When winter comes storm comes first. It’s an old meteorological law in the Netherlands. Always in November and December there are storms hitting the shores of my country.

When storms coming, animals get unrestly. That’s an old biological phenomenon. Always when there’s a storm coming the birds fall silent and animals get itchy. I just have to look at my cat to witness this.

And when a journey comes I get all stressed. That’s something I’ve become aware of over the last couple of years due all the traveling I’ve done. It’s the last days just before departure that are bugging me.

Painting ‘Ships in distress in raging storm’ by Ludolf Backhuysen, painted in 1690.
Collection Amsterdam Rijksmuseum.

So there’s a storm raging in my head. It immobilizes me and wares me out. It’s a bad storm because I get tense and scared. Scared things might go wrong. I start expecting trouble while traveling. Problems at the customs when leaving as my life is not without problems, trouble with the weight of my bags as I carry an excess of equipment. I worry about possible traveling damage to my cameras and computers. I worry about the money. But I’m also getting more and more anxious. Going on a long and complicated journey is like taking a drug. Adrenaline and endorfine start flying. The longing to see dear friends on the other side of this stupid globe gets stronger by the day. So I get jumpy.

This time is not much different from other journeys. This time I do not travel alone, which is a great thing. This time I also very different in another sense. Because this time I am not going away but I am coming back.

This is the deal. The last two weeks I have become emotional. Because I sense that this journey is decisive for the next coming years in my life. It might very well be a journey that changes me from a visitor to someone who has a foundation in a society that was alien to me but is slowly getting a society of which I am a part of. It will be a journey of choices to be made. Choices for a future working in an area under complicated circumstances for a group of people in distress or a future ‘at home’, meaning in Europe, filming and writing and building a third career. Choices will have to made by me in the early part of the coming year. The outcome depends on my ability to organize a local project, getting the funding to live there and getting certainty in my mind that it is the right thing to do. And I am not sure. I know my deep desire for not having to live in western society but I also am aware of the limitations and the possible bloccades that might prevent me to do what I think is the best thing to do.

So this journey is about finishing the filming of Headwind, finishing the editing of my novel and getting the darned thing printed, about making amazing photographs, about talking with my friend in Nepal to see wether the ideas that we have are feasible and spending time with a few people there that I’ve come to love. They are waiting for me to return, I know that.

And after all that, I will know what to do and not to do. I will make a choice and work on the outcome of that choice full force. I will continue to have a storm blowing my mind because that is how my mind works. And I am scared at the same time. Scared of losing it all, losing the connection, losing my energy and flexibility, losing the opportunity to create the things I want and losing the ability to make a change for the better in some peoples lives. I am really scared of all that. But aren’t we all scared a little bit just before the storm?

Alice © 2011

One thought on “Storm

  1. Hi Alice,

    Going on a journey is nothing more than living your life because life is a journey. So when you listen to the voice of your heart, which whispers your direction in connection with your soul, there is no need to be afraid, tense or confused. There will be no other troubles, just the ones you have to face in view of your mission.

    Anyway I wish you the best luck on your trip.

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