Here I am! Again after a while, but I’ve been quite (a lot) busy lately. What can I tell you? I came back from my first trip to the US on Monday. Normally you would have read something like “WOW AWESOME GORGEOUS GREAT AMAZING”. But that’s not the case. More than the usual trip that tourists do (and Italian tourists usually go to New York for five days and then they come back telling how cool the States are), I took a spiritual journey and I mean literally. I went there to take part in a conference, and that’s the first unusual thing of course. And I was scared of going, because I knew that the bubble of images and hopes and dreams that I’d been building around the US would have exploded. And it actually exploded, in many different ways. First of all, it’s a place full of contradictions. And it’s very different from Europe. It’s really ‘the other side of the pond’ for a reason. I feel that Americans think in a very different way in comparison to Europeans – despite different nationalities. I felt that they risk a lot, they care a lot about themselves, they are very self-focused, and they do not know much about ‘the other side’. They are also brave and reckless. They are very smart and they know how to obtain things, which is not bad at all, but they sometimes do it by knowing the right people. There were many things that I didn’t understand at all, such as constructing tons of independent wooden houses with their beautiful gardens but if you want to go to the supermarket to buy a damn apple you have to take your damn huge car.
But I’ve also discovered so many beautiful places and I’ve felt emotions so big that I couldn’t have ever imagined. For example, we went – finally – to Thoreau’s gravestone. That was the peak of the trip. We were there, in front of his tomb. I was there. It was truly unbelievable and I cannot even explain how I felt through words. Words are not enough to express the awe in front of him.
I felt so near that porous line between reality and dream and yet I felt also so sad. So sad in front of what the US have become in comparison to the awesome nation that Thoreau imagined. He already knew the dangers of his contemporary society, and our society is just the shitty result of what he had already understood. Capitalism. Buying and selling. Buying through loans. Buying more just to pretend to be happy, just to show off, just to seem like anyone else. What’s the point? What’s the point, he would ask. I’m sure. As I stood in front of him I felt so little and helpless, because I know that we could not fulfill his dream of a better future. As my boyfriend said, however, we must try to keep his message alive. We must learn from what he did in Concord, Massachusetts, and try to bring his message to our own home, being sort of ambassadors on his behalf. I felt I want to do more for him, to celebrate his greatness and the importance of Thoreau in my life. Because, as we all said during the conference, he changed so many lives and I was so happy to show to other people how he changed and he has been changing my own perception of things, of reality, of myself.
That’s my first happy thought about my trip to the US. More will be posted. As said, I think I’ve lots of things to think about, because it’s still too close in time to be truly understood. For the moment, that’s it.
Keep it wild and free