Gare du Nord
The strange feature of the station as a non-place, this ultimate Utopia, is that from here you can go to so many real places.
Places where you were once, however more especially those unknown destinations whose names are constantly buzzing from speakers throughout enormous halls, places over which the mist of adventure is hovering, as it did over one’s youth.
Each place in which you were as a child, seemed to be such a station. Even your own house with the well-known parents and the sister appeared merely to be a stopover for further sorties, wherever they might lead – a place, destined to be left, to be left behind, to enter new adventures in places that you did not already know.
At the same time – of course – it was the irreplaceable nest of security, with a smell like nowhere. The ultimate place – however, at the same time one’s very first and absolute non-place.
Decades later the grown up child will undergo a strange longing for his return, always however destined for disappointment. Suddenly, then, what was home and is now elsewhere has also become a station of passage, back towards one’s present home, just left, which now turns out to be a home no more.
Even though it may be the terminus, La Gare itself is never a destination. A station always turns on transit further on.
Sierksma, 17.4 / 2016, at Gare Montparnasse