dinsdag 20 augustus 2013

Day 6. Walking with Kees van der Zwaard

A walk with somebody on my side today. I met Kees at the Big Church in Vlijmen, i didn't have anything planned for the day, not even the first part of the route. We looked at the off line map on the ipad and walked south. Talking. Sometimes we talked so much, we forgot about the route we were following but it didn't matter. Being together was the goal, there were so many roads we could follow, even standing still would work. Although we talked about many things, it was all about the same thing. About staying. About leaving to be able to stay somewhere or staying to leave other things behind.
We walked to Oisterwijk, I dropped my bag at a campside, we had dinner and talked more. I walked Kees to Oisterwijk and at the first crossroad we said goodbye and i felt happy and sad, sad to leave him after such a wonderful day, happy to continue walking with his energy present. He read me a poem before he left. It is by Derek Walcott:

Love after love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

I walked back through the woods and got lost. I opened my ipad to look at the map but the screen remained black. There was a full moon though and i found my way out. I passed a grill restaurant on fire, firemen running around in the middle of the night. I wondered if I was dreaming.
At the campsite i still had to register. The caretakers invited me in for a glass of wine, we exchanged stories and Koos managed to get my ipad working again. We listened to the owl and drank more wine. They were wonderful company and even offered me a free stay at the campsite. I promised them I would embroider their names in my jacket. In gold. Because Koos fixed my ipad. But I think they deserved gold letters anyway. I talked with Marlies until after midnight. She made us some tea and we went to sleep. Back at my tent i sat on a treestump for a while, overlooking the misty field, bathing in moonlight. I could stay here for a while, i thought. But tomorrow i will be leaving. I have to leave. I promised people i would be leaving. I promised myself i would stay though. Stay with myself. And i do that by leaving others, leaving places, taking myself along the road.

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