The thing about love

Stu Larsen – “Thirteen sad farewells” (Cover by Lilly Ahlberg)DSC01752

As you might have read on my blog post “Bali Backpacking” – I was on holiday in Indonesia.
(In that blog entry you can also find loads of pretty pictures, if the read is too long for you)

In Bali there were two encounters I want to tell you about, because they have really stayed with me.
We talked with two men about love and relationships and it made me feel so upset and also even a bit sad to hear their stories.
Apart from that they also made me think about our culture and my personal past.
Let me share their stories with you:

As we watched the sunset at the Beach in Amed we met a local man. He, an owner of a little hostel, asked us – obviously after we’d already talked for some minutes – if it was normal that people from Europe have several partners. He said this because he met several men and also women who went with secret lovers to Bali, telling him they were actually married. I thought it was quite shocking what picture he had from our culture and it was even more shocking to realise that it was impossible for me to convince him that his idea of European relationships was wrong. However he told us, that traditionally in Bali the family decides who marries whom. The girl then has to move into the house oft he spouses family and is bound to make religious offerings every day and to look after the family. He seemed quite regrettable about the fact that he didn’t get the chance to choose his wife. He said, his wife is more like a friend to him, than anything else.

The second balinese guy who told us about love was our driver (about 34 years old). He fell in love with a Japanese tourist who he met during her stay in Bali. She got ill and he looked after her. This is how feelings developed and how he fell in love with her. They had a thing going on during her stay and she even came back once again. But then she vanished in Japan and he would hear later on that she’d eventually got married. Nevertheless his biggest wish is to go to Japan to meet her again, regardless of her being with someone else. He said he doesn’t feel complete without her, and just simply put: sad.

The Balinese people really seemed very gentle to me and I came to realise that love to them is much more valuable than it is to us. In our culture, love is a given, we can love several people, change partners, change our minds – we are a lot more free to act out our love and to explore every side of it. They however dream of a romantic ideal of love, because they don’t get to choose.
Although they still connect the idea of love with happiness, a happiness not all of them will ever experience.

What really made me think was the fact that our driver had fallen in love years ago, and how it still deeply affects him today.

I don’t want to be sad over someone all my life.
That’s why we have to fight for what we love.
Because we can.

jana xx

Sweet Autumn Memory

Fink – “Looking Too Closely
Jakwob – “Stay


This is one of my most simple but still most beloved memories of the time I shared
with him.

I let it go.

I was about to get home. At 7 o’clock on a Sunday morning. I just finished a 10 hours night-shift at the pub.
Every single time when I was close to where I wanted so desperately to get, I’d turn around the corner, checking if I saw light spreading out into the dark night from inside the apartment on the very top of the building. Shortly before I reached that point where I could see the light, I sometimes felt like running, speeding up. It didn’t matter that I felt incredibly exhausted and worn out.

This was never the time for me to feel tired.
Usually it came over me sometime later on Sunday afternoon, or on Monday and then it would’ve stayed for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday… But coming home to him was what I waited for all week. It was my motivation. My sweet treat after six days of missing him, hard work, and …did I mention it? Missing him.
I have never been a very patient person and I will never be. So for those days without him, nothing mattered, I just wanted to get through the week, to turn around that corner
and to see light.

That night I did.

A mix between utter happiness (“he’s waiting for me to come home!”) and bliss (“god, I am so lucky”) and thankfulness (“he did it for me”) but also worry (“he really should be asleep. No one gets up at this time on Sunday mornings”) would run through my veins. To him, it was always one of his favorite things, if I waited for him to come home after work.
Yes, to me, it was the exact same thing.
He always told me, he woke up himself knowing I would come soon. I’m not sure he set an alarm clock. But no matter what it was that woke him up – I am so thankful now, for every single time.

On that very day, I hurried up the stairs. I opened the door. If my heart could’ve talked, it would’ve taken a deep breath and it would’ve sighed “finally”. He walked towards me, held me, whispered a soft “hello” as I let the contentment and simplicity of this moment wash over me.
I was sticky and smelly, from all the sweat and liquor on my skin – he didn’t care. He never did. Our tired looks on our faces would mirror in each others eyes.
But all I could feel at that moment was the pure feeling of infinite devotion.

I remember my urge to make the best out of our short time we would have together. We always had only the weekends. Although the nights of those weekends, I was working. Then I would sleep till noon. So actually we had half of the weekends. I wanted so much to just stay awake, not waisting any time. I didn’t need sleep as long as I had him. And he looked at me sweet and worried, shaking his head.

I went to put my bag in his bedroom and I laid down for a sneaky short minute, still convinced, that I didn’t want and didn’t need the sleep. I relaxed on my side completely across the whole bed, diagonally, as I felt him laying down behind me. He said: “You need the sleep.” And he put his arm around me, pulled me close. Some of his weight was on top of me. It was completely innocent, but perfect. He closed every single gap between us, his head on mine, his arm around me, I heard his breath, his heartbeat and although I really didn’t intend to sleep
i fell into the world of dreams immediately.

I cannot remember a single time, when I have ever slept just as well. I was literally muffled in his love and his warmth. Oh, I loved his warmth.
I felt cold too often, I feel cold too often now.

I had no dreams, I could just let myself fall. I knew I was at the most secure place I could’ve ever been.
And I knew I could wake up, and he’d still be around.
It was nice to know someone looked after me, giving me a break from making all the decisions.
At that moment he gave me the feeling, that I didn’t needed to be stressed, or scared, or worried.

Nothing in the world mattered.
Just him, by my side, close – physically and emotionally.
It was nice to know, he cared.
And that he had woken up just to hold me till I’d fallen asleep.

xx jana