Yes, I wanted to take time to write an answer. I wanted to write it down on paper, but since you brought it up I will rather do it here, directly. And this is not about being polite, it is about saying the things I want, the way I like to say them. And of course, I would like to thank you first for the pictures and the music, and the new keychain.
I wanted to say that I am glad you came, that we had the opportunity to spend time together. I am happy that you enjoyed it, that you could escape from everything you have going on in Europe. You were my escape too – thanks to you, I had the impression to be back on my old continent for a bit of time, as if everything was right there again, as if I could step in a train, ride to Switzerland and go see my friends and family. You helped me – tremendously – to feel less lonely, and I really enjoyed our expeditions. Hiking in front of Mount Baker, tasting some wine in a lost town called Coupeville on an island that had no name two hundreds years ago. We traveled and laugh. I tried to make you laugh. And I think I succeeded in the end, at least partially.
As you mentioned, memories start to fade away with time. The world moves on, and we move with it, whenever we want it or not. The sun rises and dies on the horizon, we follow the arc of our life in the sky of humanity. A small comet, small and big at the same time.
I always keep this metaphor in mind, this comparison I made up from this story of Cleopatra and Antony. The story of an island with a surprising beach, constructed by the queen of Egypt more than two thousands years ago, because she simply liked the place. It is only a legend, but there exists such an island, and everything leads to think that the story is true as the sand of the beach does not match the surrounding rocks but corresponds to the Sahara. Each time I go sailing – I came back from my trip to Greece three weeks ago – I can’t stop myself but think that, one day, I will go back to this island at the end of the Gulf of Gokova in present Turkey. I will always picture Cleopatra and Antony, escaping the wrath of Rome, knowing that the end was almost already inevitable, travelling on a world they made just for themselves. For me, the lesson here is that there is no better world than the one we create for ourselves – a world in which we are almost gods and were nothing else matters but what we decided to accept in it. And it only depends on us to share that world and let it travel with us to faraway places.
Speaking about sailing, it was the first time I was the skipper of a forty-five feet sailboat, responsible for the ship and the life of eight people on it. I learned a lot, discovered a lot. The feeling is absolutely not the same as when you go sailing by yourself on a smaller boat or when you go with people who know how to sail and you share this responsibility.
But I was in Europe for such a short period of time. Of course, I plan to come back for Christmas, but I do not have my tickets yet and I am not sure of how many weeks I am going to spend there. It all depends on my current work.
And, to be honest, I have mixed feelings regarding what to do. I know you would like to see me, and I respect that deeply. I was the first to propose that I could perhaps come over and see you. I live thousands of miles away and I am not sure of where I want to stay. I am not sure of where I want to go. Close to whom I want to be. Where I want to travel. Some people make me dream, quitting their job, living on a boat for months or years, and discovering the world. Imagine living entire days under the sky, no matter if it rains or shines, where there is nothing to stop the wind. Never be inside a building. In this hard environment made of waves, dangers, and beautiful landscapes. Some others commit and grow within a company, as sedentary people. Some leave and decide to build something of their own, perhaps somewhere else, and fail, sometimes succeed. And I am right now at the crossroads of these potentialities. Not sure yet if I want to turn left, or right, up, or down.
I also want the two of us to live our own life and not leave one of us stuck at such a crossroad. We may see each other again. We may not. Our paths may never meet again, or they may. But please, let’s not be stuck at this crossroad. Let’s keep those three weeks in our memories, like tales carried by the wind. And, please, let’s keep in touch, from time to time.