“On one corner in the village this morning stood a coffee shop man looking over his little square with little tables, talking with a big voice and glowing brown eyes, greeting the people passing by and serving the usual coffee, snacks or the occasional little meal to the local people starting their days in engaged chats over life, politics, personal relationships or fun stories from the day before. The coffee shop man had been watching over this square for a couple of decades, while his belly growing a bit bigger, the voice a bit deeper, the hair a bit thinner but still shining black, and caring for the refined culture of positive values and compassion in his little kingdom.”
“When the tip of the brush touched the canvas it happened again. The world around him disappeared, and the tiny little point, and then a little line, with a certain little curve to it, became all there was, magnified by tenfolds in size and intensity, and carving out a broad strip of red in his mind as well. Then the other colors started to appear and dance around in his imagination, in a big space filled with whirling images in the edges, and a joyful emotion of change, and of presence. He kept going and soon the whole canvas was filled with a calm surface of colors, and with a clear expression of joy, relief, optimism and happiness. “
“He calmly looked at the trees and the flowers around him, and took a deep sigh. The village was still flashing in the back of his mind, drifting further and further away, but then coming back again with images of the square, the river, the little ducks, and the streets. And a wave of different emotions for the little everyday habits, like closing the door to the house, turning a corner on the street, seeing a square opening up before him, or the little cup of tea in the evenings. It was so close to him at times, so vivid and alive, so full of joy and light and inspiration for him. It was a time of great change, and of peace and stability, and of new forms of joy and happiness entering into his life, giving new perspectives on life and people, and on everything before and after those years. It was like a beaming little oasis of beauty in his mind, and a permanent source of new energy and sweet memories. It had changed him, and his future, forever.”
“After some hours of rain the twilight fell, and the deep blue blended with the little beautiful street lights outside. He thought of the last few weeks, and then felt how his heart was beating. There was a little voice, and a little smile, that was always with him now. Even when he was not seeing it or thinking about it, it was always there, in him.”
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.”
“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.”
“He went to bed, and as he turned off the lights the mind kept working on the change that he had felt today, four or five different groups of thoughts that kept growing and moving in different parts of his head, making sleep a bit difficult that night. As the dreams started to glide in between the groups and disrupting the faintly crackling knots of bustling activity, like little dams of oily purple water, filled with dispersed images of memories from the day that just passed and mixed with random scenes from forgotten parts of his young life and adolescence, then the next second just silence, then again the purple water spreading on a surface, he slowly lost track of what the topics were all about, or even why he wanted to think about them or why they had been there in the first place. Soon it was all gone and just a floating mesh of incoherent emotions and memories took over. By the time he got back to his senses and had regained some consciousness of what this was all about, a little strip of sunshine had again started to seep downwards on the wall, while another one was sliding over the duvet and onto the pillow, and a third one touched his arm and spread a warm intense feeling throughout his body, opening his eyes very carefully in wonder, before closing them quickly again and sliding the sun-touched arm softly back underneath the duvet.”