Running through Utrecht in a coat that has suddenly become too warm for the season, past streets and terraces of beer and people unpeeling from winter. It is time to be open and about . Though I am late for the train: the spring time will have to wait.
I have not come here to write for a time. Everything I’ve written has been boggy and emotional, sliding into forlorn poecy of dances and hands unclasped. It has been a difficult time, you could say, and at the same time absurdly not. At best, life with little colour and not wishing much of it to enter. Or enter in a particular hue to which I had grown accustomed, that has now left Holland. In the following week I was fired.
One situation is certainly over, it is more a question of how. The other a more agonising if and the if has been an irrittaing source of verbal nourishment, for the reader as much as for me.
What’s emerged from the moments of no colour, has been a bored delight. Simple things, when you feel unable to achieve, become worlds in themselves. Bike rides become adventures following an old man on motorised transport – you know the ones they use – simper down Koekoekbloemlaan with a cigar pointed erect from an o-shaped mouth. We simpered down some yards together, before I went to chase some ducks and sit by the river. Disturb some teenagers from the place they had ordained to take off their shirts and smoke together, play loud music, which impressively, they turned off as I passed. A wonder what caused the deference, am I gaining authority before 30?
I think they would rather cause offence than defer. One of them hocked up a choice bit of phlegm as I wheeled past the narrow path that went passed their circle, inches from the river.
Dutch village life on a beautiful sunny day. Strange I should remark on it as Dutch. Or even village. It’s harder to remember in England going passed and seeing everything as English, or remarking on it. Perhaps at my most convivial and patriotic. Now though going back it is to remark on everything as England. Loosened from the native soil, I am now everywhere a foreigner, hearkening for a home.
This is sad as it somehow seems a backward step. It should be the ever opening road, but looks over my shoulder hold me up, as Orpheus found to his cost. The road and I should be a little straighter. Though our curves bring us demeanour, perhaps more humor down the line. The straight ups laugh more easily: though I doubt ever as hard.
Baarn, the town where I live, is unremarkable in absolutely every way. It’s closely guarded lawns hustle between demarcated squares of forest. It’s straight river banks wind passed regualted housing plots. There is barely anywhere you could call a cottage.
Though its charms are working and a day – in the words of Elbow – like this a year would see me right. Just enough to keep me settled. And sneer at the bright revolving lights of Amsterdam with everything to see and nowhere really to go. To chase and hanker after and lurch and whirlwind around consistently without a clue. It just goes and you follow, growing tired and tightly wound. A rush to soothe the imbalance you need to ruch more to resolve.
In Baarn, you go everywhere without going anywhere and nothing really happens but delight.
The hankering happens from afar and social media updates become less frequent. Forests and rivers are becoming more attractive than even the best human company. The very best of that just left.