“On another corner was standing the flower shop lady. She had the most wonderful smile and sparkling eyes, although with some hidden sadness at times, but always helpful and engaging in her recommendations and putting together wonderful collections of nice and colorful flowers. The shop spread out onto the streets with the sunshine in the morning, with just a little contraction of the flower stand for lunch and a little break, and then spreading out again in the afternoon, a little bit more careful but still lighting up the street and bringing joy to the people passing by.”
“More rays of sunshine were filling the flower bed now, and the marvel and wealth of colors amazed him. It vaguely reminded him of a diving trip once, on a beautiful sunny day of warm waters, endless blue skies and clear and sparkling fresh sea, wast blue oceans, and then right beneath the surface, an intensity and spectacle of thousands of swimming fish, a sea floor filled with sea stars and other sea animals in delightful and vital spectrums of colors he had never seen before. “
In the middle of the book – the main character starts to change.
At the end of that evening he felt like something had changed in him. He had held the book carefully for a long time, enjoyed the tea slowly, and the warm soft light had been absorbed into him for a few hours, leaving him mildly beaming with a calm sensation of glow and a fluid landscape of thoughts. After a while with the book he had learned to follow the rhythm of shifts from beautiful visual scenes to long and intricate reflections about people, life and of thinking in itself. And he had learned to slow down, read every word more carefully, sometimes starting over at the beginning, and giving himself time to fully grasp the full sentence and all the details, and letting them sink in and through a slow transition become his own.
Full chapter here!
He always loved to walk. The body slowly moving, the limbs performing their natural functions, and the breathing. The air softly through the mouth, the throat, filling the chest. The clarity of the senses. How we walk through our lives, a long stream of changing scenery and endless repetition.
As a little boy, to school, on travels, all the memories and experiences connected to and absorbed in the state of walking. Faint travel memories from Greek temples by the Mediterranean Sea, to dark and busy streets in the midst of China, the flowing green landscapes of lush Vietnam, the classical buildings of downtown Washington, gushing geysers on Iceland, tiny streets of childhood summer vacations filled with sunshine and soft scents of flowers in green, violet, yellow. All recorded and remembered while in motion, moving and carefully placing one foot in front of the other. Living life and moving through time.
Longer excerpt here!
As he sat down in the peaceful park his mind started to drift as usual. Swaths of hidden memories and past joys bubbled up from the deep as he watched the ducks glide along the clear calm surface of the lake. Some thoughts were clear and vivid, others more muddled and fragmented, some with strong emotions still, while yet again others strangely remote and neutral after the passing of time and changes in life rendering them distant and beautiful but other like. Ever since he was a little child he had loved the peace of a small lake in the park.
And the day had just begun.
“As he walked along the dark streets with clear skies under the stars these evenings, many of the younger memories became more tender and more golden than before. The little ponderings as a young boy, walking around and thinking, and wondering about the world, trying to sort out the thoughts and impression with the young and still party innocent mind of a little boy, walking home from school, sitting in a classroom and watching the trees outside the window, walking around in the garden, or having the head deep buried in a book, while smiling and loving the feeling of understanding something new, and something more.”
“One student in particular had a deep and vulnerable strain in her playing, which never showed through the appearance or in her conversations, but once she started playing there was a unique tone and a shivering nerve glowing in the deep, which captivated those who were listening, and somehow gave comfort to both herself and to others.”
“Suddenly there came a long stretch of sunny days again. Waking up in a light and bright mood, the patches of sunlight moving in slow motion over the floor carpet and walls, sometimes even laying a small strip of white glowing energy over the bed, making the first little glimpse of day a delightful and beautiful moment, that could last for hours into the day.”
“And that night he kept dreaming about new travels once again, about tropical islands, swinging palms and blue pristine skies, or bustling town squares in ancient old cities, with a little sidewalk table and a coffee, or sometimes blended into a glass of wine, soaking in the hot sun and the historical buildings, and feeling the thick warm atmosphere of a lively town with a big heart and passionate outbursts of joy, enthusiasm, and intense human bonds blistering with intensity and love.”
“The new friend didn’t say much during the lunch, but he noticed her presence and felt the little influence on the world that had already happened. Among the other friends that day was Georgio, who was playing bassoon in the local orchestra, and Robert, who was working part-time in a little bookshop in the village. It was relaxing, sunny, and a day full of promise as the time in square passed over to noon, and they all dissolved into different paths as they parted to meet again the next day.
He slowly went home, filled up with the stories and great chats of the day, and wondered if not life had changed a little bit that day, or if it was just the seasons changing and the anticipation of joy and the ease of summer that was becoming a little bit stronger, and a little bit closer. But as twilight and darkness later fell, and the transparent fumes from the cup of tea was dancing upwards again, in the dimly lit corner next to the beautiful wall of books, he still couldn’t tell. But he felt calm and happy, and a tiny bit different person than just the day before.”