Missing paradise.


The countryside around Damak, Jhapa, Nepal. Photo: © 2012 Alice Verheij

It’s now almost two months since I left what I consider paradise. With love in my heart. Not long ago that love left me for reasons I will not share. Too sensitive. In these two months the country I traveled, lived, cried, laughed and made great friends never ever left my thoughts for much longer than an hour or so. Actually, I even think that it isn’t even an hour.

I feel sad, depressed and out of place. Homeless. I am most certainly in the wrong place. The ricefields, the fields filled with mustarde plants, the warmth, sun and smiles. The ever blue skies and crystal white mountaintops, the deep green of the forests and the calming and comforting sound of mountain waters streaming onto the plains. The rivers and the monkeys, the chaos on the roads and in the towns, the smells, the food, the colours. It is all not here. I feel like my senses are dimmed constantly as if my body is in a constant sleep with feelings chilled and sensitivity lost.

I live in a nice house, with nice people and except for the problems in my life that are always at the background I live a happy life. When looked upon from the outside. But I live alone and in the wrong place. Every few days I wear my Nepali clothes, they make me feel better. They suit me better. Every day in the mornings and evenings I do Puja, greeting my personal Gods and asking them to take care of my soul. Every day my room is filled with the soft scent of incense and because of the work I do with the sounds of Nepal streets and voices.

Editing our film, my film, is complicated and challenging. It quite often kills me. Not because of technical issues or creative problems but because it fires the longing to unmanageable proportions. All I do is focussed on getting out of here and finding a way to live and work in the country that I have left in January against my will. Because that is what really happened. I have this constant feeling that leaving for ‘home’ was actually leaving my real home. Like abondoning my ship. That feeling has not left me since I set foot on the damned airplane that flew me to this cold country. My best friends here understand that there is nothing that can hold me back from returning to the land I love to that culture that has for a part become mine.

I am a woman with a history that she prefers not to have. With a present that is pushing her down and a future that is uncertain. someone who has lost her old home and not yet been able to move to her new one. Someone who has lost the attachment with the society and life she comes from and who feels the hurting ties with a society that’s at this moment out of reach.  So for my own good I just have to continue and fight, be strong, not cry and not feel down. But work hard to live my dream of leaving this life in the west. If not forever than at least for as long as possible. Because whatever anyone might say or think, I do no longer belong here anymore. I miss my Nepal, I miss Kathmandu, Patan, the Terai and Damak. I never thought that making a film would do this to me.

Alice © 2012

3 thoughts on “Missing paradise.

    • Sometimes life just pushes someone to a change of environment. It is not strange that people like me in the west get fed up with the selfishness and the complexity of life in western society. The thing is that money dehumizes people to some extend. In such cases the desire for a simpler, less complicated life in which the basic things like eating, sleeping and understanding that nature and simplicity actually add to life in stead of subtract from it, is not strange. For some people, the more sensitive and emotionally guided people, the west is not such a good place. Actually same goes for all urban environments likes cities and crowded towns. People like that thrive on the lonelyness of remote areas and the hardship that these areas bring to living. They are the wanderers, the travelers, artists, writers, photographers and filmers. They cannot stay in one place for long. The need change like they need to breath. When life settles down they emotionally die. I am like that and only in recent years I have allowed myself to truly understand my own nature and my own desire to live a life traveling. I can’t help it. And on travels like that I experience the world difeerent. More positive, albeit sometimes also more dangerous. But my senses are challenged and by that I at last feel that I am alive. And when I feel alive and at the same time be of value to people who are experiencing difficulties, than my life is close to perect. Paradise is then something I will have found, not something I have lost.

      Please don’t give me a stable home, please don’t fix me to a spot, please don’t ask me to stay anywhere forever. Because I would I would also lay my head and breath my last. I would simply not live anymore.

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