Saturday, November 24, 2012

journey to Lanzarote, day 1: all that remains

Saturday, 24th November 2012

the day of leaving and arriving
this overlap of reality
___when here 
________turns there

Finalities and waking early. Sorting, wrapping, packing, checking.
And: going back in time. To the same day, some years ago. When i was there on the island already for the longer part by then, when thoughts turned to going back home. Here's the diary entry from back then: all that remains (and to think: what would remain without words).


Thursday, 24th November 2006
all that remains

every morning, just after sunrise, i go to the beach. it's not far, and it feels like the most beautiful start to the day, walking down the way that leads to the shore. and the shore, it's different every day, the light, the waves, the wind, the clouds.

this morning it felt like Mexico, even though i never have been there. or maybe it's me, who feels lazy after the days of cruising the roads of this fire island.

so i am sitting on the beach now, watching the waves, watching ships and birds glide by, and watch the planes arrive and leave. in a way, an island is a place of timeless being, and in another way, it's a place of permanent motion:

everything is moving here, every single grain of sand. that's what i realized when i walked along the beach today, and stopped for a moment, to watch the wind move over the ground. and was stunned. for what i saw was the miniature of a dune desert, a lake of motion, a genesis of sand, following the direction the wind headed to. i touched one of the tiny dunes. where are you coming from, i wondered. how far did you travel already. the dune gave its answer by gliding on underneath my hand.

also, an island is a perfect place to read. yesterday i picked up a book i brought from the library, a book of essays from Adolf Muschg, titled „Die Insel, die Kolumbus nicht gefunden hat“ – „The island that columbus hasn't found." the book, it is about Japan, not about Lanzarote. i knew that much when i chose it, but i had no idea how fitting it is nevertheless: one of the places Kolumbus wanted to find was Nippon, this city Marco Polo told silver roof stories about. and the islands Kolumbus started his journey from was - the Canary Islands.

he might even have walked along the streets of Puerto del Carmen, the very town our bungalow is located. in those days, Lanzarote was covered with forest. later, the forest was turned to sailing boats by the Spanish sailors and the army. hard to believe this when you see the effort it takes just to grow one single grapevine today. to protect the plants from the wind, and with it, from the moving sand, strings of stone circles are built on the fields, making them look like landscapes of abstract art.

and today i read a poem at the beach, one that just so fitted to these days, to this place - it's printed in German in the book, so i try the translation, below. back home i will look for the original. just like i will look for the answer of another riddle: the rhythm of the turning of the tides. or maybe i will figure that one out in the passing of the next days.


When the long letters
have been written and read and 
stored away, when distances 
turn into the absolute,
just like the talking does,
then all that remains is
the listening. 

I have heard the black hearts
of stones 
who beat only once in their life. 

- William Pitt Root

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