I have just started a new Notebook. So many blank pages to fill with letters and more letters, all aligned on straight lines that could lead me somewhere. Who knows where I will be at the end of this Book. Or in the middle. A better place, I hope. A better person. Where clarity, tranquility and inner satisfaction are present and dominant. Where significance pulls me forward.
The sun is hot and burns my legs covered in my favorite gray jeans, old and worn out, showing a dangerous transparency in vulnerable spots. My feet are locked in gray army boots and begin to complain and expand against the woolen white socks that keep them comfortable in the hard leather environment. It is pretty crazy I haven’t changed into something more comfortable, less hot and strainful. I guess I was lazy and just wanted to sit down and enjoy the sun and the breeze that crosses the air and undoes my hair throwing it slightly in front of my eyes.
The blue skies, scratched by white smoky lines left by scarce airplanes, cover the green landscape patched by a few orange rooftops. The sound of the train, carried by the warm breeze the southern wind brings, is soft and reminds me that life moves on and that people still travel by train — an adventure I haven’t experienced in many years, something I used to do daily in my youth, while studying and later working in the big city.
It is Sunday. I wanted it to be a quiet, relaxing day. Nowhere to go, nothing to do, nothing to think or worry about, no planning, no stress. Complete tranquility. Enjoy the sun and the noisy silence of the surroundings where the sounds of birds, slow wind gusts, motorbikes and the occasional pedestrians, mingle in a soundtrack typical of a Sunday without rain.
I used to hate these Sunday soundtracks. No distraction, nowhere to go, nothing to do. Everything would stop, no progression into something. Something I couldn’t define, but anxiously desired. It would be my way out. My thing. Me, I guess. My autonomy. Identity. Independence. Visibility. Contribution. Meaning. Substance…
I can feel it. Almost grab it. It makes me smile. Ironically, because I still don’t know what that something is or what to call it, but I can feel what it would bring me, the strength, the power, the capability, balance, confidence. A life. My own life, my own corner, home… Yes, home. At home. Within myself. With others. Me. Calm. Conscious. Able to savor the moment, the good and the bad without succumb to the latter and without letting the former lose its power and existence as I tend to do. The negative remains and dominates. I allow that and then I become angry, frustrated, tired and empty of warmth, of meaning, of love, and even of life. I should let the negative pass by, say hello, allow it even a few words, not too many and not too long though, — that would be dangerous, I know that well — , and then, a few minutes later, move on, with or without excuse, and let it go its own way. Say goodbye, with manners, and very likely expect to find it again, maybe even sooner than later.
Yes, I guess it is a good tactic to prepare for the next encounter. It will be inevitable. “Resistance is futile”, as the Borg used to say in Star Trek. And once it goes away, I should allow the good to surround me, envelop me, caress me, and cherish it. I must do it. I need it to fully recover physically and mentally. I need it to get old gracefully and with less wrinkles… Well, that is definitely something that hits me. Some might call it vanity. At this moment I grab everything. I’m not picky. As long as it propels me forward and is beneficial to me. The current modus operandi isn’t working towards an improvement, it is working towards more frustration and delusion. And very importantly, to getting older, or old, ungraciously…
Written in May 2021
Pictures: Douro, Azenhas do Mar and Guincho (Portugal)