The journey continues. Having a destination facilitates a journey. As opposed to not having a destination. And to remain focused at subjects that inhabit one’s own world. I feel incredibly lucky to make journeys. I do. The expression ‘It is not about the destination, but about the journey’ makes itself known. It might not be all about the destination, but in the very first place, so I realize, life requires a destination. Any destination is good. Because it’s the destination that inspires the journey. It’s the destination that lands a journey. Bringing about experiences. Without a destination, life is stationery and litterary a no go.
Destinations vary from physical entities to metaphysical concepts. Acquiring certainty and security in life, finding the truth or, in my case, center around love and connection. Nothing else really matters. To me it’s love that goes the longest way, further then anything. Connecting flights in between, the accidental lost in translation, transit hours passed in placid, non personal and non familiar places seem exact metaphores for what my journey of love brings forth.
It’s 4.17 am. I wake up three minutes before the alarm after three hours of sound sleep. On a small mattrass at the wooden floor of my brothers’ apartment, next to my two girls. Our dogs are sleeping in the same room. My brother in the room besides us. The apartment is full of my beloved family and not in the least filled with all our stuff. Packed and unpacked suitcases, remnants of last nights dinner, devoured at an authentic Spanish dinner time, around 11 pm. The doors to the balcony are closed to keep the gothic street noise outside. Down town Barrio Gotico; the eldest parts of central Barcelona don’t know much of a recuperation time. A constant buzz goes around. On top of that the temperature doesn’t lower much further then 28 C this night. It is hot. Twenty minutes after the alarm I gently wake up my eldest daughter, thirteen years old. She’d asked me to. I hug her goodbye, leaving her to her little sister of six, my brothers apartment filled with humanity and the eluding city of Barcelona. Only hours later I realize how much I trust her she is able to handle her independency, asking myself if I am doing the right thing. Then the doorbell rings and I get into a black and yellow cab. As it turns onto Colon, stretching along the harbour of Ciutat Vella in between Via Laitaina and Columbus’ thirty meters high landmark at the outset of the famous Rambla de Barcelona, I am struck by the beautiful buzz of this city. It’s still dark outside, fancy lights and illumination scatter through the shadows of palm trees. Even at this hour traffic is abundant and speeding up. Only eight hours ago I arrived in the Mediterranen hub after a two days car drive from Amsterdam, reminiscent of Michel Sardou’s eternal lyrics: ‘D’avonture, en avonture, de train en train, de port en port, je ne peux oublie ton corps. Je t’aime encore’.
The journey continues. ‘Where to?’ asks the elderly friendly driver.
‘L’aéroporto por favor’
‘Numéro uno señor’
I enjoy the ride. I love it. Because nothing else matters but getting closer to my destination.
At 5 am the airport information desks are still closed. Access to the internet is outruled. It’s too early for tea. But I talk to him for a couple of minutes on the phone. And nothing beats it. Happiness is the truth.
My seat for the coming one and a half hours, number 28A, happens to be at the very last row of the plane, window side. It feels remarcably cosy and safe. Right upon landing, seemingly only minutes after we took off, my phone rings. We talk and listen to each other again. Sometimes we let silence talk to us. Much more powerful then words. It’s magnetizing. Down the aisle leaving the plane, following the flight connection signs, checking the digital information screens we are talking and laughing, sharing our anticipation. We walk together through Heathrow while at the same time purchasing a bottle of wine in Melbourne, exploring the essence of Einstein’s theory of relativity. My cabin luggage has to go through security again. That’s where we hang up.
Heathrow is surprisingly pleasing. It has this somewhat worn feel, like your favorite sturdy winter coat. It’s non glamerous, efficient and comfortable. My first encounter is with an airport host asking me if I need any assistance. I am connected to the internet within minutes and upon request I am being send to the airport spa next to the airport lounges.
‘Where are you from?’ I ask her.
‘People are asking me this question twenty times a day. Why is that? Why do you ask?’ She pledges me.
‘It’s because of your accent’
‘Oh so it’s my English’
‘Often I recognize an accent and can make out where someone comes from by just listening. But with you I can’t make it out. Where are you from?’
‘Ukraine and I don’t like the country’
I tell her I visited it quite extensively some twenty years ago and that I liked it a lot.
‘Why don’t you like it’ I get back to her.
Our quite confrontational conversation results in Tatiana giving me an excellent massage. It’s a Swedish massage and I don’t like Swedish massage. But she starts by telling me that she’s not allowed to do a deep tissue massage nor shiatsu. As these are my prefered, not to say my only wished for ones, I should be disappointed. But I am not. What I get is her elbows or entire lower arms pinning down firmly, pressing precisely at painful muscles, strong oily hands running over the length of my back, reflexion zones in the soles of my feet and the joints of my neck being played with as if my body is a classical instrument. I almost fall asleep one moment, alternated by cramps from sudden pangs of hurt, the following; good hurt, healing hurt.
After a refreshing shower I step into the hussle of Heathrow again. I find myself a perfect spot in a typical airport restaurant. It’s very crowded. I order English tea with milk and I am loving it. We are connected again, chatting over messenger. Our words are trying their best to express the complete array of excitement, anticipation, love, happiness and sincerity we both go through. While sharing important thoughts, spontaneous outbursts of laughter and sweet talk, I make my way to the second gate of this journey.