Stay Calm : Get Lost
I have been banging my fists on my legs, my head and the steering wheel in Sydney : because the GPS in my Dad's car was leading me in loops, because there were 650 actors all trying to get to the same audition I was, because so much is the same as I left it -problems that were at first an infection have now turned into diseases and no matter how much I try...it is out of my control. I had forgotten what it felt like to be so frustrated to need that action in order to 'release.'
The calmness that I found in Barcelona flickers here. There are many reasons but I can't pinpoint what it is. It's like when you meet someone you are attracted to but there is a block of some sort and you search for reasons: they are into someone else...it's me...maybe they are not ready...maybe I am not ready...too much...too intense?
I have NO IDEA. I try to listen and watch Sydney in order to understand what is going on.
So far I can say Sydney moves in fast and big distant circles. Everyone has a car. We live far apart. Especially in the suburbs. Each suburb has it's shops which are mostly deserted. People go to the 'big' shopping centers. North Sydney - Western Sydney. Want to see a class struggle? Catch a train from Carlingford to Penrith and look outside the window. It is easy to see where you are, how much money is flowing through each region and what type of Australian lives there, which councils can afford to plant flowers and which only have weeds at their stations.
I have always lived out West. It's a melting pot of cultures. Thai shops right beside Arab butchers, with 'habibs' grabbing their oregano pizzas with cheese for lunch, raising their voice just a little louder as I walk back home - checking if I am checking them out. But I don't know how to react to them anymore. I am not the same and neither are they. I pretend I did not notice and look ahead. Straight ahead.
I am sure that I am not alone when I say this but it is vitallly important to find calmness and sense of belonging in Sydney. It is easy to be alone here. To end up in front of our phone, TV or computer. To go from one bubble to another. From your house to your car to your desk to your treadmill to your car to your home to your tv to your bed and so on. Never really taking in the air or the weather outside. There are many more cars on the road than I remember. Each street with two way lanes reminds me of a vein: the headlights the white blood vessels, the tail-lights the red. Moving in opposite directions, this is the flow of the city, these cars. The best view of this is the drive over Anzac bridge.
With all the congestion I can't help but think that this city is obese, we are consuming too much…not taking enough time to really see how we are living.
The buildings in Cuitat Vella in Barcelona were crooked, dark and full of stories. I loved walking the streets of that city. It was meditative maze. The city of Barcelona was in vacation mode 24/7. I was able to explore a different part of myself. My cultural background was 'exotic' to people which was fun. I was an 'Italian looking' Australian clumsily pushing my creative whims into the light. Like a happy nervous kid. It was the right place to do this. I could make mistakes, ‘waste’ time. Barcelona was accepting of my flaws. But it's was a dream.
The city lofted in my mind. It's lights were soft and gleamed at night. There were mountains hugging the city around it's edges. Each morning I awoke to the sound of seagulls and opened the blinds of my window to see orange and purple brushstrokes of clouds in the sky. I knew, since the day that I had landed there that it would be a wonderful journey, one that had to end too soon. The unspoken deal of being there was that I had to go back to my 'reality' when the time had come.
With it's mild chaos, it’s warm sun and it's languid sea, Barcelona encouraged people to chill out and let themselves get 'lost' in life. Most people I knew were like me. They needed time to become calm to find themselves again and then leave, go forward in their lives. Other travellers found their home.
I’m still in transit. Still lost. Sydney tells me...'Go further', 'reach higher' - it's yoga, I want to be calm when I do yoga, I don't want to look at people and see uptight faces in a "yoga" class, I don’t care if you look great in that pose, good on you, can we just chill out for few minutes? Please?
Marrickville markets. That is where I feel most at peace in Sydney so far. Don't have be anything or do anything excep float. Musicians busk, kids play on the lawns and blow bubbles which may get stuck in your hair. That is as complicated as it gets.
Me and Sydney are still trying figure out what our relationship is…just between me and you, I don’t want to expect much. I dont expect Sydney to change for me anymore. All i expect is that I remain true to myself. One of the most percious things that I realized from my time with Barcelona is that there is only one satisfying way to do things and that is the 'brave way'.
So stay calm and keep getting lost...