Thursday, October 1, 2009

On Life, Love, and (Those Beautiful) Gables:







Today, I learned a new word:

ca·thar·sis
n. pl. ca·thar·ses (-sēz)

I am absolutely inspired by Amsterdam. And life in general these days. Whenever my emotions need to escape, in a form other than contemplation or laughter, the desire to pick up a paintbrush, marker, or colored pencil, always comes over me. I've been writing a lot these days, though I've posted none of it on here. Mainly because I just don't think the world needs to be that involved with my life. It's been an odd past two months. Vacations in Italy, love, meeting so many new people, meeting with publishers, working with wonderful photographers, and all in all–feeling more grown up, each and every day. The list goes on and on, when describing the development of myself. I really sometimes think: is this really my life? And I mean this in the most un-big headed way. It was my dream to live here. And now my dream is real. And on nights like tonight, when I run though the city, I literally almost cried because the backdrop I was running against (aka: Amsterdam) was just stunning. There's just something about the sunlight at the height of the seasons in Northern Europe. It's beautiful.

I was just given the final green light for my residence permit, for the final and last time. I never write about Dutch legal things, mainly because it cause me enough headache and worry to begin with, but I can't help but feel that I've been waiting for something in my life to implode this past year. I thought it was going to be Dutch things. and hence my bubble being popped. But oppositely, something that I never expected to begin in the first place, did begin, and then crashed. And I wasn't expecting it at all. And my dream still lives on, which makes everything more complex. Because at the end of the day. I have absolutely no worries. My life is splendid. And that makes me happy. I am happy and healthy. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit down, over the past few months.

I have experienced every kind of emotion and feeling that one could have over the past year. I've been meeting new people left and right. And also because one of my very best friends just visited me here in AMS, from Chicago. He's a Europhile too. It was great to see him. we always say that one day we're going to own a cabin nestled along a fjord in Norway someday. And wear cable knit sweaters all day and sip coco. It's was his dream to live in France; he did it when he was 18. (And he now speaks fluent French.)

I love this city. My future is here. And that future looks bright. I am obsessed with the gables of all the houses in the center, especially the Jordaan. They are so rich in history and hidden meanings (which I love, in anything), and they never cease to amaze me with their beauty. Whenever a friend visits me here in AMS (and the tally is at nine different group this year, all different weekends might I add). My summer was spent being a tour guide...

But whenever people are visiting me: we step outside my front door, walk to the Jordaan, and I begin to babble on about architecture, the Dutch language, and gabled houses (and how and why the gables look the way they do, which by the way, is: Amsterdam houses are tiny, taxation on width in the Golden Age of Dutch culture and Amsterdam's beginnings, mixed with strict adherence to proportional guidelines, meant that everyone's home looks more or less the same dimensions on the exterior–therefore everyone's exterior of the home was adorned and garnished as a form of self expression, but also wealth, and the more elaborate and ornate your gables were showed the world just how much capital you had, on top of cleverly covering up the much less interesting and simple pointed roofs).

I love my city. And I imagine that I should realize that my life here isn't a dream. It's real. And I really live here. And I love it.