Groundlessness, islands

Blackberries.

Blackberries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week I took a ferry to the island, a pitching, horrible journey, in which the horizon waved wildly, and I almost vomited over a rail. The island is serene, wind-swept so everything is low, the houses are exposed, the stone walls, castle, unsoftened by trees, except fuchsias and stunted willows. The islanders weave island willow, allowed to grow back from rootstock on abandoned plots, into baskets and craft. They sell seaweed. The boat bottoms are tarred. Little parcels of land are divided up all over by the dry-stone walls. A lady said that to avoid seasickness, you should find a spot on the horizon and keep staring at it, it tricks your brain, or reassures your brain, and indeed, you don’t get sick.

Went to sit in a bar and listen to music. The musicians sat around a table, had a drink, had a chat, played, one of them could have been eating nuts. A man bought me half pints of Guinness.

The next day I walked along the main road, and then in a loop through farmland, along narrow sealed roads, beside blackberries practically  black on their creepers. I grew up learning that you shouldn’t eat wild blackberries because they might have been sprayed, but I ate them anyway. I think they remove them manually, anyway.

An article I’ve been reading describes ‘the finer things in life’ as ‘intimacy, trusting others, and being relied upon’.

Strolled to charity shop to make a donation, spent afternoon scouring bookshops for the perfect book, settled finally on the happily titled When things fall apart. Sat in the shade of the Remembrance Park, a pond in the sunken cross. A man called out to me at the traffic lights Excuse me! Excuse me! And came over to me: Excuse me, are you a Hare Krishna? No. Jesus! You look like a Hare Krishna, he said accusatorially, and hurried off. I surveyed my knee-length mustard skirt (slit up the back!), grey shawl wrapped around my shoulders over baggy grey top, yellow ashram shoulder bag, black stockings, tan open-toed sandals, disheveled hair. It seemed plausible.

This has no relevance. When I was doing an induction session to volunteer with a charity, the leader said that you cannot help everyone all the time. She described a woman in the floods whose house was above the water line. From her porch she noticed a man in the flood water clinging to a structure across the way. She must have waved, and he must have waved back, but was well out of reach. When it got dark, she lit a candle on her porch, and stayed up sitting there, and from time to time he would ignite a cigarette lighter and she would know he was still there. But at some point, she stopped seeing his light, and when the sun came up she could see that he’d gone. Maybe he’d let go and floated to safety. She didn’t and couldn’t know. So she went into her kitchen and made herself breakfast and sat down to eat. This is how to help people.

I’m aware now that I have only a few months left of travel, probably,

Now I’m in S—, on the prettiest train route in the world, except it’s twilight. Green is folded into green that’s almost black with sundown. The further hills are a pastely grey. The sky is grey, the clouds are wads of grey. The train has just detached, cleaved two carriages to one place, and two to another.

In When things fall apart, Pema writes: This is where tenderness comes in. When things are shaky and nothing is working, we might realise that we are on the verge of something. We might realise that this is a very vulnerable and tender place, and that tenderness can go either way. We can shut down and feel resentful or we can touch in on that throbbing quality….Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing… When we think that something is going to bring us pleasure, we don’t know what‘s really going to happen. When we think something is going to give us misery, we don’t know… Life is like that. We don’t know anything. We call something bad, we call it good. But really we just don’t know.

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Write and walk

Errislannan near Clifden, Co Galway

Photo credit: kevin.balanda)

 

Today I ‘crook my knees / into a zed beneath the trees’ (Poem, Alice Oswald) and take a bus to a little town, just to ‘walk’. The landscape is ‘craggy’, which comes from a brochure on tracing your ancestry, and means the soil on the mountains worn down to rock, and everywhere else green with grass, and the cragginess— brokenness—of earth filled with water, of conifers crowded onto an islet.

When I get to the little town, it’s almost raining, the souvenir shops are grey. On the road out-of-town a middle-aged couple are walking in gumboots, the woman in a soft, purple skirt, the man carrying a candy striped umbrella. The hedgerow is thick with bracken fern, ivy, brambles and their berries, colour of old blood, orange clusters of flowers and thin leaves, fuchsias, brick-red and pink, grasses. The water is almost white with light, later, what they call cornflower blue as I’m clambering over stiles. Every single person in the hostel lounge is looking at their computer or tablet.

Previously, the gardens are deep green, the bay flat, bruised. I looked out the window and thought, here? But it will be the same anywhere. We were in a museum of social history, in a section about dance halls. There were some grainy images of a packed dance floor, couples, from above, inter-cut with one couple, now older, elegantly dancing together in colour in an empty hall, and I thought, they were young once. For a moment the present and future came together, and indeed I was there when I was young, in the museum. Flame coloured flowers in the downtown.

A friend of a friend decided to do the things they are good at, for their happiness. From the big archway of the road over the road, drops of water falling into the new sunlight. Plain is beautiful. I found a book on Buddhism, What The Buddha Taught, by Walpola Rahula: Do not think lightly of good saying; ‘It will not come to me’. Even as a water pot is filled by the falling of drops, so the wise man, gathering it drop by drop, fills himself with good. Which doesn’t mean much to me right now.

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All the clouds

Lagos

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

13.

Rain on the way to B. The field was open. I caught up with the C and he said last time taught him to stop constantly wondering how others see him. Along the highway two Spanish men were whooping at the trucks to get them to honk. The Spanish guys gave me some of their wine.

14.

I couldn’t walk properly. The day was cloudy, dry, patches of morning sun illuminating certain hillsides. Yesterday A said he expected me to join with the other Australians. Already there were more trees and we climbed through a wood the leaves hadn’t come back to yet, then pine forest. I walked until I could only feel my hip joints swinging my feet, pieces of meat. Talked to G. Tortilla and cheese in old bread. Read.

15.

Started walking, a little cloudy. Had a sweet pastry. The way went up a rocky hill, beside a military base, snares of barbed wire. I caught up and walked with A. He was wondering why people binge drink. We had a sandwich in the doorway of an abandoned shed, picnic style, his ‘best lunch’ yet. We walked into town. I showered and read, went for a walk. Ate potato chips and a pear on a bench before the cathedral and thought, I am free. A teacher came and sat beside me, I had fun practicing my Spanish, but some of the young people came by and I couldn’t leave him. We had a sandwich and he showed me the supermarket. I can see openness just at my fingertips like the opening of the sea, a flower of foam, petals.

Bus to Madrid. Sunny and warm when I arrived. Spent several hours in McDonalds, made for bus station, bought ticket. I felt like nothing would ever come to any good. We’d never agree, no good, flesh of stone.

*

Something about stories. A story is like a railroad, one set of rails from beginning to end-the written words, one after another, page after page. A story has strand upon strand if it is a rope.

Breakfast with my tray at my table, a walk along the crumbling cliffs. An hour on the sofa reading while my washing cycled through. Some more reading by the canal deciding it wouldn’t rain much more, a walk through the marina, abandoned-looking, the sun and shade beach, and eating dinner. I met some Portuguese in the kitchen who said their country had been in crisis for as long as they remember, and they’d read somewhere that Australians were the happiest people in the world. I said they should be. Had dinner while reading The Tiger’s Wife. Talked to my roommate about travel, her experiences of communism.

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Wine and stones, oranges

Torres del Río, Navarra

Navarra (Photo credit: Rufino Lasaosa)

7.

The two ladies dished up eggs and toast. I lay in the bunk longer, but we had to be out by 8, so I walked on anyway. I talked to a guy from Belgium who walked two months from Belgium ‘because I am alone’. He preferred the French way because there were ‘less people’. Only later I thought, he may not have been contradicting himself. He is getting slower. Drank a cup of real wine from a free fountain. Said hello to the C— ladies, swapped reports on previous hostels. They laughed when I said I was worried I would get slower and said, Yeah, but how old was he. I said Maybe 60 and they laughed again. I didn’t know why. Stopped at V—. Sat in church like a vault. Read my book. The A— guy said Are you following me? I said Haha. The owner’s parents let me in early as it was cold, made me tea, and slowly folded the linen together. Got a key from a bar and walked uphill to a fortress. Lighter without a backpack. Met Dutch lady in square, she told me about a ‘meeting’ in her hostel. Made my lentils and rice. Went to meditation circle in a rugged room with a giant Ikea light ball—paper—and floor cushions. Afterwards they served peppermint tea and I looked around and thought, I am alone.

8.

Ate breakfast, walked, very cold, my hands weak with cold. Undulating landscape, grain crops and some small tree crops, or vines. Today my feet sore from carrying weight, exhausted. Had mussels in bread in L—, and lay on a bench seat in the sun just out of town, in the wildflowers; dangled my legs off a drain. When I walk at my pace I recover better. Lay on my bunk bed and read The Manor. I remembered the time I felt such peace, looking at the church on the hill, but that is not now. B— told me he has 15 self-addressed envelopes and he sends a letter every few days to his wife. Dinner.

9.

Clear, still, sunny morning. I felt I could take all day. More vineyards, some olives. I walked with the C— man, A—, and he talked about greed. Had a croissant and a cookie in V—. The trail was full of bikes. It feels more mundane now to be walking; the plain ordinariness of walking along when you want only one thing: to lie down. A lady at a table before L— stamped my passport, three dogs chained to kennels looked at everyone who passed. I washed my clothes, walked to town, bought fruit. The guy in S— said Have fun!

10.

Last night I didn’t know what to do. I’d eaten early, and wrote a postcard outside, but it started raining. I read my book The Orphan Masters Son in bed, it was still light outside. Suddenly I had the peaceful feeling that things would soon be alright. In the night a man went to wake up a snorer. The snorer joked to his friends in the morning He was going to take up a collection for my hotel room. Started walk at 10, in the rain, met A— who taught me a walking technique. A— said she too would have liked a friend last night. In N— I had bread and cheese, the bread fresh, watery. Out of town it got very hot, a gang in a van arrived at one of the vineyards. I came to a main road and saw a different town to the left, not the one I’d thought I was walking towards. V— wasn’t to be seen and I had barely any water left. Decided eventually to add kms and get water. A cyclist gave me water from his bottle and said it was 3 km more. A farmer with stones on a tractor confirmed. The hostel has roses on the table. Went for a walk at dusk when the sun was making the hills green and paradisiacal, and young people were in the grass at the edge of town drinking red wine at a beaten up table and singing pop songs. The birds were still twittering, but everything was restful. A woman looked out her window, the street was empty.

11.

Woke to the trickling sound of rain, tugs of fear at the new day. Ate my boiled egg with the watery bread at the kitchen table. Met Australian ladies. Woke A—. Ate my last boiled egg in a car park in N—. Rested on way to A—, eating orange. The yellow and whiteness of daisies, chamomile flowers. The stillness after walking. Yesterday at my rest stop, the birds were black and flying around the church tower. I thought how I’d never really said goodbye, but every time that last year had been like goodbye. The church, inside, smelt of flowers, the front ornate and gold. At the hostel I talked to my roommate from Holland. I said how I hadn’t expected the walk to reduce stress. This is not what I thought I wanted. We agreed to eat together.

12.

Last night I— cooked pasta salad with salmon, and I made rice with mushroom, tuna, and we had bread and cheese and wine. Her recipe is:

Ingredients

cooked pasta / olive oil / verjuice / smoked salmon, chopped / lemon rind, cut in strips / tomatoes cubed (she takes the skin off usually) / capers (she made the mistake and bought canned peas instead) / thyme

Mix olive oil and verjuice to make a dressing. Mix remaining ingredients, pour dressing over.

This is the recipe she takes camping. She told me about her daughter’s grandmother, and I thought about companionship. Earlier, she said when you are exhausted, you only feel what you have, the essential. The church bell rang 7. The morning seemed the start of a bright day, sun shining beneath the clouds, fresh, quiet, people before me setting off down the road. More grain—wheat, barley—some vines. I bought a coffee in C— where a council worker clipping a hedge said Frio! to me, and I agreed. On the hill before N— I sat on a big clod and ate an orange and some chocolate. Out of town it really started to rain. I found the famous church tower, claimed a floor mat, showered and had a sandwich. The C man started quietly strumming a guitar down by the fireplace, and singing a song softly in French. People resting in their sleeping bags started singing, and clapped when he’d finished. He played Blowin’ in the Wind, Road to Tipperary, and ‘we should laugh and love and live, because we might not be the young ones for very long’.

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I will go back

English: Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point o...

The westernmost point of mainland Europe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was on the bus around winding Portuguese hill roads, beside a rail with a cart taking cut branches, beside terracotta roofs, and in a kind of desperation finding myself very tedious company. I wondered, if I knew I would return home just the same as I left, would it still be worth it. Yes, I realised. Each day would have no value but the place, the time. I could just be on a bus in Portugal on the other side of the world, and that could be enough.

As the road wound around itself, I realised I’m still the same person as I was when I went traveling at 21, and used to find light simply by realising the fact that I was on the other side of the world. There are lines in the Jack Johnson song Same Girl, I know you’re still my same girl / Who builds her own frames / For the pictures that she paints / The lights of Monterey / Come in across the bay / Right back to my same girl. I talked to my parents on Skype and something I take for granted is not something my parents ever demonstrate, and maybe not something I once believed. But everything I was and am is here.

I read a quote, A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it, George Moore. It’s not just home that I get sick for, it’s the sense that home contains everything, after all. The train passed apartment blocks with lines of household laundry strung below the windows.

The wind was around the cliffs, hazy. I’m organising a trip to a wedding of a friend I knew from university, from a time I often think of as most dynamic, and the prospect of a reunion is like a door.

.

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Grain and stones

Wind turbines

Wind turbines (Photo credit: madmack66)

3.

We passed the village, farms, a cow yard, streams. Sat down at a cross ways for bread and cheese. Kept walking, the scenery less dense than yesterday, less under-story, more low and stony. Stopped or paused, still standing, my feet sore and swollen. Sat down near a food van, saw D— and we talked about blisters with some other walkers. She said the way symbolises at different points different things, like death and rebirth. She said My dogs are barking, which means My feet hurt. I said my dogs are barking too. I ate sardines and cheese with bread and an apple in the hostel kitchen. But when I was tending my blisters on a bench the Australian lady came and talked to me, and said she knows how I feel. I lay on my bunk and thought about things and decided I shouldn’t have done it, but anyway I did.

4.

I didn’t want to but at 6 am I got up and got ready, and started walking. I walked with B— from B—, who has self-published a book. I walked pretty quickly with him, through farmland and denser woodland. I took a lower route and was drained and wan by P—. The last part was through lush, green verges, wild roses and decrepit, mouldering farm buildings, in the rain. My feet felt bound, swollen. I hobbled into town with two C— ladies, who are gung-ho and give me guidance. Washed my clothes and sat on my bunk. Hobbled out in my thongs to buy poles, stamps, baked beans, bread and fruit. A man who gave me directions gave me a tour in Spanish of the architecture. Had dinner alongside the C— ladies. Stretched for a few minutes before the radiator.

5.

At the first hill I needed the bathroom so went to a local bar that smelt of cigarette smoke and bought a coffee. Ahead were wind turbines along a ridge. The path went through canola and grain fields, the grasses rippled with wind. I had lunch in the grass and walked down the hill, which was very stony. I walked with a C— guy who said you can double knot your shoe laces and do them up to the top. There was another two towns, sleepy. I sat on a bench that looked over a valley to a church on a ridgeline and thought I don’t have to know what happens next. Two Spanish speaking men came along. One said Tired?! to me. I said Yes. He said We are too. In town two mares had foals by their side. I asked a K— guy where he was staying and a guy told us about a 5 euro hostel.

6.

The scenery was grape vines and olive trees. A quietly spoken, considered Australian came and walked with me. Stopped at a church, the brochure describes the building as plain but beautiful. The lady attending the stamp kindly and shakily lettered the dates on both stamps I have had today, though she’d only made the one. I followed a Dutch lady to a hermitage, through an olive grove. Inside was bare aside from a stone altar and ledges piled with letters and stones. A funeral program for a boy child had written at the top something like Wish you could be here, Nana and Pop. The lady said There seem to be a lot of goodbyes. I got the second last bed at the parish hostel, staffed by two volunteer C—s. Went to the library for hours to plan my trip. The C— ladies were extremely sweet and polite with one another and guests. As I prepared my snack one of them interestedly exclaimed Oh, I never thought of putting sardines in my bocadillo before!

Right now I’m on hiatus in P— where I have all the day before me. Yesterday I walked down to the harbour, light and dry and warm.

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Started out

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Before.

Canola is in flower, the sky a soft blue, everything is bright and mute. In P— I was told that I had to take a later bus. The police were examining the bus so we were late to go. A lady sat next to me going to her brother in S—. The countryside was green. I was in a panic about my accommodation, it was almost midnight and the street was deserted and all the houses closed in on themselves, but the guy stuck his head out the upper window, showed me the house and talked to me for a while. It’s hard to be given so much, so I say Yes, yes, ok, thank you, and that’s that. I slept very well.

In the morning I stitched on a button and talked to his sister. In the night one of her children came downstairs with a nightmare and the host tried to grab him but the little boy just stood by the wall for a few minutes and then ran upstairs. Here a fountain is making the shape of a boat hull.

Waiting on the platform, above a stationary train the rain poured down before the treetops, which was an exciting and simple beginning. I followed walkers to the office and met an American lady, D—. The guy at the hostel said the first stage is to listen to your body. There will come a time in the next two or three weeks when you don’t want to walk anymore, you want to quit you are so tired. But you keep walking. Then you learn to love yourself. The second stage is you learn to love other people as they are. Everyone is only a walker until they reach S—, where they become a pilgrim. People often get scared when they near S— that they won’t keep the good feeling, but they don’t need to feel that way. He also said you live in the moment and you have to have fun. D— said this is out of her comfort zone.

1.

I woke in the night and listened to the rain and wondered when it was time to get up. Breakfast was tea and bread and butter and jam. I started with D—, an Irish man and two American men. The countryside was green and steep, there were sheep grazing and flowers. I talked to a Polish lady in Spanish. After a coffee stop I walked on with D— and we talked about why we were doing the walk. Then we stopped talking and saw a snowy mountain ahead, and then it started snowing on the wind, and we were on the snowy mountain and it seemed to keep going and the hostel we both thought was up ahead was nowhere. We kept walking though for what seemed a long, unexpectedly difficult way (it’s meant to be hard, but this hard?) into this, water filling our shoes, and my plastic poncho split down the middle so I held it against the wind like a shawl, but bits kept flying off. I put on my flannelette and cotton jumper over my woolen jumper and wrapped a sarong over my head. D— kept encouraging me and telling me to walk behind her but my poncho kept shredding itself on the wind. At a bend the American guys came back and said it only gets worse. We ran to get a ride with some shepherds. A girl was already in the back looking pale and sick. Later we had pizza.

2.

The scenery was farms, houses, beds of vegetables on the river floodplain. I walked truly slowly and tried to look at everything at my own pace. The path got steep and I had to use tree sticks to push me up. An Irish mother and daughter passed me, swearing to one another. I could walk easier if I thought I was fine. At the hostel I washed my muddy pants and went to church. The priest welcome pilgrims and named countries, including Australia. Later I met the Irish pair and they said Didn’t we meet before, oh you’re from Iceland aren’t you. I said no, I’ve been there though. They said Oh, the tags on your bag. But yesterday someone was referring to a girl from Iceland, and now I want to know, was that me?

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Holidays for shy people

Entrance to Seyðisfjörður.

Entrance to S—. (Photo credit: Cornell University Library)

Three nights at sea in the cheap bunks in the bottom of the ferry. No carpet on the staircases, but that’s ok, the boat rises and rocks smoothly, you can hear the water break against the hull.

The last morning in Iceland I went to the swimming pool for 45 minutes or so. It was an overcast day and light vapour came off the warm lap pool, old men talked shop in the hot pool, a lady in a cap was doing laps, and some young teenagers were throwing balls around.

I walked through the back streets. Windows are homely but neat, with knick knacks on the window ledges.

At the bus stop, I had a moment where looking back, I couldn’t say what happened for sure. I thought the bus driver looked at me, and I looked at him and his van and wondered if it was him, and he didn’t stop so I kept waiting. But maybe he did stop, and that’s when we looked at each other, but I didn’t go over and he didn’t get out. Anyway, I missed the only bus to the ferry and luckily hitched a ride with some old Islanders whose tour guide ‘welcomed R— from Australia, we’re happy to help you out!’, which I thought was a diplomatic way to tell the paying customer ‘like it or lump it’.

I had a dowdy night reading in my hiking pants and pink thermal, and talking to an artistic German bunkmate, listening to Icelandic folk sing-alongs in the bar, watching the fjord pass from the decks.

In the morning the next day, a grey landshape loomed up, and we started to pass through the Faroe Islands.

I watched the back hatch lower, and walked around for an hour or so. It was misty and drizzly, but the grass was green—i.e. not snow bitten—and daffodils were blooming. An Islander lady told me she thought Iceland was cold. I looked in the window of the Red Cross, prowled around a historic headland with cobblestone streets and turf roofs, and then came back to boat. I finished a book They shall inherit the earth, and liked the sweet naturalness of the couple in love.

In the morning I sat on the top deck and tried to reread Ripples from Iceland (out of novels). I like in that book how she says Icelanders are shy and take a while to get going. It reminds me that outgoing, public personalities are not the given, and that reserved or shy personalities may just as well be the norm in some cultures. The book was written from the perspective of a housewife of a time over fifty years ago, but the German says she thinks they are still shy.

Anyway, I didn’t get much into the book, but spent the morning daydreaming about the pleasant future and looking at the waves. I had my lunch and did a budget on Excel, and had a rest for a few hours. Up on the top deck we had run into mist. I looked through my book of Galway Kinnell’s poems and thought about something I read about telling the truth and writing about your passions and sadnesses etc, so tried for something plain of my own. Ran into the German girl, chatted for a while, read.

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Two feet pinched

Volcanic rocks and snow in Iceland

Volcanic rocks and snow (Photo credit: kfcatles)

Tonight I have a room of my own and the man who took my krónur said I can check out late. I said goodbye to my friends at the hostel. I think we were being polite, but they are men with fine aspects. One of them had a nice smile when he smiled, which wasn’t too often. I cooked and ate alone here, and came to my room. I sat at my computer and when I looked up the sky was pink and the sun was setting, which means that it’s late.

The other guy last night said this idea of right and wrong is pretentious and self-obsessed. I’m not sure what specifically he meant, but it reminds me, the right thing and the wrong thing are the same thing, and then there’s everything else—which is life.

I walked by the fjord when I left them in the morning, mild sunlit day, and sat down on the far side on tufts of grass to eat hazelnuts and read a few chapters of Ripples from Iceland. But I felt tied somehow to them at the hostel and little kernels of conscious about how we will part. I wondered if my new hiking boots were, in fact, a size too small.

On the bus the landscape is the colour of an orca, black and white in daubs. I looked around the bus and an old man was sitting in the seat across the aisle, with white eyebrows and stubble, and pale rosey cheeks, and he seemed ok with whatever he’d done in his life.

Last night the S— guy was telling me places to go, and then he bought beers for us, and later a C— guy sat down and talked nice. As my friend says, with travel is loss.

Rilke writes only someone who is ready for everything, who doesn’t exclude any experience, even the most incomprehensible, will live the relationship with another person as something alive and will himself sound the depths of his own being.

And on writing poetry, he writes Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. – And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.

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Sunday Roast

2103 - Akureyri

Iceland (Photo credit: luispabon)

It’s Sunday in a small town in northern I—. I went to the information centre and then to church. Last night I went out with some guys from the hostel for beers, but I came back early. I wrote with my sister on facebook chat and she said Don’t be too hard on yourself. One of the guys was out smoking when I came back from church. He said, Nothing to do here, anyway it’s Sunday. I walked to the grocery store thinking, Yes, Sunday is a day of rest. I read in an interview that Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban named their eldest daughter Sunday because Sundays were the hardest days when they were single and lonely, before they found one another. That seemed quite poetic to me.

I had planned to go to the thermal pool but the guys invited me to bowling so I went. One confided that he gets bored here. I can see friendly relationships stretch out like this, like unmoored sandbanks in all directions in the sea, untamed and unbound, but soon enough I get toady like the lady in Tirra Lirra by the River. Anyway, it’s nice to see that it might be possible. We had our bowling and a game of pool, and I cooked up my vegetables and fish cakes. Not everything can depend on the thought that someone likes you.

Yesterday was clear and mild and I walked along the fjord, and half across the causeway. The fjord was snow-covered along the top sides.

It’s raining now, though a few snowflakes were falling whilst we played pool.

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