137/365 – Meditation Games #137 – Repeating Leavetaking

Developer: Alvaro Bermejo

Launcher Quote: “You wake up at 4, probably didn’t even sleep last night.

Too much anticipation. With red eyes and even worse face you set out.

Maybe you forgot your passport. Maybe the flight was cancelled.

A last minute call. Tears in your loved ones eyes.

This should get easier.

But it never does.

Living abroad means I leave home 12 times a year. The same ritual.

The same fear. The same feeling in your stomach.

But something always changes, whether a boot gets lost or your cabin baggage breaks, uncertainty always makes presence.

But we still do it. It doesn’t matter how you departure, only that you arrive.”

I have the fortune to be, for the most part, grounded where I am and where I was born and raised. My family, for the most part, is close at hand, and a familiarity and intimate knowledge of the place I call home means I’m never far from where I grew up, went to school, met who I know and loved, and currently, live my life as best as I can. Constant travel is not something I necessarily have to deal with. This is partially why I appreciate the message that this developer was trying to send in trying to elicit or depict the feeling that was being experienced when they are constantly traveling from the place they call home.

Things that I only do when I go on vacations or business trips are things that the developer has to go through every time, in terms of traveling, returning home, seeing friends and loved ones, and then having to set back out again after an emotional farewell that hopefully doesn’t feel painful with the knowledge that they’ll be back. The interesting part about this is that the developer makes it a point to show that this becomes rote, automatically executed routine, or that it’s something you ever become accustomed to. Being subjected to a time limit as I went to move the pieces around and tried not to have them fit over one another in a packing and puzzle exercise was made to be shown as hectic, chaotic, and never really as organized as you like it to be. There were times I had to repeat what I was doing in order to feel that I’d satisfactorily completed getting what appeared to be my belongings together for another trip, and it added to a sense of hurried anxiety that I think was definitely on purpose.

The point, I think, is that it’s never supposed to become easier, and part of that is leaving a part of yourself at home after spending a brief time at it before you have to go back abroad. When you do that, there’s a sense of emptiness no matter how well you’re doing in the place that you spend that isn’t your home or where you came from, and one that isn’t easily filled, if it is at all. The fact that you have to face it repeatedly, know that it’s coming, and still have trouble handling travel away from your home is telling as far as people who feel a deep connection to their roots and the people that they know that associate themselves with those roots. You’re supposed to not forget, even despite the anxiety that happens because of it, because it’s a reminder of what you find is important. Lose that, and you lose a part of yourself – and that’s something no one wants.

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