Monday, July 27, 2009

Thoughts on a beautiful morning

The call of my father woke me in the morning, and I, still half in the world of dreams, replied in Hindi. Rising and wiping the sleep out of my eyes, the most beautiful fresh morning was streaming in through the open windows. Last night, late and already the next day in fact, he had picked me up from the platform after my many hours on the train, where I had watched the light illuminate brightly the beautiful landscapes passing outside and then to draw away again with the setting sun, casting the veil of dusk on the land until the darkness left me only staring at reflections in the glass.
Our morning so clear and bright, we had our breakfast outside looking into the garden with all flowers and plants ablaze in bloom and light with that sunlight of a fresh clean morning, not tainted by the hustle of the day and the air still fresh and scented from the night. A million crystals of dew hidden in the grass and plants, the mighty trees swaying gently in the breeze and us on the terrace, talking and eating, sipping tea and awaking with all things around us.

Soon thereafter, my father left to work and I resumed my position on the terrace with my tea and bread and all the beauty of the world. Little birds, busy with their routine that had already began hours ago, rushing through the gardens catching this, gathering that. So I sat in utter peace and beauty and enjoyed a morning so fair it made the world and life therein seem utterly and act of pure aesthetics.

Not, however, was my silent peace long lasting. A short while after I had sat there alone, one man and another trotted over from the next garden and the one adjunct to occupy themselves with business for the old lady living on the left, who I hold very dear and close to my heart. Trees, they said, were they to be cut, and so had brought all kind of gear and tool. And as is the way with older men retired from work, like children busy with their fascinations I saw the beauty of the morning was utterly unseen by them. For they, the two of them, soon stirred the most exquisite of noise and stirrup with their chainsaws and their great business.

So I watched them and not much later greeted my dear neighbour, who came out and much excused herself of having slept too long and them to start without her – which in the light of her old age and great compassion all, of course, instantly forgave. Collecting fallen apples from her garden and exchanging smiles about the busy men, we watched and listened how, with much noise and attention as it pleases them, they wrought down an old an mossy apple tree and went about their business of cutting it up into small pieces and, I am sure, already making plans to split the loot for their fireplaces in the winter.

Thus I watched and thus I sit here, as the sun has crept higher in the sky of pure blue and the change of light has changed the world, as my beautiful morning has quietly (and noisily) faded into the auspicious and merry beginning of what seems to become a lovely day. My stomach filled and the tea consumed I cannot yet make myself get up and leave this observatory of the fine and busy, happy life of mornings in these dearest gardens.


I spent all yesterday on the train reading Kim, which I finished in the one day, drawing me far into the mesmerizing beauty of colonial India and the language of Rudyard Kipling. Enchantment after enchantment, and not far ahead lies my journey the those very same places, not Lahore but Delhi, Benares, the mountains of Himachal Pradesh. Oh, beauty awaits and wonder, I daresay.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


With the sound of incredible heat and the thoughts of busy holiday life, I returned from Budapest to Vienna today. On my table, right where we left it, was waiting a little piece of paper filled with lines in two hand writings, alternating. The other poem I carried in my notebook, for we wrote it in the Budapest metro. These are two poems Cecilie and I wrote together, line by line by turns:

like the lid of a sunbed, the morning descends on me
as memories, birds, out of the shadow of an eye
lying next to me, still closed
and flocking grains of light, remnant-like
calmly caught in a sunbeam
all the while, next to me, and slowly
rising to the light, two half-eyes

Bright lights flashing, grainy air, dusty wind
the sound of an ambulance crying
feet brushing the ground, warm gusts of air
and in the eye of the storm, your face, serene
smiling from a myriad of screens, ceaselessly
repeating my name and pointing to
that fragile pocket of time, our mingled breath
when we whispered together
and drifted, as leaves bustle, so silently
across the shifting floor of a club
people, as emotions, brushing by
while we turn to nothing and each other

Monday, July 6, 2009


I have not been tending this virtual garden for such a very long time. First and foremost, the busy life of study and exam got so in the way that everything else seemed utterly obstructed and out of reach. Now however, those woes lie behind me (along with the satisfaction gathered in the process) and though one might think the outlook on three long months of summer holidays seems vast and relaxing, many plans are keeping me busy.
Right now, I’m spending time together with dear Cecilie, visiting from Denmark. She arrived in Vienna, where we walked and talked until the bus carried us to Budapest, where we now walk and talk as a group of three, together with the my dear count.

All my recent days are accompanied by the strangest moods of weather. First, while the semester drew to its demanding close, the monsoon seemed to have gotten hold of Vienna (and Budapest). A never ending stream of thick drops pouring out of the sky while the temperatures and rivers climbed. These days, the monsoon seems to have exhausted itself and made way to days of humid heat with burning sunshine and at least one apocalyptical rainstorm per day.

One just never knows when to carry that fragile paper parasol…

A very regrettable symptom of my life during the semester is the fact I hardly read other books. Not caused by a lack of interest, I simply cannot get myself to read something for pleasure after having to read and work with written materials all day. Therefore, I have carried a rather large amount of books with me to the count’s residence and hope to finally finish a few and begin some more.
Currently, I mostly read in a collection of chinese short stories (in German translation) called new dreams from the red chamber (another book I have yet to finish). These at times a little bewildering but always fascinating stories cast an interesting light onto modern China and the small and big people living therein.

The soothing summer morning is getting old, and I should concentrate on my morning tea until the flat gets too warm for it to be enjoyable. Whilst I sip this gentle morning’s kiss (as my dear Mexican put it), the sounds of the city, rather different from the Viennese ones I’ve grown used to, drift to my interested ears.