Birthday-eve, and on (back) to Amsterdam, and life…

10:20 – Well, on the train, another fairly luxurious one. Looking forward to a some coffee and maybe something to eat. The rest of this trip should be nothing but relaxing – save perhaps the airport at the end, but by then I’m done, so it doesn’t really matter.

Right, we’re off in moments.

Life.

What I was not particularly satisfied with before this journey began:
– Work (top of the list)

– the next one is hard. I suppose life has been fairly monotonous. I get up at the same time, the same schedule every morning, off to work, spend the day there, and then come home. I have my little evenings, alone, but that’s how it is. I imagine other lives. I like to think of myself as a creator of lives, and it gives me great pleasure to do so. My characters, my stories. I put myself into them as deeply as I can, and in them I live many lives – good and bad, happy endings, bad endings, good endings.

I’m a third of the way through, if I’m lucky. Less if I’m realistic. Halfway through the good part – the part where I can take off to Europe with a fifty pound bag on my back and walk miles and miles each day without getting tired. Those days won’t last.

So what do I do? Go on creating my lives? The ones I’m working on right now, creating something wholly new after ten years spent with the extended family and friends of Miranda Morelli. I’m enjoying it. Is that enough?

What’s the saying – a zebra can’t change his stripes, or a leopard his spots? I’m not going to be able to effect some radical metamorphosis within my own life. I am who I am…

But I can make little changes. I can make the life I have more pleasurable. I can try to stop worrying all the time. I can at least take it easy, take it as it comes. Because like I said before, after Auschwitz. Nothing really matters.

It’s going to be a process.

I think the key will be to just let go a little more often, care a little bit less, shed some excess baggage. If it’s not making me happy, if its making me miserable, then why bother? But if it makes me happy, moments of pleasure, then maybe the consequences don’t matter all that much.

Maybe I can live without thinking quite so much, just like Henry said. I think about everything so much, all the possible scenarios running through my head all the time. And in the end it’s usually fine, or it is what it is anyway, and all the thinking in the world can’t change that – if only there were no other people in the world…

We’ll see, we’ll keep thinking about this over the next couple of days, and see what comes of it. For now, a peaceful journey to a peaceful city. We travel north through France, through Belgium, to the coast, and to Amsterdam. I probably won’t write as much during this journey, just watch it go by.

I realize I haven’t addressed my chief complain yet. Ultimately, I take the path of least resistance. I always do this, I’ve always done it, even if it’s not the right choice in the long run. I think the key will be to just stop worrying all the time. I think that will be the key to quite a lot.

They’re bringing the coffee around. All for now.

11:22 – They have “undercover” police posing as tourists – the bulge at the hip not quite covered by the American university shirts is a bit of a giveaway. They wandered the aisles a bit and then brought around a dog – sniffing for drugs, presumably, though I wouldn’t think drugs coming into Amsterdam would be the issue…

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