from the land of beer, bratwurst, and fried cheese curds
For now, only quiet, stillness. Afterwards, all necessary noises will already have arrived: the hum of the wind, the murmur of the branches, the velvetness of the step, the scream of the butterfly, but now, in the quiet, but quickly, quickly, you must see that sentence passing by. "My mouth is full of stars." Palms barely touch, lips part, teeth look at the dark. For a moment, as if no one is breathing. That feeling is familiar to us, that tension in our chests, hardiness in our legs, stubbornness in our feet, that inclination to enumeration, arranging of things, the dullness of adjectives. In the darkness sunflowers grow, reflections of moonlight reach from the pumpkins. "Oh, father," she thinks, "my mouth is full of stars." Someone touches my cheek, someone's eyebrows wrinkle. Now the water, if there was any water, would endure everyone's weight, anyone could be a redeemer and a prophet. But a dog breaks the silence first, sits and begins to howl, afterwards listening. No one answers him, and then we also hear something walking across the grass. This sound is unimportant, some small animal, perhaps a cat. And then an apple falls from a branch, under a window, as in someone's story. "My mouth is full of stars." How much force, how many possibilities before one recites the words; how much helplessness when the words vanish, forever someone else's property. A boy would still be able to listen, a girl leans on a birch tree and already sleeps, like a dog. While the darkness condenses around us you put your hand on my shoulder. Later, a sheet, forgotten on the line behind the house, moans under a gust of wind, we establish that much later, when carefully, almost in a line, we peek out from the corner, and he comes towards us, only a paler weaving of darkness. Afterwards, we crouch and feel the grass, caressing the dampness. "Oh, father," she thinks, "my mouth is full of stars." Come, children, let's go home, the night has a thousand eyes, the night air is intoxicating, stirring thoughts, stimulating hearts and forcing souls into useless covenants, and in the darkness, that blasphemy, seizes from us what we have kept only for ourselves for so many years, making sure every moment is it here, yes, it is here. The murmur of the branches, the velvetness of the step, the squinting light, but still light. Breathless, as after a great effort, we sit and look at how our faces return.
The car stops. The eye adapts to the light source. The girl with the long fingers touches the door frame. The postman brings some letters. What more can he add? How is life here, in the heights, calm, for you, among the hills, in the middle of the forest, although it isn't so far from the city as if may seem, as sure as it seemed to those who attempted that journey on foot, nevertheless, it is for so many a distance that requires a vehicle, at least a bike, at least a bike, nothing more, although the hillsides and slopes can torture even the best drivers, or riders, as long as we are talking about this, all these inclines, all these slopes, all of this should be kept in mind, the clearing is sometimes more dangerous than the bluffs, the grass more deadly than the rocks, everyone knows that, upon arrival, one needs to be cautious, as well as upon departure, that is, perhaps, already senseless to repeat, because when one needs to be cautious, when a person dares to truly relax, when one should abandon all his senses, and leave once again, or in a dream, or whatever kind of pleasure, even if that means watching the twilight from the window, listening for the sound of the nightingales and jays, especially if you have in mind the time in which we live, especially that, nothing more, because as the highlanders say, a person is not a flower to which nothing must be added or taken away, a flower is always a flower, it lacks nothing in its perfection, the pistil, petal, and bud are unmistakable products of the cosmic handyman, in that smithy fire that does not burn in vain, the bellows never stop, the logs crackle all the while not becoming ashes, but because a person is never a person to whom nothing could be added or taken away, anything, sometimes a soul, sometimes a heart, sometimes everything. Fortunately, although that is not the best word, not when we talk about war, but fortunately, nevertheless, wars, real wars, are always waged on the plains, there where, as highlanders believe, there isn't enough air, where a person chokes on his own emissions and the wind serves only to confuse, to make it seem that what was until recently seen clearly is now doubled, tripled, like specters, like a distorted mirror, like a ghostly rider in the sky, like that which is in the same time, in the same place, recorded in several versions of the same chronicle. But the plain, in contrast to the hill, in contrast to the air, always has one face. No, that's not what the mailman said. Nor the girl. Now she rests her shoulder on the door frame and shadows crumble behind her back. The eye adapts to the light source. The car begins to leave. Darkness.
The Slow Beginning
Again a slow beginning: life like a pear. One could say that in a different way: an open window, a worn out staircase, galoshes on the threshold, snowboots under the bed. All of those, of course, are signs of traveling, a notebook about a traveled distance, about a line which-- first for the shortest but afterwards for the longest period of time--connects two points, real, imagined, slippery. And that would already be sufficient for a story; sufficient: if something else did not exist: that miraculous rustle of fabric which folds itself on its edges or: the door which is the only one to know, as it opens, the face that stands in front of it, or: the moment when one switches from walking to running, and vice-versa, when the proportions increase and the steps decrease, and the space calms down as a reflection on the disturbed waters. But all of that has already been said--first with the smallest and then with the largest amount of words--everything was said that still could be said, the only thing remaining is repetition, although it may be sufficient to say: repetition remains, no "only," no "thing," only the rhythm, only the trembling, only the fear of a face, voice, ascribing and appropriating, from breathing, as well as the cessation of breathing, from silence. And after? A boy is pressing his ear to the door, his nose to the glass, eye to the keyhole, his knee to the wall. On the wall: a picture; around his eye: a border; in his ear: a drum. Later he will learn how instructive that sentence is: he will stand on a bridge in the unknown city, now and then he'll tremble under the blows of the cold wind, and he will remember how his breath turned into drops and the relief of the wall imprinted on the skin of his knee. By then he will, however, his whole life have become a construction, sometimes more skilled, sometimes less, as any other book. And as any other book, it stops when the covers are closed. Then a small cloud of dust is raised, the leaves swirl, the lost steel shoe tip shows itself, bird excrement, tracks from a cat's paw: words of which the world is built.