People like to say those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, but I think it’s also true that people who expect the past are more likely to resurrect it, and I’m one of those people, so I try to sniff out ways to keep myself open, to remind myself that a feeling is just something you feel, not something real in the world.

I have a friend who is experiencing some anxiety. He has moved away to a distant country, and has someone with him who’s an adult and who has chosen this adventure with him, but when someone accompanies you to a foreign place, of course, you feel responsible for their happiness and thriving. He is anxious because the northern winter is coming and work will become more precarious, and the northern winter is hard for the southern soul when the first exhilarated flush of going away starts to wear off. Really, I think he is anxious because the momentum that took him boldly toward the unknown has slowed, now he’s on the edge of it, and it feels like something deep and dark and empty and cold, something into which you can disappear and be swallowed. I tried to give him advice, but who really has advice to give? I’m as haunted and paralysed by the unknown as anyone else. More so, probably, because for me the unknown isn’t filled with nothing, but rather filled with the past. I forget now w...

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