“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.”