bruecken_schlag_worte

Brückenschläge und Schlagworte

Tag: fernweh

Grenzüberschreitungen

Längst schon wollte ich diesen Blogpost schreiben, aber wie so oft im Leben musste erst etwas passieren. Warum verschleppen wir Dinge so lange, bis sie uns keine Wahl mehr lassen? Wahrscheinlich, weil sie Schmerzen bereiten. Die Worte formen sich nur schwer in meinem Geist. Sie wollen nicht so recht heraus, sind sperrig und hölzern. Aber vielleicht müssen sie diesmal wehtun, so weh wie die Gedanken, denen sie eine Form zu geben versuchen.

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Reisen heilt

Fernweh ist Teil meiner Persönlichkeit. Ich habe mich längst daran gewöhnt. Die Welt birgt einfach zu viele zauberhafte Wunder, um sich nicht danach zu sehnen, sie alle zu entdecken. Ich bin von Natur aus neugierig und wissensdurstig. Dass ich reiselustig bin, ist ein Nebenprodukt davon – genau wie meine Freude am Lesen. Meine Sehnsucht nach der Ferne ist die gleiche wie die nach Geschichten. Mich dürstet nach Erfahrungen. Ob ich sie in einem fremden Land oder vor der Haustür, in einem Buch oder im wahren Leben sammle, ist zweitrangig.

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Weg von hier

Wenn die Dinge über mir zusammenschlagen und mich unter sich begraben; wenn ich in einem Konflikt mit geliebten Menschen stecke und dem Problem mit meinen gewohnten analytischen Gedankenwälzereien nicht beikommen kann; wenn ich wieder wegen geringster Kleinigkeiten anfange zu heulen und nicht verstehe, warum; wenn ich anfange, mich selbst nicht besonders leiden zu können, dann ist mein Impuls immer der, wegzufahren. Am besten an einen Ort, den ich nicht kenne und mit nichts verbinde. Nur raus. Weg von hier.

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Clipped Wings – On Feeling Grounded

Within the last few months, I have had more than enough material to write about. Short trips were abounding, and not just inside of Germany. Now things seem to be calming down. And I feel torn – not for the first, nor certainly the last time in my life – between enjoyment of the quiet, unexciting weeks and months ahead and my ever-present yearning for adventure. It is in this pensive mood that I feel it is time for another post in my thoughts category. A personal one. And yet I am not sure if stripping my soul isn’t the last thing I want to be doing. I might only find out in writing this. Bear with me.

Castle Hohentübingen, Tübingen, GermanyAs of lately I have chosen my piano keys over my notebook more often than not. Music comes easily to me these days, more easily than words. Or if words do come, they are often corny and kitschy, and lyrics forgive that much more lightly than prose does. Writing has been unusually difficult for me.

I think this is largely to do with the fact that I am not allowing myself any plans for a decent big trip this year. My wings are clipped. Work commitments have a lock on me, and in many ways it seems like in my generation everyone just has to pay their dues in their twenties. So I need to get a grip on myself, focus, and get some stuff done this year. I can’t keep meandering about. Mainly because my work contract won’t last forever. And didn’t I always say that I would want to do something different when it runs out? Yes, I did. And what will that be? Hell if I know. And so I find myself back in that same state that I was in when facing the end of school. And the end of my B.A. And the end of my M.A. And I wonder if it will always be like this or if I will ever, you know, get somewhere. Arrive somewhere. And be there to stay.

Neckarfront, Tübingen, GermanyJust a few years back, it relieved me to know that the meandering might never end. I felt suffocated at the thought of being tied down to one plan for all times to come. And now I wish I had a plan, any plan at all, to live up to. Not a forever plan, though. Just a plan.

I hate to say it, but I think it is to do with age. My desire for security isn’t decreasing as I grow older. I want reliability. I don’t want to be in constant doubt. I want my safe havens, my harbour to return to when I’m out in the world.

And yet things are more difficult than that. Because while I want all that, I do want adventure. I want to venture into the unknown, I want to not know what’s in my life tomorrow, I want the thrill of jumping off of high cliffs into the turquoise sea, of turning a corner in the labyrinth of an unknown old town and coming across something beautiful, of crossing the border into a new country and the sound of a stamp being made in my passport. I want the sound of motors on airplanes and busses, I want trains to whistle as they swish past me, I want ships to part the sea and make waves that will crush loudly onto sandy beaches. I want the unbearable noise that comes about in remote corners of nature and that is all animals, water, and trees and not a single man-made machine.

Market Square, Tübingen, GermanyI still want it all. Looks like life hasn’t disillusioned me enough to think that’s impossible. Thank God for that.

Only recently did it come to me that the term Sehnsucht that I refer to so often is not the only German word that describes a specific kind of longing. There is also the English germanism Wanderlust which translates literally to a desire for wandering or, the initial meaning of wandern, for hiking. And there is Heimweh, which means being homesick, and its sister term Fernweh – being sick for strange lands, for the wilderness and the world away from home. I wonder if it is something innately German to wish yourself away to another place, to get caught up in dream worlds, in utopia – since we have so many words that describe an act of craving that which is not in our lives.

All these things I feel all the more right now when I feel like I cannot really act upon them. Then again, maybe, just maybe, being forced to stay put will do me good as well. Maybe being grounded keeps you grounded. Maybe I need to re-root myself a bit before I can embrace the world again, and grow into home soil. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of weekend trips and hometown tourism to be done. Just not the big scale discoveries of the world out there in all its glory. But when I get to do that again – boy, it will be marvelous!!

Still I must say that I wonder if I will ever find a life that allows me to integrate both sides of me – the girl that wants security and the one that doesn’t give a damn. I wonder if Heimweh and Fernweh will ever give me a break. Or if I am just an unstable spirit whose search will never end.

Neckarfront, Tübingen, GermanyAll the pictures were taken in Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, in the old town and at the castle. They show paths that need to be walked and the ground that I need to keep to. For now.