Impenetrability, part 6: Little Earthquakes
Trip Start Jun 10, 2008
16Trip End Ongoing
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The first act was over but the credits still missing. I know it's the habit to have the applause, the acknowledgements etc. just after the real ending, but give me some leeway. This piece is played first, written second, and it might take more than fifteen minutes to the second act.
I wouldn't come back to Helsinki except for a transport change on my way from Tallinn to Kankaanpää if I didn't need to meet some people here first. The night before I went to Russia there was the regular thursday CS meeting in Helsinki and I could say some goodbyes there, but the most important people weren't there. I say most important because they are the people who hosted me and thus also the people whom I spent the most time with. They were my main points of reference in the city, and I couldn't leave without taking my leave from them first.
Because you see - I'm leaving Finland, but it is not lost for me. I know that the piece of heart i planted here has grown too big to be uprooted, and I know that it will eventually beckon me back. I am sure this separation is temporary and no anxiety can come from it. People are another matter - people die, people move, people... change.
What is it to leave a land you like? Just a vague sense of longing, just a promise of return. But people aren't important only because I like them, but also because each one contains some part of me. I am not the same when I'm with someone as when I'm with someone else as when I'm alone, there is always something different that arises from the interaction. It's like everyone holds a shard of a crooked mirror - it reflects me in some way, but in a way that is not reflected in other shards, nor in normal mirrors. And anyone who has played with crooked mirrors will know that by focusing, twisting, amplifying parts of an image, hidden truths might surface.
What then if people change too much before I meet them again? I'm expecting to see myself reappear, Hello, me, I missed you, Well, I missed me too, but then, Wait, where am I? I'm not there, or I am, but in a heavy slumber, Rest in peace. This is why one must say his goodbyes properly when given the chance.
So I decided to spend my day in Helsinki. I had planned to try and gather them all together, have some drinks, talk, speak. I wanted to say how I wished they hadn't helped me at all during my stay in the city, so that I could thank them properly for what is really important. If you say you are not thanking someone for her help when she has actually helped you a lot, it doesn't sound very believable, even if there are more important things than the help itself. I wanted to thank them for choosing to share their time, most precious human resource, with me, for helping Helsinki feel like home. But I couldn't gather them, I couldn't even meet them all. I managed to have a coffee with one who was just about to leave the city, to visit another who was home, sick, to go out briefly with the third for some drinks and to say goodbye over the phone to the fourth. I feel I shouldn't write names on this post, because it is not about these people. I mean, it is very much about them, but in the end it also turned out to be about everyone else.
A land can't usually be lost for good, barring some catastrophe, but people can. And some will be, that's inevitable, some are about to be, some already are, some already are and I don't know it. And every person lost is a part of me that drifts off beyond reach, is a shard of truth destroyed, is a little earthquake.