still alive.

all quiet on the eastern front. or not? i’m just having a little well deserved break from being online all the time. something happened to me when i got out to my summer-house a couple of weeks ago. all these years when mum and dad lived here i liked coming here for a couple of days  – just to do nada and then head back to town again. now all of a sudden i don’t have that urge anymore. i’m perfectly content staying here for weeks in a row in this old wooden house with its demanding soul.  i’m dead tired after a long winter, but for some reason i’m not allowed to only sleep and relax like i used to do here. there are walls to paint (and while you’re at it – do the ceiling as well! the house demanded by pouring out a cup of sawdust all over me when i tried to wipe out a mosquito killed ages ago), lawns to mow and ants to kill (in 40 years never once did my mother see an ant upstairs. when i had declared that i’m too lazy to start project painting the master bedroom the ants invaded my bed [sic!] and as soon as i had moved all my things from my childhood bedroom to the bathroom wardrobe and started covering the floor in the master bedroom from paint stains the ants disappeared. i have not seen an ant since then.)

no, i haven’t gone cuckoo (not more than usual that is), i’ve just gone back to basics. you learn a lot from just listening. to the sounds of nature, to the creaks of the old house, to your own body. you wake up from the happy swallow chirps, you know it’s time for bed when the nightingale starts its lullaby. you eat when you’re hungry – not when the clock says it’s time for lunch. and when you have guests you know which stairs to jump over in order not to wake them all (since they still are in the only-here-for-a-night-or-two-to-relax-mode.)

this might not be the two weeks at the riviera i was hoping for this summer, but the house and i like each other. after years of illness and quietness i finally brought some life and energy into it again. besides, doing manual labour is therapeutic in its own way. i like it. you should try it sometimes!

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5 comments

  1. Renata · · Reply

    …I understand now, Chia… 🙂 Am glad… Ebjoy those days :-)))))) Kiss
    Renata

    1. 🙂 you did have some points in your e-mail, but as you see, i’m coping.. gonna mail you when i have time, for some reason i have become quite a busy bee…

  2. miguel de Avendaño · · Reply

    I’ve always liked this quote from Joseph Conrad’s Victory, because -having kept my grandparents’ furniture (though unfortunately not the house) with great difficulties- I do think things have souls and it makes me feel very sad to see them go:
    “The elder Heyst had left behind him a little money and a certain quantity of movable objects, such as books, tables, chairs, and pictures, which might have complained of heartless desertion after many years of faithful service; for there is a soul in things. Heyst, our Heyst, had often thought of them, reproachful and mute, shrouded and locked up in those rooms, far away in London with the sounds of the street reaching them faintly, and sometimes a Little sunshine, when the blinds were pulled up and the windows opened from time to time in pursuance of his original instructions and later reminders. It seemed as if in his conception of a world not worth touching, and perhaps not substantial enough to grasp, these objects familiar to his childhood and his youth, and associated with the memory of an old man, were the only realities, something having an absolute existence. He would never have them sold, or even moved from the places they occupied when he looked upon them last. When he was advised from London that his lease had expired, and that the house, with some others as like it as two peas, was to be demolished, he was surprisingly distressed.”

    1. beautiful! although i believe in the concept of feng shui; you shouldn’t keep an object “just because” – if it feels like a burden it will drain your energies.

      in the same way, i feel extremely energetic after repainting some pieces of furniture these last weeks. they felt so dark and gloomy, now they are light and happy 🙂

  3. miguel de Avendaño · · Reply

    Yes, I think you’re right about burdens!! But it’s so difficult to get away from them when they have sentimental connections. We kept my (English) grandparents’ furniture in storage for about 15 years after we sold their house in the west of England (another blow) and it’s cost me millions to bring it here. Anyway, too depressing to think of things that are lost forever….. and so difficult to look ahead…

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