Vitorchiano: stones in your shoes 

“Your hand can seize today, but not tomorrow; thoughts of your tomorrow are nothing but desire. Don’t waste this breath, if your heart isn’t crazy, since “the rest of your life” won’t last forever.”
/  Omar Khayyám /

It’s always interesting to hear that I’m channeling peace and working as a mediator who provides calmness to the ones around me… even though a day or two before leaving for Vitorchiano I was a ticking bomb, ball with a burning wick ready to explode — to spill my guts all over the place… or more precisely “all through my mind”.

The contradiction is ridiculous, you see… with a face that used to betray every flickering emotion, the body developed a skill of coping with stress in maybe not so favorable way for itself, but quite beneficial for others. It radiates tranquility while fighting from inside, that’s why I go quiet while nervous, thoughtful while desperate, serious while scared.

So with a mind that is crowded and needs silence to think it’s important to exclude chaos from the outer world, to fix problems that can be fixed and help people, when a pattern that repeats is clearly visible and could be changed…to advice in a way where they advise themselves…to ask questions.
Sometimes I wonder if psychologists are the most ruined people, trying to fix everyone but themselves.

But this time for once I was truly at peace. For a training that had the potential to become torturous — with games and tasks that promote frustration and fatigue for introverts — these days in Vitorchiano went into the complete opposite direction, providing a space for reflection, self-evaluation, and healing. The place itself — far from the nearest small town and encircled by woods and fields — was a haven, a piece of mirror reflecting my homeland. We were awaited by rain, lightning, thunder, wind, and clouds that remained present throughout the 3 day period, and I wondered if this part of Italy would one day call me back…
Would the north be less of a cultural and environmental challenge?

The volunteers now seemed “wiser and older ” with some view-changing experiences in their pockets, stones in their shoes… and a changed attitude. A vibe of seriousness and maturity was in the air – something that was not present in the previous EVS gathering, but I guess this is an experience that changes your perspective…and the majority of participants have already spent at least 6 months in Italy.

For months carpe diem was an expression that followed me, frequently reappearing in different situations, but it held no particular meaning in the context of my life. I knew the poetic importance, but that was all that I felt.
Paradoxically a task of creating an action plan for the future had to be given for me to understand that I have been living in the future for the last month…unwilling to be aware of what’s happening here and now. The level of ignorance grew higher, frustration spread its roots so deep that each vane felt twice as big. I was not living in the moment at all, so the precious time kept passing by with me “sitting on my hands”.
And then a vision was born. A plan with no bullet points, no specifications, just a general feeling. A feeling of creativity and purpose.

I took a breath and let the thought hover in the air for a moment… It was familiar but felt so distant – as if I had dreamt it a long time ago. It originated from feelings that sometimes become thoughts and transform into words, but not always. So if a thought can be lost and a feeling can be missed, how does one express its true self in words?

It was a long train ride home [..]

[..] but when I finally returned a familiarity embraced me: …seeing Anikó working on her newest future project almost obsessively it became clear to me — there could not be a fall back in our house…a project, an idea, a vision (no matter how big or small) would be carried through, and I know that any commitment of mine will be supported. We have developed a habit of sticking together regardless of the differences and personality contrasts, and that, my friends, is the real treasure.



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