Butter melts in the ambient heat now, sliding off the sides of the aluminium wrapping.
Summer is coming or it’s here already, depending on who you ask. People like me, who are loathe to see Time pass, who cannot yet accept that Time has dragged them along without their noticing — we will tell you that the nights are still cold and long, even as the humidity cloys our skin, drawing out a sheen of sebum and perspiration. Even as we huff and puff and recoil at the prospect of sticky human touch.
Another summer, another year gone.
Now I live in distant visions of an island, a year ago. It’s nearly the anniversary of that trip, the second country I’ve ever been to.
I think there were a few reasons I never shared anything about this trip — chief of which was to not upset anyone. You must understand that a year ago, travelling for rest or leisure was something inconsiderate, rich people did. It was privilege. However, I was fortunate that it was perfectly safe for me to go.
But all the same, I should have written more about it, more than just a few journal entries. I should have tried to pin down these elusive feelings, this momentary experience before the wind could take it away.
But a year, a year it is no time at all when the sceneries and conversations, the ambiences and oddities, the people have ever so gently marked me, as though a flower left between the pages of an old book…An old book that I am opening a year later…
It was 4 or 5 days — I must see the plane tickets again — the duration of our stay. The whole trip had come about as unexpectedly as one could imagine. I had left my job after almost 3 years there and was about to take up a brand new position with another agency. In between one end and one beginning, was this sliver of time and space — a few, refreshing droplets of freedom.
It was thrilling, at first. Then all too suddenly it spiralled into something else.
How to fill it, how to fill it? This sudden gap. I was tempted at first to do the same as I’ve always done: to let the sands of time fill it up, and to squander the hours, lose them in useless pursuits. It was so tempting, to not make the effort. To think it wasn’t even worth it to try booking flights and rooms less than a week before the intended trip. A creature of comfort, this is who I am, most of the time. Someone who lets herself be moved and directed by life along the path of least resistance.
Still, unbelievably, my brother and I managed to get flights and rooms. All the ‘good’ hotels were booked already, and we were left with a relatively unknown one…with balconies overlooking the ocean, and holiday houses sat atop gentle hills, worn stone paths grazed by overgrown grass. Two pools, too. A vertiginous, stone-hewn infinity pool and the other one…I can’t recall, because we never did use that one.
It was so quiet…the kind of quietness that speaks to the restlessness of one’s soul. This very restlessness that we shove down every day of our lives, a part of us we actively succeed in ignoring. We make waves to avoid seeing our own reflections in the water. We can never stop. Never have a moment of quiet or else the water will settle, and that can’t happen. It can’t.
This island and its quietness…they sloughed off some of the layers, they lulled me into a gentle stop, the way you fall asleep one afternoon, warmed by sunlight.
And now…a few humble photos:
Note: So, it’s been a while…again. But I think I am back now, so I’m looking forward to catching up with everything I’ve missed while I was gone 🙂