“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.”
“Once he met a man on a little boat in Vietnam, a smiling man in his fifties, quietly helping with the equipment and assisting the crew with the day trip for tourists. As the talks drifted away from sunny days in the sea to other and bigger topics, and his family life, his eyes deepened as he talked about losing three of his sons in the war, and having supported the wrong side, and the decades of hardships and pain that had followed. After those words there was just quietness for a long time.”
“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.”
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!
“One morning a new friend appeared at the sidewalk table, unassumingly sitting beside Maurice and carefully reading the menu before softly doing the orders with a flowing smile at the end. Her dark hair was shimmering in the sun, and a careful but withdrawn sparkle was hiding in her eyes. He immediately felt a bit dizzy.”