Let us Live…

In Berlin, The Art of Travel Spring 2018, 15. Farewells, Places by ArjunLeave a Comment

Over my life, I’ve noticed a strong recurring tendency of mine to drop everything and leave everyone I know behind. Going to college in New York, potentially dropping out and moving to the middle of nowhere, deciding to live by myself, then move in with my friends, and then move out a year later. But now that I’ve surrepticiously come to Berlin with no real reason besides wanting a break from New York, I finally have to go home. And that tendency is coming back real hard now. Even though I’m graduating next semester and have a job and new room all to myself, I feel this urge to stay here and never go back to school. It’s stronger than it’s ever been in my life before, but somehow I’m fighting it better than I ever have, and won’t give in to it. The stakes are much higher this time too.

My brain has been running at full capacity trying to figure out how to convince myself to say farewell to Berlin, at least for now. I tell myself that some things in life are meant to stay confined in a small little piece of our existences. Rather than looking at time as a linear progression that we travel along, I’ve come to internalize a different model. I believe we all exist as entities along a space-time continuum, where time doesn’t really pass, so to speak, but rather always exists along with the space we occupy. So my time in Berlin is just one 4-D slice of my life that hasn’t really passed, and will always be a part of my space-time entity. I’ve toyed with this concept for a few years now, and I’ve finally realized that this one is true to me.

Right now, I’m making my way toward Spandau to say farewell to the Girl I’ve fallen in love with. My cell service is gone now because my SIM card has expired, though I’m not afraid. I know the transit system well enough, have a few Euros in my pocket, and can speak decent enough German to ask for help if I need to. I feel so comfortable here now.

I’ve tried to tell Her about this view of time and how we can use it to feel better about my return to New York. I don’t know how much it’s helped her though. Like me, I’m sure she can see a clear future where we stay together in Berlin, where life will permit us to vivimus et vivamus, in the words of Catullus – to let us live and let us love. I’ve asked my best friend how to keep moving forward knowing this love can’t die in the near future, and he told me that seeing these glimpses of a shared future, as I’ve been seeing day and night, is like a cold breath. It bites, stings, shocks. But if this is the only air we have in front of our faces, we must breathe it in and keep living. There’s no other choice. Let us live joyously knowing we’ve loved and let it make our lives fuller, even if we grow apart. Will we remember these few months in a year, in ten years, in the last glimmer of light we see on our death beds? It’s impossible to say. Let us live like time doesn’t pass and let us breathe in each cold breath with virtue. Farewell Berlin.

Post Script: Today it’s supposed to rain. One of the first things that Her and I bonded over was our love of walking around in the rain. More than bonding, I think it was the first moments where love began to shimmer and become born in us. Today will be the first time we actually get around to doing this, as nature had not given us this opportunity yet. What a beautiful way to spend our last day together. A flame slowly dampened by the falling rains.


(Image: Berlin TV Tower + a club; Source: Arjun Joyce)

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