Have you ever been crazy in love? So much that you were certain that it’s this one thing and forever? Do you remember that feeling? And do you remember how you lost it? When it turned out that it was not forever and ever?
My first love – finding and losing
I had one love in my life – Rapa Nui – my lonely, far-away island… end of the world, or maybe its belly button? My friend, Mikołaj, joked that if you put a stick in on Warsaw’s Saska Kępa, its second end will come out on Rapa Nui. “Couldn’t you run away further?” I didn’t run away… I simply believe more in love than in kilometres.
The situation has changes and this is not my only island. All the time I have it in my thoughts and my heart, and even in my entire house, which is adorned with photos and souvenirs from the island, but I don’t live there anymore, and I don’t even visit.
I thought I’d lost my love forever… It’s often said that true love is only one.
True love only once in a lifetime (?)
I don’t believe that there is only one love for every one of us. That would be cruel, because things change, we change, situations change. This cannot be true. Only one love for the whole life? Oh, please… I am not such a romantic, but… The truth is that it is not easy to encounter a true love. So there was a moment when I stopped believing that I would again feel at home somewhere, that I would think of the place continuously, that I would look into the clouds and see them.
All of us need love, but I need TO love. For me love is a verb, action. Something active. So when I don’t have it – if it’s just love, and not loving, it is too little for me. More than LOVE, I need TO LOVE.
Therefore, the whole time I travelled the most beautiful, the most green-blue places of the world. They were like models from the covers – beautiful, delightful, but… nothing. You read sometimes Cosmo – I usually don’t because of the tips like you shouldn’t search for love, because you won’t find it. Great advise but somehow it’s true. When I wasn’t looking, and created myself challenges, I had butterflies in the stomach. (OMG – Cosmo was right! 🙂 )
Antarctica – my second love. The coldest continent of the world. The proof that sometimes what we’re looking for is in a completely different place than we think it is.
What’s green got to do with white?
Everybody’s reaction to my expression of blind love for the white continent was most often like this: “What’s that got to do with you? But you love green, beach, sun?” And again – it seems that love, regardless of its object, rules itself by the same laws. You can have your type, but later, when you fall in love and look closely at what the object/person has in common with your type, it turns out that no more than 10%. Because types are very cool, but it’s like a theory – it doesn’t check out in reality.
When I was looking at the glaciers, I thought about this – you see 10%, and 90% is hidden underwater.
What is “under water”?
- Places at the end of the world – literally and metaphorically. Physically and emotionally. Usually only sophisticated travellers or enthusiasts have them as number 1’s on the dream lists. They are so far and it’s so hard to get there that one really must be motivated to do it.
- Almost no one knows anything about them, or knows things that are superficial or false. Like with Rapa Nui. “Are those heads from there?” They are not heads! I mean, they are, but the heads are sticking out, because the rest is buried. “It’s not worth going there for longer than three days, because it’s small and boring.” Altogether I was there for almost a year, and I still have a feeling that I didn’t experience everything.
It’s similar with Antarctica. “But there is nothing there except of ice, is there?” It’s like saying about the Amazon jungle that there is nothing there except trees. First of all, ice itself is magic. Second of all, there are PENGUINS there, and many species of them. Not mentioning birds and other animals (I love penguins the most, so I will stop here.) “But it’s super cold there.” Even in Antarctica there is summer and then without the sun cream with the 50 filter you will burn in 5 minutes…
- They have no reference point – they are like NOTHING ELSE in this huge world. Of course, Rapa Nui can be compared somehow to other Polynesian countries, but it has this X factor, such incredible mystery that, in my opinion, it is a completely separate world. Antarctica? Perhaps it can be compared to the moon. But I don’t know – I haven’t been. YET.
My heart is like a worm – you cut off a piece, a larger one grows back.
I left a piece of me in both of those places. A little of me is under the Moai – the statues that sometimes are called “heads”. It is a part of me cared for by my friends, who are still there.
Another piece of my heart lies somewhere underneath a beautiful piece of ice. “Bigger than the biggest Wal-Mart”, as Chad, our expedition leader, said. Or under another – which looks like an elephant. Or one, that has already got a hole in it, thanks to which it is like an incredible arc, so amazingly beautiful that always when someone says that there are no perfect things, I think of that piece of ice.
I love Rapa Nui, even though I’m not there anymore. And I love Antarctica and soon, I hope, I will be back there. To everyone who wants to stop thinking for a moment and experience just BEING, I recommend my two loves.
Penguins are little cowards – usually they stick together in groups and they like to observe very much. And how long they are deciding to jump into water! No one wants to be first, but once one jumps, the rest follows quickly. So it’s not like they’re scared of cold (probably, but who knows?), but they have the right to be afraid that someone could eat them. For example, a sea lion. So when someone jumps first, he’s a goner.
So when a penguin is alone, he’s alone with his decision. He doesn’t know what to do. I understand him, and even identify with him. He’ll come closer, look, turn around, walk a bit further, come back, look again, decide. Almost. And maybe not yet. He’ll peek through one hole, and the second one. He sees nothing, but it doesn’t matter – he looked. He’ll go round, walk further, walk a bit, and then he’ll probably remember that he was supposed to swim. So everything happens again.
When we were watching him, I recorded about ten movies until I managed to catch how he really jumps.
When I close my eyes, I see images like that.
For me, Antarctica was an oasis of peace. The land of the sun that was generous enough to give us many beautiful days. Therefore, I often meditated outside. It is also a proof that even the coldest and windiest continent of our planet is often comfortingly warm.
I associate Rapa Nui mainly with limitless freedom. These spaces, that horizon is a never-ending, bending sea (yes – the Earth is definitely round; I saw it for the first time with my own eyes on Rapa Nui).
When we went with the girls to the beautiful Ranu Kau volcano, we spent the whole day literally splashing in the mud, swimming in the volcano, jumping into water, taking photos and fooling around. As if the time, rules, goals – all ceased at that moment. Only us and our world.