Bellyllusions Festival (+ blog break)

Bellyllusions festival offers a day full of entertainment – an eclectic mix of workshops, performances and animations from theatre to acrobatics, from live music to dance. I’ll be dancing a solo as well as a duo – for the first time ever! – with my friend Léna Sam.

When: 24th March 2018, from 12:00 until 21:00.

Where: Cultuurhuis Heerlen (Sittardeweg 145, Heerlen, NL)

More info: bellydancefestival.nl

See you there!

 

On a slightly unrelated note, I have spent so much time in front of screens lately that my eyes just won’t stop hurting, so I have decided to give myself and the blog a break. I’ll be back after Easter with some longer posts about dance, the universe and everything.

 

An instrument of self-awareness

A few years ago, when a colleague left Brussels for a few months, she left her electric piano at my place while she was away. I hadn’t played for more than five years before that. I printed some sheet notes – some light new pieces and a few old favourites – to play, but those three or so months passed quickly and I never practiced enough to really get back into it.

Ever since, I’ve been thinking about buying an instrument. A couple of times I tried to get one second-hand, but usually between the time it was posted and the time I checked if it was a keyboard that really sounded as the real thing, it was already sold. I did not insist, sure that I’d never practice enough to justify the expense.

Then, some days ago, I saw an advert on social media. And this time, I was lucky. It has 500 instruments and endless functions programmed into it, none of which is of any interest to me; but it sounds, and feels, like a real piano.

So I bought it, taking home not only an instrument, but also a good amount of self-awareness.

I still don’t think I’ll practice enough to truly justify the expense; but I had to realise it wasn’t the real reason that kept me for so long. It was the fact that I wanted to think I’m staying here only temporarily. That I could leave any day.

Of course, I still can; and if I do, I can sell the piano, or take it with myself, or leave it with a trusted friend until I can take it back.

But now I’m a bit – by a not-quite-portable instrument, to be precise – closer to staying here.
And that is scary as hell.

 

On being insupportable

I was tired, testy and generally in a bad mood.
No surprise there: this was the Eurpean Architecture Students’ Assembly, a two-week madness of workshops by day and party by night. It was well over forty degrees, I hadn’t slept properly for days, and I had to be nice to the other participants, almost all of them strangers.
So when I met up with my companion – a Spanish girl who later became a good friend – to work on our project, I wanted to warn her.

“I’m not really good company today”, I said.
“Let me decide that”, she answered.

More than ten years later, it’s still my mantra  when I’m not on good terms with myself.

Watching

I was standing in line at the store when he came in, grabbing a bouquet of red flowers at the entry, and queued up just behind me. He must have been in his late forties, early fifties, maybe; he wasn’t particularly handsome, but looked pretty stylish, wearing a pair of slate-blue trousers, a matching jacket on his arm, with a well-cut shirt of red dots on white. His movements hid an impatience that almost prompted me to offer him my place in the line, even though I had only one item to buy; and I could hardly take my eyes off his smile.

Elevator Pitch – Audience Education Version

An elevator pitch is “a brief speech that outlines an idea for a product, service or project”. The concept is mostly used in the world of entrepreneurs, the idea being that if you find yourself in an elevator with an investor you’d like to get on board or the CEO of your dream company, you have to be able to tell them what you do and get their attention in the 30-60 seconds you have until the 9th floor.

So, what does that have to do with dance – and audience education?

In November, I danced at Lou Pradas’ Oriental Romance show. I created a new dance for the occasion, a saiidi piece with cane. In the break, and audience member came up to me to ask about my dance – in fact she it in a rather tricky way, asking, “what did the stick mean in your dance?”

And there I stood, ruining this rare opportunity to provide good information to a non-dancer by beng unable to properly explain, in those two minutes I had, what raqs al-assaya / saiidi dance is.

It is complex, of course:

saiidi dance is a folkloric style from Upper Egypt, danced with or without a cane, while raqs al-assaya literally means  dance with a cane, so it may or may not be in the saiidi style (many regions of the world have cane dances). Saiidi men’s cane dance, the tahtib, is no so much a dance as a martial art, and seems to have ancient roots; women’s (saiidi style) cane dance is a much more modern phenomenon, an imitation and gentle parody of the men’s dance. In its current form, saiidi / raqs al-assaya (like most Egyptian dances) is heavily influenced by the work of Mahmoud Reda and his troupe, but  in the Rea troupe, women only took the cane from the men for a few seconds if at all.  Saiidi cane dance, even if danced by women, is considered “folkloric”, even though saiidi women tend not to dance in public at all*.

See what I mean?

I’m still working on how to put all this (and more*) into less than two minutes without making my curious audience member run away. I’m dancing this dance again next week at the Festival de Danses Orientales in Liège – get your tickets in time and I promise I’ll be ready for your questions.

 

 

* if you wish to learn more about raqs al-assaya / saiidi, click on these articles: by Shira, by Lauren, by Valeria from World Belly Dance and by Ashraf Hassan.

 

 

Festival de danses orientales – Liège, 17.02.2018.

Organised by the  Centre Culturel Arabe en Pays de Liège, this event has a long tradition, celebrating its 13th edition this year. The show will bring together over 200 dancers of different Oriental and fusion styles, making it one of the region’s greatest dance event.

I’ll bring two new dances of mine, one of them first time on stage – preparations are underway, and I’m sure all the other dancers are pouring all their love and dedication into it as well.

Places are limited, so make sure to get your tickets in time!
Order yours by calling (+32) 04 342 78 84 or by emailing secretariat@ccapl.be (French preferred, I guess 🙂 )

Practical info:

Centre culturel de Seraing, Rue Renaud Strivay, 44 – Seraing
17 February 2018, 19:30
entry fee: 6 euros // 3 euros (for kids under 12) // 1,75 euros (“Art.27”)
click here for the facebook event

See you!

Show with Brenda & Orchestre Nagham Zikrayat (04.02.2018.)

A special recommenation to all my readers in & around Brussels: a show in town!

This show is organised by Salomé Dance, within the framework of a training programme with Brenda, so for those interesed there are some workshops as well ver the weekend. (themes: Khaleege, Tabla solo, Zills, Muwashahat and Samai choreography).
On Sunday, we close with a show accompanied by the amazing Orchestre Nagham Zikrayat live, starring Brenda and guest artists Maëlle, Lou, Valentina and Noémie.

See you there!!

Place: Théâtre Marni, Rue de Vergnies, 25, 1050 Brussels

Time: 4 February 2018, 18:30

Entry fee: 20 euro. Reserve your ticket at salomemonreve@gmail.com

 

photo by Anna & Michal

Thé à la menthe dansant

If you are in the area of Lille or near enough to take a trip there, and are interested in Oriental dance, come have a mint tea with us on Sunday the 28th of January. It’s worth coming just to see the organiser, Juliette – she’s one of my favourite dancers nearby –, but there is more:
we’ll have

  • an introduction workshop to Oriental dance
  • a dance show
  • some live music
  • an open stage (including a dance from myself)
  • as well as some mint tea and sweets.

Free entry (donations welcome).

Address: Le Dancing, 296 rue de Lille, 59130 Lambersart

Doors open at 3PM.

See you there!

On new years and lives

I used to be a great fan of the concept of starting new live, quite independently of new years, to the point that I ended up writing in my major arcana series (Spanish and Hungarian only, sorry),
“I start a new life today – one of many hundreds”.
I love clear-cut beginnings and huge changes happening in a moment more than anyone else I know – I’m one of those people who open all the boxes and put everything in its place the day after moving in the new place (storage place permitting, of course), but at a certain point I had to realise that even moving across the continent cannot give me a new life. I have only one.

I happen to have an issue with new year’s resolutions, too.
If you celebrate New Year’s (and if you don’t why would you time your changes to it?), January the 1st is pretty much the worst day to start anything constructive: you’re way too likely to be hung over, full from last night’s snacks, sleep deprived or at least disoriented, having messed up circadian rythm, and you probably have too much alcohol and not-quite-healthy food in your fridge from the holidays. Add to this, in my case, that I spend the holidays at home and then have to come back to Brussels. (For the record, I spent New Year’s at my parents’ and went to sleep at half past midnight, but still.)

I have it easy, for my birhday is on the 22nd of January, so I can postpone any new projects until now and still feel that new beginnings are justified. Indeed, I strive not to start anything before this date. I don’t make resolutions, but I do have projects, mostly related to dance, health and fitness. And poetry – one should never forget poetry.

So here’s to new light, new beginnings – and the one and only life we have.

winter break

Every year I decide to be easy on myself between the beginning of December and the end of January (I usually set the 22nd, my birthday, as a deadline). This would mean not taking up any extra obligations, travels (other than going home for the holidays), etc.

As always, the first two week of December was not only the toughest at work, but I also went to Ghent for Fusion Freeze, where I both took workshops and performed, twice,  as well as gave altogether 5 classes (including 2 trips to Nivelles) in replacement for dancer friends of mine.

I hope to have a quiet week next, and then I’ll be home – so I’m also taking a break from blogging. If all goes well, I’ll be back on the 22nd. Happy holidays to all!

Meeting the legend

Some told me her workshops were not worth it; that as wonderful a dancer as she is, she does not really teach. The were right – but they were also wrong.

In late September I went to Rimini for the sole purpose of taking workshops with Fifi Abdo. She’s a living legend, and one who doesn’t come too often to Europe, so I simply had to go, no matter the distance, the cost or the above-mentioned warnings.

She does not teach like Western teachers, or even as the Egyptian masters who often teach in the West. She offers little correction, less explanation (of movements) and no set combinations or choreographies at all. She teaches as – I assume – she once learnt: by example. She stands up, dances, and expects you to observe and imitate. She might offer some corrections; what she might explain is never how to execute a movement or another, what muscles you need to use, but rather the attitudes, stories and cultural background related to that music and that style of dance.

It has to be said that this style of teaching is less suited for larger groups and two- or three-hour workshops: learning by observation would require more time, preferably one-on-one or in small groups. It also puts much more responsibility on the learner: you need to observe keenly and read between the lines, you have to wring out your knowledge from what she offers – rather than almost being spoon-fed as you might be by a Western-style teacher.

In most workshops, you have a number of new moves, combinations, or even a whole choreography to take home; Madame Fifi will not give you such pre-packaged knowledge. But I can assure you, learning from her will enrich your dance in a lot of small, subtle ways.

Fusion Freeze

Something a bit different this weekend: Fusion Freeze festival! While I’m generally into traditional styles, this year I decided to expand my horizons, and took up learning Tribal Fusion – and took up other fusion styles once more.

The festival, organised by Teuta, in Gent, offers some exciting workshops (check out if there’s a sport left for you!), and two shows: a theatre show on Saturday and a dinner show on Sunday.

I’ve been selected to perform in both of them: I’ll present (part of) a flamenco-oriental choreography by Salima on Saturday, and a festive salsa-oriental at the dinner show. Both shows offer a wide variety of fusion dances by amazing dancers, so if you’re in or near Gent, make sure to be there!

Book your tickets here for the Saturday show and here for the Sunday dinner show.

The Muses are pangender

“Them in Pieria did Mnemosyne, who reigns over the hills of Eleuther, bear of union with the father, the son of Cronos, a forgetting of ills and a rest from sorrow. For nine nights did wise Zeus lie with her, entering her holy bed remote from the immortals. And when a year was passed and the seasons came round as the months waned, and many days were accomplished, she bare nine daughters, all of one mind, whose hearts are set upon song and their spirit free from care, a little way from the topmost peak of snowy Olympus.”

Hesiod, Theogony

He who made me question my prejudices, each and every time.
He who led me into the maze from where so many of my stories sprung.
He who inspired me to publish them.
He who danced with me in a way that made me a better dancer.
He who told me each and every time that he believed in me, without me asking.

I loved them all: inspiration and attraction are not so very different, after all. But they were not my lovers: they were my Muses. And it’s mere circumstance that they were all men.

But surely no one really meant that Memory herself only had daughters.

 

 

Boundaries

“Can we change the subject, please?”

“Why would we?”

“Because it makes me nervous. Can we please talk about something else?”

“Oh come on! Why do you insist, anyway?”

“Because I really do not want to talk about this topic.”

“Oh, you don’t have to – we’ll do all the talking.”

“I don’t want to listen to it either.”

“But we want to talk about it.”

“Okay, I’ll just go upstairs, then.”

“Oh come on! You know we don’t have any taboo topics here. And we’re just joking around anyway.”

“Well, if you find this funny, it’s up to you, but I don’t, and if you insist on continuing, I’ll just go.”

“You know we are like this, it’s not that you can change how we are, really.”

“Really. Anyway, I’ll go upstairs now.”

“See you later!”

“See you.”

 

 

 

But somehow I am the one labelled unreasonable.

Lessons in creativity

A friend of mine, who is also a great tango dancer, published a post (HU only) a while ago about the things he (or anyone) could do to become a better tanguero. He used a method he learnt from a colleague:

if you have a problem, list 20 potential ways of solving it. Finding the first 7-8 will be extraordinarily easy; with some difficulty you’ll get up to 15; finding the last five will be hell on earth.

Of course becoming better at anything lies not only in finding methods, but also, and especially, in applying them; and while I doubt any single one item on the list can in itself make wonders, no matter how diligently applied, it seems common sense that having several ideas and mixing them according to needs and possibilities it a good way to go forward.

So I challenged myself to a list of 30.

My list, of course, concerns Oriental dance and how I (or others) can become better at it. Here it is:

  1. practice as often as you can.
  2. learn with different teachers; take workshops.
  3. dance in a troupe.
  4. dance solo.
  5. work your own choreographies.
  6. work other dancers’s choreographies.
  7. learn about the use of space and directions.
  8. improvise.
  9. focus on technique.
  10. focus on expression.
  11. take every chance to perform. Perform to your best each time.
  12. go to haflas and concerts: dance for the fun of it.
  13. take part in at least a few contests.
  14. get feedback from professionals: your teachers, contest judges, etc.
  15. get feedback from fellow dancers.
  16. get feedback from non-dancers (or non-Oriental dancers).
  17. see the masters: if you can’t see them live, DVDs and Youtube are your friend.
  18. watch oriental dance in any and all of its forms, from the street to the grand theatre.
  19. listen to all kinds of Oriental music. Learn songs.
  20. work with musicians.
  21. learn how to work with a drummer.
  22. improve your communication with the audience.
  23. learn the gestures of wherever your dance style comes from.
  24. learn (at least some) Arabic (or Turkish, or…).
  25. go to Egypt / Turkey / Lebanon (and/or wherever your favourite style has its roots), if you have the chance.
  26. meet people from the Middle-East / North Africa. Talk to them. Listen to them.
  27. learn about Middle-Eastern history and culture: read books, articles, watch films (that’s where speaking the language comes in handy 🙂 )
  28. learn about the history of the dance.
  29. read poetry from the region, folkloric and otherwise.
  30. learn about the societal contexts of dancing.
  31. learn especially about concepts of femininity.
  32. learn folk dances of the region.
  33. try out other dance styles.
  34. start teaching. Make sure you’re prepared to do it.

+1: blog about it: the things you find best to share are the most useful for you as well.

Feel free to add some more in the comments.

Oriental Romance

This weekend we have workshops with Özgen, Mayel and the lovely Lou Pradas – who organises the event –, as well as a great show Saturday night at the heart of Brussels, with some of the best dancers from Belgium and abroad. I have the honour of having been invited, and I'm preparing a completely new dance for the occasion, which means I'm also terribly nervous, but I promise it will be a great night.

One (or maybe both?) of Özgen's workshops is already sold out, but there should be some places left for the others.

For the show, pre-sales closes tomorrow the 7th of November, so if you want to be sure to have a place, contact Lou for your ticket.

See you there!

Dancing September

This September has been quite hectic – and full of dance. And though it's almost the end of the month, the good part is yet to come.

I'm writing this update from a small hotel room in Rimini, where I am taking workshops with the legendary Fifi Abdo (!!), one of my favourite dancers, over the weekend. I am also competing tomorrow – her being on the jury – and the only reason I'm not fizzling with nerves is that I've just spent about 8 hours travelling and I'm simply exhausted. Wish me luck, though.

What's more, next weekend, I'll be in Barcelona for some more workshops, this time with the ever so inspiring Mercedes Nieto. I also have the honour of having been selected to perform as a member of Mercedes' Tarabesque Troupe at the festival gala show. The show has quite an impressive line-up – I hope I'll have the chance to see most if not all of it, even though I participate. For those of you who will be in Barcelona next weekend, you can find more info here if you'd like to come – I can only recommend that you do.

If you cannot, but are in Brussels and would like to learn the dance, join my course starting next Monday!

Or click on the photo below to see all the pictures from last Saturday's Oriental Cocktail Festival.

NEW! Oriental dance course for beginners

Come and learn this beautiful and artistic dance form in an open, friendly and fun environment!

New weekly course for beginners in Schaerbeek, Bruxelles.

Time: every Monday from 18:15 to 19:45
Place: Espace Mutin, Chaussée de Haecht 140, 1030 Schaerbeek

Price:
single class: 15 eur
5 classes: 70 eur (valid for 5 weeks)
10 classes: 135 eur (valid for 12 weeks)

Classes start on Monday the 25th of September.

For more info and registration, please click here.

 

The dancer on two wheels (pt. II.)

Beverlo is about 3 hours distance from Bruxelles by public transport. Eindhoven is about 50 kms from Beverlo. One of my favourite musicians, Totó la Momposina, gave a concert in Bruxelles on the day I was away in Aarschot/Betekom to perform. She gave another concert, in Eindhoven, a week later, on the day there was a whole-afternoon open stage festival – organised by Johanna – in Betekom.

Guess what.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I felt a bit bad about rushing in and leaving so early from the festival, even though the real choice was not between staying a little or a lot: it was between staying a little or not going at all – I had a ticket to a concert, after all, about 50 kms away.

This time I printed my itinerary – I didn’t have the time to get lost and find my way –, nevertheless, I stopped every now and then at a map along the road (by the way, the region is indeed a biker’s paradise, as it advertises itself) to check if I was where I should be. At one of these, just this side of the border, I ran into another biker.
‘Are you lost?’
‘No, just making sure all is ok’
‘Where are you headed, anyway?’
‘but… that’s some 40 kms away!’
‘I know’, I said, though I was a bit perturbed, as I had counted it couldn’t have been more then 30.

Indeed, it wasn’t: I even had time for a coffee/snack break and arrived in good time.

Totó la Momposina is 77 years old now, still she sings and dances through her concert. She explains about each song and musical genre they play: about their history, the related traditions, the dances, the instruments, and the lyrics, making the show as much of an educational experience as it is fun, artistic and festive. She also gives credit to all the composers, except for herself – it’s the members of the band who have to do it for her.

Totó la Momposina – y sus tambores

The fact that I planned to cycle along the Zeeland coast  the following two days , but not only I had to come home and spend the whole week at home, three weeks after I still don’t have my voice, is another story. The “three weeks after” part may or may not be due to some other factors as well, stories for another day. So, have I at least done something stupid?

 

Arrival 3.0 – The dancer on two wheels (pt. I.)

It’s hard to tell a story while I’m living it (for the lack of time, if nothing else); on the other hand, I prefer not to write when I’m ill, to avoid (publicly!) documenting those moods – hence the delay.
A friend asked me, when I told him, “have you at least done something stupid, to get so sick?”

I’ll leave that to you to decide.

The story starts on Friday, May 26th, a day off work. Having run some errands, which of course took more time than I’d though they would, I left Brussels at 12.30, an hour later than planned. I say I left Brussels, but this being a biking trip it took me about an hour more to get out of the city.


You’ll never hear me complain about it, but it was hot. And I had a headwind. And I got lost twice, first at Haacht and then at Aarschot, where my phone’s battery died, leaving me without a map.

Google hugely overestimates my cycling speed: I arrived to Diest at 6pm, sweaty, tired and more proud than ever.

But why was I cycling to Diest on this Friday afternoon to begin with? Why, if not for the love of dance. I was headed to a folk festival named Dafodil.
Until I joined the folk scene, I only knew gigues from J.S. Bach, mazurkas from Chopin (I played some, in fact), and the only valse I knew was Viennese. It makes quite a difference do be dancing them. And dance I did, on that warm and lively night, under the open skies.

 

As the next day proved, Diest happens to be a lovely, if quiet, old town. So is Aarschot, where I had lunch, though it’s less quiet, as expected from a larger city.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

My destination, however, was Betekom, where I danced at a charity dance show organised by my friends Llady May and Saratis, an event as warm, welcoming and fun as anyone could wish for.
Saratis even offered me to stay at her place, even though we’d never met before the show! She and her boyfriend have two dogs – and had a third one over as a guest –, a couple of cats, maybe two? a turtle, a rabbit, and some small chicken. And possible some more I haven’t seen – an amazing household indeed.

Coincidentally, that night was also the 3rd anniversary of my arrival to Belgium. I couldn’t have wished for a better celebration than that hafla with my dancer friends, and that weekend as a whole. When I came back last September, I decided I’d play at being new in town until and unless I felt at home. It took me long, eight months since then, almost three years altogether, but now I am finally truly arrived.

the dancer on two wheels (photo by Ludo Vanlangenakker)

Almost, but not quite

Mayday weekend was one of, if not the best I’ve had in about two and a half years. I also was one of, if not the most active one since then. This means that

I went out to dance salsa on Friday, after declining to go to a class beforehand so that I could have a nap, knowing I’d not be home before 2AM (and indeed I did not);

on Saturday, I visited the Royal Greenhouses. The Royal Greenhouses are open only a few weeks a year, and I was under the distinct impression that one has to reserve an appointment to get in, which I did not manage, probably because this is not really the case. I reserved a place in a guided tour instead, and only realised somewhere around Friday 11PM that 1) the tour starts at 1PM, not at 2:30, and 2) it’s a 4-hour cycling tour around Bruxelles. Of course, I regularly cycle comparable distances, but getting up that much earlier wasn’t welcome; also, cycling thgouth the town and then walking around, at a snail’s pace, in a huge and awfully crowded greenhouse complex for an hour is tiring. On top of that, we started out late, so at 5:30, when I left the group, the tour wasn’t yet finished.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I went home, had a bit of rest, took a shower and changed, pulled myself together, had a coffee – then went out to a folk ball. This is something I’ve been into since September, and includes (mostly) Western-European traditional dances. I do not take classes, but I go to the live music evenings whenever I can: the dances are easy to learn by doing, the music tends to be great, and I enjoy the company a lot.
If all that wasn’t enough,

on Sunday, though I had set the alarm as late as I could, counting all I wanted to do, I was fully awake by 8:15; so not only I wen to the market and took the compost to the garden (have I ever mentioned I participate in a community garden?), I also took my seedlings (green peas and courgettes, if you want to know), and by the time the others arrived – we’d agreed to turn the compost –, I almost finished planting and watering them.
I went to a contact impovisation jam in the afternoon, something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I’d been going to jams in budapest, but in Bruxelles I somehow didn’t manage (maybe because I was sick half the time?). Anyway, it was so good I resolved to go every Sunday if I can. Of course, typically, I may have to take an exception this week already. I finished off Sunday night at an Oriental dance show. No, I did not perform.

Monday was an easy day: I “only” had some dance practice and visited my friends in Leuven.

 

Why “almost”,  you may ask.

Honestly, I’d not intended to pack my weekend so much, but when I realised I had, I decided not to cancel anything unless I really didn’t feel like going. But every day I paid close attention to get my hours of sleep, to home during the day and have and hour or so to rest, even to take a nap. I made sure that I wouldn’t have any specific programme for the next weekend, so that I can rest.

I was prepared to be tired, not-so-concentrated or less productive at work. Still I hoped, in vain, that that would be it. It’s Friday and I’m writing this from home, on sick leave (lucky I can do that, by the way). When I talk about chronic illness, this is what I’m so upset about. I mean, there are way more serious issues than mine, and if you don’t see me take my meds you probably won’t ever notice, but really, can I not have an active and fun weekend without getting sick?!?


Edited to add: of course, this illness was little more than some annoyance, but annoying it was indeed. Three weeks later, I’m still not back at that energy level — almost, yes, but not quite.

not nice

“Are you still single?” – he asked.

I had met him and exchanged numbers at a community event a while ago. We spoke only once since then.

“Does that concern you?” – I answered. I hate this question.

“It does indeed.”
“How so?”
“It concerns me because I’m interested in you.”
“But I’m not interested in you, so no, it does not.”
“How rude.”
“Not rude. Honest.”
“You’re so harsh with me.”
“I am, and so what?”
“So what, what do you want me to say?”
“Whatever you wish.”
“Oh well, you too.”
“Then I wish you a nice evening.”
“Don’t you just hang up like that, you have to tell me why!”
“Personal preferences are not to be explained.”
“But you have to explain!”
“No, I don’t. Thans for calling, and have a nice evening. Ciao.”

I count myself lucky, for in my 31 years I’ve only had a handful of these conversations.

I count this one as a victory, for I did hang up and blocked his number without thinking much about it – though it took him less time to text me, only to tell me that I am not nice and that I should go eff myself.

So long as you leave me alone…

a letter never sent

Dear …,

I am writing a story. I am writing the story you owe me, because I have given up on you ever paying your debt.

While there might have been times when a story could be bought or commanded, those times are past now; in any case, this particular one could only ever be given freely. When we last met, you named this debt as your own and gave me a promise – freely! – to tell it, but you never did. I have not even heard of you since, in fact.

So I decided to write it intstead of you. It will be different from all the other stories I have written, for it has to be more profane and prosaic than any of them to be credible. In all probability, it will not be beautiful, either.

Still, I will write it, and the writing will be the easier part. For after that, I will have to believe it. Just as the Son, who had, under expert instructions, dreamt his wings, and then had to forget the time he had lived without, I will have to believe this story to be true, as if you had truly told me.

I will probably lose whatever confidence I still have in you in the process, as well as any goodwill that’s left. I am well aware you could not care less about it. If I do my job properly, neither will I, by the end.

Nevertheless, I wish you all the best.

an e-mail from the past

On New Year’s Day*, I received an e-mail – from my past self**.

27-year-old Eszter (Maura) was convinced she could never write her “(future) self a letter and not remember every word of whenever it is actually delivered”. She could. I forgot every word of it.

I will not quote it, being, typically, a mix of English, Spanish and Italian.

My past self had pretty much the same goals as I do, including one regarding coming to Brussels, about which I could have some words with her. She asked me about work (best I’ve had and quite cool on a universal scale), about dance, mentioning pizzica and tammurriata (which I have since danced, though not nearly enough), as well as Oriental (I came a long way since that moment, and brewing new things these days***); about health (gosh, worst two years past, hopefully ever, getting better now); about autonomy (nailed it).

She asked me about my paperboat project (an imaginary travel agency, left in half – my fleet is supposed to be at a friend’s place, though she moved last year…), my writing (see elsewhere on this site), about travels (I’m quite content on this point). She asked me if she was still single (not still, but again).

She reminded me about a certain trip to Cádiz I was planning: postponed, it’s still on schedule.

Looking at this, I’m much more satisfied with my life.

 

 

* New Year’s Day, 2016. I was in a way too bad place last year to write about it.

** Write yourself one at www.futureme.org.

*** I cannot bring myself to write about future plans without a set time and a high probability, so I’ll write about them more in detail when that moment comes.

 

 

 

Arrival 2.0

Illusions are but a handy tool

I stepped off the plane, thanking the skies for the upteenth time that the sun would shine as I returned. My hand itched for my phone, but I steeled myself not to call – we said our goodbyes as best we could, there was no point in trying to change that. So I pocketed my phone, useless as it was: there wasn’t a single person in the city who knew when I arrived or when I should arrive, much less anyone who cared. (No, my boss does not count.)

I spent my way home trying hard not to cry.

Before I went home, I had convinced myself that no one, not even myseld needed to know I would only be gone for two weeks. Parting ways is much easier if it’s inevitable, even if you have to fool yourself into believing that.

This time, trying to keep myself afloat, I decided I would be as if newly arrived. I’m not at the point of denying my past two years here (I do deny from time to time that I speak English, though), but if anyone asks, I tell them I’m playing at being new in town.

And I play the part well.

It works.

 

Anaesthesia

I woke up crying
and I felt my dream shatter and fade away within the second.

‘Don’t cry’ they said, ‘you’ll only hurt yourself.’
Don’t I know that. Yet, I could not stop, not for a good time.

‘But why?’ they asked.
‘For I am sad’
‘Because of your surgery??’
‘No, for other reasons’, I answered, trying desperately – and in vain – to cling on to the fragments of my dream,

unsure whether it was the dream itself, or losing it, that made me cry.

Someone please tell me where forgotten dreams go.

My irresponsible self

Of course, the plan was to go home by midnight. Not that I should be going out on a Sunday at all, but.

I had something that could easily evolve into a full-blown sinusitis, but that would be cut out in two days. I had such a pain in my knee I could hardly walk, but that would fade once I was properly warmed up (only to attack again on the way home). Most dangerous of all, I was heartbroken, and therefore in desperate need of those few minutes of bliss where there is only music and movement and nothing else.

So out I went to find it. The Brussels salsa scene is one of the only things that compensate me for the shitty climate of this place (the other beign the endless strawberry season), but that night started all too slow. By the time someone first asked me to dance, I finished my welcome drink and was halfway through another one, and it only got worse. It had been a long time I’d drank anything more then a glass of wine, but this time I had enough to feel it in my muscles – first in my face, then my arms, my legs; I had enough to almost have a crying fit, though I did convince myself to wait until I got home. I definitely drank enough not to check the time, which went unnoticed as I danced and danced more, forgetting everything but my partners’ lead and the music flowing though me. I stayed until the music changed from salsa/bachata to regueton and latin disco and whatnot, then back again, twice –
and by that time I was so tired I could not follow my own steps, much less someone else’s –

and I was tired enough to lose my filters and show my middle finger to the guy who did not stop at offering me a ride home (“if only I wasn’t by bike”) but told me what else he’d like to do –

and I was more than tired enough not to have that crying fit I wanted, so I guess I reached my goal for the night.

I got home at 2.30AM.

Lost and found

Once upon a time, I used to take long walks in my neighbourhood.

Whatever happened to this habit of mine?

Friendly competition

I was ten years old when I went to this poetry reciting contest at the encouragement of my schoolteacher, where I was awarded the fourth place.  I cried all the way home: no-one could convince me that it wasn’t a failure.

Ever since, I had a certain aversion to competitions. I did take part in a few, mostly in academic ones (the national contest for high school students and the like), was successful in some of them and less so in others. I avoided non-academc ones for fear of failing again.

I was 18 when I signed up to a dance contest as a soloist. I played finger cymbals (ever heard about the “Let’s Screw Ourselves” Movement?),  I had a costume malfunction, and a jury who was not inclined to appreciate my style, to put it nicely.

It took me more than ten years to go to a dance contest again. Since last summer, I went to five different contests, the last one being at the  Cairo by Night festival last weekend. And finally, I learnt how to compete. Of course, I’ve always known, in a rational way,  that a contest is a means to learn, an opportunity to meet fellow dancers, a chance to get feedback from the masters and from the members of the audience – dancers and non-dancers alike. That it is a way to expose myself and be seen, with all the advantages and challenges of being seen. But now, finally, I internalised it. Finally, I can truly enjoy watching fellow contestants. Finally, I can truly appreciate all the feedback I get, even if some of the critique I get still hurts. Finally, I can heartily congratulate the both winners and the ones I like the best (and I’ll admit sometimes they are not the same, though this last time they were).

Finally, I learnt the meaning of friendly competition.

Three lessons from an intense weekend

I am just pulling myself together after a weekend of workshops with the one and only Mercedes Nieto. As usual, her workshops, all three of them, were amazing, as usual, she wore us out completely, and, as usual, her concepts were at times a lot more difficult to grasp than the dance technique she taught, which, I should add, is something to say, for her technique is anything but easy. The weeend was complete with a Saturday evening show starring Mercedes and featuring a number of other beautiful dancers and a live ensemble, where I also had the honour to perform.

Obviously, much of what I learnt is non-verbal – it was a dance weekend, after all –, but here are the 3 most important lessons I took away (and I can put into words):

  1. Even sadness can be light.

The first workshop was about lyrical and dramatic expression in oriental dance, and befre we dived into how to express any of that, we needed a way to define them and tell them apart. Most classical oriental songs are love songs, and few of them are happy ones – indeed, even those tend to have a touch of melancholy, so we won’t find it there. We might find it in the lyrics, but often a verse that would read rather dramatic makes for a much softer, more lyrical song. So wee looked at instrumentation, the use  of instruments, the layers and depth of the music as well as how the singer interprets the words in question. Of how much passion, hope and acceptance s/he puts into the song. Mercedes introduced an association of  something lyrical being lighter and drama being deeper, heavier, which accordingly led us to different dance techniques to express these qualities. She also said even sadness can be light – less dramatic, softer, airier than one might think – and I kept thinking of sadness accepted, of sadness I know will pass one day, of sadness so calm is becomes light.

2. Lost energy can (and should) be recovered.

In a dance context, we talk about energy as the momentum that drives us though a series of movements, that makes the next movement a direct consequence of the previous one.  To experiment with this concept, we practiced a combination, leading this energy and reacting to it in turn, at the end releasing it completely to remain empty of it and restart, building it up again. I found myself somtimes losing it in the middle of the combination, distracted maybe by getting too close to the dancer next to me and wanting to avoid bumping into her or simply forgetting the next step, so I asked if she had any advice, should we lose our energy on stage. She did have a piece of advice, applicable to much more than dancing on stage: slow down, re-center yourself and focus on your body. 

3. It’s good to be carrried away by the music – but find your way out

This lesson doesn’t come from the workshops, but from the performance, and was offered by another fellow dancer, Fédra. After the show, she complimented me on how full of feeling I dance (I took it as a compliment, in any case). I danced on a deep, sad and somewhat conflicted love song, improvising to allow myself the flexibility to follow the live music – and I indeed got carried away. So much that I was not quite ready for the end of the song when it came. I doubt many have noticed it – the musicians communicated and understood me amazingly. Fédra, and possibly some other dancers, spotted it though, and she pointed it out, not only offering a valuable lesson for future performances, but also a great example of constructive feedback.

 

Classics, live

One of the things I truly enjoy in Brussels is that there are a lot of events relating to Middle-Eastern culture. There are indeed a lot more of them than I can attend, but not long ago I did go to two concerts, one with Ghalia Benali singing Oum Kolthoum, presenting her new CD, and the other with the ensemble Nagham Zikrayet paying tribute to Farid el-Atrache.

They were both great musical experiences. They also both presented Egyptian classics live, and, what was of special interest to me, in interpretations that were not adapted to dance.

– Ghalia Benali sings Al Atlal

Ghalia Benali presented Oum Kalthoum in a quartet format: oud, percussion, double bass and voice. She has a voice to fill a great hall but created such an intimate atmosphere it could have been a living room concert. I loved Benali’s take on the music, the jazzy tones, the intimacy, the modernity of her approach. I also couldn’t fail to notice how she made Oum Kalthoum more understandable, more easy to listen – for the Western ear –, how she commented on “the long piece”, Al Atlal, which she sang in its entirety (or almost) rather than a shortened version.
Which was quite appropriate: organised by Muziekpublique, the concert was held in the Théatre Molière for a general public (and by that I mean the usual Brussels mix of people). And for a general, mostly European audience, classical Egyptian music is not easy – we are simply not used to it.

– Nagham Zikrayet playing Farid el-Atrache

By contrast, the Nagham Zikrayet ensemble presented Farid el-Atrache’s music in a most classical way, with a full Oriental orchestra, that is 4 violins, a double bass, a keyboard, an oud, a kanoun and a ney, 2 percussionists, 3 vocalists, the lead singer, plus another singer who joined for the last song. They played the songs in full: we heard maybe five songs in a concert more than 3 hours long.

– an oud, a qanoun and a ney (photos by: openDemocracy, Ozanyarman & Nerval)

It was also a concert organised, as the hostess of the evening said, “to guard our cultural identity and pass it on to our children”. The public, accordingly, consisted mostly of people of Middle-Estern/North African origin, roughly from 7 to 70 years of age. It has to be mentioned though that no matter how traditional the setting, Nagham Zikrayet is a mixed group both in terms of gender and of ethnicity. The fact that such an orchestra would have women and non-Arab (Western-looking) members surprised me and was further emphasized by the hostess of the evening, who expressed how happy she was about this mix.

I sat between an elderly Hijabi lady and a man who, through our admittedly very short interaction, never thought I may not understand Arabic. I was clearly an ousider – and yes, that made me feel awkward. It was also a powerful learning experience, though I’d be hard-pressed to put into words that glimpse of understanding I gathered there. Events of this kind – organised by and/or for the local Arab community – is the closest I get (for now) to Middle-Eastern culture.

And yet, I didn’t see almost anyone from the Brussels oriental dance community.

If you’re a dancer and have the chance to see Arabic music live, don’t miss it. Even if, no, especially if you find the music difficult: this kind of music is best enjoyed live.

If you are not a dancer? Go anyway. There is a lot of beautiful music to find.

picking up the thread (again)

I wrote a lot over the months, but never got to type any of it. I have this lovely hard-cover notebook I carry around all the time, and I even switch to English when I write something in it I intend to transfer later to this blog, but… But.

In May, I spent some days in Porto, city of dreams and saudade – and it was when my return flight landed that I felt, for the first time, at home here. Not, of course, because of any factual change in my relationship with the city, but because it hit me that I’d better, if I’m truly to stay here. And stay I will, for a good couple of years at least.

I visited an amazing number of cities starting with ‘B’ this summer: Budapest, Berlin, Budapest, Bari, Budapest again, Barcelona… then I stopped, these days I go to Lille every month for dance workshops. It’s almost always for dance that I travel, or maybe Toastmasters, as was the case with Porto.

I even went to dance competitions, a great re-start for me, for the one and only time I took part in a solo contest was almost 10 years ago and was a disaster. Third time the charm, they say, or fourth if I count that distant and disastrous first Now I’m faced with the dilemma of what to do with the three not-so-decorative trophies currently residing on my bookshelf without offending anyone, but avoiding at the same time the obligation of regularly dusting them. Don’t get me wrong: I’m truly happy and proud of the achievment, it’s the objects that give me pause.

I still don’t find my balance, try as I might, but I do keep on trying anyway. What else can I do. I try to sleep more, experiment with my eating habits, mostly with cutting sugar completely off my diet.

Changes are brewing. I prefer neat ends, clean cuts, big launches (or even: re-launches) – but clean endings do not exists, changes need to mature, and big (re-)launches need to be heard about beforehand to be interesing, not to mention that the bigger they are, the more spectacularly they crash if they run out of fuel too early, which, in my, case, they tend to do. I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do with this blog, and I’m still not sure. I find it difficult to talk about plans, especially half-formed ones. I’d love to have your opinions, though.

Névnapi köszöntő

Írok.

Magamnak.

Neked.

Nem-szavakat, elveszett időből,
valami füzetlapra a meg-nem-talált történet
lapjai helyett.

És nem írom meg,
mert nem tudom,
elveszett belőlem, hogy mit is,
és nem kérlek meg,
mert (már) nem tudom, mire,
és nem érzem úgy, hogy lenne rá jogom
– és különben is, volt már, hogy kértelek,
de máig nem tudom, minek
(és ez amúgy sem arról szól, hogy
felhozzak most régi sérelmeket)
– csak írok. (Mi mást tehetnék.)

Kattognak bennem e nem-szavak,
és nem lehet nem felfűzni őket

— nesze tű, cérna, léttagadás
(ahogy a torony: összedőlt, s
most már soha nem is létezett)

– hát írok.
Boríték,
bélyeg,
címzés – az elveszett.

Molyok:

puha
szürke
szárny-
verdesés
– vergődés
(szárazon)
felkavart
iszap

egyen-
súlytalanság
és hideg

rángatom
-ringatom
magam

(s egyenként tépdesem szárnyát
a szekrény lepkéinek.)

III.

Shatter my stillness
let the colours run loose in my veins
razor-sharp and burning,
blinding liquid light
Shatter my stillness – if you can

let me lose my self
let me simply be the moment
confuse directions altogether
see how my bones turn into glass
see my colours twinkle through them
hear their screeching sound – pitch-black
echoes of your words

Shatter my stillness, if you will
just don’t ask me if I am afraid.

Morte com vida

Una enésima vida
pequeña hoja valiente de temprana primavera
brillo verde bajo una lluvia que colora todo el mundo en gris de perla
Una enésima vida

fuerza que me quita el aliento
que rompe nieblas y nubes para ver el color del cielo

Una enésima vida
crecida sobre cadáveres
de ilusiones pasadas

Una enésima,

vida

– qué bonito nacer con la primavera

 

esta noche estoy invisible
esta noche me llamo Soledad
esta noche soy yo la noche misma
soy yo el vacío entre las estrellas
esta noche no soy nada
ni siquiera lo posible
(la vita nuova la cantai invano)
esta noche no me ve ni la muerte

 

[Ez csönd maradt.]

Csak nagy ritkán kúszik be a városba az eső illata: de ma egész nap követ. Így nap végére rajzzá tettem magam – egy vonalat húzok a lábom alá, hogy megtartson a felszínen – de közben, a lassan hulló cseppek alatt, hagyom, hogy megfolyjon a tinta, s körvonalaim elhomályosuljanak.

Ködgombolyag, lebegek – közben a kétszemü villamosra várok,
törve-ragasztva fejemben sánta, hatlábú sorokat.

II.

At times, as I look into the mirror
I see you in my own eyes.
Just a sparkle, that has never been there before.

Yet at times, as I look into the mirror
I see nothing but emptiness
grown a bit greater again.

At times, as I walk beneath the wind-blown clouds
I feel the endlessness you so readily saw in me.
But at times, as I catch my reflection in a window,
I realise I’m invisible once more.

At times I hear your accent in my words,
taste faraway places in my morning tea

– then I revert to drinking coffee
as colours pale, snow falls, and stories fade.

II.

A veces, mirandome en el espejo
te veo a tí en mis mismos ojos:
un brillo que antes no había.
Pero a veces, mirandome en el espejo
veo sólo el vacío
un poco más grande otra vez.

A veces, paseando bajo nubes y vientos
siento la infinidad
que víste en mí (a la primera)
– pero a veces, al ver mi reflexión en una ventana
me doy cuenta de ser invisible de nuevo.

A veces oigo tu acento
en mis propias palabras
bebo tierras lejanas en un vasito de te
– luego revierto a tomar café por la mañana
mientras que la nieve descolorea mis cuentos.

 

Rémálmokat csak felárral vállalok.

Nehéz velük dolgozni – anyaguk nyúlós-ragacsosan beteríti az embert, s aztán ébredés után is ott marad: abban a forró szívdobogásban, abban a vak rettegésben, amiben (még ébren is) meglapulnak az ember álombéli szörnyetegei; pókhálóképp befonja a sarkokat, ahová nem ér el a hirtelen felkapcsolt kislámpa fénye.

I.

At first, it was your presence
– for all that you were so far away –
a presence of all that we shared
in the winds and in the rain
in the completeness I lived in every moment
without yearning or regret
in my very smiles, even.

And still: still I’m as content as can be
still I think of you when it rains
still I smile in a way I’d never known before.

But now, each day a bit stronger, it’s your absence
in my decontrentration
in all the things we never did
in how I remember you more often
yet can recall less and less.

I.

Al inicio notaba
por muy lejos que estuvieras
tu presencia: la presencia de lo que compartimos –
en los vientos y las lluvias
en la plenitud que me acompañaba
sin añoranza ni pena
hasta en mis propias sonrisas

Y sigo: sigo bien contenta
sigo pensando en tí cuando llueve
sigo sonriendo de una forma
que nunca antes había conocido.

Pero noto, cada vez más, tu ausencia:
en mi desconcentración
en todo lo que no hicimos
en que te recuerdo más
pero me acuerdo de menos.

[Wahastini]

Wahastini. Hiányzol.
Itt vagy, mégse látlak:
mint lámpafény mögött eltűnő csillagot,
ölel most téged a fény,
s elrejt előlem, ki sötétség vagyok.

Wahastini. Hiányzol.
Súlytalan volt az éjjel,
leple alatt tolvaj-mód magammal hoztalak,
s még mindig véled álmodom – hiába:
a tenger nagy, s te messze vagy.

La fuga genovese

I left – to get as far as I may
I also had to come back
to believe that even if I disappear
the town stays anchored.

You left – to get as far as you may / there was a time when
you also had to come back / to show that it is possible and
to believe that, though you had disappeared / it is worth coming back but
the town stays anchored / returning is not a duty.

It is part of the process, a return / a moment to place in a box
to show that it is possible / all this passionate life
that it is worth the effort / (dis) illusion, love and conflict
and that it is not a duty / to come inside to close it all

So you placed in a box / as if one could start all over
all that passionate life / to live what there was before
(dis) illusion, love and conflict / the hope that not all was lost
and came inside – then closed it all / it sung with a siren’s voice

Every bottled-up story which / whith so much force, such enchantment
was still present / was calling me to return
only if resumed and lived through /the endless music of the town
could reach the end / embraced by that folded sea

You left – to settle / for that moment, so fleeting
for a past-already-historic / but too powerful
to doubt its present of a time / to let it go
was imposssible – even for an instant / a counterpoint was needed

Not wanting to / I left – and I am content, at last, with having
let got of that moment / that past-almost-historic
it was, after all, possible / to doubt its present of a time
having found a counterpoint / it does not even cross my mind

Fuga a due voci

sono partita – per allontanarmi
sono dovuta anche tornare
per credere che pur sparisca io
rimane ancorata la città

sei partita – per allontanarti / c’è stato un momento in cui
sei dovuta anche tornare per / dimostrare che è possibile e
credere che benché sia sparita / vale la pena rivenire ma
rimane ancorata la città / il ritorno non è un dover

fa parte del processo un ritorno / un momento per mettere in una scatola
dimostrare che è possibile / tutta questa vita intensa
che vale la pena / (dis)illusione, amore e conflitto
e che non è un dover / entrare per chiuderli tutti

hai messo quindi in una scatola / come se potessi tornare a
tutta quella vita intensa / vivere ciò che c’era prima
(dis)illusione, amore e conflitto e / la speranza di non aver perso tutto
sei entrata – così l’hai chiusa / cantava con una voce di sirena

ogni storia imbottigliata che / con tanta forza – tant’incanto
era ancora presente / mi chiamava a tornare
solo se ripresa e vissuta / l’infinita musica della città
poteva trovare una fine / abbracciata da quel mare piegato

sei partita – per accontentarti / di quel momento così breve
di un passato già remoto / ma troppo intenso per
dubitarne il presente d’una volta / lasciarlo fuggire
non potevi – né per un minuto / ne serviva un contrappunto

per tanto che non volessi / sono partita – e contenta alla fine di
lasciar fuggire quel momento / quel passato quasi quasi remoto
è stato possibile comunque / dubitarne il presente d’una volta
avendo trovato il contrappunto / oramai non mi viene in mente

Ismerd meg hazádat

A Blaha Lujza téren lakik egy madár,
aki dermesztő hidegben, hajnali háromkor is énekel.
Negyed négykor nincsen a városban se a Vár, se a Parlament.
Mínusz öt fokban, azt hiszem, az ember könnye
pár perc alatt az arcára fagy.

Birds of Babylon

“Thou didst love the brilliant Allalu bird
But thou didst smite him and break his wing;
He stands in the woods and cries “O my wing”.”

(Gilgamesh to Ishtar)

 

Since then, I hear them all.

The flutter of frightened wings in the trills of flute and zither.
(my own wings, though nonexistent, shiver in answer.)

Since then, I hear them all.

The thunder of Anzu’s wings, as he storms over, struggling under the weight of his stolen treasure, the Tablet of Destinies.

Allalu’s wordless songs of joy, entrancing, flowing through me as I dance.

 

Since then, I hear them all.

Anzu’s rebellious cries, a fiery staccato.
Hear me now, ye all, and undestand!
For I have read the Tablet, and I know these laws are unjust and cruel.
Help me now, ye all, to break it,
let us make our laws anew!

My own name, now whispered, now called out,
sweet-sounding in the voice of Allalu.
(– and I feel the Mother of my name stirring deep within me.)

 

Since then, I hear them all.

Allalu’s sweeping verses,
caressing words of promise and of love.
My dear, I’d fly away with you
my love I’ll fly away with you

The eerie chirping of the spirits of the Dead,
praising and cursing their Lady Ereshkigal
under the same breath
praising and cursing their Lord Nergal
under the same breath
praising and cursing Anzu, for whom they died
under the same breath.

 

Since then, I hear them all.

Siris’ wailing lament, endlessly calling,
Anzu, my son, my beloved,
who didst fly the highest!
Though hid behind the face of Marduk
’twas the cruel spirit of the law
to cast thee down
into the deepest of the deep.
Anzu my son, my beloved,
where art thou now?

Silence.

Echoes of another story,
of a taste of blood on my lips,
of Allalu’s cries of pain, my own tears
mingling with his, my own doing;
in its place, now, only silence,
bitter honey and clouds to drink,
– and the Mother of my name
turns elswhere, sleeps again.

 

Fate’s mesmerizing song,
as its soft feathers cover my eyes again.

 

Since then, I hear them all.

[toccata]

storie

Anche i fiumi che sono più larghi che profondi a volte inondano il paese. Anche i fiumi che sono più larghi che profondi devono prima o poi arrivare al mare e scordarsi del loro nome.

incontri

Prova a vivere tutta la tua vita in quattro giorni. Vedrai subito se è ancora tua. Prova a raccontarla in cinque minuti. Vedrai subito se ne vale la pena.

presenza

Ho già visto il cielo verde, però mai le erbe azzurre. Non c’è mondo in cui non veda la tua riflessione.

toccata

Mi accarezza il vento e il sole. Mi prende la mano un pensiero. Mi chiama il mare (come sempre) –
Alleggerita, trovo direzione
comincio a scintillare
e solo spero che non piova a casa mia.

stasera

chiara e luminosa, come un cristallo,
come son le acque di un mare dei miei sogni
scura ed amara, forte
come son le fave di cacao
dolce-inquieta, com’è una notte
sotto stelle sconosciute.

Levelezésem a Szörnnyel

Az Újév hajnalán a Szörny – nevezzük csak így – ismét finom falatokhoz jutott.
De nem ez volt az első alkalom, hogy leveleztem vele.

2011. VII. 28.
Kedves Szörny!

Remélem, jóllaktál az elmúlt napokban, és egy időre szünetelteted a marcangolásomat. Addig is szeretném felhívni a figyelmed arra, együttélésünk alapvető feltétele volna, hogy ne harapj túl nagyokat belém – és ez az életemre is vonatkozik. Az a véleményem, hogy a szabadság, amit élvezel, és a rálátás, melyet a körülöttem lévő dolgokra biztosítok neked, igazán méltányos ajánlat cserébe.
Ezért arra kérlek, fogd egy kicsit vissza magad a továbbiakban.
Maradok tisztelettel:
Maura,
megálmodód

2011. VIII. 27.
Kedves Szörny!

Tájékoztatásul közlöm, hogy nem egészen erre gondoltam. Továbbá azt is jelezném, hogy bár a nagyítás, melyet dolgaim szemléléséhez alkalmazol, csodálatos képeket eredményez – amit igen nagyra értékelek –, minden valószínűség szerint súlyosan torzítja az érzékelésedet, és ez a tevékenységedet is aránytalanná teszi.
Ezért arra kérlek, mérsékeld úgy a nagyítást, mint az én vegzálásomat is.
Üdvözlettel:
Maura

2012. I. 1.
Kedves Szörny!

Volnál szíves abbahagyni történeteim felzabálását?! Lassan akkorára hízol, hogy nem fogsz elférni a gondolataim között. Ennek kapcsán ismét megkérlek, csökkentsd a lényegtelen dolgok nagyítását, mert a jelenlegi nagyításban ha eltalálnak, súlyos sérüléseket okoznak, amely végső soron a Te épségedet is veszélyezteti.
Üdvözlettel:
megálmodód

Babel silence

Dear Reader, the following is a re-telling of the story of Babel. I quote the original story from the Bible (King James” Bible, quotes in italics), but, though I do not mean any disrespect, I do treat it as a literary source and not as a holy text.

It is said that in the beginning the Lord
– the Lord.
I will use this word so that you understand, but as I started to say –
it is said that in the beginning the Lord was neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it; and that the Lord was everything and everywhere, and every word was the Lord’s name.

When creating humankind, the Lord (who then was neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it) bestowed upon us the Gift of free will; and it was only in our free will where the Lord was not, and it has ever led us to strange paths.

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speach. And it came to passe as they iourneyed from the East, that they found a plaine in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. And they sayd one to another; Goe to, let vs make bricke, and burne them thorowly. And they had bricke for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said; Goe to, let vs build vs a city and a tower, whose top may reach vnto heauen, and let vs make vs a name, lest we be scattered abroad vpon the face of the whole earth.”

My beloved was one of those most skilled in music, and I name-daughter of the Morning Star; and we would sing as the Tower was being built, sing songs of growth and resilience, of greatness and of love.
And all the words we would sing were also the name of the Lord.

If anyone told you this story, they would tell as follows:
And the LORD came downe to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said; Behold, the people is one, and they haue all one language: and this they begin to doe: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they haue imagined to doe. Goe to, let vs go downe, and there cōfound their language, that they may not vnderstand one anothers speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence, vpon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the Citie. Therefore is the name of it called Babel, because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad vpon the face of all the earth.”

But it was not so.

The Lord, who then was neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it, and who was everything and everywhere, except in our free will, started to doubt if we still knew that every word was the Lord’s name – and therefore saw the Tower as a threat instead of the prayer it was. And so the Lord (who then was neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it) did indeed confound the language of the Earth.

I laid awake that night, unthinking and unseeing, all my being centred on the rythms and lights flashing through my mind, stranger even than usual; and I could, as every night, faintly hear the flowers growing in the dreams of my beloved.
But on that first day we hardly even noticed anything – I did not even relise my beloved had been given different words than I. Our songs were still the same, after all, and so were our smiles; so we kept on working and singing our songs of growth and resilience, of greatness and of love, to help build the Tower.

Now if anyone told you this story they would tell we left off to build our City and our Tower because we did not understand one another anymore.

But it was not so.

For even as we began to realise that there were new words, and that not the same ones had been given to everyone, there were already some who had started to learn them and help and explain. And we all revelled in the richness of these new words and tried to learn them all.
So on the second day, at down, my beloved and I went up to the top of the Tower – as it was – and sang all the knew words we knew to the skies, for we still believed that every word was the Lord’s name. But in this we were mistaken.
For some of the new words were indeed the Lord’s name, but some were not; and in some of the new words the Lord became a He and in others a She, and some named the Lord as Father and others as Mother to this World, and yet others as a Child to it.

And so it befell that the Gods came to be many, and each came to have a different name; and ever since that moment these Gods had existed since the beginning of Time.
But some of these Gods (who were now many) were called He and others She; and some were Mothers and others Fathers to this World, and yet others Cildren to it; and now none of them could be everything and everywhere, and now not every word was one of their names.

If anyone told you this story they would tell that the most horrible thing of those days was the cacophony of the new words that could not be understood.

But it was not so.

It was the silence: that horrible, screeching, deadly silence.

For the Gods (who were now many) could not bear with the thought of not being the One; and they could not bear hearing the others’ names.
So they took the words from us and scattered them abroad upon the face of all the Earth. And they took away our voices and tied them to the words each of us had been given.
On the third day the City remained silent; for having our voices taken away we could not sing our songs of growth and resilience, of greatness and love; and so we could not keep on building the Tower. And we began to fear the silence and longed to sing our words to the skies.
And some forgot that in the past every word had been the Lord’s name (who had been neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it), and they longed ever more to sing the names of the Gods they had been given and which they now knew as the only Ones.
And some felt the pull of the words that were scattered abroad upon the face of all the Earth, and left.

On the fourth day I woke up in the small hours of dawn, realising I could not hear the flowers growing in the dreams of my beloved. And then I knew he also had left the City to find the words that had been given to him – which were different from mine – and his voice that was now tied to them. And I knew that even if I found him again, we could never sing together as we had done before, for his voice was now tied to his words, and mine to my ones, and we could never again weave songs of one another’s words as we had done in times when the Lord was neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it; when the Lord was everything and everywhere, and every word was the Lord’s name.

 

At sunset, I flew away.

[preludio]

Mettiamo… una camera osbscura. Ma una enorme. O l’Universo dentro un cubo di dieci per dieci. Un cubo verde, di cartone e cartoncino. Allora, quando eri dentro, vedevi tutte le stelle; e adesso che sei fuori vedi soltanto un cubo verde che a questa distanza sembra così piccolo che sei sicura che non ci staresti mai.
Così sono implacabili le regole della prospettiva.
Un angolo del cubo è stato tagliato per poter guardarci dentro ed assicurarsi che davvero c’è tutto l’Universo dentro.

Prendi questo cubo e l’avvicini, dall’angolo tagliato, alla bocca. E gridi.

Aspettate! Sto arrivando!

Silenzio.

Lo scuoti, forte. Riprovi.

Ci siete ancora???

Silenzio.

Lo guardi e cerchi un modo di entrare. Conoscendo le regole – implacabili – della prospettiva decidi che alla fine è molto più facile camminare, anche lontano, di rimpicciolirsi.

Quindi –
parti.

Átkok Grammatikája (Grammatica devotionum)

Mint köztudott, a Grammatikának mára egyetlen teljes példánya sem maradt fenn. Talán soha nem is létezett, hiszen egyes fejezetei más-más szerző tollából származnak, különböző nyelveken íródtak, s talán sosem rakták őket össze. Tény az, hogy ma a Grammatika, egészében, nem létezik, s bár ezt a titkos tudományok történetének kutatói joggal sajnálhatják, végső soron, azt hiszem, inkább örülnünk kell ennek. Jobb nem belegondolni, mi történne, ha egy teljes kötet rossz kezekbe kerülne; már egy-egy fejezet is felmérhetetlen károkat okozhat arra nem méltó ember kezében.
S hogy honnan tudok egyáltalán a Grammatika létezéséről?
Sok érdekességet rejt a műhely padlása. De hogy oda hogy kerültek, azt már ne kérdezd, magam sem tudom. Ha az ember épp az átkokat kutatja, s egy ilyen felbecsülhetetlen kincset talál – még ha csak néhány töredékről is van szó – nem kérdez, hanem megköszöni az elrejtett dolgok ajándékát.
Szép lassan aztán sikerült összefűznöm, sorrendbe raknom azt a néhány oldalt, ami így hozzám került.

Ok nélkül bizony ritkán szokás átkozódni: s az ok az átokban feltétellé válik. Valóságos vagy lehetséges feltétellé, ha még nem teljesült; s kimondatlan okká, ha már igen. S az átok maga, ha nyelvtani formáját nem is, értelmét tekintve mindig jövő idejű.
De mi történik, ha – idővel – a feltétel teljesül, ám pont az eltelt idő alatt lehetetlenné válik, hogy az átok megfoganjon? Ha az, akire halálos átkot mondtak, közben ivott az Élet Vizéből? Ha az, kit örök vándorlétre kárhoztattak (volna), eltéphetetlen gyökereket eresztett?
Lehet-e oly erős egy átok, hogy ennek ellenére megfoganjon? Lehet-e erősebb mindannál, ami időközben történt? Egy jövő idő erősebb mindannál, ami időközben múlttá s jelenné vált?

A Grammatika részletesen leírja, hogyan lehet ilyen erős átkot mondani. Vagy olyat, amely az eltelt időből – s a közben történtekből – merítve, mindahhoz idomulva s mindazt megkerülve másképp, de éppoly erővel csapjon le a megátkozottra.
De leírja azt is, hogyan lehet az idő köpenyébe bújva elmenekülni egy – mindig jövő idejű – átok elől.

Ám a szöveget át- meg átszövik a különféle hivatkozások: a többi, elveszett fejezetre, más mágikus szövegekre s mára már elfeledett obskúrus alapigazságokra – melyek ismerete nélkül a Grammatika értelmetlen szöveg csupán.

 

V.

Anyáink vére és apáink csontja: el-nem-felejtett mesék vagyunk mind.
De sehol másutt nem láttam ily csupasz virágzását emlékezésnek és halálnak.

IV.

A falhoz hajoltam, mint a többi nő – de én imádkozni nem tudok. Hát kértem a köveket, meséljenek. Fény volt bennük: kétezer év fénye; jelen sírás, ezer elmúlt könyörgés.
Egy néni állt mellettem, hosszan imádkozott – s mielőtt ellépett a faltól, keresztet vetett.

III.

Behunyt szemmel fény-szálakat válogatok: néha
egy szóra, egy mozdulatra
szakad a függöny,
s zubogó szivárvány vízesés zuhog rám
– de mégis Medúza-fő lettem,
azt hiszem:
a sötétség-kígyók hajam közt
saját szárnyamat is megharapják

Nézz csak rám, szívem.

II.

Tízezer év.
Egy név, mit oly sűrűn ülnek meg a legendák, hogy majdnem elhittem, már csak a könyvekben létezik.
Jerikó falai alatt nyolcvannal robogtunk el.
Jerikónak csak egy kapuja van.
Jerikóban panelházak vannak és szögesdrót.

I.

Már megint cseng a fülem.
Őrült kavargás, fényspirál, hanggörgeteg.
– Hagyd, hadd kavarogjon: a szférák zenéje ez is.
Rongyosra rágta a magány a megmaradt végeket.
 Merülj el benne, s elcsitul.
A könnyűség, a láz, az utazás íze a számban  mit most épphogy csak megtaláltam 
mint sípoló lélegzetem, a szférák csendjében elveszett.

Párhuzamos bolyongás

Összekapaszkodó gondolat-szálaim
hajnalban végül elengedték egymást.
Akkor vizet ittam – fénnyel teltem –;
az utolsó szálat átfűztem egy tű fokán,
s megvarrtam vele a felfeslett időt.
Hazafelé menet álomitalt kaptam:
hócsillagokkal telt az éj.

apple juice

It’s also a very good question why I was about to sit down at a terrace on this sunny Friday afternoon all alone – but alone I was, and convinced I should not deprive myself of the good things of life just because of the lack of good company.

So I sat down, ordered a glass of fruit juice, and started writing. At the next tabe, just in front of me, sat a man wearing a horribly elegant dark suit and a pair of highly reflective sunglasses.  I had this feeling he was watching me from behind them, which made me slightly unconfortable. At a certain point, he stood up and took a step toward me.

’Excuse me, could you please keep an eye on my things while I go inside?’

’Of course.’

’I’m just going to get another coffee – would you like something too?’

’No, thanks.’

’Maybe another juice? It would be my pleasure.’

Thanks, but no, thanks.’

He went in, came back and sat down. Some minutes later the waitress brought him his coffee, and then put a glass of juice in front of me. I looked up at him, at askance – I thought I had been clear enought about not wanting any more. He shrugged, lit a cigarette and sipped his coffee.

I returned to my writing, leaving the glass of juice intact on the tabe, this time being absoulutely sure of being watched. He sat there in front of me for about another twenty minutes, then took his jacket and walked away.

casus impossibilis

Mi vide e disse:
C’è chi sorride sotto la pioggia!
C’era acqua ovunque:
la pioggia da sopra
la marea tutt’intorno
E m’abbracciò il buio del mare.
È arrivato l’inverno:
arrivar più lontano
non mi sembra possibile.
Ma c’è chi sorride
sotto la neve.

casus impossibilis

Me vió y dijo:
¡Hay quién sonríe bajo la lluvia!
Había água por todas partes:
la lluvia desde arriba
la marea rodeandome
y me abrazó el oscuro del mar.
Llegó el invierno
y creo
que más lejos ya no puedo ir:
pero hay
quién sonríe
bajo la nieve.

casus impossibilis

Rám nézett, s így szólt:
Hát van még, aki mosolyog az esőben!
Mindenütt víz volt:
fentről az eső,
körben mindenütt a dagály;
s átölelt a tenger sötétje.
Most tél van
s azt hiszem,
ennél messzebb már nem érhetek:
de van még,
aki mosolyog
a hóesésben.

Nem kell nevén nevezni a változást, hogy igaz legyen.

De egyszer fel kellett ismernem végre: pusztán az, hogy leromboltam a Labirintust, nem teszi semmivé az éveket, melyeket ott töltöttem – a Mester úgyis mindig a romoknál ad nekem randevút.
Hogy az álmok, melyeknek szálai erekként hálózzák be testemet, s amelyek néha oly közel kerülnek a bőrömhöz, hogy már-már puszta kézzel meg lehetne őket érinteni, nem egyebek, mint gyökerei a fátyolnak, melytől, hogy szabaduljak, önmagam szaggattam szét – és hogy bár nem tudom, képes leszek-e hasonlóra ismét, bármelyik álom-szövetem kaphatna ekkora hatalmat.
Hogy azért, hogy ne főzzek mindig keserédes mérgeket, nem kell feltétlen elfelejtenem mindent, amit a füvekről tudok.

[kimondhatatlan]

Látom, amint megérint minket a sötétség,
s fülsértő csörömpöléssel szertehullana,
mélybezuhanna világunk,
ha nem lenne ily csendes és jól nevelt
– így őrült, halálfejes kacaj helyett
derűs mosollyal köszöntenek
e hétköznapi nem-tragédiák.

Fáradt tekintetünk mögött olajos-sötét kavargás
láncra-vert éji démonaink serege.

For the love of…

I get up at 7AM on Saturday, wash, pack some more things, have breakfast and the usual, and close the door at 8.30. The plan was to take my bike to Mons by train so I could bike from the station to Flénu where the festival was held. I decide to take the metro to the train station. At the metro stop I realise my monthly ticket has expired; while I’m renewing it at the machine, I see the metro pass. It goes every 12 minutes. Then, as I put my wallet back to my backpack, its zip, which would open on its own from time to time for a while, decide to give it up once and for all. Of course, I don’t have any other bags I could put on the bike, so I go back home, pack everything into my smallest suitcase, leave the bike and go back to the metro station, resigning myself to missing the 9:28 train. There’s one at 10:05 anyway. A tiny part of me is grateful, for as much as I love biking and the independence of it, biking 6 kms in an unknown town, at night and probably under 0°C might not be the best for me now.
I arrive to Bruxelles-Central without further problems, have a coffee and go to platform 4, which is then changed to platform 6, and wait. At 10:06, I see the train, rather short, which has stopped at the other end of the platform, leave.
I take the next train (10:28), wait another half an hour for my connection at La Louviére – Sud, does not matter but I will remember at this point, I arrive to Mons a bit later than the time I should have arrived to Flenu, walk to the hostel, get a key-card, go up to the second floor only to realise the card does not work, go downstairs, upstairs again, leave the linens on the bed,go back to the station, or, to be precise, to the square next to, which is under reconstruction along with the station, spend a good amount of time on finding where my bus leaves from, realise I have another half an hour until it passes, have a coffee.
About 13:30, I arrive to Flénu, missing almost half of the workshop I signed up to. I try to make the most of what remains, in spite of my bad mood. It does help that the workshop is on live music; it helps even more when the teacher, who has not noticed my late arrival, calls me as one to perform a short improvisation to the other participant – and I’m surprised some would be so surprised at seeing me dance.
The evening went on with an open stage performance that did not go as well as I would have liked, and which – at least my piece – was seen only by about one third of the audience, all the others queuing up for dinner behind the stage;
a dance-fashion show during which I was changing back to normal clothing, but of which I catch one of the models, wearing the dress I had been eyeing before, and who happened to be more or less my size;
a dance show with the wonderful orchestra of Safaa Farid and some truly amazing dancers;
and I concluded it with the most impulsive purchase I’ve ever made in my life.
I arrived home on sunday around 3PM, and, discounting a short break for dinner, I slept until next morning.

giornale di bordo

Tra i miei viaggi da sognatrice mi è capitato uno a vela. All’imbarco ho spento ogni corrente di tempo che non fosse definito dal Sole – e finalmente ho avuto l’opportunità (ed il piacere) di sognare per me stessa. Sono venuti un po’spettinati, di colori troppo iridescenti, fatti da quelle distanze – e vicinanze – frammentate che mi portava dietro il vento, mai definite da tempi o spazi ma con l’importanza di quello che era successo.

Sono ancora malata di terra.

•  •  •

Le parole erano quelle di sempre. Il movimento no. E ad un certo punto non si sapeva più di chi fosse quel ritmo.

Se non hai mai osservato quel momento cinque minuti prima della tempesta
– quando arriva il vento ma ancora sembra indeciso se attaccare; quando già non si vede il sole, ma da sotto quelle nuvole scure e pesanti esce una luce penetrante che svela tutta la bellezza agitata delle città più grigie e noiose –
Se non l’hai mai osservato, non capirai questa febbre strana
questa stanchezza che mi manda a fare altri ed ancora altri giri nei vicoli
quest’aspettativa impaurita che apre migliaia d’opportunità – ed impedisce che nulla succeda
questo sogno per cui non mi posso addormentare.
Questa febbre strana che è come se avessi quella luce – di prima della tempesta – inchiusa in me
come se essa radiasse attraverso la mia pelle ormai bruciata fin essere trasparente.

Scambiare i nostri ritmi così non sarebbe una cosa tanto lieve.

Hajónapló

Álomszövői utazásaim során hajóra szálltam. A fedélzetre lépve megszüntettem az idő mindenfajta olyan múlását, amely nem a Nap állásától függ – és végre volt alkalmam saját kedvemre álmodni kicsit. Kicsit kuszák lettek, talán túl irizálóak is – de ez érthető lehet: olyan távolságokból (és közelségekből) szőttem őket, melyeknek vajmi kevés közük volt térhez és időhöz, s egyedül fontosságukkal voltak mérhetők.

Még mindig földibeteg vagyok.

•  •  •

A szavak olyanok voltak, mint mindig. A mozdulat nem.
S egy idő után már nem tudtam, melyikünk ritmusát hallom.

Ha sosem figyelted meg azt a pillanatot, pár perccel vihar előtt
– mikor fújni kezd a szél, de még bizonytalannak tűnik, tényleg szétszaggasson-e mindent; mikor már nem látod a napot, de a súlyos, sötét fellegek alól kiszűrődik egy olyan átható fény, mely felvillantja zaklatott szépségét a legszürkébb, legunalmasabb városnak is –

Ha nem figyelted meg sosem, nem fogod érteni ezt a furcsa lázat.
a fáradtságot, ami miatt még egyszer s újra körbejárom a várost
ezt a dühös és szomorú boldogságot
ezt a rettegő várakozást, amitől minden lehetségessé válik, s ami miatt végül nem történik semmi
ezt az álmot, amitől nem tudok elaludni.
Ezt a furcsa lázat, ami olyan, mintha az a fény, az a vihar előtti, a bensőmbe volna zárva;
mintha átvilágítana már-már áttetszővé égett bőrömön.

Nem gondolom, hogy ritmusainkat cserélni ily súlytalan dolog volna.

I aways have an excuse

for not having written for more than the promised one week.
You know, my best friend was here last week, for a full week, so I truly had better things to do. It may seem perplexing that after a 10-day visit with my best friend I don’t even have some good stories to tell, but we have a rather long tradition of just spending good time together without having anything specific in mind (to the point of accompanying the other running errands), as well as of staying at home with a cup of hot chocolate and world-saving talks instead of going out and burning the town.
Never you mind I don’t have cocoa at home this time.
Or the fact that we did go out, on a Thursday, no less, dancing salsa. It was an altogether decent night out, in any meaning of this word, but it just felt so good. Really, why stay at home all the time in the name of protecting my health when it makes me so depressed?

That being a good lesson, I continued in that spirit this week. I stayed nicely at home the first two days, then went to an absoutely chatartic concert of Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino on Wednesday, watch this video if you can, and to a poetry reading night (of a group I just recently joined) yesterday.

I need to sleep.

But still…

pizzica minore

Sentite quant’è leggera questa notte?
Suonatemi ancora – stavolta senza quel fuoco
che sempre mi corre nelle vene,
che brucia il pensiero
e divora tutto ciò che non è il momento.
Suonatemi ancora, amici,
con la leggerezza di stanotte
così diluiamo quelle distanze assurde
– senza mai arrivare ad esser vicini –
in questo mare piegato,
nel silenzio delle onde.

Quella notte ho respirato una leggerezza che mi ha subito fatto capire perché uno la volesse mai chiamare insopportabile. Era fresca e cristallina come quel venticello del mare – del mare che comunque la mattina dopo si è finalmente staccato dal cielo, aprendo l’orizzonte e lasciandomi un piccolo spazio per provare di nuovo le ali. Ci volevano per la partenza.
Quella notte ho respirato una semplicità in cui si sono diluiti tutte le domande – ancora esistenti – e che mi ha sollevato con una naturalità perfetta, senza però lascare nessun dubbio che ad un certo punto dovrei atterrare
e che in quel momento dovrei sopportare tutto il peso di terra e cielo.

L’aria qui è talmente diversa che mi ricorda ogni momento alle distanze che ho dovuto fare al ritorno.

Pizzica minore

Érzitek, milyen könnyű az éj?
Játsszatok még, kérlek,
de most a tűz nélkül,
mely elragad, átjár,
s a pillanaton túl mindent felemészt.
Játsszatok még, kérlek,
oly könnyedén, mint az éj,
a hullámok csendjében hogy
feloldhassuk végre a messzeséget
– sosem kerülve mégsem közel.

Aznap éjjel átjárt egy olyan könnyűség, amelytől rögtön megértettem, miért is mondták rá, elviselhetetlen. Hűvös volt és ropogós, mint a szél a tenger felől a tenger felől, amely másnap reggelre végre elszakadt az égtől, kinyitván a láthatárt s egy kis teret, hogy kipróbáljam, elbír-e még a szárnyam. Szükségem volt rá az induláshoz.
Aznap éjjel átjárt egy olyan egyszerűség, amelyben feloldódott az összes maradék kérdés, s amely teljes természetességgel hagyott lebegni
 de nem hagyott egy pillanatnyi kétséget sem afelől, hogy egyszer földet kell érnem; s hogy akkor viselnem kell majd ég és föld súlyát.
Minden lélegzetvétel emlékeztet a távolságra, amit meg kellett tennem hazafelé.

de profundis

il mostro di nervi

Una roccia.

Mostro rimasto dai tempi mitici, che spiaggiò una volta e non riuscì a tornare con la bassa marea; e vista dal sole – o dalla rabbia impotente, chissà – rimase petrificata, con l’ultimo grido disperato spaccato nella bocca.

Una sola mossa. Uno sguardo che mi segue. Un pensiero troncato.
Sarebbe stata una storia bellissima, tipica e banale – ma non è mai stata raccontata, né tanto meno vissuta.

Viveva negli abissi, dove gelide sono le acque ed eterna l’oscurità; cercava le navi affondate e ne divorava la storia. E quando aveva voglia d’alcuna delizia s’avvicinava alla superficie, cercando delle barche, e banchettava dei sogni dei marinai. Gli rubava il ricordo dell’amata, l’immagine del porto perseguito o la lealtà verso il capitano – e così nascevano altre storie, intense, sanguinolenti, deliziose, e lei le seguiva, finché le navi affondavano senza che mai nessuno sapesse del loro destino.

Eravamo ancora all’alto mare, dove le onde son maestose ed i venti imprevedibili. Volevo vivere le storie io, volevo vivere quell’unica storia.
Ma in un momento qualcosa si mosse nelle acque gelide, scure e profonde – e dall’oscurità si separò un’ombra ancora più nera. Come tutte le ombre, era un contrappunto perfetto di chi la proiettava. Quell’ombra era la mia.
Ti avrei an-negato anche il nome – e me ne sarei pentita –, ma di quello non n’ero capace. Ma per quel momento non ti perdono mai.

Chissà se la tempesta o una carezza delle stelle ancora le permette di tornare all’alto mare. Sempre in ricerca di storie, quelle notti banchetta di nuovo dei ricordi e dei segreti che solo al mare confidammo.

Magari ci potremmo anche trovare, per un solo momento. Non so se mi vedi ancora però: il mare è enorme e tu troppo lontano.

Ma l’alba sempre la troverà lì, roccia sulle rocce, rigettata, petrificata, con l’ultimo grido spaccato nella bocca.

Cantami una sola canzone ancora.

de profundis

il mostro di nervi

Egy szikla.

Tengeri szörny, a legendák idejéből: partra vetette egyszer a víz, s nem sikerült visszaúsznia az apállyal. Senki se tudja már, a Nap látásától vagy épp tehetetlen dühében vált-e kővé; de aki jól figyel, még ma is hallhatja torkában szakadt utolsó, kétségbeesett kiáltását.

Egyetlen mozdulat. Egy pillantás, a bőrömön érzem. Egy félbeszakadt gondolat.
Gyönyörű mese lett volna, tipikus és nagyon egyszerű – de sosem meséltük el, nemhogy megéltük volna.

A tenger mélyén lakott, hogy jegesek a vizek és örök a sötétség; elsüllyedt hajók után kutatott és felfalta történetüket. Ha épp valami csemegére támadt kedve, a felszín közelébe úszott, hajókat keresve, s a tengerészek álmaiból csapott lakomát, elrabolván tőlük kedvesük emlékét, a keresett kikötő képét vagy épp a kapitány iránti hűségüket – így újabb történetek születtek, véresek és zamatosak, s ő követte őket, míg ezek a hajók is el nem süllyedtek, anélkül, hogy bárki tudta volna, mi lett a sorsuk.

Még a nyílt tengeren voltunk, hol szeszélyes a szél s lassú-hatalmasak a hullámok. Élni akartam volna a meséket, azt az egy szem mesét.
Aztán egyszer csak megmozdult valami a sötét, jeges vizek mélyén, és a sötétségből kivált egy még feketébb árny. Mint minden árnyék, ez is ellenpontozta a fényét annak, aki vetette. Az én árnyékom volt.
Megtagadtam volna a nevedet is – és megbántam volna -, de nem voltam képes rá. De azt a pillanatot sosem bocsátom meg neked.

Ki tudja, egy-egy nagyobb viharban, vagy mikor megérinti a holdfény, tán még ma is visszatérhet a mélybe, mindig csak emlékek után kutatva. S ilyen éjszakákon megint lakomázik a titkokból, melyeket csak a tengerrel osztottunk meg.

Talán még megtalálhatnánk egymást, egy pillanatra – de nem tudom, látsz-e még: a tenger hatalmas, s te túl messze vagy már.

De a hajnal ott találja mindig, partra vetetten, kővé dermedve a többi szikla közt, torkában utolsó, kétségbeesett kiáltásával.

Egyetlen dalt énekelj még nekem.

Running in circles

Last year, on New Year’s morn, even while walking home from the party I knew I’d be ill. What I did not know was that I’d have practically constant sinusitis for 3 months straight and would have to be operated at the end. This year started in a similar manner, so at the second round I visited a specialist, who happens to be very thorough – aside from the one-week cure for my most evident symptoms and some rest at home he put me under medication for 3 months and regularly orders me back for controls. He even sent me to have a CT examintaion to see if I need yet another operation.

To say I dislike being under medication is quite the understatement. No-one likes is, I guess, but I know some who are indifferent if they need it to get better, people who, for instance, regularly take painkillers for headaches and so on. I’m not: I’m all for natural treatments and will not take a pill unless I don’t have another option. This time, having learnt from last year, I realise I don’t.

But there’s something else, and that’s what makes me write all this, even though sharing these details on the web does make me squirm a bit. I also realise that all the chronic and recurring issues I have are much more closely connected to my lifestyle choices, notably my eating and sleeping habits and stress levels. And there I’m puzzled.

It’s one thing I tend to do too much, which in turn leads me to sleep too little and not care about what I eat. Then, if I force myself to slow down, I become restless, and if I set myself rules about food and sleep and whatnot, I get stressed from it. When stressed, I tend to overeat, mostly sweets – with which I’m surely not alone, but which would be the single most important thing to stop –, as well as stay up late, even when I slow down my projects, just reading things I’ve read a hundred times already. Exhausted, I dope myself with coffee and stress out even more, and it all turns into a rather vicious circle I don’t know where to get hold of. At times it takes me several days, even weeks to get hold of myself, then I restart, shifting my focus one way or another in hopes of better results, which may come, but only in quantity (of time), never in quality. (This is why I compare everything to my life in Genova: that was the only exception, ever.)

I’m not asking for advice, however  much it may seem at first. So please don’t give any, I won’t keep them anyway. But I’d love to hear about your own struggles and solutions, if you’d share.

coincidenze

Una volta preso il treno, bisognerebbe anche pensare alla coincidenza. Anzi, le coincidenze: questa città ne è piena.
Credo di averla persa comunque – sono rimasta qui, sospesa nell’aria,
grigia, vuota e traslucente.

La città si è chiusa intorno a me: ormai sono a casa. Ma qui il mare continua nell’aria – a volte non se ne distingue neanche – e per l’umidità mi pesano le ali.

Ero al porto quel giorno, tra tutti quei ritmi e colori. Mi sentivo invisibile – quindi ho deciso di sparire dal tutto.
Poi non mi sono ritrovata neanch’io; quella notte non riuscivo nemmeno a sognare. Non mi guardare così, ogni tanto capita. Sono tessuti ben complicati, le stoffe di sogno; fossero semplici si romperebbero sulla prima realtà un po’ angolare.
Ma quel giorno non riuscivo a sognare nè il più leggero e modesto dei sogni.

Specchiata, di nuovo, a mille frammenti
– grigia, vuota, traslucente –, stavo
guardando, gli occhi fissi, invidenti,
mentre che nel cielo giravano le stelle.

„THE SECRETARY-GENERAL,

ACTING IN HIS CAPACITY AS APPOINTING AUTHORITY,

[…]

HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

1. Ms Eszter H […], a probationer as from 01/06/2014, is hereby established in grade AD 5, step 1.

2. This decision shall take effect on 01/03/2015.”

Múlt-idő — Coincidenze

Ha egyszer vonatra szálltam, gondolnom kellett a csatlakozásra is. Mi sem volt egyszerűbb – abban a városban minden mindennel összeér. Mégis úgy tűnt, lekéstem – s ott maradtam, megszürkült, törékeny-áttetsző test a semmi közepén.

Bezárult körülöttem a város: már otthon voltam. De az a tenger nem válik el az égtől, s a pára lehúzta szárnyaim.

A kikötőben voltam aznap este, abban a ritmus- és színforgatagban. Láthatatlannak éreztem magam, hát úgy döntöttem, valóban eltűnök.
Aztán alig találtam meg magam: aznap éjjel még álmodni sem tudtam. Nem kell ezen meglepődni, néhanap megesik. Egy álom-szövet bonyolult kell legyen, hogy ne szakadjon el a valóság első, kicsit szögletesebb darabján. De aznap éjjel a világ legegyszerűbb, legsúlytalanabb álmát sem tudtam megálmodni.

Ezer darabbá tükrözve ismét
– megszürkült, törékeny-áttetsző test –
csak néztem nagy, nem látó szemekkel,
míg az égen körbejártak a csillagok.

7:39

[Ventimiglia]

Sarebbe il momento di raccontare delle cose – ma sto cercando le parole che mi sfuggono ancora. Poi non è che le immagini vengano tanto facilmente neanche.
Sarebbe l’ora di cominciare a vendere quei sogni – o regalarli, è quasi lo stesso. I sogni mai si vendono per soldi. Non penso però che sia un tradimento venderli. (Se ci riuscissi, almeno….) Ragione per abbandonarmi. E alla fine lui era il mio maestro. Anche l’amante, certo, ma più importantemente il maestro. Come se non ci fosse vita e mondo fuori del Labirinto e di suoi frammenti.

 

[Bordighiera]

[San Remo]

Cosa ne faccio d’un altro mago nella vita? (– se lo è veramente, non ne sono sicura)
Se almeno scoprissi come fa ad avere quella presenza impressionante. Per altro, come ben potrei sapere già, il mago è persona come me, come chiunque.
Però che ne faccio dunque d’un altro mago nella vita?

Comunque ho sopravissuto migliaia e migliaia di gocce – di pioggia, tutte riflettenti dello stesso nome. Devo però ammettere che se devo nominare uno dei due porti, a volte ancora mi sbaglio.

 

[Imperia – Porto Maurizio]

Maura, sognatrice.
Dovrei lasciare già questo mondo, di luci troppo contrastate, notti stellate e tempeste marine. Smettere di fare sempre questa salsa:

 

[Diano Marina]

acqua del mare, fiori d’oleandro, miele ed erbe amare. Agrodolce, velenosa.
Dovrei essere molto più pragmatica.
Ormai non sogno per piacere. Sogno da mestiere, e li vendo, i sogni; è un’autentica forma di prostituirsi.
Ormai non sono la bambina innamorata del maestro. Abbiamo fatto le nostre storie, il maestro ed io, e quando non potevo imparare più niente da lui, l’ho lasciato. Suona bene, vero?
In realtà rimane sempre il maestro però. Continua ad essere molto più forte di me, anche se mi spiace ammetterlo. Continua ad essere lui ad abbandonarmi ed io a seguirlo. Ma ogni tanto torna da me.

 

[Alassio]

Nel mentre mi diverto con questi altri, dèi, dee e demoni, mostri, streghe, maghi (e maghe), matti e vagabondi. Pochi mi prendono l’attenzione per più d’un momento: per la gran maggior parte sono troppo facili da sognare. Quei pochi invece mi prendono in giro lo stesso.

 

[Albenga]

Dovrei veramente essere molto più pragmatica.

 

[Finale Ligure]

Strano come mi si costruisca questo mio mondo, con dei pezzi duplicati in diverse lingue. Strana questa caccia di parole, strana e forzata questa volta. Ma se prima mi sono ubriacata – frammentata –, così mi compongo.

 

[Savona]

Maura, sognatrice.

Alla fine sono anche belli, questi sogni. Non tanto come quelli prima, è vero, ma sono meno quadrati, come dire,  meno accademici. Forse non è la parola più adeguata, ma spero che si spieghi. Non abbiamo proprio un linguaggio tecnico di questo mestiere. Direi comunque che ho imparato bene la tecnica, mi manca solo trovare la voce. Quella mia propria. Per non seguire sempre il maestro.

 

[Genova Piazza Principe]

Scusate, mi devo svegliare un attimo.

The Big Slowdown

another depressive post – you’ve been warned

Even aside of environmental concerns, I have to admit that as much as I used to love flying, I don’t enjoy it that much anymore. Takeoff and landing are especially harsh on me, as is the simple unnaturality of the speed. At times, I don’t even look out the window.
So I was none too happy to board not one, but two planes to go to Germany  (and then two again, to come back) for a weekend to visit with friends, however much I enjoyed my time with them. I also realised that one really has to have a certain rhythm to life to label a weekend spent in a household with a three-year-old “calm” – even if the kid is someone else’s child. It was a rhythm over even my usual pace
– and it came, of course, to a crashing halt just a couple of days later, when I fell ill with sinusitis (again). Considering that last year, when despite the illness I could not (would not?) slow down, I ended up having sinusitis for three months straight and then had to be operated, I don’t seem to have a choice. So in the ten days I spent home, I did some serious thinking, called off the dance competition I had signed up to and another show (here’s why I rarely if ever write about plans and future),  and decided to cancel any regular evening programs, this means mostly the French conversation table and Toastmasters, except for my weekly dance classes for an indeterminate time, as well as my early morning practice routine. (Yes, I also wonder: until when?)
Boring or not, I need balance.
Still working on it.

Múlt-idő — 7:39

[Ventimiglia]

Ideje volt elkezdeni mesélni ismét – de futottak előlem a szavak. Meg aztán a képek sem jöttek oly könnyedén.
Ideje lett volna végre eladni pár álmot – vagy elajándékozni őket, nem lényeges. Az álmait úgyse pénzért adja el az ember. De nem gondoltam, ezzel elárultam volna a Mestert (ha legaláb egyet sikerült volna eladnom… !) Hogy ez valóban ok lett volna arra, hogy elhagyjon. Hiszen az, hogy szeretők voltunk, mit sem változtat azon, hogy ő volt a Mester.

Mintha nem volna élet a Labirintuson kívül.

[Bordighiera]

[San Remo]

Mégis mit kezdtem volna még egy mágussal? (– még csak biztos sem voltam benne, hogy tényleg az volt-e)
Ha legalább rájöttem volna, honnan meríti azt a jelen-létet, hogy eltanuljam tőle. Egyébként, mint azt már rég tudhattam volna, a mágus éppolyan ember mint én vagy bárki más.
De mégis, mit kezdtem volna még egy mágussal?

Közben az eső, melynek minden cseppje csak ugyanazt a nevet tükrözte, elállt valahogy, s nem tudott elmosni teljesen. De be kell valljam, ha két kikötőm egyikét említettem, sokáig, sokszor vétettem el a nevét.

[Imperia – Porto Maurizio]

Álomszövő vagyok.

Rég ki kellett volna lépnem innen – ebből az alkonyfényes, csillagragyogásos, szélviharos világból.Rég nem volna szabad már ezt a főzetet főznöm –

[Diano Marina]

tengervíz, leandervirág, méz és kesernyés fűszerek.

Keserédes.
Mérgező.

Jóval gyakorlatiasabb kellett volna már legyek.

Hiszen már nem saját kedvemre álmodtam: mesterségemmé lett, és vásárra vittem az álmaim. Hogy el nem adja magát az ember.
Már nem voltam az a kislány, aki beleszeretett a mesterébe. Végigéltük a magunk történeteit, a mester meg én; s amikor már nem volt mit tanulnom tőle, elhagytam. Ugye milyen jól hangzik?

Mégis mindig ő marad a Mester. Mindig erősebb lesz nálam, mindig ő hagy majd el, és én követem, még ha nem is szeretem bevallani.
De tudom: újra meg újra felkeres majd mégis.

[Alassio]

Persze mindeközben jól mulattam – istenek s istennők, démonok és szörnyek, mágusok, boszorkák, őrültek és csavargók voltak igen szórakoztató társaságom. De kevesen tudtak sokáig lekötni: legnagyobb részüket messze túl könnyű volt megálmodni. Azok a kevesek pedig saját kedvükre játszottak velem.

[Albenga]

Tényleg sokkal gyakorlatiasabb kellett volna már legyek.

[Finale Ligure]

Furcsa volt látni, ahogy ismét összerakta magát a világom, ahogy néhány darabja megduplázódott egyik vagy másik nyelv szavaiban. Furcsa volt így vadászni a szavakra, így erővel összeszedni őket. De ha más szavaktól, korábban, részeg voltam, most velük építettem fel magam.

[Savona]

Álomszövő vagyok.

Ha úgy vesszük, még szépek is voltak azok az álmok. Nem annyira, mint a korábbiak, ez tény, de nem is voltak olyan szabályosak, olyan iskolásak már. Nem könnyű elmagyarázni, tisztes szaknyelv híján, de talán érthető. Azt mondhatnám, jól megtanultam a módját, csak a saját hangom hiányzott még. Hogy ne kelljen mindig a mestert követnem.

[Genova Piazza Principe]

Fel kellett ébrednem egy percre.

XXI. el Mundo

De nuevo estoy viviendo en un puerto
y las historias que en todas mis vidas han sido paralelas
se han encontrado.

XXI. a Világ

Megint egy kikötőben lakom;
és az életek s a történetek, melyek mindig párhuzamosak voltak,
összeértek.

XX. el Juício

Paré el movimiento
recogí todos los hilos extendidos hacìa mi vida
para tomar conciencia de cada uno
que me pueda llevar esta nueva ola de cambios.

XX. az Ítélet

Nyugvópontra jutottam, s visszahívtam minden szálat:
végigfuttattam őket ujjaim között – hogy elsodorhassanak az új változások.

XIX. el Sol

Tenía un prisma colgado en mi ventana: tantas veces que me desperté – sobre las doce – mis gatos cazaban pequeños arcos Iris en el suelo.

XIX. a Nap

Egy kristály lógott az ablakomban: sokszor ébredtem arra – dél körül – hogy a macskák apró szivárványokra vadásznak a földön.

days of chaos

You may be aware about the fact that I post one of my Hungarian stories (poems, texts, call them as you wish) every Monday and Thursday, and one of the Spanish pieces on Tuesdays and Fridays. The ones posted these days are pieces of a Hungarian-Spanish bilingual series, which is one of hte most important things I’ve ever written. These stories were written long ago: I’m filling this new space up chronologically. Actually, I would truly like if I could produce 2 (or 4) pieces like those per week. As it goes, last week I didn’t even find it in myself to pre-program posting those, much less to write something new, no matter the promise about writing once a week. Even now, I find it difficult to mine anything out of my rather labyrinthic memories that would make an acceptable story.

My mum was here, for almost 24 hours, and for this festive occasion I managed to do something I was completely unable in the previous 10 days, that is, tidy up this flat of mine, and I’m absoutely relieved, for I truly don’t need any outside chaos in addition to the one inside. There will be photos soon, meaning before the end of April. I still have a to-do list that miraculously keeps growing, no matter how many items I cross off; and tonight as I arrived home I was surprised by a postal slip stating I have a pack – I have no idea what it might be and even less of when I can go and pick it up, though it should better be this week if I want to survive the attack of curiosity it provoked.

Any ideas?

XVIII. la Luna

1. Hoy empieza la vida – otra, de las mil.
2. Ofrezco mi barquito al viaje, al cambio y a la plenitud.
3. Hicé otros viajes, vivì otros cambios – y ya conozco la plenitud también.
4. Cierro mis ojos, respiro profundo – y dejo que mis músculos se suelten.

XVIII. a Hold

1. Számtalan életem közül ma egy újat kezdek.
2. Egy hajócskát ajánlok fel az útnak, a változásnak és a teljességnek.
3. Máshová utaztam, más változást éltem – és már egész vagyok.
4. Behunyom szemem, mélyeket lélegzem, s figyelem, ahogy ellazulnak izmaim.

business as usual

I arranged for a transporter for today – a man with a small van – to pick up my furniture at one of these second-hand shops and drive them to my place. Everything went smoothly, until he tried to fit the chest of drawers into the elevator, which he tried a couple of times, but couls not. So sure he was that it was an impossible task that he offered to help me carry it up. To the 5th floor.

Luckily, there came the concierge, a tough middle-aged lady, and managed this impossible task in a single try.

So that’s how I ended up sitting on top of a chest of drawers, in a very small elevator, next to a professional, and rather embarrassed, transporter – laughing my head off and wondering why it seems so very normal to me.

Long live surreality.

High threshold

When I first started a diary, at about 11 years of age, I would meticulously record all the small details of my everyday life. As time passed, I kept on writing, but grew out of this habit, focusing more on the emotional side of things; nevertheless, every now and then, especially after long lapses in writing, I would try to document all in a roughly chronological order. To the best of my knowledge, there is only one person who read that (apart form  myself of course), and she never gave an opinion on what kind of reading it was, for which I’m eternally grateful. Then again, even if I still write that way for my own personal purposes, I have this rather strong idea that chronological and factual are essentially boring from the outside.

I’ve been back to Brussels for a week. I cleaned the flat, but failed to put away my things, meaning I’m living out of several suitcases, each of which does not contain the object I’m looking for. I still don’t have dishes: when I had to boil some water I had to resort to the lower part of my mocca, but as of today I have at least a set of plates and mugs I picked up this afternoon, second-hand. I got an iron for free with them.

Having forgotten most my French while at home, I decided to go to the Monday French conversation table. I left work; I went to a nearby place to have some dinner (some soup, more precisely), but it was closed; I went to another, but it was also closed; I managed to have my soup in a third one. Then I caught a bus; I got off at an unknown station to catch my connection and promptly got on the bus going the opposite direction; I got off, got on the correct one, but missed my stop. I was on the verge of going home, but decided against it: it did not seem a good idea to come home to an empty but chaotic flat, where I could not even make a tea, in such a bad mood. That’s all good and well, but once I arrived, I lost track of time and caught it again only around 11pm. Even so, I woke up before 6am the next day. Don’t ask.

Said next day I had dance rehearsal after work; the day after, Wednesday, is may standard of getting-home-late, having a double dance class from 6 to 8 and then another one until 10pm. I got Thursday an Friday off, so that I could get some furniture and settle in. I tried.

On Thursday, I ventured out to this second-hand furniture shop just round the corner. I spent about 2 hours in there, but didn’t find anything interesting apart from a shelf I’ve bought since then but still have no idea how I’ll manage to transport it home. After that, I went to get some lunch – some soup again, and you’ll realise it’s important, for by the time I finished with that, I was feeling so bad I decided to come back home, then slept through the whole afternoon. On Friday, I wen’t to see the doctor.

I’m somewhat better now, but I still don’t know how I’ll manage to both get better and at least the settling-in part of my rather intimidating list.

 

They say if you have too much of something, you become less and less sensitive of it. I guess I’ve long past developed that kind of tolerance to increased life rhythms.

 

XIV. la Templanza

Lo más difícil: reconocer que yo también tengo límites.
Lo más difícil: reconocer mis lìmites – antes de pasarlos.
Quizás un dìa llego a entender la palabra.

XIV. a Mértékletesség

A legnagyobb kihívás: elismerni, hogy én sem vagyok határtalan.
A legnagyobb kihívás: felismerni a határokat – még mielőtt átlépnék rajtuk.
Talán egyszer mégis megértem ezt a szót.

Sorry, folks. I was home, and loved every minute of it. Or at least that’s what I want to remember, even if it is most evidently an exaggeration. In any case, my apologies to all of you who read this blog / would have liked to hear of me over the holidays, but did not.

But now! I’m back. To beautiful cloudy Bruxelles, and, eventually, to blogging. A notorious non-maker of resolutions, I nevertheless promise that I will try my best to write one post per week.

I arrived to my new home at about 5pm, with a huge and horribly heavy suitcase (and another, not so huge and heavy one to complement it), switched the heating on, then ventured out to get some food for the upcoming days. I also got a bucket for the cleaning I will have to do at some point, as well as a nice comfy two-step ladder I also felt the need to have in my flat. It will also act as a chair until I get one of those (there’s an Acting Chair to all my fellow language freaks).

I found then something to call pyjamas for the next couple of days. And now, I will sleep.

XIII. la Muerte

Después de la funeral me quedé sola un momento.
Cerré los ojos para ver la luz y las sombra de las ramas
sobre mis párpados
– para descubrir, otra vez, la riqueza de la vida.

XIII. a Halál

A temetés után, egy pillanatra, magamra maradtam.
Behunytam a szemem, hogy lássam az ágak
s a százszínű hulló levelek árnyékát szemhéjamon
– hogy lássam, mennyire csodálatos az élet.

XII. el Colgado

Tomé la decisión – con sabiduría (diría) y moderación.
Porque ya no tengo que demonstrar nada a nadie.
Y si mi decisión es mala, almenos la es de otra forma que las otras mil veces pasadas.
Aun así – queda una oscuridad en mí
que ni el sol puede penetrar.

XII. az Akasztott

Döntöttem. Bölcsen, mértékletesen (mondanám)
mert már nem kell bizonyítanom senkinek semmit.
S ha rossz is a döntés, legalább másképp rossz, mint eddig annyiszor.
De maradt bennem egy sötétség,
ahová nem tud beszűrődni a napfény.
Csak lassan párolog.

XI. la Fuerza

como nadar contra la corriente:
cuánta más voluntad, más resistencia en mí,
y mi fuerza se devora a sí misma.
Sólo tendría que dejar fluir la vida.

XI. az Erő

Olyan, mint az árral szemben úszni:
ha több az akarat, nagyobb az ellenállás bennem
míg végül erőm önmagát emészti fel.
Pedig csak engednem kellene az áramlásnak.

VII. el Carro

el poder de la decisión: que tomando la dirección
con todo mi ser
la esferas del mundo giran a mi mismísimo ritmo
así se me abre un Camino.

VII. a Diadalszekér

a döntés hatalma:
amikor ismerem a célt
s teljes lényemmel indulok felé,
a Világ körei szívdobbanásommal együtt fordulnak
s megnyílik előttem egy Út.

milestones

Though only about six months and a half passed since I am here and f my nine-month probation, for some reason no one quite understands (not even my immediate boss) we had an end-of-probation evaluation meeting today (with the boss mentioned).

Then I met my new landlady and signed a 3-year lease contract for an apartment – my new home from next weekend, if you wish.

I need sleep so badly – even though, and that’s something I forgot to tell you, the monster is gone* – that I decided against salsa-dancing tonight.

 

 

* before you jump to mistaken conclusions, it was her owner… well, anyway, her human who took her, and to nowhere else than Corsica, from where she is originally from.

VI. los Amantes

es bien difícil hablar de la plenitud:
las palabras no alcanzan a su sencillez.
Tampoco hay ni una tan fugaz
como el momento.

VI. Szeretők

Nehéz a teljességről beszélni
nem elég egyszerűek a szavak.
Ahogy egy sincs, mely oly tűnékeny volna,
mint a pillanat.

V. a Főpap

Emlékeim tökéletes kristályrácsa
tanulás bármely pillanattól
megfontoltság minden döntés előtt.

motherly visit, scenes of a flat-hunt and other random stories

My blog is too depressive, I’m told. Some even stopped reading it because of that. Now, I’m horribly offended – but I also have to admit that I do end up strangely melancholic whenever I grab the keyboard, even when I want to write about something happy. My only remedy is sticking to the facts, which usually don’t find interesting enough in and for itself, thoug I’m probably mistaken in this.

So, here you go.

My mum arrived on Monday – along with Winter himself –, equipped with an unpleasant cold and a good amount of tiredness, which translated into not wanting to do tourism or any other fancy programmes but simply being, resting and spending time with me. So we had three days of the most decadent tranquilité possible. This actually means we had good unhurried breakfasts, ate out every day and that the most demanding thing we did was had walking around the Christmas market looking for mulled wine. I’d been missing her – missing home – terribly.

Then she went home, and – well, saying hell broke loose would be the overstatement of the year, but still. Actually, it started earlier. I went to see a flat just before she arrived; I made a formal offer to rent it, which included sending some pretty sensitive personal data (the ways of Belgian real-estate agencies), only to learn two days later, when I had to call them, that the flat was already rented to another person. My mum left on Thursday morning; I had a visit to a flat at lunchtime the same day. The agent wrote me he’d be 10 minutes late, which turned out to be half an hour, which is only a bit painful at 0°C and with time lost from working hours. It wasn’t the best place, but desperate I was I almost decided to rent it. In the evening I had another appointment, waited another half an hour, after which I called the agent who told me in her most non-apologetic voice that that flat was already taken. I say, alright, but I had an appointment, I’ve been waiting for half an hour already. She says, the first visitor took the flat. I say, that’s all good and well, but she could have told me something. She says, but they get so many messages and anyway the office closes at 6:30pm. At that point I was shouting her head off in my almost-nonexistent French. You can imagine.

I wanted to go to sleep early, but my neighbour decided that precise night that they want to listen to some shitty music on max volume at 10pm. Given that theirs is another staircase, I decided not to go down three stairs to ring them up – but after about 20 minutes when the music was still on, I started hitting the radiator on the common wall furiously. (I know it’s weird, but it also happens to be the only way I can make some noise that may be heard on the other side.) My hand still hurts. Somehow I managed to fall asleep, only to wake up at 4am feeling distinctly sick and feverish. I got some water and my thermometer, but of course I fell asleep somewhere around the fourth minute, so at a certain point I saved the thermometer, never learning if I had a temperature or not.

I honestly wasn’t the most useful on Friday, but I pulled through, organising a visit to one flat for the evening ang four others for today. Then I went out salsa-dancing, and got home at 4am.

I woke up today to a sunny autumnish morning; the air was crisp and smelled of mulled wine (even if there wasn’t any in sight). Today, I walked about 7 hours, saw 3 apartments (the 4th visit was cancelled), did a good part of my Christmas shopping, made a decision, made a deal with the current tenant to buy the bed and the wardrobe that’s currently in the flat, and I even managed to get home and call my family with the news.
I even got the contract proposal. It’s in French, of course. I refuse to read it tonight.

IV. el Emperador

si nunca puedo ser bastante buena
es él que me demanda – y soy yo misma
por que con sus muertos uno no discute
ya no se pueden convencer.

IV. a Császár

Ha még mindig nem vagyok elég jó,
ő követel többet – s én magam:
mert a halottaival már nem vitatkozik az ember
őket már nem lehet meggyőzni.

III. la Emperatriz

contaré las luces de la Ciudad
tejiendo otro rollo de mis sueño-telas;
cantaré la canción de la mañana
– y mis sueños vivirán.

III. a Császárnő

Megszámolom a Város fényeit
míg egy új vég álom-vásznat szövök;
eléneklem a reggel énekét
– és az álmom élni fog.

II. la Venerable

Como unas amigas mías que ya dejaron de interesarse
de las exigencias dela gente, pero tampoco son rebeldes
– simplemente viven, como quieren ellas,
sabías, maduras, y – creo yo – felices.

Last Saturday

something inexplicable happened.  Now that I’m in the middle of a flat-hunt (one of the most stressful things ever, truly),  that the days are getting ever darker and work more and more difficult, I’ve let go of the stress and the doubts, as well as all the rules I set up to maintain a semblance of balance and could not keep at all. And I feel light, lighter than ever since the first few weeks after having arrived – before that, I don’t even remember, probably in Genoa, to which I still compare: where’s the difference between what becomes home and what does not? -, and balanced, and confident, and happy.
Not euphoric,
not uncomplicated.
For I read news from home and from elsewhere and worry. For I slowly but steadily drift away from my former life, and at time find myself in a bubble I honestly detest.
For it’s been only a couple of days, and it all might only be for these sunny days, knowing how fine-tuned I am to the weather (which is a truly unfortunate thing, really, but more so in Belgium).
But I still fel good, feel at home in myself, if not in the city,
as I slowly grow into myself, into what I could be.
It’s been half a year today.

II. a Főpapnő

Mint néhány barátnőm, kik már nem foglalkoznak azzal,
mit várnak el a többiek, de nem is lázadnak ellene
– csak élnek, ahogy ők jónak látják:
bölcsek, érettek, s úgy tűnik, boldogok.

I. el Mago

Nos conocemos desde siempre, el Mago y yo: en nuestros caminos (de ilusiones) nos encontramos ya miles y miles de veces.
El Mago tiene mil nombres, mil caras – pero siempre los mismos ojos. El Mago es ciego: un espejo oscuro y distorcionado, sus reflexiones frágiles y transparentes.
El Mago tiene mil nombres, mil caras – el Mago no existe sino en mis sueños.
Eres el Mago – pero te quise soñar y no aparecías; y hubo un momento, debajo de las hojas de nuestra histora, que no te ví. Que, si sólo por una fracción de segundo, me ví a mí misma en tus sueños.
Eres el Mago, que Mago te hice yo.
¿Me ves?

• • •

Quería contarte que me encontré con el Mago; que era persona como yo. Quería contarlo, y me quedé sin palabras; y el Mago volvió a su tierra – desaparcido, ya no sé si existió; si me reflejaba él o lo reflejaba yo.

Shall I… ?

Shall I write about my travels?
Shall I  write about facts? be chronological? Or shall I write my impressions, de-contextualised, and ignore the fact that it will be utterly incomprehensible without further explanations?
Shall I write about these things at all, or will you just hate me anyway for my life here (and especially for the fact I am not all euphoric in it)?

I can't seem to master the art of uncomplicated happiness.

– so I'll stick to the facts, or something of the like, and at that I'll write how I went to Bari.

It all began with the notion that with this climate here I'd better go somewhere South in November, so I decided to go to Cyprus. Then I saw the air fares, and decided to go elsewhere, to look for a nice dance festival. And I found one in Cyprus, and I also found out that if I don't insist on travelling on weekend, I may get an acceptable fare, but then my friend Mari told me she was going to a festival in Bari,  where some truly awesome teachers would teach, and where I have another couple of friends living, not to mention which is a place much easier to travel to. So I went. She could not, in the end.

The old town of Bari is as heart-brakingly beautiful as only the port cities of the Mediterranean can be, and seems to have the exact same horrible living conditions. There is also some charm in seeing people in boots and winter coats in 23 degrees and sunshine.

Of course, I spent most my time inside the Mazagat festival, taking 3 dance workshops a day. I swear by the end of each day not only I couldn't lift my feet, but I didn't even know where to find them. I learnt a lot, though, or so I hope. I see thankful and enthusiastic comments on fb and can't bring myself to write one of those, and I wonder why: if it's a difference in personality, if it's because I felt so clumsy at the workshops among so many good dancers (and beautiful women), or simply I was too tired by the end to be enthusiastic about anything. It had been a very long time sine I danced as much and as intensely.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The cool thing about coming back from holidays on Tuesday is that you have a short working week. The not-so-cool thing about spending you holidays in an otherwise fantastic, but so intense festival (especially if you come back on Tuesday) is that you stand no chance at all of getting even near-enough sleep. So here I am now, back to work, back to my flat-hunt – I should get going in a few minutes to see another flat, by the way.

Shall I write (more) about travels? or any of these micro-stories?

 

I. a Mágus

Régóta ismerjük egymást, a Mágus meg én: álom-ösvényeinken számtalanszor talákoztunk már.
A Mágusnak ezer arca, ezer neve van – de a tekintete mindig ugyanaz. A Mágus vak. Megsötétült, torz tükör: képei áttetszőek és törékenyek.
A Mágusnak ezer arca, ezer neve van – a Mágus nem létezik, csak álmaimban.
Te vagy a Mágus – de mikor álmodni akartalak, távol maradtál. S valahol történetünk lapjai mögött volt egy pillanat, amikor nem láttalak. Amikor megláttam magam, ha csak egy másodperc töredékére is, a te álmaid között.
Te vagy a Mágus, mert azzá tettelek.
Látsz?

• • •

Meg akartam írni, hogy találkoztam a Mágussal; hogy ő is csak ember volt, mint én. Meg akartam írni, de bennem rekedtek a szavak; s a Mágus visszament a messzi-földre, ahonnan egykor jött. Visszament, s már nem biztos, hogy létezett – s hogy ő tükrözött engem, vagy én tükröztem őt.

[én az Éj vagyok maga]

én az Éj vagyok maga,
sötétségem száz csillaggal ragyog;
de te csak a fényt keresed mindig,
néha elfeledve azt is, hogy itt vagyok.
Pedig egyszer tán azt is mondtad nekem: ya layli
– vagy csak saját visszhangom hallottam, nem tudom;
vagy csak azért nem hívsz így, mert e nevet
én nem fogadtam el tőled sosem.
keresd csak a fényt nyugodtan, hisz nélküle úgysem élsz,
s ha megtalálod, hidd el, boldog leszek;
különben is, azért, mi nem volt,
nekem most egy szavam sem lehet.
De ne várd, hogy magammal hozzam a reggelt:
unom már, hogy nővéreim, a Hajnalok fényét
kutatod folyvást, s én még csak be sem csukhatom a szemem
– meg hát azt is tudom, melyikük lidércfény.

Llamadme Soledad

egy kép
egy mozdulat
egy halovány íz a nyelved hegyén
gondolatok szaggatott, aranyló ritmusa
bal vállad fölött a moccanó Halál
kavargó gőz egy bögre tea fölött
(neve is van talán)

[töredék]

És csak néztem, nagy, nem látó szemekkel
míg az égen körbejártak a csillagok.

Csipkerózsika, 2009. december

Azt hitted, hogy tényleg aludtam vagy száz évig,
s nem volt senki a házban, hogy megetesse a macskát?!
Elhiheted, nincsen körülöttem semmi varázslat,
eddig is éltem, s most se teszek mást:
gonddal húzom mégsem oly egyszerű-és-szép hétköznapjaim ívét.
És takarítok. A por sem tudta megülni a házat,
nincsen pókháló a sarokban; a vadszőlő is
épp csak elérte az ablakomat, mikor édesapámmal
megmetszettük még kora nyáron.

Mégis, mennyivel élőbbnek látom magamat most,
mintha valóban most ébrednék csak, hogy néhány
napja megérintetted az álmaimat – pár szóval.
Ám ez az éberség is múlik, mint amikor víz
cseppen a tóba; s a vízcsepp eltűnik szem elől, de
ott marad, elkeveredve, a tóban örökké; mégis,
körkörösen kélő hullámai lassan elülnek.

the efficiency of bad luck

Last night, just as I was about to go out to the French conversation table where I go every second Monday, I realised I had left my wallet in the office. I wasn’t overly happy, but it was not the first time, so I didn’ worry too much, either.

This morning I realised that though my wallet was indeed in my office, my MOBIB card (the one for public transport) and my credit card wasn’t.  Nor in the canteen where I last used the latter, nor at the reception / lost and found has anyone seen or heard about it. So in my lunch break, just after having visited an apartment – I will have to move out at the end of the year – I came home to look for them again, to no avail. So I went to  the bank, which turned out to be unnecessary, as the only way to block a card is by phone, so that I did.

If this wasn’t enough, I had some problems with a rather problematic tooth of mine – that is, I lost the filling from it, so after work  1) I went to one of those few metro stations where you can get the card and got a new one (the good thing about the electronic system is that it has the same validity as the lost one), 2) went to see another apartment, 3) went to the emergency dentist to get my tooth taken care of (may I mention that the dentist did not speak practically any English).

This was my most efficient and productive day in the last two weeks.*

 

*yes, I did finish my translations for today, too.

[lejos]

Es que mi ciudad está muy lejos del mar.
Volví hace poco, dejando ahí mis palabras: con la historia contada no soy más que un momento.
Pero cuando llegué, me puse a cantar; la fiebre extraña del recuerdo me ilumína – y en mi espalda las alas están creciendo.

pueblo con mar

Hoy me emborracho – que llegó la lluvia, y el agua disolvió la luz, que, como fruta madura y dorada, respiraba en un rincón del jardín.
Tengo aquí un poquito de esa agua – y ahora sigo, llena y borracha, bebiendo, hasta la última gota – y me levanto: un dedo, dos deditos del suelo – y me caigo, riendo.

Tiernas son mis alas, nueva es mi voz aún.

[messze]

Az a helyzet, hogy nagyon messze lakom a tengertől.
Nemrég jöttem haza, hangom nem volt, otthagytam mind a szavaim – a mesének vége: egy pillanat vagyok.
De mikor megérkeztem,énekelni kezdtem: egy emlék – furcsa láz – világít bennem, s a hátamon nőni kezdtek szárnyaim.

Ma be fogok rúgni! – mert esett az eső, s feloldódott benne a fény, melynek súlyos, érett-arany fürtjei csendesen szuszogtak a fügefa alatt.
Előttem egy kancsónyi a vízből, és most iszom: teli hassal részegen, az utolsó cseppig; s úgy emelkedem fel, egy ujjnyit, két ujjnyit a földről
– s visszaesem, persze,
hisz zsengék még a szárnyak, s hangom is új nagyon.

Colours of Andalucía – a maze of stories II.

it took me quite long (but I promised, so) here you go...

What I remembered of the colours of Andalucía was the white of the houses, the almost transcendent gold of the sunlight, and the deep purple of what turned out to be the flower of a banana tree.

In Sevilla, white goes accompanied by  warm, earthly ochres and sandstone, lined with  rich dark reds and the strong colours of azulejos. Of Sevilla itself I remembered litlle, to be honest, and as welcoming as the city – and its people – is, I had to realise how little I knew about the place.

In the San Salvador church, abour half-a-dozen middle-aged ladies were sitting on the front benches, praying: one of them would recite the first line and then the others joined in for the answer and finished te verse. They were already there when we entered; aprroximately an hour later, when we left, they still went on.

Meandering through the countless chambers, patios and gardens of the Real Alcázar, I suddenly understood having travelled there at the age of 9 made me ultimately pursue studies in architecture. It still urges me to immerse myself in the history, tales and art of those times.  of course, the same stands for the Moqsue of Córdoba,  which remains on of the most impressive buildings I've ever seen. Add to this the comments of my friend Raúl, who not only is an architect but also comes from the province of Málaga adn therefore knows much more of it than for example I do – you get the idea. It was so good to see him anyways: he was in budapest some 6 years ago, and we haven't met ever since. And though it may seem otherwise from this far, Andalucía is quite big, so simply arranging to meet somewhere was quite a feat. Yet we managed, and so talked through the day about past, present and future, as usual. He seems to have changed in a subtle, inexplicable way that is probably what growing up does to people. It struck me again how much of memory became intangible for the mere fact I had forgotten his accent, his ways of speaking (yes, I am a language freak).

Having seen the amount of wealth accumulated in Sevilla (and elsewhere), there's something I keep thinking about.  That is, if we (some people, including me) think that the extreme concentration of resources is harmful to the society as a whole, how can or how should we approach great artwork, knowing that the ones we consider the greatest are (with very few exceptions) results of an extreme concentration of resources in the hands of a select few? Not to deny or undervalue the talent that created them, of course, but almost none of these greatest works would exist without the exceptional richness of aperson or family that commissioned them (or, in certain cases, the artists themselves, who therefore didn't have to do any other work).

One of the great things about travelling as a grown-up (as opposed to travelling as a child) is that ou can stay up later. This of course is not something in and for itself, but becomes rather important when you can stay up & out threee nights in a row, going to 1) a concert of medieval music / music from Al-Andalus  in the Alcázar gardens, 2) a flamenco concert on the riverside, 3) another flamenco night, in this case with dance, to a place where there's a show every night but you can get very much surprised by the different artists each time. On our last night in Sevilla, we saw one of these surprising dancers.
She was sitting next to the musicians, dressed rather differently than the usual professional flamenco dancers you might see around town, with a make-up that only emphasised how very tired she looked. Next to the podium there were two little girls, probably her daughters and an elderly lady, I guess her mother, and she kept glancing, distracted, to the dirls, especially the smaller one, about maybe two years old. And still, it was completely evident that once she stood up to dance she would be muuch better than all the others we had seen. In fact, she was probably the best I have ever seen – so strong, so alive, so completely with the music, so without any of the dancing clichés some tend to use when dancing. Her name is Ana Japón, but I could not find anything about her on the net.

Having two more days off than my friend (with whom I travelled), once she took her flight I took a train to Cádiz, a town of dreams, unknown.

Cádiz is small, and these days insignificant, at least seemingly, with a history of millennia lost to the eyes, most of the ancient city having been destroyed. Cádiz proper, that is, the old town is a grid of narrow but straight streets lined with buildings of the 1700s, the golden era of Cádiz – and whichever street you take, in whichever direction, you will probably end up on the seaside. On the Caleta beach, a small urban beach in between two fortresses – one with the lighthouse – and lots of fishing boats, there is a much-recommended sight, a theatre show to see each and every day: the sunset. Cádiz is small, but of course in my two days I could not by far discover all the beauties of even Cdiz proper, much less the new part. I do not know the city, nor its sea. I do know maybe three of its songs, and I have met and had lengthy conversations with about a dozen of its people, once I got the hang of their dialect and started to understand more than half of what they were saying.

Cádiz is the Port.
Cádiz smells of the sea.

Hazatérés

I.

Fülledt meleg ül a városon, és a levegőnek
mézíze van meg szálló por- és hulló levelek-szaga –

II.

Nincs már keserűség ajkamon,
sem gondolatok forró, édes vére
az őszi eső hűvös cseppjei
csorognak most végig arcomon.

• • •

És eljött egy nap, mikor a labirintus pontosan ugyanolyan volt mint egy másik alkalommal, több száz, talán több ezer évvel azelőtt. Ez persze tökéletes lehetetlenség volt: a labirintus szüntelenül változott, és soha nem ismételhette önmagát, mert a változásnak ez a pillanatnyi megtorpanása a labirintus azonnali széthullását eredményezte volna. Ezt a labirintusváros minden lakója tudta, így a torony legfelső, égszínkék szobájának lakója is. Mint ahogy azt is csalhatatlan bizonyossággal tudta, hogy mégis megtörtént. Mondhatni visszaemlékezett arra, amilyen akkor volt a város, azzal a másik alkalommal – bár az jóval a születése előtt esett meg. Mégis fel tudta idézni, mert a labirintus összes emlékét őrizte, márpedig a labirintus olyan mélyen gyökerezett az időben, hogy kezdeteire már senki nem emlékezthetett. Úgy tetszett, időtlen idők óta viszi magával ezeket az emlékeket, pedig volt idő, mikor szabad volt tőlük: csak azóta tartoztak hozzá, mióta ős is végérvényesen és megváltoztathatatlanul a labirintus részévé lett. Azóta a nap óta, mikor kedvese – a labirintusváros egyetlen lakója, akit nem tudott tisztán maga elé idézni – azon a szörnyű próbán elvesztette a szárnyait.

Azt hiszem, felébredtem.

„Már a felébredés óhaja is szökési kísérletnek tekintendő, hazaárulásnak.”

Hogy lehet ez a pillanat ugyanaz, mint az a másik, ha –
akkor még nem állt a torony.

Mégis biztosan tudom, hogy ugyanaz: emlékszem rá.

Ahogy kinyitom a szobám ajtaját, a szám – 401-es – lassan leolvad róla, és a föld alól bukkanok elő, ahogy leszaladok a toronyból.

Most én megyek végig a labirintusváros utcáin, és húzom magam után a hálót – hosszú acél- és kristálycsipke fátylamat – és az egyre könnyebbé válik, ahogy a kristályok, keményebbek a gyémántnál, összetörnek és elporladnak a labirintus utcáinak és lépcsőinek kövein; ahogy az acélszálak fennakadnak és elszakadnak a kiálló sarkokon.

• • •

Keresem a helyem, mert megrepedt az Idő,
és körülöttem a dolgok nem tudják eldönteni,
mennyire léteznek.

Hát lassan, gyengéden – kihasználva, hogy ily bizonytalan –
megpróbálom lefejteni magamról a fátylam.

Saját véremtől mocskosan sétálok ki a romok közül.
Egy pillantással kusza indákat festek az égre.

of all the small things

Time change means days that are (relatively) warm and sunny, but end somewhat before 6pm in evenings that’s both warm and crisp, and somehow exotic and in-between for me.

It’s been just slightly more than 5 months that I’m here. That’s more than what I spent in Genova alltogether – and I cannot but compare, amongst other things because that time (more precisely the second half of it) was so far the best. There I had a true Mediterranean summer, here spring turned almost immediately into autumn. Time flows differently: in 5 months in Genova so much more happened, as normal when staying for a determined time, and in summer. I remember lightness, warmth and a feeling of free fall – here I am grounded, colder, and things slow as growing plants.

Today I miss my friends. The ones at home, and the ones in Genova and Barcelona, friendships not as old and deep, but no less meaningful and much more intense. And while I know that finding friends like the ones I have at home takes a very long time if not forever, I wonder if not finding people like I found in my ports is due to the difference in place, to sheer luck, or if I have changed so much since then.

[maldición]

Al llegar a casa tomé agua fría
y me quemó los labios.

De distancia tomaste forma
en el reino de mis sueños:
aquí te cierro, que
sigas repitiéndote infinitamente:
poruqe los esclavos de Fantasos
no somos sólo nosotros, soñadores,
sino todos nuestros soñados también.

• • •

te voy a soñar
hasta que mis sueños sean más fuertes que tu existencia
y desaparezcas totalmente de mí

[átok]

mikor hazaértem, hideg vizet ittam,
s égette az ajkam.

távolságból öltöttél formát
álmaim birodalmában:
és itt maradsz,
önmagad nem szűnő ismétléseképp
mert Phantaszosz rabjai nem csak mi vagyunk,
álmodók,
hanem ti, álmodottak is, mindanniyan.

• • •

megálmodlak.
addig álmodlak, míg álmaim erősebbek nem lesznek létezésednél
s egészen ki nem veszel belőlem.

[Isis desdoblada]

He vuelto a intentar – Isis desdoblada –
a recoger, muy poco a poco, mis miembros
unirlos de nuevo con mi canto
y hacerme viva otra vez.

[meghasadt Ízisz]

Ismét megpróbáltam – meghasadt Ízisz –
összeszedni, lassan, egyenként, szétszórt tagjaim,
énekemmel egyesíteni őket,
s életre kelteni önmagam.

Sötét narancsszín és éget

Megint mérget ittam
és most fűt a láz – hagyom,
hogy átvilágítson a bőrömön,
míg minden fényem elvész a végtelenben
tán akkor csönd lesz.
Visszatértem.

advice, overheard

“Take the lead! Make sure you’re in charge of your life”, he told her.
Hi did make some good points, including this one.
But this advice was uttered during a(n at least) half-hour long conversation, or rather, lecture, in which he repeatedly told her what she’s “doing all the time”, what she should and should not do, as well as how she should or should not feel or behave.
All in the name of helping her.

időnkívül

Hány éve már, hogy magányt lélegzem,
hideg kezekkel csak ő símogat.
Hány éve már, hogy fogvatartanak
véres és molyrágta hajnal-alkonyok,
s fakó nyikorgás kísér csak
céltalan-kanyargó ösvényeken.

Virrasztok százezer éjszakát, de mind reggeltelen
– még mindig csak Hypnosz karjában látom a végtelent.

 

kihűlés

Megfagyott testembe kék lángot vetett az űr;
áttetsző bőröm alatt kuszák az erek,
nehezen, lassan jár a vér.
Túlfeszültek az izmok
– mozdulat s fókusz nélkül.
Húnyt szemmel sokkal egészebb a világ.

daloljunk együtt reggeli éneket

Főzz nekem jó erős mákony-főzetet
mézédes füge héjába csavard
itasd meg velem
ringass míg elalszom
majd ha a Nap felkelt,
daloljunk együtt reggeli éneket

Tiltott álmok völgyén jártam
röppenő denevér gondolatok
mondatcsontvázak
kihűlt szótetemek vártak
ébressz fel, kérlek,
daloljunk együtt reggeli éneket

Nemlétbe fagytam – túl nagy lett a tér
vádló szemekkel néz rám a sötétség
magába ránt
felfalja szívverésemet
vigyél magaddal,
daloljunk együtt reggeli éneket

Palota, hajnali négykor

I.

Madárfütty visszhangzott a házak között.
A járdaszélen ültem és vártam;
lassú hullámokban ringattak a képek
s keserű-fűszeres nyári illatok.

II.

Fejemben zakatolnak a képek,
torzan elnyúlók, fekete-fehérek,
villogó szemű, testetlen démonok
állnak körbe – és röhögnek.

Giacometti: Palota, hajnali négykor

Giacometti: Palota, hajnali négykor – fotó: Antonio Villar Liñán

 

A maze of stories I.

Time accumulates behind me and untold stories, wishing to be written, follow me relentlessly, to the very shore of the sea. As does inquietude – and only the sound of waves and the smell of salt did alleviate me for those few years. And now that I sit down to grant these stories what they so incessantly demanded, words evaporate and phrases melt.

reunion

August came and flew away, with but a few days to see the open skies. I had my sister and her son visiting me for a full week, so long yet so short; we visited the local fun fair, ate an indecent amount of fries and waffles and went to sleep at some hours slightly too late for my four-year-old nephew. We visited Brugge and the seaside – the latter by bike – and managed to ride across the Zwin national reserve (with no public lighting, of course) at around 10pm, spending the first half of the trip fearing the things lurking in the dark and the second half fearing my nephew would fall asleep and off the bike as well as of losing our way. On the way back, next day, it was raining cats and dogs, so of the actual natural reserve – which would have been the goal of our trip – we didn’t see much. We did see Brugge the canals and the seaside though, and it’s quite very enjoyable to cycle on the lowlands in any case.

Brugge


in Brugge

 

seaside

 

I went home for a very brief but as dense weekend to see one of my oldest friends getting married, and meet everyone I could in about 60 hours I spent in the country.

Hardly back in Brussels, having slept  about 4 hours and taken the 6AM plane as well as being late, I ran into this strange guy in a fast food where I wanted to get something for lunch. He approached me saying he got his wallet stolen and asked me to offer him a meal. I did; but I also gave him my phone number, which turned out to be a mistake. He asked me whether he could crash at my place, which I didn’t really feel like, but I  promised I’d try to help (hence the number thing). Witout being to find anyone to host him and after some insistance, I told him to meet me at a certain place and hour and that I might host him for the night, though there was something amiss, so I didn’t go to the meeting point alone. As he arrived, I started to ask hime questions, so as to understand what had happened to him.
’You know, I’m just travelling low-cost, I’m liable to ask anyone to host me.’
’Didn’t you tell me you wallet was lost?’

’Well, yeah, that too.’
As if this wasn’t enough, when Luís spoke up, he his answer was something like ’I don’t know who the f*ck you are and what the f*ck you have to say.’ (Says the one who failed to greet him, though evidently he was with me, let alone introduce himself.) Then he attacked, in an absurd reversely-possessive way, telling Luís ’you don’t own her, you don’t know anyone in life’, and would have gone on if I hadn’t told him to stop, that he was there because I asked him to, and that I was making a decision whether to trust him and he wasn’t helping the case.  His answer was ’I understand your boyfriend is unhappy about  you having a stranger sleeping at your place.’ Honestly. As if that was the actual risk, really. I asked him if I could help in any other way, then gave him some money as he requested. He called me three times since, acting as if nothing had happened. I blocked his number after the last one.

Then, I went to Spain. To Andalucía, to be precise – and that will go to a separate post. As it goes, my notebook was full, so I did not bring it with me there; and I had so much to think and write about that one of the first things to do was to buy a notebook. Of course, as my friend Mari arrived and whe plunged into discovering the city of Sevilla, the most I got to jot down were ideas condensed into 4-5 words.

There was one, titled ’the Beginning – no2’. And that was because just before going there I felt something started here in Bruxelles, a movement, a true beginning (again, as so many times). But I cannot for anything recall the words I had for it, the words that would have described it properly. By the time I came back, the feeling faded, too, as it was only to be expected. But things have started: things like dance courses and suchlike that do make me feel more present here. Things like the fact that I had my office rearranged and brought about 10 plants from one that is currently unused – making it quite homely so.

I even had my father visit for a couple of days.

Life is cool.

Porque Aurora…

”El hijo se había soñado alas bajo la experta dirección de su padre y maestro.
Durante muchos años las había creado, pluma por pluma, músculo por músculo y huesecillo por huesecillo en largas horas de trabajo, de sueño, hasta que tomaron forma. Las había dejado crecer de sus omóplatos en la posición correcta (era especialmente difícil percibir con toda exactitud la propia espalda en sueños), y había aprendido poco a poco a moverlas adecuadamente.
Había sido una dura prueba para su paciencia seguir practicando, hasta que tras interminables y vanos intentos fue por primera vez capaz de elevarse al aire por unos instantes. Pero luego cobró confianza en su obra, gracias a la benevolencia y severidad inquebrantables con que le guiaba su padre. Con el tiempo se había acostumbrado tan por completo a sus alas que las sentía como parte de su cuerpo, tanto que experimentaba en ellas dolor o bienestar. Al final había tenido que borrar de su memoria los años en que había estado sin ellas. Ahora era como si hubiese nacido con alas, como con sus ojos o manos. Estaba preparado.
No estaba en absoluto prohibido abandonar la ciudad-laberinto. Al contrario, quien lo lograba era mirado como un héroe, un bienaventurado y su leyenda era contada durante mucho tiempo. Pero eso sólo les estaba reservado a los dichosos. Las leyes a que estaban sometidos todos los habitantes del laberinto eran paradójicas, pero inmutables. Una de las más importantes decía: sólo quien abandona el laberinto puede ser dichoso, pero sólo quien es dichoso puede escapar de él.
Pero los dichosos eran raros en los milenios.
El que estaba dispuesto a intentarlo, tenía que someterse antes a una prueba. Si no la superaba, no era castigado él, sino su maestro, y el castigo era duro y cruel.
El rostro de su padre había estado muy serio cuando le dijo: «Esta clase de alas únicamente sostiene al que es ligero. Pero sólo hace ligero la felicidad.» Después había escudriñado largamente a su hijo y preguntado por fin:
-¿Eres feliz?
-Sí, padre, soy feliz -había sido su respuesta.
¡Oh, si de eso se trataba, no había peligro alguno! Era tan feliz que creía poder volar incluso sin alas, pues amaba. Amaba con todo el fervor de su joven corazón, amaba sin reservas y sin la sombra de una duda. Y sabía que su amor era correspondido de la misma manera incondicional. Sabía que la amada le esperaba, que al final del día, tras superar la prueba, iría a su habitación azul celeste.
Entonces ella se echaría en sus brazos ligera como un rayo de luna y en ese abrazo infinito se elevarían sobre la ciudad, dejando atrás sus muros como un juguete arrinconado, volarían sobre otras ciudades, sobre bosques y desiertos, montañas y mares, lejos y más lejos, hasta los confines del mundo.
No llevaba sobre el cuerpo más que una red de pescador que arrastraba como una larga cola por las calles y callejas, los pasillos y habitaciones. Así lo quería el ceremonial en aquella última prueba decisiva. Estaba seguro de que la superaría, aunque no la conocía. Sólo sabía que siempre se adecuaba por completo a la personalidad del candidato. De esta manera ninguna prueba se parecía jamás a la de otro. Podía decirse que la prueba consistía precisamente en adivinar a través del autoconocimiento en qué consistía aquélla. El único mandamiento severo al que podía atenerse decía que bajo ningún concepto debía entrar durante la duración de la prueba, es decir, antes de la puesta del sol, en la habitación azul celeste de la amada. En caso contrario quedaría inmediatamente excluido de todo lo demás.
Sonrió al pensar en la severidad casi furiosa con que su respetado y bondadoso padre le había comunicado este mandamiento. No sentía la más mínima tentación de quebrantarlo. Ahí no había peligro alguno para él, en ese aspecto estaba tranquilo. En el fondo nunca había entendido bien todas aquellas historias en las que un mandamiento semejante hacía que alguien se sintiese precisamente impulsado a vulnerarlo. En su marcha por las desconcertantes calles y edificaciones de la ciudad-laberinto había pasado ya varias veces ante la construcción en forma de torre en cuyo piso más alto, cerca del tejado, vivía la amada, y dos veces incluso ante su puerta, sobre la que figuraba el número 401. Y él había pasado de largo, sin detenerse. Pero eso no podía ser la verdadera prueba. Habría sido demasiado sencilla, excesivamente sencilla.
A todas partes donde llegaba se encontraba con desdichados que le miraban o seguían con ojos admirados, nostálgicos o llenos de envidia. Conocía a muchos de ellos de antes, aunque tales encuentros no podían producirse nunca intencionadamente. En la ciudad-laberinto, la situación y disposición de las casas y calles cambiaba ininterrumpidamente, por eso era imposible darse cita en ella. Cada encuentro sucedía casual o fatalmente, según como se quisiera entender.
Una vez el hijo sintió que la red que arrastraba quedaba prendida y volvió sobre sus pasos. Bajo el arco de una puerta vio sentado a un mendigo cojo que enganchaba una de sus muletas en las mallas de la red.
-¿Qué haces? -le preguntó.
-¡Ten piedad! -contestó el mendigo con voz ronca-. A ti no te pesará, pero a mí me aliviará mucho. Tú eres un hombre dichoso y escaparás del laberinto. Pero yo permaneceré aquí para siempre, porque nunca seré feliz. Por eso te pido que te lleves una pequeña parte al menos de mi desdicha. Así participaré un poco en tu evasión. Eso me daría consuelo.
Los dichosos raramente son duros de corazón, tienden a la compasión y dejan participar a otros de su abundancia.
-Está bien -dijo el hijo-, me alegra poder hacerte un favor con tan poco.
Ya en la siguiente esquina se encontró con una madre angustiada, vestida con harapos, acompañada de tres niños hambrientos.
-Supongo que no nos negarás a nosotros -dijo llena de odio- lo que concediste a aquél.
Y prendió una pequeña cruz sepulcral de hierro en la red.
A partir de ese momento la red se hizo cada vez más pesada. Había un sinnúmero de desdichados en la ciudad-laberinto y todos los que se encontraban con el hijo prendían cualquier cosa en la red: un zapato, una prenda de vestir o una estufa de hierro, un rosario o un animal muerto, una herramienta o hasta una puerta.
Caía la tarde y se aproximaba el final de la prueba. El hijo avanzaba penosamente paso a paso, inclinado hacia adelante como si luchase contra una gran tempestad inaudible. Su rostro estaba cubierto de sudor, pero todavía lleno de esperanza, pues creía haber comprendido en qué consistía su misión y se sentía, a pesar de todo, con las suficientes fuerzas para llevarla a cabo.
Entonces anocheció y seguía sin venir nadie para decirle que ya bastaba. Sin saber cómo había llegado con la interminable carga, que arrastraba, a la terraza de aquella casa como una torre en la que estaba la habitación azul celeste de su amada. Nunca se había percatado de que desde allí se divisaba una playa, aunque tal vez ésta no había estado nunca en aquel lugar. Profundamente preocupado, el hijo se dio cuenta de que el sol descendía detrás del horizonte brumoso.
En la playa había cuatro hombres alados como él y, aunque no podía ver al que hablaba, oyó claramente como eran absueltos. Preguntó a gritos si le habían olvidado, pero nadie le prestó atención. Tiró con manos temblorosas de la red, pero no logró quitársela de encima. Gritó una y otra vez, llamó a su padre para que viniese a ayudarle inclinándose todo lo que podía sobre la barandilla.
En la última luz del crepúsculo vio cómo allí abajo su amada, envuelta en velos negros, salía conducida por la puerta. Luego apareció, tirado por dos caballos negros, un coche negro cuyo techo era un gran retrato, el rostro lleno de dolor y desesperación de su padre. La amada subió al coche y éste se alejó hasta que desapareció en la oscuridad.
En ese instante el hijo comprendió que su misión había sido ser desobediente y que no había superado la prueba. Sintió cómo sus alas creadas en sueños se marchitaban y caían como hojas otoñales, y supo que nunca volvería a volar, que nunca podría ser otra vez feliz y que, mientras durase su vida, permanecería en el laberinto. Pues ahora formaba parte de él.”
(Michael Ende: El espejo en el espejo)

Porque Aurora cada día mataba a Hécate.
Quizás suena extraño, pero era por eso que no había mañanas. Había sólo madrugadas; creo que la reina del amanecer tenía demasiado poder. Tampoco había despertar: sueño y vigília se diferenciaban solamente por la hora, tan lenta y sútil era la transición entre ellos. De todas formas, algo no íba bien con el tiempo.Hace poco, por ejemplo, hubo una tempestad furiosa que me arrancó el velo y destruyó la torre. Sin embargo, sigo aquí, en el piso más alto de la torre, y mi velo también está intacto, así que es evidente que la tormenta ni siquiera estalló.
Por lo que recuerdo, siempre he vivido en esta habitación celeste, número 401, justo debajo del techo. No sé que hay fuera, ni es importante, visto que la puerta, creo, está cerrada. Segura no estoy: nunca he intentado salir.
Si miro bajo mi ventana, veo una ciudad lejana, sus siluetas como aniebladas por la distancia. Sólo una línea, al inicio bien curva, más allá cada vez más recta, se ve más o menos bien, como un camino al infinito, o quizás una vía férrea. Aún más lejos, en el horizonte, se ve un brillo incierto – puede que sea el mar.
Tengo frío: frescos son los vientos aquí. Lo único que llevo es mi velo, que me puse, pienso, cuando entré en mi habitación, aunque, como ya he dicho, de ese momento no me acuerdo. Tal vez no es correcto llamarle prenda – es un velo muy especial. Llevo un eco translúcido del movimiento de atarlo a mi pelo, pero ahora seguramente se engancha mucho más profundo, a mis huesos, y forma parte de mí hace mucho tiempo. Me devora, me bebe la sangre cada día, y con una lentitud casi imperceptible, pero imparablemente , está creciendo. Creo que es el recuerdo – una contorsión – de esa red de pescador que mi amor llevaba, cuando….
En realidad, tampoco lo recuerdo. A veces me parece que nos amábamos y queríamos volarnos de aquí. Otras veces veo pesadillas horribles de que vino y le maté a sangre fría. Siempre otras, estoy convencida de que nunca ha existido – y tengo que admitir que, a pesar de todos mis sueños y pesadillas, eso es lo más probable.

Mert Éósz minden hajnalban

„A fiú apjaura és mestere utasításai szerint megálmodta, milyen lehet a szárnyalás. Sok esztendőn át, álommunkával növesztette egyik tollát a másik után, egyik csontocskát a másik után, sok-sok órán keresztül, amíg egyre inkább testet öltöttek: a megfelelő helyen növesztette ki a lapockájából (különösen nehéz volt álmában a tulajdon hátát pontosan érzékelni), és lassacskán azt is megtanulta, hogy céltudatosan használja.

Kemény próbának vetette alá a türelmét, amíg végtelen eredménytelen kísérletek után sikerült rövid időre a levegőbe emelkednie. De azután hinni kezdett a saját művében, hála apjaura töretlen, barátságos szigorának, amellyel vezette.
Az idők folyamán annyira megszokta a szárnyát, hogy mindenestől a teste részének tekintette, annyira, hogy fájdalmat vagy kellemes érzést is érzékelt benne. Végül ki kellett törölnie emlékezetéből azokat az időket, amikor még nem volt szárnya. Azzal született, mint ahogy vele született a szeme vagy a keze is. Most már kész volt.
A labirintusvárost nem volt tilos elhagyni. Ellenkezőleg, akinek sikerült, azt hérosznak, kiválasztottnak tekintették, és még sokáig regéltek róla. De ez csak a szerencséseknek sikerült. A labirintus lakóira paradox, de megváltoztathatatlan törvények vonatkoztak. Az egyik legfontosabb szabály így szólt: csak az lehet szerencsés, aki elhagyja a labirintust, de csak a szerencsés képes elhagyni. De az évezredek során kevesen voltak szerencsések.
Aki kész volt a kísértésre, annak előbb próbát kellett tennie. Ha a próbát nem állta ki, nem őt büntették, hanem a mesterét, és a büntetés kemény és kegyetlen volt.
Apjaura arca nagyon komoly volt, amikor így szólt hozzá:
– Ilyen szárnyat csak a szerencsések viselnek. De csak a szerencse tesz könnyűvé. – Ezután hosszan, fürkészve nézte a fiát, és végül
megkérdezte: – Szerencsés vagy?
– Igen, apám, szerencsés vagyok – hangzott a válasza.
Ó, ha csak ezen múlik, nincs veszély! Olyan szerencsésnek érezte magát, hogy azt hitte, szárnya nélkül is repülni tudna, mert szerelmes volt. Fiatal szíve egész hevével szeretett, teljes odaadással és kétely leghaloványabb árnyéka nélkül. És tudta, hogy ugyanígy, feltétel nélkül viszontszeretik. Tudta, hogy a szeretett lány várja, hogy a sikerrel megállt próba után, a nap végén hozzá megy majd, égszínkék szobájába. Akkor a leány könnyedén, mint a holdsugár, a karjaiba simul majd, és ebben a végtelen ölelésben emelkednek a város fölé és maguk mögött hagyják a falait, mint egy játékszert, amelyet kinőttek már, más városok fölött repülnek majd el, erdők és sivatagok fölött, hegyek és tengerek fölött, tovább, tovább, a világ végéig.
A fiú meztelen testén nem viselt egyebet, csak egy halászhálót, amelyet hosszú uszályként vonszolt maga után utcákon és sikátorokon, folyosókon és szobákon át. Biztos volt benne, hogy megállja a próbát, bár nem ismerte, csak azt tudta, hogy a feladatot mindig pontosan a vizsgázóra szabják. Így egyik sem hasonlított a másikra. Úgy is fel lehetett fogni: a feladat éppen abból áll, hogy a jelölt igaz önismerettől vezéreltetve kitalálja, mi a feladata. Az egyetlen szigorú szabály, amelyet be kellett tartania, úgy szólt, hogy a próba ideje alatt, vagyis naplementéig semmilyen körülmények között sem léphet be az égszínkék szobába, a kedveséhez.
Ellenkező esetben azonnal kizárják minden továbbiból.
>Gondolatban mosolygott azon a szinte haragos szigoron, amellyel tisztelt és jóságos apjaura ezt a parancsot közölte vele. A legcsekélyebb kísértést sem érezte, hogy áthágja. Itt semmilyen veszély nem leselkedett rá, ezen a ponton biztos volt magában. Alapjában véve sohasem értette igazán azokat a történeteket, amelyekben valaki ellenállhatatlan vágyat érez, hogy az efféle tilalmakat megszegje. Miközben a labirintusváros áttekinthetetlen utcáin és épületei között kóborolt, már többször akadt útjába az a toronyszerű építmény, amelynek legfelső emeletén, közvetlenül a tető alatt élt a szeretett leány. Kétszer már ajtaja elé is került, amelyen a 401-es szám volt olvasható. És elment mellette, anélkül, hogy megállt volna. De ez nem lehetett a tulajdonképpeni próbatétel. Túlságosan egyszerű volt, nagyon is egyszerű.
Bárhová ment, szerencsétlenekbe botlott, akik ámuló, vágyakozó vagy irigykedő tekintettel néztek rá és néztek utána. Sokukat régebbről ismerte, bár az ilyen találkozások soha nem lehettek szándékosak. A labirintusvárosban a házak és utcák helyzete és rendje szüntelenül változott, ezért képtelenség volt találkozókat megbeszélni. Minden találkozás véletlenül történt vagy sorsszerűen, aszerint, hogyan akarta értelmezni az ember.
A fiú egyszer észrevette, hogy az uszályként vonszolt hálót valami visszatartja. Hátrafordult. Féllábú koldust pillantott meg: a kapualjban ült, egyik mankóját a háló szemei közé fonta.
– Mit csinálsz? – kérdezte.
– Légy könyörületes! – válaszolta a koldus rekedten. – Téged alig terhel, de rajtam segít. Te szerencsés vagy és kijutsz a labirintusból. De én örökre itt maradok, mert soha nem leszek szerencsés. Ezért kérlek, hogy vigyél legalább egy kicsit magaddal a szerencsétlenségemből. Így nekem is jut egy kicsi a szabadulásodból. Ez vigasztalna.
A szerencsések ritkán keményszívűek, hajlanak a részvétre és másokat is szeretnének feleslegükből részeltetni.
– Jó – mondta a fiú -, örülök, ha ilyen csekélységgel szívességet tehetek neked.
Már a következő sarkon találkozott egy szomorú, rongyos anyával és három éhező gyermekével.
– Amit annak ott megtettél – mondta az asszony -, azt bizonyára nem tagadod meg tőlünk sem.
És egy vasból való kis sírkeresztet font a hálóba.
Ettől a pillanattól kezdve egyre nehezebb lett a háló.
A labirintusvárosban számtalan szerencsétlen, boldogtalan ember volt, és mindenki, aki a fiúval találkozott, belefont valamit magából a hálójába, cipőt vagy értékes ékszert, bádogvödröt vagy egy zsák pénzt, ruhadarabot vagy vaskályhát, rózsakoszorút vagy elhullott állatot, valamilyen szerszámot, sőt végül még egy kapuszárnyat is.
Már estére járt, és a próba vége felé közeledett. A fiú előrehajolva, lépésről lépésre küzdötte magát előre, mintha valami hatalmas, nem hallható viharral szállna szembe. Arcát veríték lepte el, de még mindig csupa remény volt, mert azt hitte, most megértette, miben áll a próbatétele, és mindennek ellenére elég erősnek érezte magát, hogy megállja.
Aztán ráborult az alkonyat a városra, de még akkor sem jött senki, hogy azt mondja neki, elég volt mára. Maga sem tudta, hogyan, a magával hurcolt végtelen teherrel ama toronyszerű építmény tetőteraszára jutott, amelynek égszínkék szobájában a szeretett lány élt. Még sohasem vette észre, hogy innét lelátni a tengerpartra, talán ez sem volt eddig a mostani helyén. Mélységes nyugtalanság lett úrrá a fiún, látva, hogy a nap lebukik a párás látóhatár mögé.
A tengerparton négy szárnyas alak állt, hozzá hasonlók, és hallotta, noha nem látta a beszélőt, ahogy felszabadította őket. Lekiáltott, vajon róla megfeledkeztek-e, de ügyet sem vetettek rá. Remegő kézzel tapogatta a hálót, de nem sikerült ledobni magáról. Újra meg újra kiáltott, most apjaurát hívta, jöjjön és segítsen neki, eközben, amennyire tudott, kihajolt a párkányon.
A nap utolsó, kihunyó fénysugaránál látta, hogyan vezetik a szeretett lányt, tetőtől talpig fekete fátyolba burkolva, a kapun át. Aztán fekete lovak bevontattak egy fekete hintót, amelynek teteje egyetlen nagy kép volt: apjaura csupa gyász és kétségbeesés arca. A szeretett lány beszállt a hintóba, és a fogat távolodott, amíg bele nem veszett a sötétségbe.
A fiú ebben a pillanatban értette meg, mi volt a feladata. Engedetlenséget kellett volna tanúsítania, de nem állta meg a próbát. Érezte, hogyan hervad le álom teremtette szárnya, hogyan hullik le róla, mint az őszi falevél, és tudta, hogy soha többé nem lehet boldog, hogy élete fogytáig a labirintusban marad. Mert most már ő is oda tartozott.”
(Michael Ende: Tükör a tükörben)


 

Mert Éósz minden hajnalban megölte Hekatét. Furcsának hangzik, de nálunk ezért nem volt soha reggel. Csak hajnalok voltak: talán a Hajnal-úrnőnek volt túl nagy hatalma. Ébredés sem volt: álom és ébrenlét csak a Nap állása szerint vált megkülönböztethetővé, oly lassú és finom volt köztük az átmenet. Egyáltalán, valami nem volt rendben az idővel.
Nem is olyan rég, például, volt egy hatalmas vihar, ami összedöntötte a tornyot, letépte rólam a fátylamat és elsöpört körülöttem mindent. Ennek ellenére még mindig itt vagyok a toronyban, közvetlen a tető alatt, fátylam is ép és sértetlen, tehát a vihar nyilvánvalóan soha ki sem tört.
Amennyire vissza tudok emlékezni, mindig itt éltem, égszínkék szobámba zárva, a 401-es számú ajtó mögött. Nem emlékszem mi van odakint, s abban sem vagyok biztos, hogy az ajtó zárva van: sosem próbáltam kinyitni.
Ha kinézek az ablakon, messze alattam valami város-félét vélek látni, bár a távolságtól meglehetősen elmosódottak a körvonalai. Csak egy, kezdetben kanyargó, később egyre egyenesebb vonal vehető ki viszonylag tisztán, mint egy végtelenbe vezető ösvény – esetleg egy vasúti sínpár. Egészen távol, a láthatáron, valami halvány csillogás is látszik: talán a tenger.
Gyakran fázom: itt fent hűvösek a szelek. Egyetlen öltözékem a fátylam, amit – úgy tudom – azóta viselek, mióta a szobába léptem, bár, mint említettem, erre nem emlékszem. Talán nem is helyes ruhadarabnak neveznem: ez egy különleges fátyol. Valahol, nagyon halványan mintha rémlene a mozdulat, amivel a hajamba tűztem, de most kétségtelenül sokkal mélyebben, a csontjaimba kapaszkodik, s már réges rég a a részemmé vált. Belőlem táplálkozik, a véremet issza nap mint nap, s szinte észrevehetetlenül lassan, de megállíthatatlanul növekszik. Azt hiszem, annak a hosszú halászhálónak az emlékeként, talán annak torzképeként hordom, amit a kedvesem viselt, amikor –
Valójában erre sem emlékszem. Néha úgy rémlik, szerettük egymást, és el akartunk repülni innen. Máskor szörnyű rémképeket látok, és úgy hiszem, itt járt, és én hidegvérrel megöltem. Megint máskor meg vagyok győződve arról, hogy soha nem is létezett; és minden csodálatos vagy elborzasztó álmom ellenére be kell látnom, ez a legvalószínűbb.

retro-spectio

I.

Felriadtam az éjszaka közepén,
mert nem láttam a rémálmomat.
Túl nagy volt körülöttem a csönd,
túl egyszerű az út a lábam alatt.
Aztán mégis álomba ringatott,
magam-teremtette furcsa lény;
puha, pókháló-szerű, kusza szövevény.

II.

Acél- s kristálycsipke fátylat viselek,
alatta meztelen vagyok.
Hajamba tűztem, de csontom éri,
lebeg körülöttem és ragyog:
prizmaként szórja az éjszakát,
s halkan a fülembe nevet.
Elválaszt önmagamtól
s nap mint nap issza véremet.

 

Mélyeket lélegzem

Frissen kihajtott levelek illatát oldottam
langyos, éjsötét párában,
s figyeltem az elsuhanó autók hangjának ritmusát.
Gondolataimra lágy esőcseppek emléke hullt,
csontjaimban lüktetett az éjszaka,
s messze alattam már mozgolódtak a város fényei.

“Holnap elutazunk” – szólt az egyik.
“Ha akarsz, velünk jöhetsz.”

 

•  •  •

 

ólomsúlyú pára húzza a nyírfaágakat
– zápor szalad végig az utcán.

 

Hekaté táncai

hecate bailaora
Nem-szűnő száguldás Hold-érlelte gyümölcsei
– jéghideg hajnalok lángjai –
Mondd, hogy vége már,
Hidd, hogy elkeződött
– teremts világot, álmodó Hekatém,
minden sötétségből, míg csak létezel,
Lázadj föl, és öld meg egyszer Éószt,
Tudd, hogy hármasútnál melyik lesz tiéd.

„Sötét és semmi voltak: én valék,
Kietlen, csendes, lény nem lakta Éj,
És a világot szültem gyermekűl.”

(Vörösmarty: Csongor és Tünde)

[szabadulás]

Összetörtem az üveget magam körül,
és most lángolok:
átható, keserű tűz,
– halvány visszfénye a csillagoknak –
Forró szabadságcseppek gurulnak le torkomon,
s csontjaimat rágja az éjszaka.

el libro de las preguntas

A tenger.

A vadszőlő levelei, ahogy fújja őket a szél.

A szobám, ahogy megváltoztatják a dallamok.

 

“Ist nie nicht doch besser als spät?”

 

 

Vámpírok bálja

Éjfélre jár, szól a gong;
fuss ahogy bírsz, bolond!
Vagy állj meg, egy pillanatra,
s hideglelős furulyaszó
bűvkörében táncolsz majd,
míg virradatra
szívedben a vér kihűl.

Álmok és valóságok

 

Mint világok határán a senkiföldje,
mint nyári naplementék mögött a szürke,
egykedvű felhősereg,
vagy macskaköves utca, mikor az ereszről
az utolsó esőcsepp is lepereg,
oly csöndben vagyok.

Egy év se kellett.

Világaim bezárultak; hogy
kint vagyok vagy bent, már nem tudom.
A fényüket vesztett, halott csillagok
nem szólnak; énekük örök-zengő,
halovány emlékké fakult;
a régi ösvényeket elmosta a víz, és
árnypalántákkal sűrűn beültette a múlt.

Lost and found

I have found 4 (four) lost cellphones so far – I gave them all back, of course. I found the keys of a Vespa once – I gave that one back, too. I found another motorbike key in a mall, and gave it to the lost and found service, not having any better idea. I even found a car key when walking with my best friend (or maybe she found that? anyway), and we left it there, for it was in the middle of the street – I still think we could have done better.

Now, I found a notebook. (and a pen in its spiral binding.) On the street. Having lost one of this kind myself, I would rather give this one back to its owner – but so far I have’t found anything that could indicate the identity of him or her. And I’m insanely curious. And…

 

It is written in English.

„Szeretnék látni, nevetni…”

(gondolat-kör: újrakezdem. Leírom.)
nem félni: élni klasszikus rímpár
remélni – na azt nem: megélni.
a rettegés szívemben
kesernyés íz a számban
jégszilánk szememben
ólomsúly a lábban
Miért írom le?
Hadd repüljön (ut volet)
a szó megmarad
de az írás elszáll
széttépik idők
és szenvedélyek lángjai

„Szeretnélek látni, nevetni,
órákon át csak szemezni,
szeretnék szeretni.”

(Hámori Hanna: M-nek)

balance is boring

This was my weekly challenge, the task I set myself last Sunday – under the after-effects of Gentse feesten as I was: to have a balanced week. This may sound either easy or not very clear, so here are the approximate rules:

  1. Eat well. That’s actually two rules: a) don’t eat crap, b) don’t eat anything in a way only crap is worth eating.
  2. Sleep decent hours (7 per day at least)
  3. Exercise.
  4. Limit screen time: don’t waste life on the web.
  5. Be productive: tick off one thing from the list per day.
  6. Do something important and/or interesting every day.

The results? well…. Sunday, though otherwise not overly enjoyable, was perfect in terms of the above; Monday was cool. The cracks started to appear on Tuesday in the form of some chocolate or so; on Wednesday I overslept and had to shorten my morning routine of yoga&dance, and after work did just about nothing but surf on the net. Thursday I overslept even more (will not mention what I ate), only did the yoga part, but also had to do some other things in the morning, so I was quite very late from work, but went to a French conversation event in the evening. On Friday I could hardly get up at all, but went out with my colleagues to see a film. And to eat fish&chips (it was good, so no comment).

All in all I couldn’t quite keep to my rules. I did sleep decent hours, but honestly, I feel that if I am more rested that’s more due to the weekend’s two-figure sleep than whatever I tried to do during the week. I ate a lot of things I should rather have avoided; it’s Sunday and I still have a good couple of items on my list. I went out 3 nights out of 5, and the remaining two I was restless as hell.

I felt distant, muted and not quite myself.

If my standard over-active and chaotic lifestyle regularly gets me sick, and this calmer and more balaced one feels forced and makes me restless, then what am I to do?

Any advice?*

[…]

Megsárgult, összetört tükör.
Lehet-e hívatlan képeket hívni?

metamorphosis

(John Hollander: Összetekeredett piros festék című verse alapján)

Különös és mély a karmazsin gondolatok álma:
sárgászöld unalomban fuldokolva,
színtelen zöld eszmék alszanak dühödten.

Máskor halovány, ezüst-kék ötletek
haljnali suttogása kelti őket egy reggelen,
melyre árnyat vet a csöndes félelem
s a szüntelen lebegő kérdés,
lobogó, lángvörös kísértés.
Hagyj hát el álmot s ébredést,
merülj a szürke szín-özönbe,
keresd a csendnek fáját, hangok csillogó folyóját,
míg el nem jutsz a kezdet kezdetéig,
forró vágyakig és hideg reményig,
mozgó látomások kőtengeréig…

Különös és szép a karmazsin gondolatok álma:
sárgászöld távolságba veszve
színtelen s zöld eszmék merednek rád a ködben.

Napsárga képzelet táncol körülöttem.

Gentse Feesten

A full week (and more) in between somewhat makes the impact fade, but it was (to be perfectly grammatically correct, they were) in any case worth a post.  In the meantime, I also started an “I am fed up” post, but was way too fed up to finish it, so you escaped, if hardly.

So:

Imagine Sziget Festival lasted 10 days. Imagine it was in the castle district. Imagine you arrived for the last two days
– and you’ll have an impression of the thing.
The Gentse Feesten has a very long tradition – some 170 years or so –, and I’m told it was initiated when the factory owners and suchlike got fed up with their workers showing up late, and often drunk, for work, or not showing up at all, and made a pact of giving them 10 days off in exchange for better work ethic during the rest of the year. This may or may not be true, and what’s sure is that it has changed a lot over the years; in any case, now it is a number of simultaneous festivals throughout the city centre, where, to quote the relevant wikipedia article, “Public drunkenness is not entirely unseen”.

Having finished my French course on Friday, exam results and whatnot, I took a train to Ghent to see the city and enjoy the festival, not knowing that the two are very difficult, if not impossible to do at the same time. My hostel roommates immediately took care of me, taking me with them to some rockabilly concert, and also giving me drink after drink, and at a certain point, when I was already quite tipsy – enough to feel lost  – I lost them. I wandered around a bit; decided something good had to happen before I called it a night; bought a chocolate waffel, which is kind of the same thing, and headed home. (I’d have never though that there are Brussels waffles and Liége waffles and they are different – but there are, and they are.) It was only 3AM when I got home; m roommates arrived around 7AM.

And probably most others did, too, for when I left the hostel at noon the next day, the whole city was dead. And smelled exactly as a festival does after 8 days. Now, I have to admit I hadn’t quite done my homework beforehand, so I only had a vague idea as to what to see and where to go. So what I did was – walking. In the centre and around, along and accross the canals, and of course to the cathedral, where I spent around an hour only at the van Eyck polyptych. After that, I’m not quite sure when, I switched to autopilot mode and ended up walking altoghether about 9 hours in the city, pausing only for some lunch (at 4PM) and a coffee somewhat later. I can’t say I actually saw much, to be honest, in the state I was in, though probably when I go back (soon enough, probably: it’s an amazing place) I will recognise most of it.

The original plan was to bike back to Bruxelles on Sunday, leaving Ghent early in the afternoon, but after another late night and the frustration for Saturday I decided against it. I got some recommendations about what to see – two street theatre pieces. I missed the first because I got stuck at a concert, which was by the way quite good; I missed the second becaouse as I was going to the place the sky fell down – I, waited for a while under the gateway in a huge crowd, then, when the rain abated somewhat, decided to go home rather than sit though a one-hour performance, soaking wet as I was. That I did, then took the train back home.

On Tuesday I got home at around 6PM, lay down a bit to rest, woke up at 9:30 to feed the cat, then went back to sleep.

I guess I’ll have to return to Ghent soon.

 

navigare necesse est

navigare necesse est

the monster

the monster

navigare necesse est II.

navigare necesse est II.

the Snake

the Snake

city centre - and the festival taking over

city centre – and the festival taking over

just an entrance

just an entrance

the Flute-player

the Flute-player

one of the many

one of the many

navigare...

navigare…

medieval

medieval

more medieval

more medieval

another of the many

another of the many

balalayka bass (or what) - i still can't believe my eyes

balalayka bass (or what) – i still can’t believe my eyes

Emlékek katedrálisa

Végtelen hómező, telihold, s egy palota, fagyos levegőből.

„Lépj be!” – szól egy hang, hatalmas és zengő. „Lépj be!”- szól. Örökké. Hisz’ itt vagyok.
Jég-fák – alattuk boltív; arany-sötét folyosó.
Saját szívdobbanásaim – lépések zaja –
Csend.

 

Itt vagyok.

Hát mégis elvesztettem. Kijutottam a labirintusból, és elfelejtettem, hol jártam. Nem emlékszem a helyekre, ahol jártam – nem találom a szárnyamat. Darabokra estek a képek, megrepedtek a harangok.

Az öböl fölött lement a Nap, az idő visszafelé s mégis előre halad. Ma reggel összedőlt a torony, a királylány meghalt a romjai alatt. Mire újból tegnap este lett, a rég-hiába várt királyfi is megérkezett.

Varjúfőnixek
hajnal-alkonyok

Összetörtek a csillagok, elsötétült az ég.

Éósz és Hekaté

Testvérem hívott. Felébredtem,
Hozzá siettem.
Sápadt volt, szemében hideg reszketés.
Helyére álltam a táncban,
s egy pillanatig még láttam,
ahogy elrepült.

Testvérem hívtam. Felébredt,
hozzám sietett.
Szemében láng, haja kibomlott; nevetett.
Átvette helyem a körben,
s még láttam, mikor elrepültem,
ahogy táncolni kezd.

Testvérem hívtam. A táncnak
vége volt. Messziről jött,
hajában leander, homlokán egy csillag ragyogott.
Fáradtan léptem hozzá, átölelt,
S halkan egy altatódalt énekelt.

Testvérem hívott. A táncnak
vége volt. Már
nem lángolt, de még benne lüktetett az éj.
Emlékeit tört kristályként szórta kezembe,
Aztán elaludt. Talán örökre.

late at night

It’s around 2AM; going home I notice a small grouping of people just in front of my door. The couple, I guess, is Colombian; the three bikers, two guys and a girl, locals.

I step closer. It’s the Belgian girl who offers explanation, though a slightly confused and confusing one. She hasn’t seen, she says, but it seems he has just slapped his wife. I ask him what happened: he insists she had hit him first. She speaks English and tries to calm things down: she says it’s alright, that “shit happens”,that this has never happened before – I also catch her telling him, in spanish, that her mouth is bleeding. He keeps insulting them, us, interrupting constantly when I try to speak with her; she then tells him to go home, and he does.

In the meantime, one of the bikers has called the police, then started off following him by bike. We stay, for a bit; the Belgian girl tells her, repeatedly, not to ever believe anyone has the right to do this. I tell her I live just there and that she can ring if needed. She smiles through her tears and says she appreciates. We share a hug, then she walks away – home. The Belgian girl calls her friend, tells her how proud she is of him; he tells her the police have arrived, or, in any  case, there was a police car, and they are now talking to them.

The two remaining bikers go after their firend, fading into the night.

I stand in front of my door, looking for my keys, and cry.

the beauty of life and languages

It was one of those moments, gray and tense and difficult, when I would have even welcomed the rain. Cycling through the city I stopped at a small shop and not finding what I was looking for, asked the shopkeeper, a lady visibly of African origin, if she spoke English. She did, and did so with a surprisingly clear and non-French accent.

It turned out she is from Madagascar, and at my request she would even tell me how to say “life is beautiful” – that is my standard for “say something” or “teach me something” lately – in her language, which I promptly forgot. But she also explained that in Malagasy (yes, that’s the national language of Madagascar, and she wore the exact same face when I asked about it as I do when people ask about what language we speak “over there”)
– that in Malagasy one would never really say that, for it’s a much more poetic and philosophical language, and what they would say in the context of life would translate to

“Life is like aloe and honey”.

 

 

I really have to be a linguist.

 

[töredék]

Egy csillag csöppent a tenyerembe az éjjel,
És én elejtettem. Összetört.

national holiday

On Monday the 21st of July, it was the national day of Belgium. As I learnt from prof. Wiki,

“it commemorates an event on 21 July 1831 in which Leopold of Saxe-Cobourg swore allegiance to the new Belgian constitution, thus becoming the first King of the Belgians.”

I arrived quite late to the festivities, so luckily I missed the military parade. I also happened to miss any and all folkloric programmes that were advertised, while of the military and other related bodies I had more than enough, what with their endless stands and exhibits (tanks and suchlike, you know…)

I had some fries, went to see a concert, went back to see the fireworks – I must admit they were quite nice, even under the rain (yes, it was raining, that is part of the National Day tradition, or so I’m told). Then did some rounds to get back to the parc where I had left my bike and went home, soaked.

Now, I might lack the descriptive power when it comes to facts, but I do love other people’s holidays. As a foreigner, especially here where I don’t even speak the language(s), I see nothing of the political conflicts underneath, even if I know they exist.

What I see there is something festive, it’s people wishing each other a “nice holiday”, it’s people who belong, together. Even here.

neighbourly adventures

I checked their names out when I arrived. They are Italian.

And though I thought several times to smiply knock on their door, I somehow never did it – and it took two months (or almost: I can’t believe it’s been that long already) to run into each other in the staircase. Instead of chatting for half an hour just in front of the door, as would be typical at home, PierGiacomo invited me in, which of course meant chatting an hour and a half). We went out for a beer in the evening, PG, Michela, their friends and me. I have to say StGilles is none too close to our place, at least if you go on foot, so by the time we were back we were all exhausted – and that’s when it turned out they had closed the door without taking the keys, effectively locking themselves out of their flat, so I had two guests for the night. Isn’t it the most normal of things, really.

good music is worth more

From the Atomium I came home by metro, for I met some friends who live nearby. This was a round trip.

A flamenco recital of my friend Yves, home-made paella, nice company, and a true summer night (it was hot like hell, honestly, so I enjoyed it a lot). Life is good.

It was held at the place of a friend of Yves’, so the address on the map above is obviously not accurate – nevermind though that when I opened the map from the fb event’s coordinates, bloody gmaps gave me an incorrect one, too, so I knocked and rang several times at the wrong door. Luckily, they were not at home.

[toronyba zárt királyleány]

Toronyba zárt királyleány vagyok;
tornyom csupa felhő és fény,
barátom a Hold s a Szél,
s köszöntenek engem a csillagok.

Toronyba zárt királyleány vagyok;
elmennem innen nem lehet,
csak szerelmem, ki elvihet –
de jól tudom, a királyfi halott.

Megölték őt: gyilkosa én vagyok.

good music is worth much

It took me way more than 33 minutes, of course.

And if you wonder what this has to do with music: it was the Brosella folk&jazz festival, just last weekend (folk/wold music dayfor me 🙂 ).

Phantaszosz rabjai

Napnyugtára egy öbölbe értem;
Sejtelmem sem volt, hol lehetek.
Körülnéztem, s néhány embert láttam:
Nyugat felé néztek: nézték az eget.

Szállást kerestem, de hiába szóltam
Meg sem hallották a kérdésemet.
De, mert kíváncsi voltam, miért ül ott,
Megszólítottam egyiküket.

„Kérlek mondd, mit csinálsz, miért vagy itt?”
„Várakat építek. Aprókat, szépeket.
Belé kedves népet, jó királyt,
Gazdagságot képzelek.”

Másikhoz fordultam: „És Te, kérlek mondd el!”
„Fákat ültetek. Nagyokat, erőseket.
Ágak közé mókust, madárfészket,
Ágra jó termést képzelek.”

Csak kérdeztem – arról, mit eszem nem érthetett:
„kérlek mondd, mit csinálsz, s miért teszed!”
Sorban válaszoltak, révülten, csendesen:
Egy a tenger mélyén úszott, más a felhők felett.

Őrültnek hittem mindegyiküket,
Hisz’ nem láttam se várat, se fát.
Akkor az utolsó így szólt:
„Ülj hát közénk, s lásd a csodát!”

Leültem, s láttam: a várat, a fát,
A tűztáncot járó drágaköveket.
Már nem kerestem az éjjelre szállást:
Tudtam, innen elmenni nem lehet.

Speaking of cats….*

... meet bibiche, my flatmate, the monster (one-headed, as opposed to the many-headed one) who wakes me up at 06.10 the latest on most days – on some it's 05.13 –, who almost literally shouts  my head off when I arrive home to feed her.

Nothing special – she's a cat, after all.

As for the other pictures, of the flat itself,please note that this level of cleanliness is occasional at best.

Bibiche

Bibiche


one half

living room - one half


the other half

living room - the other half


kitchen

kitchen (I have a mocca by now)


the squat across the street

the squat across the street


buidings growing behind

the jungle of buildings as seen from my back window

 

 

*by the way, the rain stopped some days ago, so I'm about myself again.

Látomások

– előeste –

Végtelen gondolatköreidet futod, megállíthatatlanul,
már-már magadat kergetve az őrületbe;
álmodni kívánsz, pedig tudod:
az álmok elől elfutnak a csillagok.

(1. éjszaka)

mély, álomtalan álom, s az eleven sötétség – kergetőzik veled.
fény gyúl: egy, száz, ezer
mind más – mind más hangon szól:
felkelt a Nap.

(1. nap)

tavasz – friss, zöld, fénylő
engedd el magad, és lebegsz
az éjjel: pihensz.

(2. nap)

elindulsz, vándorolsz.
ismeretlen helyek, mind te vagy –
már sejted, de szavak még nincsenek.

– megérkezés –

idézel egy álmot: kacatnyi kincsek közt kutatva
képeket találtál.
Itt van. Itt marad.

sailing

Going home – coming home?

A too-many-times repeated truth: good times do not necessarily make good tales.

Last weekend I went sailing on the lake with my friends. Does it not explain all? The sun, the swimming, the complete calm so far from the city, as well as the fun and the good company? I mean, I flew home for those two days.

Which were three; and, beyond the sailing, were enough to go home, enjoy the nightbus service in Budapest - including the show offered by fellow passengers -, arrive as if I'd been gone but for two days, get used to 35 degrees (now that wasn't any difficult), go to the dodgem with my sister and four-year-old nephew, greet my grandma on her 85th birthday, help harvesting the sour cherries (there weren't any raspberrie, thoughs) and get confused because going directly to the airport from my grandma's house in Agárd really does not feel right.

I lost count of the number of times when I let slip that "on Monday I'm going home", so –

I'm home now, still ground-sick*, and – what a surprise – it's raining. Cats and dogs, or almost.

Bruxelles, how I hate thee.

 

* that's the inverse of seasickness: feeling as the ground waves under your feet after you get off the boat.

sailing

Inquietude

A relocation; a wholly new life – so scarily natural and easy as if I did it every other day.  A life fully claimed, yet at times seeming to be someone else’s. A life, so very dense, so intense; a life where nothing is quite urgent or important enough not to go out to the Square or the garden if the sun comes out.

So many names, faces, stories and attitudes to remember (or discard, and that is the harder), and as yet none I could claim I know.

weekend visit

The feeling of inviting your mom to eat out. (a first ever.)

The decadence of sharing half-a-dozen oysters and having a glass of wine with them at the market, at noon

– and, as I had the first sip of wine, over the seafood and under the sun, the sea, far as it may be, hit me with its full force, so much it took my breath away for a moment; and I could almost, almost see it, and hear the waves, and breathe the air —

Ever since I first saw that vendor, the forst time I went to the market, I thought my mom is just the person who would fully enjoy such a moment of luxury. She did. We both did, immensely.

She only came for two days, anyway.

*update

A random stranger left some leaflets about seasonal fruits and local producers in my bike’s basket.

The very same topics about which I asked that random stranger I mentioned earlier.

Integration

It all happened practically at light-speed, around this so-called ’Medieval Market’ on a certain weekend. A weekend when it was summer in Brussels – I mean, you could almost believe it, until and unless you went under a shadow.

I went down to the community garden next door, helped plant some tomatoes, received a basil to plant, harvested some red currants, and got the number of a certain architect who might just help me to make a crate so I can plant too.

I went to the park, and happened upon three people slacklining. I stopped.

’want to try?’

now what can one say to that? I did, after some hesitation. I went to this ’Medieval Market’ with them, met their friends (some local, some not quite), met some musicians* and other random people and generally had a great time both nights of the weekend.

Most of those people I haven’t seen since; some I have. With some others I have exchanged contacts, so I may, yet.  (the next time I wonder if I should go to a festival or some such alone, please remind me of this.)

I also went to the concert of Yves and Anne, musician friends of mine – after which Anne casually asked me, ’would you like to come with us to a party at a friends’ place?’ I would; I did. On top of it, it was a thematic party where everyone could bring some kind of performance – guess what. The company? some musicians, a singer, a good couple of graphic artists, a performer of the completely mad type (but of the entertaining ones), and others…. until around 3AM. (the story when Yves and I tried to put my bike into his car’s back so that he could drive me home – having lost my way three times while going, I had no idea how to get home -, spent a good quarter of an hour as I messed up taking the front wheel off, then had to put it back when after another 20 minutes we realised it was absolutely impossible that it should fit in —- well, that could very well be another story, if it was not part of this one.)

 

Oh by the way, I still not speak any French.

 

 

 

*that was: “now is that an oud in your hand????”

 

First impressions

I arrived late in the afternoon, after a bit of traffic and communication mishaps. It was raining. I went out to get some dinner; arriving to “the Square” (it’s called place Jourdan, but….), I saw this rasta guy sitting there, selling hand-made jewellery, and working on some new piece. I stepped closer, crossing an invisible line, which made him look up and greet me. ‘Hola’, he said. ‘Hola’, I responded. Within a few minutes I was sitting next to him on the ground, chatting. He’s Mexican, visiting a friend (from Equador, where else), who lives just in the squat in front of my place. The very same evening they had me over for dinner.

Domesticating another person’s plastic bag collection is something I really could have lived without. Nevertheless, cleaning a place is still of the best ways to take possession of it.

Along with the flat, I also rent a cat. She wakes me up at around 6AM every morning. She also sleeps in my bed, which is one thing, but the first night she slept on me, which meant that every time I moved I woke up because the cat just rolled off me.

The first week at work can be quite tiring, even if you don’t actually work that much.

I met a random stranger with whom I had a nice long chat and then did not exchange contacts. I’m afraid it was a mistake.

It is scary how normal and routine-like a full relocation can be.