Islands are dangerous places: one is left alone with himself. There’s no shade, shelter, noise or defense tool. Into the deep silence of one’s own mind, the only sound is that of thoughts long ago abducted for the fear we all hide of being ourselves.
November surely is a complicated month. It’s there, between summer and Christmas holidays; those early autumn golden leaves were swept away by its freezing wind, a triumph of tornados and rain; it’s election month. So big is the general bother that one starts fantasising about next year’s holidays. Hence, this editorial’s title.
Have you ever vacationed on an island? Islands are beautiful places, especially when one wants to forget about the rest of the world. The moment the plane lands, all of what exists on the mainland is soon forgotten. And the smaller the island, the easier to feel immune to the thoughts of payments and deadlines, emails and Instagram followers. One remembers what peace means: mobiles are left in the pockets of big coats that won’t be used again until departure, newspapers report only local events and, usually, the beauty of the location is so overwhelming to put everything back in perspective. It feels like a different and unknown time/space.
It’s then easy to find again our personal space. Those tools that in a big cities are necessary for us not to hear the noise of our own thoughts, on an island become such unnecessary accessories that can only distract from a fantastic view. Walking around the town centre there are no headphones, or open books on buses taking passengers to the countryside, to be seen. And this also counts for those going back to their hometowns, for example; who, differently from tourists at their first visit, don’t have that urge to absorb as much as possible from the culture of the place.
The more the walls of isolation between the rest of the world and us fall apart, it becomes paradoxically easier to get back in touch with our own mind; and, all of a sudden, during an afternoon stroll in the historical centre or on the wet strip of land of the beach, we meet ourselves again! “You’re here as well?”, asks one side surprised. “It’s been years since the last time I saw you!”, says the second. It’s a completely unscheduled and casual meeting, welcomed, nonetheless, during which we can be and talk without editing what comes.
The best part of it all is that the person that we meet again, after such a long time, is also the person that we are sad the most of having left behind. It’s that version of us with larger than life ambitions but enthusiastic for each one of their steps; dreams that are more alive and kicking than reality, and that bring on their show all day long, eyes opened. It’s a determined self that doesn’t care about people’s opinions, and has got no time to waist.
This is what Sam, the main character of our fifth story, wants the most. To meet himself again and get back in touch with what he really loves, believes in the most, without the distractions of the outside world. Anyhow, one doesn’t really need to fly to the island to feel like being there. And that’s because the island, after all, is mostly a metaphor: of our personal space, of the person we so much loved to be and that we had to forget in order to become someone we felt it was right to turn into.
The island, however, is always there. Unlike us, it doesn’t turn its back to anyone.