Rivers and I

Anna Lesiczka
27th April 2023

Rivers and I

I couldn’t get up because I didn’t want to go to my studio. And it wasn’t because I didn’t want to work, I just didn’t want to take the same road to get there. I envy people who can find something new and beautiful in the repeating reality. They appear in front of me to say “but you know, nothing happens twice”. And I know it, I just can't feel it. Sometimes I don’t even want to eat an apple because I feel bored with this activity. And these 1,8 kilometers I recently walk to school from the metro station, it’s one of the most beautiful 1,8 kilometers one can imagine. Anyway, I can’t take it anymore (it’s been one month now since I have been walking this way).

So I was washing my hair after deciding to go to the construction store instead of the studio. At least I‘ve never been in a construction store in Sweden.

Even yesterday night I was complaining that every day is the same, but still, my days are so different. I always work with something new, I can let myself follow my desires. I receive money from my parents so I don’t have to work and I have time to resolve my frustrations.

The construction store was in the southern suburbia. I chose this location because I’ve never been there. I was walking past the medical school campus and I ended up in a very abandoned and spooky area. I was a little bit afraid but I continued. Everything was fine, I bought all I needed. Later on, when I was coming back, I spotted some people running around the building by the forest. It was weird so I looked closer and realized that everybody has a gun. So after complaining about how boring life is, I was about to be shot so life can prove me wrong. I didn’t want it, even though I haven’t experienced it, so I ran to the forest as fast as I could. Later on I realized that they were probably only practicing.

Sometimes in my mind I am dead, so I can already miss eating an apple. There are many aspects of life I have never liked. Maybe this is why I need to move from one country to another, from one dream to another, to stay alone again, miss the sense of belonging, and all the people who remember my name.

During the autumn break of the year 2018, I went to visit my mom’s friend in Baden-Württemberg. The train from The Hague goes along the Rhine River. When I saw the massive water running in one direction through a calm valley in the middle of the autumn-coloured forest, I fell in love with that landscape. I still remember the silence inside the train, people staring at their phones or reading books and my face stuck to the window.

Later on, I was spending a lot of time on Google Maps, examining this territory. I was searching for my dream house which I would like to inhabit in the future. I found one by the river bank in Koblenz and left a pin. Two years later I came back to check out that house. It wasn’t as great as the satellite showed me but I still spent a few hours observing it. Unfortunately, I also didn’t like the city of Koblenz so when I came back to The Hague, I unpinned the house. Maybe it was the change of season, or a different lightning.

When you look at the map of Europe, it seems like my hometown is located in the actual center. The Internet says that the central point of the continent is somewhere in Lithuania or Belarus but it also says that it is Austria, so I am not going to bother myself to read more. People say that the Internet lies, yeah, because I look at the map and see that my hometown is in the actual center.

And because it’s in the center, there is no huge water there. There is a river outside the city and it was never a big part of my life. I was raised in a stable, waterless land with no shakes, no moves, no waves, no winds. 

Being a child who obsessively wanted to move somewhere else, I am thinking - maybe it was just a longing to live by the big water. I remember driving in a car on the coast in Rhode Island. People live there, they have houses by the Ocean. At that time for some reason I suddenly felt that living by the water makes your life fullest, more meaningful.

Now I live by the sea for five years already (I only changed to a different sea in the meantime) and I feel addicted to the view of water. I thought that it was stupid and I felt a bit ashamed answering the question “why did you choose this school” by “I wanted to stay by the water”.

I was eight or nine years old when I missed a chance to fly in a balloon. My mom had always dreamt about it, so she received it as a gift from my dad. It was a ride for two people so she wanted to take me for company, but I preferred to stay at home and play in the swimming pool with my friends. Therefore she took my cousin instead. Honestly, I was jealous and I didn’t want to stay with other girls and spend another unremarkable summer day. Although I was afraid that if I went, they would ditch me the next day. Many years went by and I still think about it as the biggest chance ever missed. It’s a funny thing because it’s not such a big deal. Many balloons fly around my hometown, so if I want I can do it next summer.

People often repeat: “You can’t step into the same river twice”. For over twenty years I was sure that it means that a person shouldn’t enter the same river when they already experienced it and choose another one. For example, one breaks up with a partner so they shouldn’t come back together.  And suddenly I found out that this quote by Heraclitus goes like this: “No man ever steps in the same river twice,

                        for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.”

So I’ve been lecturing people about the actual meaning of these words and it turns out almost nobody knew that when one leaves, one never comes back.