Sicilia 13: there is life after April

This most probably would have been a picture entry, accompanied by cloudy memories and quotes from my notebook.  But two weeks passed by after returning from my Denmark – Latvia trip and the experiences added up, so I found myself in the depths of procrastination – darkness so thick that losing a thought right after it has appeared is inevitable.

Writers write less when they’re content with life, at least that’s what I’ve heard. Some have a talent of inventing problems, solutions, twists of faith and, well, drama – it might as well be called good storytelling. But others just wait till the next deadline approaches and the pressure grows higher. That’s me. And even though there is no deadline, I feel like something bigger is approaching.
For two weeks I lived with this restless feeling that for some reason there’s not so much to do, for some reason the vacation mood was still on, and I was puzzled by it. Then came March and I turned the pages of our calendar and saw that there was something to prepare for after all – quite a few things – but I just had forgotten for a brief moment that there is life after April.

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Stepping out of the everyday life shakes the ground underneath one’s feet. Most times it is pleasant and needed, sometimes it might be too much, but that is why people travel – to experience different continents, countries, cities, towns, or maybe just to go out for an aperitivo on a Saturday night. But when your life has been split a couple of times before and you decide to re-visit the places of your past-present-future, it might make you tipsy – slightly intoxicated by life, and you might learn something while doing so.

So I went – first to Denmark, then to Latvia, and now I’m back “home”, in Sicily.
Because, let’s be honest – home is not just where your heart is. It is a poetic thought, but I’ve left a peace of my heart in every place of significance. Home is where I live, even if it’s temporary…home is where my bed is.

April 6 “The huge difference between Danes and Italians struck me in the train station yesterday: the distance, the phones, the silence, and the outer appearances, of course. I did not see this last year while living in Denmark, but it might have had something to do with similarities in Danish and Latvian culture. But by now my mind had gotten used to Sicilian way of life, so this cultural difference seems bizarre.”

April 7 “Jutland smells like farming…well, if we are being honest, cow shit. But I kind of missed seeing the green horizon, trees on their way to blooming and windmills. I missed the flatness of this (and my) land, but didn’t miss the fact that wind has a surface to chase its tail on. Strangely enough I have gotten used to the bella Italia and some distance might help to re-learn how to appreciate the colors, mountains, warmth…”

I was truly thankful that not a lot of people asked the forever old question: So, what did you see while visiting Denmark? Because I did not visit Denmark at all, I came for the people. Although we did go on a road trip one day and ended up walking in the nature (around a lake) in a town that was ridiculously similar to Odder. But most of the time was spent in Nanna’s kitchen, sipping tea and talking about…well, everything.

The reunion felt like a blast from the past since more than half of our semester was present – you could see a familiar face in every corridor, at every second table in the living room, in the café, bar, assembly hall. Half of our gang was there and I couldn’t help but thinking – when will I see these people again?… The reunion 2017 was something that I had in my calendar since the end of our semester, but would I go back next year? Not sure about that.
We were brought back to reality on Tuesday night when we (me and Nanna, of course) went back to Odder once more – to visit our forest route, go to the Frozen Yogurt place, to meet Anete-my Latvian friend, to eat dinner at the school and go for a Sauna night at the swimming pool – just like we used to do. The woods felt melancholic, the shop had expanded and now offered pizza as well, the school clearly belonged to Spring 2017 [..], only the heavy breathing men in Sauna hadn’t changed, and it was heartwarming to see that our table at the dining hall still belonged to the internationals.

April 16 “Three countries bring out three different sides of me, that is what this journey let me discover… and this year I left a part of “me” in Denmark again. A part I will have to go back for. But being in Latvia felt like I had never left in the first place. It is so simple to go back, where everything is familiar and safe. So easy. ”

April 17 “Surprising people could be something I would never grow bored from. Seeing their faces turn from disbelief to shock, understanding , acceptance and finally – pure joy. It was amazing to experience that.”

I was in Latvia for just three days, and it is a short period of time when you have been away tor half a year. There might not be a possibility to see everyone, to devote enough time and energy to the loved ones, but one thing is inevitable – you have to have a short speech ready to be presented at any time – a story about your whereabouts, job description and future plans, because everybody wants to know, and sadly I could not provide them with the answers they were seeking.

April 20 “To return in Summertime…to go to the port, to go for long, long walks, to look like a tourist and don’t really care, to read books, to write personal essays, to learn, to talk, to express, to feel, to explore, to be tired, to sleep, to… [..] this is our everyday life now. This and strawberries. A lot of strawberries.
…hosting people who want to see the Sicilian part of Italy; being present in everyday situations even though they are still not completely clear to me; participating in cultural events, sharing talents God has given me, and learning how to be present.”

Someone told me that our lives sound like a year long vacation with periodical job waves. I can neither confirm, nor deny it, but April has ended and life is starting to be busy again. A good change, a needed change, and my “to do” list is getting longer and longer. We still go on trips, we still have the urge to see more, and we still have 5 months to spend here. 

“Travel while you can, because one day you might find yourself buried in obligations, arrangements, expectations – committed and tied down; that might not be a bad thing, but will become quite smothering if you won’t be ready for it.”

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