this is the archive for the ‘just life’ category:


days like chewing gum

earlier last week, i was talking with A. about the surgery she was about to have in a couple of days. she was eager and excited for it, telling me how the days were stretching endlessly like chewing gum… how she planned to go to sleep early that day, just so that time moved a little faster.

and then, something happened during that surgery… and a couple days later, i got the news that she had died.

like a punch in the gut. one day she’s right there, we’re laughing, sharing train rides and exchanging letters, commenting on her new kitchen cupboards and the pile of books she wanted to read… and next thing i know this unexplainable void takes over, this acute absence of her. it doesn’t make sense.

bie_4

the heartbreak crystalized the absurdity of the past few months — and how silly we’ve been, postponing our life and putting things on hold until we reach an arbitrary point in the future. what are we waiting for, exactly? we have a roof over our heads, clothes, health… let’s live, damn it!

month of letters: done!

so, finally, this was the year i wrote a postcard or letter for every day in february, successfully checking that item off my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days… yay!

the recipients were a mix of old and new friends, which gave it a nice twist — conversations were started, continued or kickstarted again by means of a random mail item. owed replies were sent, and people were cheered up, or thanked or remembered. it was fun, and it had the unintended benefit of giving me something else to think of during some trying time. i wish i had the stamina to keep it up the whole year! :)

omni-impatient

small update just to say that we found a place! to be honest, it’s not at all what i had imagined it would be… but i think it’s growing on me slowly.

the backyard (!) is wild with overgrowth and the house eerily quiet and empty, our voices echoing on the walls and the tiled floor as we pace it, anxiously waiting for all the paperwork to come through.

IMG_0056

there’s a terrace on the roof (!!), from where you can savor the expanse of blue sky all around and even catch a glimpse of the sea, glimmering in the distance… it’s perfect to bask in the sun and the knowledge that this is it, this white canvas of a house this will soon be our home for the foreseeable future. we’re almost done.

sunset

the sun warms our skin and it feels luxuriously novel… like a silent blessing. i hope to always remember this.

no choice is good choice

it’s been a few months that we’re back in berlin after our spring stint in celorico de basto, a place hidden in the middle of vinho verde land.

everyone thought that we, the globetrotters, were going to hate being holed up in there for two months.

minho

well, the truth is… it was oddly refreshing. i wasn’t expecting it to be so soothing, and i think a big part of that stemmed from not having much to chose from. there was one of everything: one restaurant, one supermarket, three bakeries (this is portugal after all) — and that was enough. it was just pure simplicity, those unadorned, undemanding days where we did the only things we could do.

plus, our internet allowance was limited and thus kept strictly practical: no videos streaming, no music playing in the background, no images cluttering the pages. we did our job and then switched it off and went outside. the inbox got close to zero a few times. my skin regained a bit of its southern shade.

(i had the same feeling once, on a tiny apartment we stayed in where everything was white, clean and uncluttered from the usual paraphernalia that seems to sprout on every surface. no superfluous decorations, nothing in sight… everything was there, but hidden in its right place. i, the queen of messy desks, felt relieved, serene, in peace.)

levada

of course we missed lots of things: friends. the convenience of online retailers, combined with the efficiency of deutsche post. our bed. reliable film shops. the café around the corner. diversity. proper internet. a quiet place to call our own…

but it was strangely refreshing to be away and really focused on a task. no main distractions going on. everything was secondary to the main goal and so every decision became easy, barely a yes or no process.

i don’t know if this makes sense for anyone else… i just wanted to remember this feeling.

one second every day – august 2014

august was made of cats, adorable newborn babies and friends.

what else could one possibly need? :)