Robert Wanderings

Locked up in his room, Robert Maruna slowly seethes while waiting for the snow. Bending over his keyboard, he shares his anxiety of the terror heartlessly prowling around his chair : the routine.

Passion is what shows up in the morning to find that Routine has wrapped itself around you again, and roundhouse kicks it out the window.

I haven’t been back long in my concrete roof with four walls, but before I know it, Routine has me again. There he sits on my shoulders, bending my back to his will. And he’s right! I’ve been gone long enough and was able to shake him off. But it’s not so easy to get rid of him, this obnoxious little fellow. So be it! From now on I’ll walk around stooped over until the summer comes. Before I escape again, I’ll lock the nasty bugger in my room—I’m sure he won’t run away.

It’s not easy to describe the feeling of that extra weight on your back, pressing you into the chair. It almost feels like I’m shrinking in size with every word, and it seems only a matter of time until the wooden legs of my chair collapse and send me tumbling down, together with the fat gnome around my neck, through the ceiling of the family living below me. How exactly should I explain that? “Oh, sorry! I must have, ah, gained a little weight over the winter months. Won’t happen again… good evening!” Doesn’t quite seem to work.

It’s fascinating how focused we humans are when we know exactly what we want. It’s the same story every year. As soon as the thermometers start dropping in central Europe and the sun’s rays get weaker, many of us barely find the will to leave our concrete caves. The streets empty out, and the collective state of mind sinks proportionate to the temperature. Yet some buck the trand and take to the road, enduring countless hours of driving accompanied by miserable gas-station espressos, weather-induced traffic jams and endlessly repeating playlists, to find refuge in remote valleys. I’ll spare you further details because such musings have already been chewed up, swallowed and regurgitated often enough already.

I’m not an early riser. Whoever thinks that “the early bird gets the worm” is either on drugs or well beyond the age of thirty, when many suffer from senile insomnia. But I must admit that it paid off more than once this year to get in up in early morning’s pitch blackness to pursue a snowy white fairy-tale dream. Apparently last winter was a bad one: “there wasn’t any snow at all!” I was told by someone, who apparently kept himself busier with weather maps and precipitation models than with simply getting his ass into gear.

But why do we do it? There are two simple reasons: because it’s awesome, and because that damn daily Routine leaves us alone up in the mountains. He’s not allowed in! Of course in extremely high doses, even movement across snow on planks can become “Routine,” but it’s still not the same overweight ballast that turns us into the Humpback of the Concrete Cube. And so it’s the escape from grim Routine that continually drives us on, transforming something that we enjoy doing into an unquenchable passion. Passion is the one that shows up in the morning to roundhouse-kick Routine out the window when the little devil tries to creep up overnight.

If you’ve managed to make it this far, you might be asking yourself now where this text is actually going. Originally I wanted to write a trip report from a different perspective; in this I’ve apparently failed. But perhaps not, because the winter itself represents a kind of journey. The distance and discrepancy between mountain and city allow us to leap between two worlds, each with their own roles to be played. We commute back and forth, adapting ourselves to the environments in which we find ourselves. And often, everything happens differently than expected. That’s what makes the journey better than an all-inclusive holiday. Regardless of what you do, it should occur of free will and from your original desire to experience something. You should never forget this piece of freedom, because its weightlessness is immune to any Routine.

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