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Seagulls at Zitadelle Spandau

22:20 02 May 2006

This memory surfaced a short while ago, and it comes back often over the years.

I was visiting Zitadelle Spandau with Imke, Imke who I never got to know as well as I should have, and who I pathetically didn’t keep in touch with, and while we were on the top of the Zitadelle, outside, I heard seagulls. And that was the first time I’d heard seagulls in about eight months or more, as I’d never heard them in Berlin before. The sound of seagulls is common in Dublin, and so was familiar and unfamiliar at the same time, layered with meaning about coastal cities (New York and Dublin are both close to the sea, whereas Berlin is obviously not) and the concept of “home”.

And yet now I think of that and somehow Berlin feels like home in that memory. I know it’s not; I know that I don’t really have a concept of “home” in the sense of some geographic location. The memory seems so real, so unlike something that happened ten years ago.

It was sunny and warm. The cries of the seagulls rang clear in the sky, and I was so happy to hear them, foolishly happy at birdsounds, and sky, and reminders-of-the-sea.

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