A piece I wrote after a trip to Maastricht, March 25th, 2010
i have a hard time leaving any place where i’ve spent enough time to form habits, make memories, meet friends or develop a routine. driving away from maastricht on our way to the airport, i was filled with a horrible feeling of loss, of leaving a place and lifestyle that i was beginning to really enjoy. the worst part of this feeling is that it stems from the knowledge that no matter when you go back to that place, even if its for the same reason, even if its with the same people… the circumstances will have changed, people will have changed, and the entire experience and feeling can never be relived. there are upsides to this of course, but it never fails to break my heart. time and moments and places and people, all make me extremely sentimental and leaving them behind makes me instantly nostalgic. the idea that we can never get a moment back, have the same experience again, just makes so glaringly obvious how short life is and how present we should be for every moment before it is taken away and we’re left with nothing but memories.
when i returned to my apartment in new york, completely drained after 16 hours of travel, i felt this strange sensation of separation between my state of mind and physical being. here i was, in my room in my apartment in new york, and everything was in the same state as before. just how i left it. yet my mind was not. i felt changed, i felt different, and returning to a place that held other feelings and memories and worries, things i had left behind for the past three weeks, was confusing and frustrating.
i love new york, but at that moment i felt nothing.
i missed the small town of Vrijthof, the cobbled streets made for pedestrians and bikes, walking to work in the morning, stopping by the patisserie for a croissant and sandwiches for lunch and walking on the bridge across the river and seeing the scenic city of Maastricht in 360 degree view. I missed the cappuccinos from the shop on the other side of the river and the winding walk past the too new shops and sterile condominiums to the large convention center MECC and walking through the back entrance over the slippery tiled floors to the soft carpeted hall where every booth was vacuuming, dusting and preparing for the day. I missed seeing the familiar faces in the design section and the friends we made behind the sushi bar, the simple excitement of designs in the cappuccino foam, visiting other booths, marveling at the works of art and inviting friends for a drink at mojito’clock. I missed the end of the day and the walk home, dinner with clients and friends and drinks at take5, the exciting and the unexpected, the freedom and the complete and utter sense of being exactly where i wanted to be.
a few days back in the city and those feelings begin to shift and change, and i can feel my mind returning to my body and to the city and to life and plans and possibilities here… and despite everything, the past begins to slip away, only to return in the tune of a song, the taste of a drink, when least expected.