Sunday, March 07, 2010

amsterdam

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i tend to forget about Amsterdam. that it exists. that it is only a train-ride away. that it holds powerful magic. there is a liveliness there, a brightness, a sense of freedom and possibility, of the truly unexpected being just about to happen... and then it happens too.

i woke up yesterday morning with a sore heart, a fuzzy head and a big lump in my throat, which i could neither swallow nor spit out, and which tasted like sadness. i have been missing my grand-father so badly. i didn't know what to do, but i knew i wanted to be alone, so i got dressed, packed my bag, and took a train. and as soon as i got out at Amsterdam central station, the city grabbed my hand, and twirled me, round and round: around the canals, around the markets, past the stalls, past the tiny side streets, past the still bare trees in the glaring sunlight, and the friendly crippled pigeons; twirled me and twirled me round and round. until it dropped me, just a little unexpectedly, like a leaf touching the ground at last, in front of the photography museum.

i went in, cold and tired, and there they were, Alexander Rodchenko's photographs of street life in the Moscow of the 1930's-1950's. the Moscow of my grand-father's youth. and there he was too, my friendly ghost, waiting for me by the door with a smirk on his face, taking my arm and walking me through the museum slowly, for he had much to tell. and there i was, for all the world the mad-woman i was always afraid of becoming, muttering to myself and laughing at jokes no-one heard, with tears running down my cheeks... so sad. and so happy too.

until the lump in my throat finally melted, and i was ready to go back, into the sunshine, a little less alone, a little less sad, a little less lost, and let the city twirl me some more, let it take me home.

magic. that was strong magic.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

you are beautiful, véro. xxx, sam

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for you...the pain is so cruel...we should meet soon...M