"Currently I’m lying on the wooden bench outside, while the rest of the house has surrendered to sleep. The hard surface isn’t very comfortable but it’s worth it…. Gazing at the sky which is black as coal and lit by hundreds of stars. I love the feeling of emptiness and uncontrol that rushes over you and lies upon one’s body like a heavy blanket. Something most people miss out on when living in the cities, not only because people seem too busy to stop for a moment and look up, but because the fake lights hover above the rooftops as fog and shields for the light rays sent from an untouched place in the universe.
Lately the nights has been cloudless and I’ve therefore spent many of my hours after the early sunset on the bench writing, thinking or listening to music. Daughter, Elvis, Goo goo dolls, Butch Walker, John Mayer.
Between every song the few seconds of silence would be replaced by grasshoppers filling the air with their strange brand of singing.
So far from everything but never any silence.
In comparison to Denmark I miss the silence on the countryside. In Denmark we don’t really have anything breaking the cold night air.
I think back to the early high school days when we would travel by bus to a summerhouse on an island nearby and sit outside the porch, after the darkness had taken forever to come, surrounded only by wheat fields and empty space. We would wrap ourselves in blankets, drink a few beers and enjoy that we were able to live life unconcerned for a few days. But whenever the laughing and tellings grew quite, there would be only silence. A sort of comfortable, healing stillness where we would all take a deep breath, think… try to observe and save the moment of what soon only would be a memory.
And sitting here now I love the idea that it is the same sky I’ve been gazing at back then. Every second it changes its shape, but still remains the same. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors. Waxy yellow, cloud-spat blues. Murky darknesses. (The book thief, Markus Zusak)
Darkness. If you know me well, you know I’m not very fond of the dark. So how come I be willing and loving to lie out in the middle of it, in this very moment? I tend to believe that many with the same fear would agree that there are different kinds of darkness. The nightly blue, when the moon is so bright that is casts as many shadows as the sun. The lightly black coal, which wraps you up and keeps you company. The deep but soft and comforting darkness that takes care of you, when the alcohol flows in your blood and you’ve set yourself free to run through the night of nothingness and dewy grass. So many different types. But the one I fear, the one I’m terrified by, is the hollow black. The one that is watching. Creeping after you and waiting for the right moment to make its move. Grab you by the neck with its clammy hands of death and swallow you. Do you know that feeling? Nonetheless we all have fears. We are human. I sometimes get reminded by that in the bus, when the wheels sweeps the tarmac with such high speed and large strokes that the speed of light is about to be broken. The thought of death crosses my mind, but not fear. My thoughts travel towards Anders discussing the higher risk of dying in a car accident than a plane crash, and I hate the thought of him being right. But the point wasn’t the risk, the point was the helplessness.
Having to travel by bus several of hours a day, gives me time to absorb the many impressions life seems to throw at me. People I’ve met have planted so many thoughts in my head, which all just keep growing and spreading seeds. It’s hard to find a red thread through any of it. I’ve already managed to widen my horizon within a couple of months, but at the same time everything seems more messed up and confusing. I keep asking myself questions until I feel dizzy. It’s the same feeling that falls upon me, when the first of winter’s snow is falling and I look up in the white sky. When the snow falls in hypnotic circles around me, and I just stand there motionless until everything begins to spin and I have to keep my eyes fixed on the ground to keep from falling. A little spark inside of me loves it.
Sitting in the bus is an experience in itself. Mostly because it is where one get exposed to the heart of thai culture in so many ways. Openness, curiosity, smiles, confusion, ignorance, intrusiveness.
Something so simple as a bus trip.
It’s weird. Cause the feeling of emptiness and uncontrol that my head is caught up in right now by the starlit blue... It’s the same that rushes through me when driving in a car at night. Sitting at the passenger seat and being blinded by city lights. It’s the same feeling that flows through my veins when sitting on an airplane and gazing at the lightened cities that beckons to the sky in the dark. It’s the same emptiness that kisses me, when sitting in the bus alone and the wind runs its fingers through my hair.
It's funny what movement can do to one. It’s weird that it took me so long to notice. I think Steph always have known this. That travelling from one place to another is an adventure itself. I remember that I laughed until tears fell in streams from my cheeks when reading her early travel diaries that she scribbled as a child. First of all because of the spelling which time later taught us different. But also because she only wrote about the travelling in details when it came to transportation. The thought of a little girl finding trains and busses more amusing than visiting a funpark or a historical monument seemed stunning to me the first time I read it. But something lies under the surface much deeper than I noticed at first. And I believe Steph already back then knew one of life secrets. Something which was confirmed in the first letter I received from her in the beginning of my trip here:
Occasionally my eye catches the silhouette of a bat entering a hole in the roof and a mosquito will take a drop of my blood without permission. Joe would say that they’re just mothers trying to get babies, but neither Roberta nor I am that Buddhist-minded. But even if I wanted to slap the two winged insects, I couldn’t since I never seem to notice them in time. Luckily it’s only one drop and I’m still alive. I feel alive sitting here in the darkness."
- Written on different nights on a bench, which four legs are planted in the soil of Mae On district, between the 13-22. october 2012
Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises