Last night I had this dream. It was really clear and I still remember it very vividly. That rarely happens. I was in a forest, with a friend and we were following a trail made out of concrete. It was about 1.5 meters wide and wound itself through the forest; we could see quite some way back, from where we had come, though much was lost because of a curve in the trail. Looking forward, we couldn’t really see where we were going. Only very little. The only way for us to move forward was to write a story on the concrete path with a piece of chalk. We took turns doing this. Sometimes we would walk back where we had come from, around a corner to check something we had written in the past, so we could write the current story correctly.
It was not a bad dream, the forest was light and the sun shone through. Every now and then we got tired from the writing and sat down for a while. At some point we got frustrated about how slowly we moved forward and how much hard work we had to put into the writing, into moving forward.
I don’t think I need to explain the analogy. I woke up thinking about my own story and how my life has been a road with many, many curves, twists and turns. And how so many people have written their lives into mine. How my focus is generally in the present, more than the past or the future. In the last month though, it has been very much in the past; I’m pretty sure it has to do with going to Denmark, trying to prepare myself for going there, thinking about the people there, my life there. I think I’m trying to prepare myself for reverse culture shock.
It has made me a little sensitive today, emotional and quiet. One of those days where Leonard Cohen makes you cry. Writing stories on a pathway between cultures can do that to you.