Thinking about life: Ecclesiastes

Spending time in Indonesia has brought up some deeper questions in my mind that I would like to share with you.

To be honest, I feel overwhelmed several times a day and sometimes I feel homesick. To me, the traffic is crazy, the weather so hot and humid, insect bites itchy and not so easy to go to the places I want to visit, unless I cough up a lot of money. I actually had hoped for a lot of beautiful nature closeby so that I could make walks, rewind and come closer to myself again. Instead I am lost in the amount of information of ’22 things you have to do in this or that place’ or ‘most beautiful places in…’. It costs so much to go to these spots and to me, the amount of other tourists and merchandisers around take away most of the charm and serenity. The funny thing is that I read a lot about places to take cool pictures for Instagram or other social media. Well… I am not that kind of person.

This made me wonder what I actually look for, by travelling across countries and even continents. I don’t like it to visit touristic places to take pictures to show how hip I am by being there. I don’t think I like it either to be the backpacker who goes completely back to basic, socializes with everyone and who undertakes great but dangerous adventures in the wild. I am a rather calm, sensitive, dreamy and introvert person. I do like it to do voluntary work and stay with a host family, but I didn’t manage to find an opportunity for that.

So what is travelling all about? Is it about getting away from your normal life that includes work and education? Is it to meet new people and lay connections? Is it to relax? Is it to explore new places and challenge yourself by trying new things? I honestly don’t know. It made me think about the book Ecclesiastes in the Bible, written most likely by King Solomo. He wrote about the purpose of life and that the best way we can spend our lives is to try to enjoy our days, because everything else is meaningless.

This makes me think that it actually shouldn’t matter at all what other, or even most, travellers are looking for. I want to try to find my own way and to grow as a person. Maybe the lesson I need to learn, is to let go of my perfect image of how this trip should be and to let go of the pressure of doing things that others do. Life, bring me your lessons. I want to learn to enjoy.

Out of my comfort zone – Jane Austen

It has been a couple of days since my last post. That was not without a good reason: I travelled all the way to Indonesia and spent the past days trying to blend in. This is my second visit to Java, but since the first one was organised group travel, now I really feel like I am slowly stepping out of my comfort zone.

I am doing the same thing in the literary world by starting to read the books of Jane Austen. I have read some of the Classics already, for example books by Tolstoy or Dickens, but never by female authors for some reason. But a while ago, I thought it was really time to give it a try. I started with ‘Pride and prejudice’ (in German) and, surprise or not, I loved it. So today, on the train from Jakarta to Bandung, I started reading ‘Sense and sensibility’. The first chapters were already promising.

In the coming weeks I will be posting less frequently, but I hope to share some of my experiences here sometimes with all of you out there. So, we meet again soon!

What´s in a name

Have you ever looked up the meaning and origin of your name? I know I have, more than a couple of times. When people hear my name for the first time, the standard reply I get, is: “Davita? That is special, I have never heard that name before. Where does that name come from?”

It is quite an uncommon name. Estimations are that worldwide there are only about 7100 persons with this name. That is a very small number, compared with about 6 184 500 ´Julie´s in the world. The name Davita is of Hebrew origin, although as far as I know my family doesn´t have any connections to Judaism. During pregnancy, my parents read the book ´Davita´s harp´by Chaim Potok. They loved the name and the main character so much that they named me after her.

I really love the meaning of my name, which is: ´My beloved one´. In this area, I couldn´t think of a more desirable name. Although it sounds odd to a lot of people and sometimes even still to me, I have become fond of it. It somehow seems to fit my personality. I believe that a name is more special than just a word to call a person by. That is why I love to look up the meaning and origin of other people´s names. Would you like to share the story of your name? Feel free to leave a comment!

 

 

Child 44 – The story continues

A book that I have read recently is ´Child 44´written by Tom Rob Smith. At this moment I am reading the sequel ´The secret speech´so it seemed only right to me to write something about it. The main theme of the book series is the Soviet Union in the time right before and after Stalin´s death. It is mostly written out of the perspective of former State Security Police (later KGB) officer  Leo Demidov. So far, the story has been perfect and horrible at the same time.

As far as my knowledge goes, the books give a quite historically correct description of how the circumstances where for people living in the Soviet Union after WWII. The author really knows how to grasp your attention and how to make you sympathize with people who have acted in horrifying ways. I believe Tom Rob Smith has a good understanding of human nature. He shows how much love, fear, loyalty and hate can live in a person simultaneously and how drastically people can change. But he also displays how people have to carry the consequences of their deeds in the most painful ways. Deeds cannot be undone.

I recommend this book since I believe it is important to realize what mankind is capable of, both in the positive and negative way. The truth is that today suppression and cruelty still continue all over the world. In some places it happens in more extreme and obvious ways on large scale and the media is on top of it, at least for a while.  But I think that the problem starts on an individual base. So many men and women have self-distructive habits, like telling themselves every day how worthless they are and taking little care of their wellbeing. Not loving yourself makes it so much harder to commit with heart and soul to relationships with others. This has consequences for the whole society: broken families, children hurt, unstable work and political atmospheres and so on.

I truly believe that even one tiny human being can make a difference by striving to be a warm, loving person. For many the hardest goal to achieve is to love oneself, but it is the very beginning of everything. The one person who deserves and yearns for your love most is looking back at you in the mirror.

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“Isn’t this how it starts? You have a cause you believe in, a cause worth dying for. Soon, it’s a cause worth killing for. Soon, it’s a cause worth killing innocent people for.”
― Tom Rob Smith, Child 44