Surprisingly, this title out of a Club Dumas chapter (awesome book. Arturo Perez-Reverte occasionally rules) served as an imperative for me. Since the day I read it I have remembered quite a few things, all surfacing from some deep underground hiding spot.
So I recalled
1. how deeply mesmerized I have always felt by people making flower bouquets. I haven’t been in a florists’ in ages so when I did the other day it struck me like lighting to remember how hypnotized and calm I felt while observing someone slowly putting flowers down a white table, making sure they were the right length, adding some white little decorative plant that I feel only exists to make roses look cuter and then, abruptly cutting me off my daydream by tightly raping a ribbon around them and handing them to me, usually with a smile. I don’t know why. But I feel calm even thinking about it.
2. that my grandmother’s tiny little electric pot (it was round and had a plug and a window to see how the food was cooking. More like a portable oven than a pot) made the best stuffed peppers & tomatoes EVER. It failed when it came to other food, but the stuffed peppers that came out of there were amazing. I recall preferring the peppers to the tomatoes because they weren’t as sweet. And I think I can hear her calling us home from the field to ‘eat while it’s hot’.
3. the smell of humidity and carved stone on my family’s home in the North. It was more like a carved cave, dark and humid and full of old stuff- clay pots, tools and iron coal ovens. it always had the perfect temperature there. Cool if it was hot and hot if it was cold. It served as a hideout, a dareground (like ‘go put your hand in that hole in the wall’) and well, a shower.
4. how absolutely cool it was to have a secret place in my room where I hid my flashlight. I used it to read my books under the covers as part of my revolution. Yes. My revolution was reading detective novels at the age of 10. also, after my parents discovered me and took the light away so that I might get some sleep (and stop going through books faster than a starved bookworm), I remember trying to paint faces in my mind. Much like a crude, primitive photoshop..
5. the time I nearly died in Spain. I was 7 maybe and I decided to jump in at the deep end of the pool. I had my eyes open and I remember enjoying the blue light refractions as I was going down. I can’t tell if I was afraid or not. I think I had no concept of fear back then (unless it was for the unknown). My father got me out. He dipped his big hand in the water and grabbed me as I was slowly sinking. I remember coughing a lot of chlorine tasting water afterward and nodding my head as I promised ‘never to tell mom how stupid I was when they left me alone’. I also remember keeping my promise for 3 days..


the merits of first times..

I have been horse back riding for 23 years. Leading with that I have to say that, when I was very young, I told my grandfather that I thought I would consider my self 'old' when I could reminisce in such a way.. anyway. I have been horse back riding for 23 years. During that time I have show jumped, galloped like crazy, had to hold on for dear life during fly bites, frights, bad days and wild, uncontrollable runs through forests, beaches and hills. And I have never fallen off. Never, that is, until today. So, as I am quietly on an –admittedly very- difficult white horse, he suddenly decides to pull his head down, take a left, kneel and then kick his back feet up. He had a simple goal. He wanted me off. I didn’t give him the satisfaction at first so for a few brief seconds I was on top of my game and it seemed like I was going to pull it off. Then the stirrup broke off. I lost my footing and – as my teacher put it- I decided it was time to jump ship. So I did. I leaned on the right and jumped off, hitting the ground with my right side and tumbling away as quickly as I could- following said teacher's instructions to ‘get the fuck away from him now’. The point I am trying to make isn’t that there is a first time for everything. That is a well known fact. And it is not that I hurt my ego more than I hurt myself (which is true by the way). What I’m trying to say is that I have never felt more alive. It was such a massive, engulfing adrenaline rush, such as I have never experienced before. I can replay every moment of it in my mind. The horse’s neck going really low, closing in on the ground to the right, his legs kicking up as I fell backwards to keep my balance. My left foot loosing support and then, as a very weird spinning image, the realisation that I, me, am about to fall really badly on the ground. And that fraction of the second I decide that it would be much better for me if I fall on my terms. So I let go of the reigns and flew off, fell, tumbled and got up on one knee, kicking my helmet away and running for the horse at the same time as my instructor, who might have been a bit more scared for me than I was. I told off the horse quite a bit.. I think ‘you bloody idiot’ was the kindest thing I say to him before I jumped back on, just to try and save whatever was left of my control over him. But still, this feeling that I am actually alive, hasn’t left me. And in a strange way, I feel more proud of this fall than I had for my amicable record. Here’s to firsts!


choices choices

it is strange, but sometimes when i wake up in the morning i have the feeling i have already had a full day. i want to rest, relax, get up quietly and make my way to work (where i will spend the next 9-12 hours with my head down and my ear stuck to a tel.receiver like an obedient little member of society) but i can't. cause in those few moments before i open my eyes i have already done all that. i have gone through that daily routine and i have returned to my bed (that sees less and less of me as i grow older).
i guess this probably means that i have been spending too much time doing the same thing. or maybe it means that i have tired of repeating said thing no matter how long i have been doing it.
whichever the case may be the truth remains simple. i want to wake up in my bed. make a pot of coffee -ala cooper style- and slowly go through the day doing things I need done. for me. like, paint the grey patch on my salmon balcony wall. water my plants. read 'kingdom come' with an afternoon coctail. take a long bath- after i fix my bathtub. clean the house. rearrange my bookcase. buy a new bookcase for the books and cds that now occupy the floor in front of my latin notebooks. dust the notebooks. maybe even open them up and remember writing: 'unus aves sedebat' in one of them when i was bored.
can i do these things? or do i need to give up my job to have the time to deal with them? and, oh lord, why? does it feel so satisfactory to accomplish even one of those little trivialities? like in one second, the day has gained substance and meaning, only by putting the muse cd back under 'M' on the rack.
maybe it actually is that simple.