Oct. 26th, Train from Fez to Rabat.
It has been too long since I have made/had the time to write. I have been busy, stressed, struggling. It is almost funny and perhaps ironic how the problems I am having now are the near opposite of those I felt when I lived abroad before, I guess that is the banality of life. And yet, my feelings contain many parallels, not least of which is feeling alone. It is amazing how alone one can feel in a group of twenty-eight people all the time. The words someone said to me early on in the program ring in my ears, “I can’t just drag you along.” I can’t help but feel like I am a burden when I try to become friends with someone, I am not always good at that superficial people stuff. I don’t really feel cared about by others and I don’t have or want to put in the social energy to fake something I don’t want to be doing. Yet maybe I am just too harsh, maybe I hold people to a higher standard than I hold myself. Though that does seem unlikely knowing myself. Alas, I cannot control all things, despite my deepest desires and best efforts. I am feeling so much and my initial inclination, as it often is, is to retract, which is okay, if I am okay with that, except if I am being honest I think I pull away in the hopes that someone will come after me.
The sun rose over the mountains as I watched the landscape pass out the train window. The sky slowly changed from purple and blue to orange as bright rays darted across the sky. The morning, softy and yet so quickly, interrupting into the night. The early sun casts long shadows over the farmlands, olives and sugar cane, vegetables and fruit trees. The green land lines the valley, chasing the winding flow of the river. Small towns speckle the hilltops. The spires of mosques perched above rooftops, beckoning the first morning light. I am struck by how much life thrives in what looks at first glance to be such a barren and harsh landscape. The green of the crops, the vibrant architecture and people paint such a contrast to the monotony of the arid landscape.
A program mate and I found fall yesterday. In Ifrane, where we made our own “hike,” hopefully not breaking any laws. It was odd to see the leaves changing. I had told myself that if fall didn’t happen I wouldn’t miss the holidays. But of course, that is as untrue as it is a good poetic catchphrase. I have been missing home. And yet I know, as I have done before, that I see the distance with rose-tinted glasses. I don’t think of fights or conflicts. The picture I paint is free of life stress or questions of what I will do with my future. There is no responsibility in many ways when I think of home, of which I sometimes feel like I carry the world. I am of course not dense enough to revel in these sentiments for long, the internet is a ubiquitous tether pulling me back to reality and sometimes I wonder if it does more harm than good. Alas, like Sisyphus I am bound.