09 October 2011

little girl lost

If you haven’t been able to tell, writing has not come easily for me recently. In fact, my writer’s block was so intense that I feared I would remain in a state of permanent stasis.

Which was why I was so excited for the first break in my semester. A group of my friends and I were going to Berlin, then I was splitting off from the group to visit family in London. I was sure that the change in location would jolt me out of my dormancy.

Oh, Berlin jolted me, but not quite as I anticipated.

With my writer’s block and all, I may have been wordless before. But, in Berlin, I was rendered completely speechless. Every other moment was marked by a “wtf?” from someone in my group. There were so many contradictions, so many incongruities, and so many moments of sheer lunacy. To me, Berlin will always evoke a strong sense of confusion.

Greatly dismayed, I was pushed even further into my silence. It wasn’t until we visited the Berlin Wall that I felt myself re-awakening. I was acutely aware that I was witnessing the aftermath of events with monumental historical significance, but in the midst of it all, people were just trying to live their lives. All of a sudden, I had an epiphany. There were people whose voices were permanently snuffed out. Mine was just hibernating.

Yes, writer’s block is an occupational hazard that comes second to paper cuts in terms of agony (especially when I find them via hand sanitizer), but it isn’t the end of the world. This little girl might be lost right now, but she still has access to words. Sure, they may not flow as nicely or articulately as she is accustomed, but they still have potential. What matters is that the words don’t stop.

After the jarring experience of seeing a site of terror firsthand, it was good to spend time in London as a palate cleanser. Of course, there has been bloodshed and horror all over (on a side note, the Tower of London was easily my favorite tourist site). But the wounds were less fresh, and the rawness I felt from Berlin was not present there.

So what did I learn from this trip? Nothing I didn’t know before: life goes on. Sometimes I might feel stuck, but it’s up to me to keep on moving. The present will someday be part of history, and it’s up to me to poke my head out and be part of it.

I guess I just needed to be reminded.


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