To relate my place of refuge to such a stormy, unpredictable river could only be described in one way: absolutely true. The thing that makes the ending destination so special is how rocky it was to get there. But doesn’t every final place involve a journey? Doesn’t every sanctuary begin that way?
My sanctuary is only accessible by time. Right now, I’m on the journey. My destination is the future. My sanctuary is knowing I’m going to get there.
In Huckleberry Finn, Huck is aimlessly searching for freedom at the end of the river. He has no certain place he really wants to go, he just wants to be free and escape the uncivilised life behind him. However, most of the sanctuary he holds is in the world he now lives in: the river. While he knows something will be waiting for him at the end, he finds sanctuary in the fact that that’s where he is going. He finds the river to be calming and warm, but it costs something: isolation.
“The entrance door to sanctuary is inside you.” -Rami
I remember when I had to travel the journey to my sanctuary the same way he did: isolated. I was so terrified about others interfering and somehow breaking the route I was already heading. I spent a lot of time thinking no one could possibly help me on this journey, that I had to do it alone. I like to consider that time, the beginning, the stormy days. The dark days.
What could possibly be so priceless that I would have risked isolation for?
My future is painted with dreams about college and life in the city. It’s filled with years and years of school in college, followed by a small, quiet teen center in the midst of New York. A filter covers it, a tainted filter that only brings out the best of what I can be. It’s a hopeful filter. My sanctuary is the hope that my future will be okay, that I’m going to be okay.
That’s the one thing Huck and I have in common: we’re going somewhere, and that’s where we find our hope. However, I try to be much less isolated.
As I mentioned before, I was much more isolated at the beginning of realizing what I wanted in my future. I didn’t allow myself to form friendships or relationships to stop me from wanting to go to my dream college. I didn’t have many friends for a year of my life that lived within fifty miles of myself, just online friends who wanted the same things.
When time passed, I slowly began to see myself in other people around me. Every once in awhile, I’d see someone who also wanted to live in New York city. Some other times, I would see someone who was just passionate about writing or psychology than I was. I find sanctuary in my journey when I see people similar to me. Slowly, I became less and less isolated.
I don’t know where Huck’s journey will end. But I do know where mine will.
If it comes to right now, I spend lots of time in a somewhat physical place: my map. I have a Google Map where I put every little place I want to go one day. Especially in New York City. I’ve spent hours trying to find every last restaurant, park, and goal I want to fulfill. I know, one day, I will be able to do it all.
And knowing that is my sanctuary.