April 07, 2011

Prose Interlude.

There comes a time when we simply need to return to our life and give it our undivided attention.

For me that time is now.

My writing here endlessly reflects my frank thoughts and my genuine state of mind, as that is the only way I know how to write.
Occasionally though, I realize that I can not continue doing that and concurrently hold back so much of the whole truth. However candid I might come across here, there are still parts of my reality that need to be kept private, until I am ready to share them publicly.

Rather than be torn between writing that is unsubstantial, superficial and forced and the strong urge to disclose it all, I have decided to take a writing interlude.
I am looking forward to focus completely on the changes that are taking place in my reality and when the time is right, I will return to this beautiful world of candid prose, abundant with my personal reflections.

See you soon dear friends.


April 04, 2011

Wherever I Lay My Hat...

A word that most certainly evokes strong emotions, powerful thoughts and unique images in everyone's perception.
We all carry an idea in our head of what home means to us, or what we would like it to mean.

For some of us, the word brings about a sense of familiarity, security and happiness. For others; melancholy, longing, emptiness and even perhaps a sense of loss or absence of something that once was and no longer is.
Or something that never was in the first place.

Already as a child, I moved around extensively with my restless parents. As an adult, I unintentionally adopted this lifestyle, relocating and crossing country borders - and even continents - pretty much each decade. Thus as a consequence, the term home has become endlessly elusive and almost unattainable in my perception. At times I feel as if the search for a home and particularly the idea of belonging somewhere - has become the ultimate quest in my adult life.

During my childhood, nevertheless, home was a secure and very much a defined place. It was without a doubt where my immediate family was; my parents and my sister. I belonged with these people in no uncertain terms and the geographical location of the place made no difference to me. The numerous moves, the constant, anxious new school starts, the continuous effort of making new friends - it all interfered very little with the happiness I felt. Even the ultimate move, which made my family into immigrants, only reinforced the bond we shared and home was still a very substantial definition in my mind.

But then along the way somewhere, as I moved out on my own and set out to conquer the world, the meaning of a home became increasingly obscure. At first it encompassed my parents home, later the city where they lived, then a country and finally even an entire continent. In time I began to experience a sense of almost an identity confusion and the yearning to belong started to manifest itself. Gently at first, a subtle longing somewhere deep inside, perhaps almost a secret wish. I recall the first wave of nostalgia, realizing that I might never be able to call any country my home, no matter however much I try. As the bonds that once tied me to the place of my birth were forever severed and no new were possible to attain.
This realization came however with an acceptance and perhaps a certain sense of relief as well, or a freedom if you will. "Wherever I lay my hat, that's my home..."  became my motto and made it easy for me to settle down effortlessly almost anywhere.

As I however grew older and started to look for and appreciate a certain deeper values in life, being a foreigner came to define who I was and thus my search for home - for a true home - became my quest.
And I believe, in retrospect, this quest brought me on a journey and a passionate search for love. I realized that I was looking for someone who would bring that sense of home I once felt, back to my reality. A man, that would offer me a safe harbour and terminate my restless voyage, by accepting and loving my estranged heart unconditionally. A man that would make me feel like I undoubtedly belonged by his side, the same way I once belonged with my family.
Only today I am sadly realizing that such a man most likely does not exist and my search only led me to numerous misty illusions.

My life is currently in the state of a change and as my future is heading in a novel direction, I find myself reevaluating the term home once again.
I still do not believe that it is only defined by a geographical location, although I have come to the understanding that certain places do evoke in us a strong sense of serenity, security and familiarity - whether these are memories of transcending moments spent in certain locations in our past, or current ties to a special place.
To some degree home is also truly defined by people - those that offer us security and the gift of an unconditional love, trust and deep care. It could be our near family, a significant other, our children, or it could be our friends.
Still, my new realization makes me see that a true home is something we carry with us and is that which we harbour within us. It can not be taken away from us as well as it can not be given to us. Some will find it with little effort, some of us never will.

I feel a strong desire these days to revisit my roots. Places where I used to live as a child and the city where I was born. As well as an infinite longing to once again be in the company of the only people that ever truly defined the term home for me.
Perhaps at times one has to go back to be able to move forward. Occasionally our answers for the future might lie in what we left behind.
And perhaps it is never too late to go back home.

(About the photographs in this post: All are taken by my father last year, in and around the place where I was born. I have not been back in the beautiful Tatra Mountains for almost twenty five years...
Please click each image for a larger view.)

April 02, 2011

By The Sea.

I love the sea.
I love its versatility. The many faces of the calm or rippled surface, as it reflects the moods of the given day, the change of seasons and the tides of times.
The North Sea is stunning at any time of the year and I will always stand in awe at its shores, which can come across so infinitely tranquil, as they were on my recent walk. Yet, they can also be wild and untamed in winter and fall.

Still, there is nothing so cleansing and revitalizing as the sound and feel of the sea water on a pristine spring day.