Little traces of fear climb up my spine. Small remnants of a past. Triggered by small sounds, a falling pine cone, a breaking twig. It doesn’t matter much where I am. Fear lives in my body, my mind. My muscles where once stiff with it. Now there are little traces, lines of fear being slowly erased. The unconscious sense of impending doom. Of being the wrong person in the wrong place in the slightest of wrong ways. A frantic searching for The way to be, for The place to call home, for The Best decision. My mind hurrying about trying to figure out the un-out-figurable.
“Is this the best place? Did I drive too far for this mountain lake, did I pay too much (7,50). Should I go know? Did I stay too long, am I staying too short? Well damned be, why aren’t you enjoying this more? Why don’t you relax? Why are you constantly thinking of France? Should you move there? Should you’ve stayed home to write? Shouldn’t you stay in Norway a bit longer? After all now spring is on its doorstep, why are you leaving at this time? When is the best time to leave?” Exhaustion.
I drive to a big mountain lake, as one of my last goodbye days, in a home I had and a home I’m leaving.
Driving up the road, a memory catches me off guard, one of those that catches you sweetly and swiftly. Unexpected as it came it wanders off again. Coffee fields of Laos, flanked by trees, pleasantly cooled by height. Finding my way in strange country, not sure where to go or where to land. Driving about on a motorcycle, wavering, unsure footing. Perhaps I was already looking for home at that time.
Home is more a feeling than a place. A feeling of being welcomed in. And as home is occupying my mind these days, fear sometimes grips me by the throat. The deep fear somewhere inside of me that there is no home for me. That there is no place where I am welcome. Inside me a little girl shivers, she tenses my muscles, pulls my back into an arch, hunches my shoulders. She makes me as small as is possible, so I take very little space. Perhaps if I fit into your back pocket or can disappear in a small corner of your mind. I will be allowed to be somewhere. Home. Sometimes I keep moving just to not feel the despair of not belonging. Treading roads in a wide world gives a sense of freedom. Being able to leave places every day makes me feel like I do not have to belong. Putting one foot in front of the other on asphalt or between trees, I run softly from deep inner loneliness.
I build walls around that little crying girl, inside my heart, inside my bones. That way I keep her in. I put my mind as guard dogs around her, so no one will dare venture too close. She barks and bites because she’s hurt. She almost believes others are dangerous. Sometimes she wonders why people don’t come closer. She is so precious to me, I build her a golden cage. I put her in 24/7 surveillance, camera’s in every corner I watch her every move. Ensuring she is safe.
These are the systems I’m slowly un-building. Carefully embracing all those pieces of mind, ensuring them she is as safe as she can be. Ensuring them they can come back home now. I wander along the edge of the lake, smoke rises from a fire, an old man, hair grey, watches me from his little cabin. Fishing rods flank him, a small remnant of fear tugs on the muscles of my being. Trying to be unseen, a fear of not being allowed to be here. This large mountain lake, trees and mountains all around it, just two beings in this vast space. Yet soft worry floods my mind that this is not enough space to allow me. Sometimes the world seems like it can never be big enough to hold me.
I sit at the edge, somewhere out of sight, trying to relax. When I’m here with someone else, their sureness of being allowed to be makes me feel the slightest bit of welcome. As if I can creep into their space of home and be a guest in their house, as long as I’m invited. However on my own, nobody telling me who or where to be, I feel naked. Unsure. Unsteady and wavering. I breathe and feel the water with my toes, still ice-cold from winter. Slowly treading barefoot on the grass and stones. Feeling the earth beneath me reminds me, that being here is all there is really to it. That there is nothing to miss, there is no one to be and home is everywhere, if you let her in. And even while I still tense and shiver, I am held, I am safe, all is well. In every space, in every moment, in every way, home is there with open arms all I have to do is slowly soften into it.
Some of these days I let her cry, cry for all the times she’s felt incredibly lonely. Cry for all these times she let no one in when they where all around her. Cry for all the choices she did not make. Cry for what could’ve been. I hold her, in my heart, in this vast space. I am slowly becoming a home I could live in.