19. My different time frames in Europe and Australia --------------------- Previous - Next - Contents

When I arrived back here 5 weeks ago though I felt quite different, emotionally torn apart by opposing feelings and forces. And I know very well why. I have discussed this in the past (in Awareness 11, on April 2), stating that I place myself within the context of four awareness levels :

  1. within my personal life span
  2. in relation to my ancestors, going back as far as the 400 year old records allow
  3. within Western Civilisation, especially as preserved in Europe
  4. geological life span of the earth and further back to the birth of our Universe

Through my recent trip to Europe all these four awareness levels have become in a sharper focus than I have ever experienced before. And the opposing emotional forces within me are caused by the contrast between level 1 and level 4 above.
At the personal level I have once again experienced the strong affinity I have with (especially North) Europeans. The recent contacts with my friends, the joy of being able to speak in both my father's and my mother's tongues (Dutch and German), and the instant perceived emotional connection this produced even with complete strangers, has highlighted my emotional sameness and belonging. This, I realise, will never change.

Ripening mangos On the other hand in Australia however, especially here on the Mango Farm near Darwin (wild wide open space all around, infinitely high sparkling blue sky above) it feels as if I virtually sit on the door step of the Universe. I know this may seem very strange, but unless you have actually been here, you simply can not imagine what this feels like. It is not that I think consciously of this fact, rather I instinctively feel close to the world at large and everything surrounding it. I know this sounds ridiculous sitting in what most would call the middle of nowhere, but there it is.

In stark contrast Europe feels to me (now as much as ever) like a closed box, and one can clearly see its effect on the faces and body language of the people. Being constantly surrounded by architecture of several thousand years of Western culture is of course nice in a many ways. But inevitably it is at the same time a continuous visual indoctrination ("brainwashing") locking everyone within this restrictive box of human history's short time span. The low skys, mediocre often depressing weather and ever growing congestions on the roads add to this enclosed feeling. Local Europeans themselves are perhaps not consciously aware of this, but for perceptive visitors from Australia this is a strong almost immediate impression.

So here I am, torn apart by two contrasting affinities, one an emotional culture, the other the (to me) ultimate country of freedom.   I am sure many migrants living in this country experience something like this throughout their life, and we learn to adapt to it and enjoy it.
But immediately after returning from an extended stay in the "home country" I find that I need some time to readjust again. Planning a next trip back is one way of addressing this. And of course there is another solution too (more about that later).

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