Don't need to learn about tickets or zones, no need to translate fare restrictions or look at gates in puzzlement as impatient locals queue behind you. No anxiously peering out the window at every station and check the line map every minute to be sure that you know where you're going, and that you're on the right train going in the right direction. No need to stumble around the station looking for the right exit, any exit. No need to stop and look at street signs and landmarks to decide on left or right.
Of course it's a relief to be home. Of course it is.
I fell into a routine today. A pure indulgence in consumer daydreams. Visiting shops and flicking through racks of red, green, orange, blue, pink, all colours unrepentant. A European winter is a hard thing, I know this now, and I feel starved for colour. Melbourne delights in peacocks and parrots. It is not yet winter here.
There's comfort in routine. Relief. Exploration of new land is always exciting, and it is also always tiring. To be constantly on the look out, not for danger or threats, but because the whole world is unknown, and so you must let the whole world in. No filters. Be aware, be always aware.
I sat down the back of a café, as far from the street as possible, and scribbled in my notebook, and didn't need to pay attention to anything beyond the page before me. No fear of emerging from the notebook to switch my awareness on again. Able to relax, and remain relaxed, and fear no mundane thing.
It's such a relief.
Do you worry about burnout? Fear of fatigue haunts me like a considerate ghost, not intrusive but patient and present. Physical fatigue is something I am struggling to live with, and I daresay it will be some time yet before I accept and work with it, instead of fighting and being frustrated by it. Sitting in that café with the words coming so easily I gave some attention to the concept of mental fatigue, or emotional fatigue, or...would you call it fatigue of desire? The exhaustion of the heart?
Is it possible to use up your curiosity?
It is okay to be tired. It is okay to rest. Fallow time is a requirement not only of farmed fields but of life, all meadows of life.
The 9-5 Mon-Fri will welcome me back and I'll none too willingly submit to the structure and safety promised within. But I am afraid my relief is too acute. I'm afraid the restlessness will not return.
I am afraid if I stop I will not start again.
("And what happens to creatures of war when they stop moving?")
Slowly. Breathe slowly.
Trust your forever dissatisfied heart to bring change through its own lack of change.