There comes a time when you know if the magic has gone out of a place.
Or when the magic of a new place calls out to you.
The thrill of fearlessly delving into the exploration of a new place produces a kind of “high” in my mind that many of you can probably easily relate to. It’s a kind of thrill that can’t be achieved any other way. The act of truly studying an area that draws you in, exploring it’s hidden places, with caution at first and then confidence, like a lover beholding his love for the first time, revealing avenues of beauty that were heretofore never imagined.
It’s entirely possible to fall in love with a city, or even a building. (If you haven’t yet, it’s likely that the reason is due to the fact that you simply haven’t been to enough places yet.) And as I look back at the last few years, I must admit I was enamored with the city of Madison for a while, perhaps even idealizing it at times, but now that magic has gone away.
Perhaps I know that city too well. Or perhaps I’ve moved on, but I have reached a peace with it, and for that I am grateful.
Do we ever really know why we fall out of love? I mean really know. I’m not so sure.
Perhaps it was merely infatuation with the city, for we know that infatuation can never last. With humans, this “puppy love” phase either proceeds onward to a more thoughtful kind of love, or it falls apart into something that we don’t call romantic love. I can’t help but think that my relationship with cities, however absurd it may sound to you, isn’t so different sometimes.
You see, I have these memories, so many memories, of uncovering small mysteries, things that felt like messages hidden within the city. Memories of visiting the top of the Capitol Building with a good friend and seeing the entire square spread out before us, or the time I discovered a small, hidden pier along the shore of Lake Mendota. Quiet moments snapping together like magnets.
Once when I was cycling south from Tenney Park, I came across a small, laminated note hidden inside a bush telling me that, yes, I was welcome to the berries along the trail but not to make new trails as that would crush the daylilies nearby.
For some inexplicable reason, the feeling of that day flashes back to me now and then. I have innumerable memories of exploring that city, but my unconscious mind seems to mark that memory with a strange level of significance.
A Pretty Lovely Lady
Yet all of these are merely memories—tools I may use for my own journey of expansion and self-knowledge, just as your memories are to you.
Have you ever felt that a place was calling out to you from a great distance?
I have, and do. Yes, it’s true, I have yet to post-process and release 100+ photos of my life-changing East Coast Adventure, and you will see those. Rest assured, they are all in the queue. But these Wisconsin days have gotten to me, and I feel the call to move on. All will come in time… in time.
If you’ve been reading this site diligently, you already know where my eyes are set, don’t you? It rhymes with “Good bye! Eeee!”
RIGHT. I’m going to Hawaii in just a couple months.
I’m not going to say I’ve fallen in love, or that this will be easy. Good friends of mine are here, but I no longer see a long-term future for myself in Wisconsin. Sure, I haven’t even met Hawaii yet, but she definitely seems like a lovely lady, even from a distance. And she calls to me. Even more importantly, my intuition is giving me a green light on going there. (Although it stubbornly refuses to give me any indication as to how long, so I’m going to play it by ear. I’ve committed to 2 weeks, but we both know it’s going to be for longer than that.)
Here’s the thing: it’s not just that there aren’t any guarantees anymore. In truth, there never were. “Security” is always an illusion. We can create a measure of it in our minds, but it never exists anywhere else. It is purely a mental construction, a war waged with ideas.
Perhaps the reason we don’t know why we fall out of love is because we don’t really understand how we fall in love in the first place. So how do you keep the magic? Simple. You follow your intuition, run it through your heart, and then run it by your mind. When all are in agreement, you know you’ve got something.
Consider where you live now. Your space, your location, is the result of the sum total of many decisions you’ve made. It can be changed if you desire. Empty out every thought and breathe the air you’re in.
Are you in love?