Actually, not much has changed in my life, yet a lot is going on. I am still sometimes easy-going and sometimes difficult. A woman who startles easily. I still forget to wash an apple before I eat it. I am still annoyed but thankful for this rush of hot air let off from the sides of a bus. I think, “Yes, things could be grosser, hotter and nastier”. The sound of people spitting bothers me. I still interrupt occasionally when people talk but I am getting better at it. I am confused on how strange it feels to receive a postcard – this little card that traveled all the way to my apartment while I wonder how many people at the post office have read it.
I still prefer to count to twenty instead of ten. I love ice cream and the weird sensation of brain freeze I get when eating it too fast and then quickly swallowing it down. I still have the same nightmares but it is getting so much better lately. I still have trouble discerning between solitude and loneliness, and the weird feeling of sadness I get on Sundays; the same feeling I get when listening to Beethoven on a rainy day. I am still wondering why I am initially comfortable and then restless when sitting on grass. I love the size of LP records and want a record player for the longest time. Yet, I do not own one single record. I love when people collect them and play their records. I spend quite some time browsing through record stores without buying any.
Sometimes I am still shocked by how irreversible life is. That there is no going back to this old version of me that existed before. What is done is done, I try not to dwell on the past too much anymore. Or how much life was before I figured out the pleasure of doing absolutely nothing. Or before I figured out that there is no one way to live and to life. Or before I smelled city smog in New York Midtown Manhattan and thought I could never live here yet I rented an apartment for a couple of years and loved it. Or when I wept in my brother’s arms when he had to fly back to Germany because I knew I would miss him so much. Or when I read Marguerite Duras’s The Lover and thought it was the best book I have ever read. Or whatever version of me existed before I moved on, found a new perspective, saw the magnolias in early spring blooming in a somewhat different way – not just pink but rather flowering almost forcefully and ambient letting me know that a new chapter is about to begin.
Weirdly, I get shivers on very hot days and I get annoyed when a Post-it unsticks and comes off my journal. Sometimes I still confuse being misunderstood with feeling some sort of shame and uncomfortableness. I am super hungry when it is not quite lunch time or dinner yet. I love to drink red wine when reading on my couch but these days I prefer camomile tea even though I hated it as a kid and associated it with sickness. I love sitting on a porch when there is lightning, thunderstorm, and rain. Sitting at a dock at the lake watching the stars and the moon makes me happy. I still imagine my brain is the size of a pea when it comes to mathematics, statistics, spreadsheets or when I do not understand how bridges are built over large amounts of water or whenever I don’t get the exact location of countries or continents on a globe.
For whatever reasons I am drawn to the colors violet and lavender. Recently, someone told me, “People don’t change.” Listening to some people feels like hard work trying to retrieve a mutual tenderness that has already fallen from our hands and rolled into a storm drain a long time ago. How unfamiliar it feels to deal with some people or to even look at them. All these unresolved arguments and trying to test the other over nothing that now just feels colorless, sad, unnecessary and creeps back silently when least expected over emotions long forgotten. I am now in this strange possession of a history that often pulls me in different directions that I can manage pretty well. Sort of like a new responsiveness that does not pry.
I can identify now what constitutes a big drama, hot air or the difference between the former and latter. I know how it feels to be hurt. Also, the hurt we cause when we have been enduring too much in silence and have started to trust our own fixed claim that everything is just fine even though it is not. How it lightens but also strikes the heart. I learned that I should not try to change a person. The effort exerted is often ineffectual and rather upsetting. Change, I have learned, rises up like nausea – the simple promise of relief is what makes it all bearable. I learned that I have to be careful of overvaluing what people give and be cautious of how proportioned my ability to love is since I have become rather impressionable.
What I love is watching stars with a person who listens while I don’t finish my thoughts because maintaining completeness all the time grows tiresome. A person so acquainted with my treasury of reluctance, with the lines of my body, with my soul, that I forget I have those, and he forgets he has those and we just melt together into one; while the shooting stars keep shooting. There is no rush.