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  • Writer's picturematilde tomat

not who I thought I was

Last night's celebrations were intense, beautiful, warm and ecstatic. In the end, when everything was finished and the circle opened, I was compelled to pull a card: aptly as it normally is, Neptune came and greeted me. Aptly because its number is 9 and because it is all about the element of water and divinity visiting while activating the archetype of the Seeker. Neptune reminded me that there is a key within a spiritual encounter that happened when I was young; and to write about it. As usual, coffee close by, meditative music in the background, I set off to describe in detail this encounter. I was sure I was about to describe - again - the experience I had when I was 8 after the earthquake, but instead, I remembered one day when I was living in Bressanone and I was about to leave the house, on my little white Benelli by myself. It just stopped raining and the green hit me. The green was just so... green! I never saw another green like it. I was surrounded by green trees and green grass. The sky was one of those blues that felt like swimming out at sea. The air was light and fresh as my heart was. I touched freedom. That moment is alive within me as it just happened. As if I am living it now, over and over again. I learned freedom, adventure, going, travelling, exploring, moving, independence... all in a moment wrapped in blues and greens.

I have revisited that moment often, especially during some hard periods of my life. So, what is this key I seemed to have missed?! I remembered how only last night I called on Hekate, goddess of crossroads and who carries keys. What is this key? At that moment, at 15 in that town in the north of Italy, I saw myself as Artemis, this free goddess, almost like an Amazon on a motorbike instead of a horse, standing at an open portal to the outside world. A modern Alice in Wonderland. This meant adventure, the adventure of a Seeker... hold on! Neptune mentions the Seeker. My memory of this encounter was about me being a Seeker. I just finished an MA which was all about Seeking... I turned to the archetypal figure of the Pilgrim, which is the closest to the Seeker: the heart belongs in motion > freedom, expansion, and growth are the keywords! Travel light and Travel soon! So, between me, sitting here on this sofa in my living room on a rainy Thursday morning and the door, what are my obstacles? Money. Money is the only obstacle I see. If I had money I wouldn't look back, I wouldn't have to check my account to see how much / little is left; I would jump into my car and head to the British Museum... now! Then I would go to Bangor to check on my future university; then I would go to Scotland; then I would love to drive to Italy... and then, on my laptop, as of now balanced on my knees, I would write about what I see and experience. BUT... and here is the thing! It is the travelling I miss, not the writing. I could go anywhere to write: I can write here, in my car at the Reservoir, at a Starbucks... it is the travelling I miss. When I went to Oxford in July I wrote in my journal: I am not writing as much when I am out... I am finding so many hints now.

I am not a writer, as I always thought and defined myself. I am a traveller. I am a vagabond, a pilgrim, a seeker. All of those dreams I had about having a campervan and stopping at a beach to write or going from B&B to B&B presenting a hypothetical book in small bookshops while eating fish every night in lovely little restaurants by the sea and having a glass of wine... it is always the travel. You can take the writing and the books out of the equation. I really thought and probably hoped, at a certain point, that describing myself as a psychogeographer was enough... well, it wasn't.

A traveller, that's who I am. Writing is what I do.

I know I can travel in my mind and with my imagination. But it is not the same. In my very first "young adult" encounter with my Self and the Divinity all around and within me, there was no writing. There were no words. Don't get me wrong, I L O V E writing. I love the expounding of what I find, discover, see. I love the descriptions, the colours and the magic of words. But this is what I do and not who I am. It took me 40 years! It took me 40 years to really see this thing! I remember when I was describing my major accident when I was 20 and all the words I use are always connected to how much I used to travel before and how that stopped, like a watershed. I am now looking at my house with different eyes, surrounded in this very room by books about travelling, on travels, by travellers which I avidly read while feeling excruciatingly envious. But my conscious focus has always been on their books, their words, while subconsciously I just wanted to go where they went!

I am surrounded by sand, shells, pieces of wood I gathered on my travels. I collect maps. I rejoice when I rewatch Eat Pray Love and she talks about the box under the bed (!). I take pictures of my bags and matching scarves before I set off. I have tents, backpacks, rain jackets, canteens, sleeping bags... and I am sitting here. I do not want to become one of those people who own a clean and polished Land Rover! or who take their TV camping with them! I want to be able to jump on a plane, land in Australia and knock at my sister's door. I want to drink tea in Istanbul again. I want to visit botanical gardens around the world, I want to go and touch the stones that Graham Hancock stood next to; I want to go and swim in the sea where Albert Lyn swam. Mine is a painful physical craving. It's an itch under my skin.

I am not who I thought I was.

onwards + upwards + outside


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