…with all to say.
Henry David Thoreau said, “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” I feel really lost tonight or, rather, I feel like I’ve been transported back to an earlier version of myself – one that had not yet lived in this country I now call home. I was supposed to say goodbye to a dear friend this evening, to celebrate a new chapter in his life, but in the moment I lost focus and all I could see was my own discomfort – I was at a loss and I made a run for it. As I walked back to my apartment with nothing but my regret and the cold darkness to keep me company the stitches in my healing heart felt as though they might come undone and reveal the burning wounds that are in some ways still so fresh.
I have often referred to the heartbreak that I’ve experienced this year without ever really explaining: When I moved to Germany I opened my heart to the nation and the culture and for the first time in my life I fell in love – something that I had thought all but impossible. Love is, however, never without heartbreak and these first cuts went deeper than I could have imagined. Tonight the distance between me and the nation of my affection was once again thrown at my feet. I was so intensely aware of my own strangeness in this land and the tightrope I walk because of it. I can only hope that, as Rainer Maria Rilke said, “Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.”