Westwards – the Southwest


A  w a l k  i n  t h e  d a r k,
a   t a l k  i n  t h e  m o r n i n g

In 2011, I took a train from New York City, the mother of all cities very dear to my heart, to San Francisco. I started this journey, without even knowing where this irresistible urge to cross this whole continent came from.

The further west I moved the more things inside of me were opening up, shaking me, waking my heart up and a whole new story began that I could not really grasp it with my mind at that time. I just knew that I felt very deeply connected to the ground I was walking on, something I had never felt before.

I remember a friend of mine saying, “standing in front of the Pacific Ocean is like being at the end of the world”, for me it felt like finding a thread of its beginning. This is where new things start. I will never forget the moment of my arrival in California, getting off the train, the humid air greeting me with a warm hug, different tones of greens welcoming me. The Pacific Ocean in view, like a good old friend, waves coming and going, singing their song to me, starting to make my heart a wide, open, free space. On the other side of the Blues of the Pacific Ocean lies Japan. I could smell it in the air and feel in every part of me, the plants not familiar that I found alongside the sidewalks.

I was travelling on my own, my camera was my companion, following long known paths that only seemed to be new.

Everybody told me that I would fall in love with San Francisco immediately. And that I would not be comfortable with being in Los Angeles since I am a great wanderer adoring to explore the streets by foot. But life is full of surprises. Jumping out of the bus at a dodgy bus terminal in downtown L.A. for the first time made me feel almost like flying – so light. I remember a long first bus ride that I did not want to come to an end along one single boulevard to Santa Monica, I had a smile on my face that would stay there for a long time.  Palm trees – a sky so wide. That’s the beginning. It’s the start of a long story of opening up, piece by piece new parts of the puzzle being revealed to me, being mixed up all together in new ways. My first “home-coming” story. Soon to be followed by others, all made possible by this first love.