Monthly Archives: September 2015

An alternate universe

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Zante, Zakynthos, Greece
Europe backpacking trip
Summer 2005

As someone who detests crowds (and people in general), I was only too happy to wander the quiet rural villages in Zante during my stop in Greece. There is something so pure and sacred about a place that hasn’t been tainted by commercial tourism that it gives the feeling of having stepped into an alternate universe.

That’s the thing about alternate universes. Once we’ve had a glimpse, a sniff, or a taste of what life could or should be like, our entire outlook changes, and it becomes almost impossible to go back to the life we had before.

All we have left to hang on to is the memory of that glimpse, which alone is more pure and more sacred than any other kind of life that we are forced to lead.

Through the window

Seville, Andalucía, Spain Europe backpacking trip July 2005

Real Alcázar de Sevilla
Seville, Andalucía, Spain
Europe backpacking trip
Summer 2005

I’ve been feeling a strong inclination towards all things Spanish of late, probably because of my plans for next year. Looking through my old photos makes me all the more excited for things to come, even though the reason for said things is a tragic one.

They say that when the Lord closes a door, He opens a window somewhere else. But no one thought to mention that even in such dire straits, there still remains a choice between spreading our wings and soaring high into the sky, or closing our eyes and just falling headfirst to the ground below. No one warned that when that window opens, whichever option we go for would be absolute, irreversible and beyond reprieve. No one said how appealing both options can be.

The paradox

Venice, Italy Europe backpacking trip July 2005

Venice, Italy
Europe backpacking trip
Summer 2005

It wasn’t my favorite stop, but I do kind of miss it, mainly because it’s one of the greatest cultural paradoxes I’ve ever seen.

The stench of the canals does not take away from the visual wonder that is Venice, but the beauty of the city’s architecture and heritage does not diminish the reek of the canals.

I suppose it’s the same symbiosis that makes up a relationship: all the love in the world cannot prevent outside forces from controlling certain circumstances, and the pain of giving in to said circumstances does not undermine a chemistry so intense that it can never be replaced.

I live in one such paradox.