I’m not a particularly emotional person. And until recently, I wasn’t really affected by neither beauty nor tragedy, and it came naturally to me. Perhaps it was the depression preventing me from doing so, perhaps it’s because for a long time in my adult life I actively avoided taking the time to try and care on an emotional level. This only made the fact that this whole time I’ve been falling in love with seemingly common places so easily, liked I briefly mentioned in one of my previous posts, even harder to understand.
I said before, that I enjoy the common. I call it the “beautiful nothing”. The cornfield as seen through a window on a train, a lonely tree growing in a field of barley, that sort of thing. Of course, many people do find cornfields weirdly appealing. And what isn’t magical about a single tree in a sea of gold? But you don’t understand how much “common” exactly I can and do enjoy. And even I don’t understand what makes them so special to me.
When you live where I live, there are three options for a walk or a ride: fields, forests, or a combination of the two. And it never gets boring, not when you’re as forgetful and in this case – as in love with fields and forests as I am.
There are three roads leading in and out of the village where I live. One of them, the one in the worst condition, leads first through a young deciduous forest, which then brutally changes into pine-dominated woods, until it enters the realm of local farmers. Huge, open plains, with the nearby city showing itself in the horizon on one side of the road, and the distant highway cutting through the grasslands on the other. Kilometers long, those fields, which in different parts are periodically sown with corn, barley, wheat and colza, are separated by the main road to my village that I mentioned, and a single dusty, country road, used by the farmers to get to their part of the field, which create an intersection, picturesquely in the middle of the plain. Extensions of these dusty paths eventually reach either the technical driveway running alongside the highway, from which you can easly drive back to my home creating a loop, or another small town few miles away, which again is connected to my village. It’s a nice circle, perfect for a short ride or a long walk.
Now, that dusty road is a very interesting place. Seen from the intersection, it looks pretty much the same heading in both directions. The same road conditions, the same landscape. Sure, riding south you would see the city in the distance, while riding north just the field, but either way it’s not a particularly spectacular sight, not enough to make it more appealing. And yet, for some reason, heading south simply feels better.
It’s the same road. The same, boring area. The same field, usually with the same things growing around. Equally quiet and empty, they can be equally short or long, depending on with what extensions you decide to go further on. And yet one of them feels amazing, beautiful, relaxing and magical, while the other feels not even “normal”, but weirdly disturbing. As in, worsening my mood. And of course these roads aren’t literally the same in every aspect. But without a doubt, objectively, neither is more scenic than the other. They are just as easy to ride on. And yet the emotions they create, vibes they give off are completely different. They always have been, even as the things around where changing. I’ve been riding through these fields for years, and it has always felt the same.
That was a very specific example, one that inspired me to waste my time on thinking so much about this, but there are other places which make me suddenly and inexplicably feel better, and places that make me feel worse. There’s a parking lot in a village not far from where I live. Trees at the far end of the lot, church standing somewhere there. A convenience store on the other side of the road. Nothing special. And yet it’s amazing in its own way. And it’s beyond frustrating that I don’t know in which way exactly. It just is. At the same time, my way back home from school back when I lived in a city. A familiar area. A safe one, too. Clean. But just felt… sad. It felt grey. Way home from school was the worst part of my day, just because the path led through between apartment houses, which just didn’t feel right.
And I can’t explain it. There is no pattern, there is no connection between the appearance of the place and the feeling it gives me. In fact, some of the places I hate to avoid, like that dusty road. It’s kilometers of rides through open fields, and I love the sound of that. In theory, I should love that path. And I can’t decide which angers me more, the fact that I don’t, or that I can’t understand why. Or that I have this problem in the first place. It feels weirdly artificial. But I know I didn’t just invent it, as I remember dealing with this issue back when I wasn’t so abnormal. I just didn’t focus on it so much until I started to open up to emotions and feelings after a long break.
At this point I feel I should again explain, that it’s never my intention to sound dramatic, and that these thoughts aren’t just a failed attempt at doing so. From my perspective, I’m talking to myself here. I remember new things while I write them down. And putting years of thinking into written words while more and more points from the past storm my mind means I have to compensate by either sounding dramatic or almost dramatic, or missing points, the origin of which I can’t bother to explain in the real time.
But know this: people judge the area on various points. Is it nice? Is it safe? Easly accessible? Should sound familiar. And me? Well, I see another dimension: does it feel like it’s always a sunny, summer morning over there, or maybe is it grey and “flat”, or possibly doesn’t affect me at all? I can’t explain it any better, I never try anyway. But I hope someone knows what I mean.
I hope I’m not the only one who can differentiate between heading south, and heading north on a dusty road.