Muscle memory

Time is one of the strangest things. It’s completely rational – 60 seconds, 60 minutes, 24 hours, 365 days. But it never feels like this. It always feels shorter or longer, painfully stretched or non-existing. Time is one of those rational things we never perceive in the same way.

That’s why sometimes, it feels as if I haven’t spent five months abroad. When seeing some people again, it feels as if nothing is different. Except some tiny little thing inside me, that has grown and developed in Poland. I’m sitting outside a cafe with friends again, and we don’t even talk about what we’ve been doing. Things are the same. What’s different is something in you, but it’s not visible.

It seems that muscle memory is the strongest kind of memory. You walk around in places you haven’t been in ages and it goes so smooth. (Until you walk into a door handle of a door you haven’t used – clumsiness still outweighs muscle memory I’m afraid.) It surprises me how familiar things still can feel after the first few seconds of shock. Shock because however well you remember something, it always seems a bit different when you face it again. After those few seconds, everything feels as familiar as it always was before.

Even with people.

Your body sometimes remembers more than your brains. Your body works its way back into the old-but-somehow-new houses and cities. And before you know it, you fit in all those places again. You fit next to people again. However strange it may be, it often feels good. It means that you don’t necessarily leave things behind, because apparently, you can come back and everything can feel as if nothing’s changed.

Except that little thing inside you, which will make you silently happy.

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  1. The shock of the familiar … it is quite strange, I find when I return to England for a spell. To begin with, I feel very foreign and then, seemingly with no effort, I just fit again. Coming back here though is different again – oddly I don’t feel foreign despite the fact that I am clearly not a native given my still less than elegant French.

    • It’s a strange experience – being home, but at the same time, not completely.
      But the best part is probably that we have more than one home, and that is great 🙂

      • To b honest I haven’t been home since I left home (35 years ago) and it fits me fine 🙂

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