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Monday, 4 November 2013

My Grey Universe Turned Vivid


Dyrhólaey


I knew so little about colours despite being so old. Perched on that high cliff, I was aware only of the grey of the sky, of the white of the foamy waves, and of the black of the beach. It was almost as living in a black-and-white movie. It is strange not to be able to move for ages, but one can get used to it easily, especially if there are no known alternatives.
I grew fond of the cold drops of rain and of the harsh winds. It was almost like being in a relationship with a person I only tolerated at first, but started to feel security and affection as time went by. I saw few people while I was there. Of course, I didn’t know much about them, but I had a strange and comforting feeling whenever a man got close. I couldn’t explain it back then, as most of the people cannot explain why they like or dislike another person if it’s the first time in their existence they meet.
That year in my life was so calm and I almost didn’t feel restlessness. Winter passed and the short Icelandic summer began probably later than usual, yet the long hours of daylight were as punctual as always.
It was a late July evening, moody and threatening as usual. It felt like nothing could interfere with my balanced existence and then they approached. I had never seen so many colours on a girl before: she was dressed in bright red and khaki, pale pink on her skin, yellow in her hair and blue in her eyes. I felt a strange connection to her energy. It was a very deep feeling, sharp and durably pleasant at the same time.
‘Wow, it’s my first wow in Iceland! I’ve rarely witnessed such a dramatic sight, the contrast is amazing... I can’t believe it!’
She kept going on and on about how that place made her feel. He kept silent, although clearly in awe, and started setting up his equipment for pictures.
‘Do you see those cliffs? They are said to be trolls, surprised by daylight and turned into stone...’
She was recording short movies for her friends and family back home when...
‘My tripod broke... This can’t be happening!’
‘What?!’
She paused her discourse for a while and seemed very touched by the incident, trying to enquire what had happened. The guy was clearly upset and passionate about what he was doing.
‘I’m so sorry for this, my darling... I guess you will have to do without a tripod for the following days because with the prices here... I mean, will you be alright? Will you manage?’
‘I don’t have a choice, do I? ...to think I could’ve bought that new tripod I had my eyes on back home...’
She continued to gaze at the waves crushing on the cliffs. She could feel the trepidations and he could feel them, too, and this was no great news for the following hours of photography. That’s when he grabbed me and rested the camera on my surface.
‘What are you doing?’
‘Well, I have to manage, right? So this is the solution for tonight. The light is great, but there’s a lot of motion... I need my camera to stand still or else I won’t have the shots I’ve been dreaming to take!’
It felt good to help him. It was the first time in my existence that I felt useful.
I was a good solution that evening because he took me with him and I got to enjoy the comforts of his bright orange rucksack for the night. Was I sad to leave Dyrhólaey? Would you be sad if you went somewhere you were needed? 
More days and nights followed and I sensed the touch of the earth and the moistness of the grass in many parts of the island I never thought I’d see. Continuous surprise was what I felt; continuous adventure was what I was experiencing.
I realised we grew closer by the day, with her soft fingers caressing me from time to time and wiping the mud off my surface, with his sense of gratefulness and shy friendship getting through all my pores.
One late afternoon we got back to the South. I felt the damp air and the high notes of the wind I was so accustomed to during my pre-useful era. I was very close to home and I got scared. I couldn’t explain the feeling, it was quick and painful and I was out of the bright orange rucksack and laid in a pile of stones near the Blue Lagoon.
‘You will be safe here.’
‘I don’t think he’ll fit in. Look at the other stones; they’re lighter in colour...’
‘I don’t believe you! ‘He’? It’s an object!!’
He was only trying to hide his sadness; a sadness he thought was unreasonable. She caressed me one more time and they were off. But a funny thing happened in that parking lot. A man stopped their car and murmured something and then I realised that she forgot her pink backpack on the ground while sorting out their luggage for the airport. They returned. She grabbed me and put me in her backpack’s pocket. She knew!
I got to fly that night, but didn’t really feel that anything was different. I was overwhelmed with joy and I kept thinking of my next stop.
When we landed in Romania, I got struck by a feeling of belonging there and just as the plane stopped and its door opened, I knew that I had arrived home.
I knew the softness and the purity of the air; I remembered its smell. A renewed friendship, that’s what it was... a renewed friendship with the land itself.
I will never forget the combination of surprise and sincere joy I saw on his face when she showed him the clandestine passenger in her backpack.
I was very happy in their bright and colourful home; I received an honourable place on a shelf packed with travel books. She used to caress me every now and then and whisper delicate words. He would continue to gaze at me, an old friend who supported him when he was in need. To my luck, that voyage to Iceland left them short on money, so my time of being useful to them and travelling around the country was not over until he returned from work one day with a big smile on his face and with a large package.    
I knew right then and there that the good times had ended. I became sad and that sadness took hold of me. I still cared for them, but that feeling of uselessness kept growing and growing until I was no longer myself, but that exact feeling.
Years passed, yet she knew. The energy of the house had somehow changed. I was aware that I was responsible for the bad vibe that was creeping into the lives of those two people I cherished so much. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do anything. I just sat there and indirectly allowed that vibe to wait, silent and threatening, for a moment to act and cause ravage.
She clearly understood how wrong the situation was and one day he grabbed me and put me into the bright orange rucksack. Off we were! I didn’t know where we were heading until I felt the crisp and fresh mountain air and trekking we went. In only a few hours, I felt I was becoming myself again. I felt needed and I felt joy. I remembered our happy moments and promised myself never to let them go again!
As I lay on the top of a cliff and he was getting ready to take his shot, I slipped and fell into the abyss. My last memories of them were the shock on his face and two tears that were building up in the corners of her eyes.
It ended the same way it began: on a very high note. The blow was hard. Luckily, I landed on piles of fresh grass and that helped me feel less dizzy. I sensed the heat of the burning sun and kept staring at the blue sky for the following months. I felt so lonely, but then seasons changed and there came autumn. Falling leaves were my companions during a few weeks, until the first snow fell. At that point, I was again very sad, but another feeling was creeping inside of me: I missed THEM. I didn’t know if I was ever to see them again, but hope made me go on for one day after another in a journey without an exact destination.
I started to feel restless and to sense the energies shift and grow. One evening, I saw a bright endless light and then I felt surrounded and sniffed by tens of white wolves, messengers of another realm. I got scared at first, I admit. But then, I got immersed into a surreal feeling of ease and comfort. I saw myself as a grain of sand clinging onto a shell grabbed by those soft fingers I knew so well. Dark haired and dark skinned this time, enjoying the Romanian Black Sea shores, she was caressing the shell with the same sincere moves she used to caress me and she was thanking him for giving her such an amazing item for her collection. And then I saw myself as a daffodil in a beautiful garden. I heard steps, looked up and there he was, older and fair skinned this time, with a watering can in his hand. I heard his name called in a strong Scottish accent by none other than... You think you already know how this story ends, but you may be wrong.
When I got back to my senses, I had a different perception of things, of space, of the surroundings. I was looking at them from above. My instinct told me to try to search for myself on the ground, but I was no longer there. I am at peace now; it is a transition that makes things clearer for everyone. It may take tens of years or hundreds of years, but you don’t get bored or act restlessly. You know where you’re going next, which is your mission, and that feeling of certainty, that you will get to meet again those you love keeps you going. It’s like the certainty of every plane ticket you buy: you can start planning your journey because you know for sure when and where you are going and who is your companion.
She knew, she knew all the way, but never put it in words, not even to him: ‘soul’ is a term full of meanings and one can find it even inside a medium-sized lava stone on a promontory in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

2 comments:

  1. What a great story, I visualised every step of the way :)

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  2. So glad you liked it, draga mea! :)

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