Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This year

In August, I worked. I got up in the early morning and swiftly moved through the Rue de la Conféderation to Bel Air, walking by the grey-blue lake, shimmering with a low and encroaching sun, following the lake all the way to the parcs in the North, arriving at my crisp desk exactly at a Swiss 8 'o clock in the morning. I swam in the hot lake on my lunch breaks. I took constant baby measures on improving my thesis and getting a grip on a complex large field of thought, a field, which spends most energy on its complete denial of its own limitations (not unlike yours faithfully, as I was only to find out much later. Me & this field of thought, we were two peas in a pod, denying larger realities).

In September, the muscles in my shoulders had grown tight & solid with worries of how to reach the summit of my mountain; and after the summit, with how to descend.

In October, I mourned my approaching indefinite flight away from the city with which I had come to entertwine my being, my essence, my very self. I walked the streets with a heavy heart, wearing my flipflops in the rain, carrying a Starbucks coffee around in my defense. I had last dinners at my friends' new apartments, I was happy for the beginning of their new year even as I resented not being part of the continuity of things, resented not having a part in the initiation of the new Geneva arrivees.

In November, I finished my script, left it with my friends, and set careful foot in the outside world. In that place that exists when one is not in Geneva, not in a bubble of highly educated, polyglot, diplomatic party people who ski on their weekends and talk politics on their breaks. I loved London for Portobello Road and diversity, I had a short-lasting love affair with Berlin a little later, and I immediately claimed Amsterdam as my own, my one and only.

December, oh December in the Netherworlds. Tea and tarot and best friend and home and siblings with their music and sitting around the fire and reading the news papers and magazines and parents with their discussing the endless debate of psychology vs. sociology vs. economics vs. political science. Sinterklaas came once again and so did fireworks and snowball fights.

January, I spent it in a deep wintersleep in a borrowed little tidy place hidden in the chique corner of Amsterdam. I went running every day, I translated, I read books, I watched the cat and taught it some lessons, I slept.

February was a slow and snowy home month. Translating, running, watching dr. Phil with great interest.

March, March was a self-chosen hard on a double front. ('Never fight a double-front war!' - I can still hear my high school history teacher say. How often must a person learn?) Much descended from my Akropolis, I fell into the very epicentre of Dutchism, the sub-world of the student societies, to my initial detriment. I also started getting used to rhythmic life, getting up at half past seven every single day, no more exceptions possible; getting used to testing the water with colleagues and realizing the disappointment of unreal expectations.

In April I found and claimed my alumna identity. I re-met my people in Utrecht, the people that I had grown up with for a while, those that had been here all along and now wanted to hear what proces I had undergone that led me to change my name to Hannah now.

May, I spent it following my nose around. I nosed around in concerts and a festival and campus parties and in other corners of Holland, with my before-people, my people that knew me when I was only a teenager, active and critical and ready to take on the world; I nosed in a coffee shop and in some restaurants, too.

June. June is here with me now and let me tell you, she is quite the nymph, the muse, the myth, already. She is wearing a white robe, like the greek godesses, like Athena, godess of war, counselor. She is telling me: you go girl. You have waited long enough, doubted long enough, tried to fit in for long enough. Now is your time to write, and to shine and to polish the shine in the people around you. Now is when you strike with your sword in one blow and hit well, now is when you check in with the larger course of things and act as in trance, in a zone of concentrated nonchalence attuned to what is happening already.

In July; in July I shall dance on the grass with bear feet for my midsummer night celebrations. I will listen carefully to the sounds that arrive with the wind, while I align my energies to aid a group and an activity in life that I believe in. July is a sneak preview, July is my gift to me. Oh yeah, my gift to me.

1 comment:

Anna said...

As Simon and Garfunkel sang,

April come she will
When streams are ripe and swelled with rain;
May, she will stay,
Resting in my arms again.
June, she'll change her tune,
In restless walks she'll prowl the night;
July, she will fly
And give no warning to her flight.