The Key

Fall

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Yesterday I awoke to the sound of leaves sloshing from side to side, hitting branches left and right. I heard the wind rise underfoot and carry the golden brown hues for miles.  A chill was in the air, the way there hadn’t been for a while. A storm was brewing and I knew it was coming for us.

Somewhere, somehow, between all my studying, the summer was over.

I had missed it, my nose deep in books, dusting cobwebs out of the corners of my mind. One exam, two exams, three exams later, amongst clearing out my apartment, I felt lighter, and infinitely more tired. I find myself sitting between boxes of things I couldn’t bear give up. Buying furniture is expensive, yet during this move it dawned on me that even getting rid of objects comes at a cost. I donated as much as I could to the local charities, and yet it seemed the more I gave, the more I had left.

It was the 16th time I’d moved, and you’d think after a while you’d get used to it, that you wouldn’t wake up in the middle of the night with more logistical questions than answers. And then, when you finally hand that key over and dust off your hands, as you turn the page to the new chapter to come, you can finally breathe easy again.

You are free again, a bird in flight, waiting to find the next prosperous place to land, and call home.

moving

moving

Bookless

If you are a bookworm like me, you will understand the pleasure derived from having a great book to put your nose in at the end of the day. That feeling of being in a story even when the pages are closed, contributes the thrill that lasts until the pages on your right dwindle and you’ve stopped reading as fast as normally do because you want this feeling to last. It’s with anguish that you know you want to reach the end and yet, wish you could experience it all over, like you never will again. The days between such great reads seem a little dull in comparison, even though you are finally free. You no longer wonder what is hidden in the next paragraph, and the adventure has come to a close, both for you and the protagonists.

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weheartit.com

Right now, I am bookless. And although there is a very tall heap of books waiting to be discovered, like uncharted waters, it is hard to dip your toes in and get wet all over again. So I’m enjoying my morning coffee, free of the confinement of the book world, ready to take on the sunny outdoors.

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weheartit.com

So Many Different Suns

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Always Something There to Remind Me.”

courtesy of weheartit.com

courtesy of weheartit.com

Scent is the strongest trigger of memories, and yet sound, and music in particular is a powerful vessel, of memories and emotions alike. If I had to choose but one song, that evokes the strongest of childhood memories, it would have to be ‘Brothers in Arms’ by the Dire Straits. On a three-week road trip through the red dirt roads of northern Australia, that tape was the only thing we had to listen to (because someone forgot to pack the rest). No radio signal, no road trip themed playlist. Just us, the wilderness and the Dire Straits. We were so tired of this tape by the end of the three weeks, and now, it’s all I know. The lyrics and tones and inked into our very souls.

The eerie lonely howl of the guitar, amidst the desert landscapes that stretches for miles and miles, reminded us that we were in the remotest place we’d been so far. From Darwin to Uluru, the little towns with forgotten names flew past us. Fruit bats and geckoes became our nightly camp co-dwellers and the night sky had never seemed bigger. That trip, will remain the most special adventure we had as children. Waking up to the various sounds of wildlife as you crossed the camp ground, thin veil of mist hanging over the gum trees is a feeling that will remain real, as long as I have this song to listen to.

courtesy of google images

courtesy of google images

And the risk remains, with each time you rewind the tape or hit play, that you record over those instances with new memories, for they are dynamic in nature, and unlike a picture; memories change with time, as malleable as the sand castles we built when we were kids.

‘There’s so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the sun’s gone to hell and
The moon’s riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it’s written in the starlight
And every line in your palm
We are fools to make war
On our brothers in arms’

– Dire Straits

The Siam Awaits

Tickets are booked! In a mere 2 months I will be heading to Thailand, not only as a much needed break, but also as a nice conclusion to this whole adventure we call medical school. In the best of company, me and my fellow travel mates from school will soak in sufficient vitamin D to last us the whole of residency, the next daunting chapter. Just kidding, vitamin D stores don’t quite work like that and the amount of hospital time that awaits us in the coming years will definitely keep us in a vitamin deficient state. However, we will have some great stories too look back on and to keep us sane.

copyright 2015

copyright 2015

Last time I was in the South East Asia, was just prior to starting school; so this is a nice loop about to happen. I’d taken 2 weeks to travel through Thailand by myself, the first real solo trip. Those two weeks had felt like an eternity and somehow through cash retrieval issues, intense diving courses and gecko infested bungalows, I was glad to make it home at the time. And yet, I think I learned more about myself in those two weeks than in the 6 years of medical education that ensued.

As important as being able to travel on your own is, I very much look forward to returning to some of the same places and experiencing them with the people who have been at my side not only through every exam session and challenging rotation, but also people with whom I’d already travelled to India with.

In the final days of study madness, being able to look forward to this goes a long way.

Happy Monday!

Growing up on the Move

A couple of things I loved about moving as a kid:

And She opened her eyes to the magic of the world' - found on weheartit.com

And She opened her eyes to the magic of the world’
– found on weheartit.com

1) having a growing number of friends from widely different backgrounds

2) getting the advantage of learning a new language in real time, making it your own, in a way you would never get to as an adult. Most of all, you speak and yeah, you make mistakes, but as a kid, you don’t care, you just go for it.

3) the sense of adventure you get when you find out, this is it, we really are moving to Australia or Canada, or wherever.

4) that when you know you’re only living somewhere for a year you make the most of it, whether that means taking your kids out of school for 3 weeks to road trip to Ayers Rock, camping style, or whether it’s living above your means for a couple of months. You tend to explore restaurants and national parks to a greater extent than someone who expects these incredible moments to be available to them for years to come.

5) having several places to call home, despite how torn you may feel between them at times.

Have a great week!

M.

Lost Sense of Wonder

amelie

Courtesy of Google Images

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pleased to Meet You.”

Amelie Poulain is wandering through the backstreets of Montmartre, on yet another mission to better other people’s lives, when she comes across a boy sitting by a pond. He is dressed peculiarly, a little remniscent of robin hood. Green shirt, green pants, green boots. The boy looks distraught as he casts stones onto the smooth water surface. He seems to be having an argument with himself.

– “I must get her to see that in this world, she is doomed. She will lose herself, her imagination, her essence. Another day and she will have lost that innocence that only children know. The naiveté that still allows you to dream. Trust me Tinker bell, it has to happen tonight.”

Amélie approaches the boy and asks if he is o.k.

– “You cannot help me or anyone, not even yourself, for you have given up your youth.”Peter says solemnly.

– “How so?” Amélie looks at him, confused.

-“As an adult, you cannot possibly understand, or remember what it is like to be a child”.

Amelie, with concerned and pained look on her face, beckons him to continue.

– “Explain”.

He tells her of stories from far away places. Places without responsability, without commitment. He tells of children he’s seen grow up over the years, that have relinquished their creative powers, and their lofty aspirations. They grow into old farts who forget to have fun and live within the boundaries of duty and reason. He recalls the qualms and regrets that fill their speeches as they lay on their deathbed. He vows never to become one of those grey men, in grey suits, with grey shoes and grey lives. He wants more for himself and more for the girl he loves.

-“But if you stay here, lost in time, you will miss out on all the adventures to come. You will never experience the joy of having your own child. But you are right. We can learn many things from children. We can revel in their sense of wonder of the world. We can keep our imagination alive by feeding it dreams rather than that snickering sense of self-doubt. We can maintain our sense of surprise and be open to something greater than ourselves. We can trust that anything is possible. There is more to being an adult than forgetting your former self”.

The Fledermaus

courtesy of google images.

courtesy of google images.

aka fruitbats – incredible creatures flying through the night, tirelessly hunting for hopeful bounty. And the best part – they get to sleep all day. For the past two weeks in my new city, I have been surprisingly exhausted. My days are less long than back home, I sleep more than I have in years, and I still long to be a fruitbat and sleep through the sun-filled day. And I have been trying to understand why.

I remembered the other day that whenever I find myself in a new place, speaking a new language, it wears me out. The level of concentration it takes just to express the things that merely roll off your tongue back home, result in mental fatigue. I generally see myself as having several native tongues, and yet, my medical background is in french in its entirety. So to suddenly ask the same questions and explain the same concepts in English requires more energy than I had anticipated. Over time, without my noticing, french had replaced English as my language of relaxation, that language which requires the least amount of work.

Outside of medicine however, it still seems as though English holds the reigns. German is far behind, and although ultimately my real first language, it is now solely used in communication with family and in watching old movies. There is a certain nostalgia associated with it that english or french will never match. It is a part of my childhood self, a deep rhythm of my soul that cannot ever quite be replaced by any other words.

And the strangest phenomenon of being bi- or trilingual, being in tune with two or more languages from an early age, I don’t think in one particular language, rather in concepts. There isn’t so much an internal monologue that is one language rather than another, but a constant flow of images, concepts, ideas. Wordless ideas. And when it comes to expressing these concepts, it takes me a split second longer to reconnect the concept to a word, whichever language it may be in, because the concept has a life of its own. It is hard to explain, and I apologize if this isn’t completely coherent, but I have found other people who experience the same thing. They too have grown up with multiple languages and instead of having an intenal word monologue, it is an idea monologue, because the words aren’t intrinsically associated to any one word, but several.

Anyways, for the time being it’s all I can do to explain this. Now, back to being a Fledermaus.

Night folks.

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”
― Ernest Hemingway