Re: Come Together Pull Apart. (And Saying Goodbye.)

I’ve always been such a strong person. I truly have. I can handle anything and I can handle it well. All of my life, I’ve been the strong one. But with time, I’ve gotten stuck in this image of myself, and this in turn have made it hard for me to show my weaknesses. Hard to even accept that they exist. Talking to you on Skype yesterday I guess was a step in letting my guards down. I’ve never cried in front of a friend before. I hardly ever cry at all. I shrug my shoulders and get on with things. But not this time.

Three people I care about left at the same time. I.M. who I don’t see very often, but when I do, we have the best talks and so much fun. She’s so free spirited, so easy going. I truly enjoy her company. And then there was F and A, two guys whom I’ve come to care deeply about despite the fact that we’ve known each other for only a few short weeks. And it is especially A that my heart cries for. Despite our differences, him living in another country, us not having a common language to communicate by, us not having a single bloody thing in common… But I guess it was exactly for these reasons that it got so close. We found a common ground underneath all the exterior. The exterior you can shut off. But this… My heart bleeds not knowing whether I’ll ever see him again.

This is what living in Træna has done to me. I’ve found strengths that I never knew I had. But I’ve also found my weak spots. Saying goodbye, out here, in the middle of nowhere, is harsh. I’m not even sure I can explain how it feels like. It is just so isolated, so lonely, so small. This has a way of expanding everything it touches. Like during the annual music festival… Thousands gather out here, suddenly the world has come to Træna! The atmosphere is extreme. I guess it has something to do with the fact that so many people join together in such an isolated place, that we’re in it together in a way, we tie bonds on a different level, and it becomes so big, so touchable, that you can thrive on the energy for an entire year afterwards. This is how we survive out here. We get that little dose of the world for three days a year. And then they leave…

The day after the festival, all of a sudden, the house, which had been full of laughter and joy, is empty, the island is empty, there’s no one here. All that is left are empty bottles and a whole lot of mess. The landing comes with a big crash. The first few years I could not handle it. I would leave the island with all the rest, take refuge somewhere else. Cause when I stood by my kitchen window watching the last boat leave, knowing that it would be an entire year until the next time, knowing that for months on end I would not again see as strange face on the street… It would just be the same old thing, day in and day out. It felt like my heart was being ripped out. I would fall down on the floor crying out loud. It hurt so bad. The atmosphere had been blown out of proportions, but so had the ending. Then fall and winter is right around the corner, it will get darker, stormier, and soon you won’t be able to get off the island anymore even if you want to. Soon the boat is cancelled because the ocean is too rough, and then you’re stuck.

Every goodbye I say out here is like another end of the festival. Every person I love who I have to wave goodbye to at the boat, every single one of them, makes my heart weep. Every single time, I have no idea how I’m going to manage, how I’ll get back to normal. This time I said goodbye to three people. There were three different stories. Three heart aches.

The house is quiet. All I can hear is the buzzing from the refrigerator. Suddenly the day feels endlessly long. I’m not sure how I’ll get through it all. Not sure how I’ll make it until bedtime. Not sure how I’ll make it through the next day, and then the next after that. Not sure if I’ll ever will be fine again. Then it’s good to have you, it’s good to have someone to talk to, someone to make the landing just a little bit smoother. And yes, you should come visit, and then some day, I will stand by the ocean, waving goodbye to you, and I will be heart broken once again. But it’ll be worth it. It always is.

– Agathe

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