Without a map


Roaming around streets I’ve repeatedly stepped on, going through memories and confusing thoughts brought by that bright image of Douro that blinds your eyes, rambling among three languages scattered among various pages and lines. The map was deep in my backpack, carelessly folded and without the usual notes. Guess who wanted to get lost. Guess who had shuttered any connection left with the real world, thanks to a bittersweet melody stuck on repeat, blocking any other sound from reaching the eardrum.

Leaning my back to an old tree that was neither comfortable or warm, but was alive, I was staring towards the sky, god knows for how long, when I saw a seagull reaching out with its orange beak to get a taste of my pants. It reminded me of this old, childish perception that whatever stays still becomes invisible to the ordinary eye. So there was I, still and invisible, among hundreds of people on a sunny, lovely sunday morning.

There was enough breeze to make me feel warm and cold at the same time, a typical characteristic of mine, as I specialize in acrobatically walking on lines between completely opposite elements: lonely solidarity and bright companionship, heavy memories and relieving oblivion, land and ocean, a sweet feeling of home and the continuous urge to take off. It was one of these troublesome passages my mind was crossing, when looking at all these people around, I wondered if I’d rather be somewhere else. With somebody else, rather than with a blank piece of paper, full of careless doodles. My eyes returned towards the sky, looking for an answer that wouldn’t come. But the curious seabird contributed to a bumpy landing to reality, as it decided to snap a piece of my toe. Before I even had the time to get surprised, the seagull flew away and left me with an inevitable conclusion.

A beloved writer once wrote that freedom is a heavy load*. Sharing this load, means sharing one’s freedom. And offering our freedom to another, means loading them with some of that heavy burden. The one won’t come without the other and every single choice will come with a price. In the end it all comes down to how much our shoulders can hold..

But I would disagree. Thank god, our hearts are much stronger than our shoulders.

Porto, 6/9/2015

* Ursula le Guin, The wizard of the earthsea


2 responses to “Without a map

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