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Life on the Go: Meaning in Motion

Photo by Inbar Dekel. 
Blue eyed boys with sharpened angel noses alongside hefty “Mamas” in colorful head-covers. Yellow metal poles with green stop-buttons. Outside the glass window, typical street scenes in the Wedding district. Bus hinges slightly sighing with a high pitched tone every time it turns. A dark-complected woman with darker headdress behind a wheel of some miniature vehicle.

That’s my way home, and then “Umsteigen”, and on again, south this time. Life is easier when in motion.
Thoughts of people in search of jobs, what to do with their time, how to earn money, how to find meaning, how to find a justification to their existence and well-earned education. The bus slowly creeps down Wollankstraße. The station is close by. I’m almost there, just need to pick up the green casserole I made yesterday and then onwards, to seek out some of that Meaning.

At night comes a dream which lingers on for days after, about crawling in a suffocating, made up place, underneath a collection of white-legged chairs. Attached to one another, they seem like crooked tombstones. In this dream I’m on my elbows, worming my way through. It’s so dense I can hardly see what’s out there, only a faint gleam of gray sky barely piercing though. Gasping for air, sure if I can only turn I’ll find the exit, but I can’t move or push with my arms alone. It’s too hard. So I kick, and it works, because they’re only wooden chair legs. I break free, and right before waking up I glimpse green grass, and my lungs are filled with fresh air. I can breathe once more.

Guilt comes next, a broken prison too much to bear. “Was ist los?” the word “stilts” echoes in mind, I’ve broken the foundations that are both my cage and my shelter. Are apologies in order for moving outside my former boundaries?

“You’re finally fulfilling your potential,” this reflexologist said to me the other day just by looking at my feet. My first thought was that facing a dead-end sometimes leaves no choice other than to grow beyond the limits, to move and to break the shell that has become too tight for the former size of the body, just like crabs do in the wild.

Dreams are not reality though. They exist in order to help along the journey to wherever, but it’s the physical motion manifesting itself into mental motion that is frightening sometimes. Guilt for daring to cross mental limits, probably created by my own self if not by someone else whom I’ve learned to listen to with just a little too much attention.

And meaning. It comes in so many forms: sitting in cafés, sipping anything hot, meeting anyone willing, burning the loneliness away lest it consume what it can. Slowly night falls. Neon lights switch on. Spätis, Kneipes, Döner diners: “It’s probably so bright in order to keep the workers inside awake during the small hours,” a dim voice remarks as from a distance, even though it’s coming from my conversation partner who’s sitting right next to me in a café on that same Wollankstraße.

Back home once more, Microsoft Word is open in that bright white laptop screen, symbolizing hope of ongoing creation. A pleased feeling warms the atmosphere as I mentally ready myself for the next day. Life is indeed easier when in motion, but potential won’t materialize without pushing onwards, without real self-reckoning.

Minding the signs around, observing people, talking to them, seeing them in their actuality, listening to them—and then to myself. The rest follows as a natural continuity, and with it comes that much yearned for Meaning, taking form of that reflected, clearer mind I’ve manage to gain since first arriving here.                                                                              
Being on the go just makes more sense, motion is the key to everything.

By Inbar Dekel

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