Looking out at the distant airport lights in a hotel room in a cold country, that long-ago day, listening to the clock ticking away in the absolute silence, “the desire to be barefoot and sitting on a doorsill worn black and shiny by all the people who have sat upon it”* rises up like waves of unacknowledged pain, like a metaphor for all that you ever really wanted, but did not know...
Because it is indeed in the rightness of things that we needs must go searching all over the world to find what we really want, and come back ripe and ready at last to find it waiting patiently for us to return, by the side of the old jasmin tree which bravely survived the harsh summers with grace even when no one remembered to water it…
Maybe this is all that you really need, this everyday miracle:
Monday, December 08, 2003
Light creates and recreates the house constantly. Perky morning rays coming in through the kitchen window onto the polished place next to the stove. Lighting up the dust on the black dining table through the half-open balcony door. Casting a moving shadow of the wind-chimes near the door. The bedrooms on the other side are still dark if you keep the curtains closed as if day has not yet completely broken there. Quiet awakening.
As the day progresses, the glow in the drawing room brightens, which even the curtains cannot stop. The grains on the wooden monkey on top of the TV are more visible. The bedrooms come out of night country.
And then the kitchen is in gentle light that doesn't quite reach the corners near the window. The coconut tree outside the drawing room is radiant in the golden evening light, with squirrel babies playing on it. The gentleness of tea-time settles on the red cushions. The light on the old cane sofa invites quiet reflection. The bedrooms on the west are now brilliantly lit, the meroon flowers on the curtain blazing away.
Then as the show comes to an end, the open balcony door lets in a warm glow that lights up the red Christmas stocking and the black and white Paris postcard on the shelf above the antique bed railing. Everything has a shadow. Gradually as you watch the red stocking lose its shine, and the light moving up on to the book shelf, you turn to look outside, watch what is left of the light silhouetting the bird nest on the acacia tree.
And then you close the balcony door as it is mosquito-time, and switch on the table lamps. Pools of light transforming the rooms and calling for music. A pale unchanging weak substitute for the sun, but until the next day when the miracle will repeat all over again, this will work its quiet magic.
* From 'Soul Mountain', Gao Xingjian