philosophy is life, the only one we can be sure that we will have. I think any day could be our last and so it is important to remember that and not worry too much about the future, at the expense of the present. I think to exhibit an unwillingness to give and always to take is ‘useful’ for economic reasons perhaps, but not useful for the full enjoyment of life and the way one is perceived and fits into the world. To be like that for me will cause dreams of unease. And this is why I will never own a house; this, and my overwhelming fear of committment of any sort. But that’s just me and freedom is essential for my sanity. Every philosphy is unique and peculair to each persons’ comfort level of life, the bed we wish to make for ourselves. To do unto others, perhaps… And this is why I am here on this voyage, and also, most importantly, made possible by the gift of enough frequent flier miles to cover my flight. But of course I cannot accept these miles and not try to recripocate as much as I am able, even if it means paying my credit card bill for the next year or so, and why I only am demanding of my host when I have to insist that I be allowed to pay for dinner and tickets to museums and other things.
So each day we would go out for only perhaps an hour or two. Each day I would make clear that I can only walk so much, or can only sit in a chair for so much time, and each day I very much need to rest and relax at times, which makes for an accommodation of plans – plans which were created solely for my own benefit of enjoyment and about which I felt sheepish when I had to admit that I cannot do this or that. Most of my pictures were taken from the passenger seat of peoples’ cars, and from this seat I would very often implore the driver to try, just a little bit even, to drive more slowly and try to avoid the bumps in the road or, while we were frantically looking for a parking spot in Girona, to please avoid driving over all the curbs and maybe limit it to one or two curbs. Every night I put on my backbrace for bed, because to wear it during the day is to be so very vulnerable; when I am wearing my backbrace it takes only the slightest bump of a stranger in a crowd for me to find myself on the ground, and then it is necessary to spend the next day or so in bed.
But the times when we could not do any more sightseeing were sometimes the most beautiful because, while driving, taking pictures, eating special cuisines peculiar to the region and seeing beautiful architecture in the form of cathedrals and the like, are not moments when people are most able to sit quietly together, facing each other, and talk about life with the most special benefit of eye contact and observation of facial expressions and other, very important, nuances of communication which enable one to truly know of which a person is made and that which resides in their soul, and their heart.
And, as I type, I realize how this manner of writing is not exactly like my usual manner but it is because I have been trying so very hard, constantly, every minute of each day, to think in terms of words and sentence constructions that I would be able to speak in Spanish – a language that I have only studied for 3 years, 26 years ago – and I think, since I hear these typings as I make them, that maybe only when my feet are firmly on the form of the ground in my homeland, will I be able to speak in my usual manner which is more idiomatic and metaphorical perthaps, and more importantly, most familiar and automatic, and which is compriosed of words I am easily and without effort, able to speak in my native language. In short, I am fluent in english (and here, when I feel most insufficient in the language I put a huge mouthful of food so as to have time to think before I respond, and I talk to peoples’ dogs and tell them “I am fluent in Dog” to thish they reply, “Yes, and you eat like a bird”, because I eat constantly all day long and thus, at formal meal times I eat less) and when I am back in the land of this language, I will regain the ability to communicate in all words and not only the small assortment of the ones which I am able to use in Spanish. To admit freely the things which comprise one’s insecurities, in my ever more humble opinion, has not the slightest whiff of affectation but rather is to be painfully candid about one’s vast and ridiculous insecurities.
And, with utmost use of honesty and sincerity, this makes for neither an affectation nor anything besides the only way I am able to speak even just a few sentences in Spanish, for I can also candidly say that I am too insecure for affectations of loftiness; my only affectations are ones of a small confidence perhaps, which I do not fully posesss. Maybe it is not because of, but rather, in spite of this, that I took this courageous trip with my situation of spinal disorder and came to visit people I have never met, in a language I do not comfortably know and with which I am ill-equipped to be understood for my necessary machinations to accommodate my limitations? Or maybe, as I often suspect, I am just crazy. Redundantly crazy in my redundant lunatical way. Well, that’s just me.
I will also be so happy to be reunited with my familiar keyboard. This french keyboard is perhaps too complicated for my fingers. I blame them, and do not say it is over my head. ;-)