I am a wild creature, she breathed through every pore. Do you know how to fly, Inquired the endless sky? Of course I do, she replied, not making a move. Then where are your wings, demanded the coarse wood beneath her arse. I don’t need them today, was all that she said. So you’re stuck, laughed the branches prodding her gently. The wind was listless. No rain tried to fall. But the shadows had an interesting perspective. They took the form of whatever they lay on and when the sun turned, left no trace at all.
This moment of contemplation gives me everything I need for my next step. I am about to step into the unknown, again and again and again. Already I can feel the excitement fluttering inside like a deranged butterfly. If I concentrate on my breath, I am able to slow her flight but unable to allow her to settle gracefully on a flower of her choice. And this is necessary for the creature to dip into the nectar and continue the cycle of life. So I will practice. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.
She’s lost her way, moaned the mattress wearily.
Where are her arms? asked the solid floor.
The window was closed to all possibilities.
But the floor sprung sweetly under the weight of her frame.
The light smiled softly, the air rushed madly,
And she laughed at the room,
In complete abandonment.
Today I climb a mountain on this remote Greek Island. Beyond the source of the waterfalls, lizards cling to the cliff faces. I test each hand hold before I give my weight to the mountain. The hard volcanic rock has been broken into sharp and unstable shards by the winter elements. Only the lichen-covered rocks are stable. I pick my path. The sky is racing past. A rush of adrenalin hits me. I consider the possibility that I could die here. Why not? It’s a beautiful place where I am completely at peace.
I see a species of ants that I know well from the Australian bush. We have history. Once I saw them carry away bones from a snake carcass. I’ve stood barefoot on their mounds for a dare. They don’t sting but their meat-eating preference makes this a good test of endurance. Sure, it’s crazy, but I had time and it was the days before I carried a laptop and had 305 Facebook friends. Today I feel only completeness. This is not an Italian drama. Perhaps it’s a Greek tragedy? Except there is no family gathering at my feet. I’m grateful. They need a wash.
The village is a walk through ferns, following a goat track. I heard the goat herder’s wild animal cries at sunrise and the passing sounds of bells, bleats and hoofs sure-footed on stone. But I have no desire to go to the village. Instead I go to the waterfall to wash the city from my body and remember the sweet caress of the sun.
It’s 3.19 am. Berlin time. I am dancing in the underground. Sweet violin plays the strings of my heart. Ride of the Valkyries. My soul in question.
I am passing through countries, discarding them like forgotten lovers. Now when I think about love, I have many more things to say. I think love is a vulnerability, a willingness to trust someone with a precious heart. To be so child-like and joyous that dancing and singing is a natural state. A heightened awareness of the beloved. A look, a tiny movement, a sigh, a tremor, a breath, a heartbeat, these are the signs that reveal the inner state. But love passes, in the same way that that cities fade into the distance as I travel across Europe. That is what you tell me. And so, I continue my journey.
‘Take your joy and spread it across the world, he wrote.
At least begin with a smile and hug yourself, she thought.’