Breaking into Paper ParadiseApril 19, 2017
Daring to DieMay 14, 2017
"What easiest goes unnoticed is the sublime in simple things."
t’s six-thirty in the morning and I sit up. Still feeling the safe warmth of my bed I dress up in thick clothes, along with hat and gloves. I yawn and take an extra deep breath, then I get out of the apartment and start to walk. My joints are all stiff so I stretch and slowly life in my body wakes up.
The sun rises and I feel the fresh light morning air, I am all alone out here and there’s an incredible silence. I pass by a patch of tall grass and a row of trees that are covered in white and pink blossoms that fill the air with sweet scents. It’s spring-time, what a blessing!
I hear the sounds of birds all around. How I love being an early bird myself! I turn right and spot the garbage guy and then I see the first bus driver starting to make his round. I cross paths with a man all suited up, dutifully on his way to work. Warm sunlight shines upon my face and I feel relieved. As the light touches the trees around me its casts long shadows and I look to my side to see that mine pictures me as six meters tall. The view of a green tunnel of treetops unfolding ahead of me gets me emotional. I look up to see swallows flying overhead and I notice every step I take. I feel at ease, my thoughts simply wash away like echoes.
I pass by an abandoned building and wonder what once happened here. I look up to the horizon and see snowy mountaintops in the distance. A wave of enthusiasm swells up in me and at the same time, I feel so humble. Another turn and I am greeted by a gang of street dogs. Then I hear a strange hollow sound coming from the trees on my right. I approach quietly but then it stops, possibly a woodpecker. For a moment I close my eyes for a moment, inhale and relax even more.
Continuing onwards I pass by several large villas. What a show-offs, and display of money… I notice myself judging, and I think about the strange workings of the ego, including my own. I decide to forgive the owners of the villa and myself for judging. We all make our choices and I make mine. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the street, I suddenly see a tiny old house. It has a broken porch that looks like it can collapse at any moment. Nevertheless, on it, there are two chairs and a table covered with a weathered sheet. Colorful laundry hangs on a line that’s tied between the two poles. It looks like a scene from a movie. I’m amazed, by the contrast of the two neighbors and realize how relative things can be… I feel a special kind of recognition, a melancholic feeling of home and I am grateful. I walk on with a strong sense of clarity, I have perspective, I’m inspired.
Several years ago I fell in love and chased the romance. As she was from a distant country it took some effort to see her again, and again and eventually I migrated so we could live together! I gathered my courage and proposed to her shortly after and I am proud to call myself her husband. Meanwhile, I am nearly thirty years old or young, however, you want to put it. I am full of dreams and plans for this life. I’ve already gone through my share of life experiences, but I am hopeful, I am part of a growing family of loved ones, and I try to contribute my part to society.
When I look at the future, I get excited. I am full of energy, through trial and error I improve, learn and grow. I feel I am both a student and a teacher…
Suddenly I notice my stomach as I didn’t eat yet. I turn right on the next crossing and two ladies pass me by, staring at the ground, their faces grumpy. Probably they are on their way to some obligation and don’t notice the vivid lively morning. Well, these fleeting things so easily go unnoticed.
A drinking fountain appears ahead just as I started to get thirsty. I take a few sips and look at a taxi driver who parked near to the fountain to use it for washing his car. More and more people are on the streets, the new day is starting. The graceful silence has made way for traffic noises and loud voices. Brief moments of eye contact, even smiles on unknown faces, these are such sudden little graces.
I feel the city, it’s dynamic. It’s smoking, it’s drinking and it really gets me thinking. But I just focus on me, I feel each building, every tree. I am all of it together, I’m made up of all this matter. I am senses, I am here. I’m reborn, I disappear.
"I'll be gone in a while." Paolo Nutini - One Day
A month later I am at the little fruit shop under our apartment building. I've come here first thing after getting up to make sure I'd get the small strawberries they promised me. In the season in Armenia those are the best, they bring 'em over from the villages. I buy a whole tub of them for just a few bucks and I tell the lovely lady that I'll come back later to pick them up. I make sure I take a cup of them with me as I leave for my round of morning walk.
It's already getting warm, no more winter clothing but I'm wearing just a light jacket. I pull up my sleeves and I chew one of the strawberries. The fresh sweet flavor fills me with joy.
There’s loads of people outside, kids fooling around, a couple of ladies talking, others are sitting on benches just doing nothing. No one seems to be in a hurry this morning. I wash the strawberries under a fountain and splash some water in my face. Ahead I spot four old men sitting around a board game. They appear to be taking it very serious and seem not to notice the world around them. As I pass them by an idea hits me and I turn around. Explaining in my best Armenian that I don't want to eat them all by myself I offer the men some strawberries.
The first grandpa makes a grumpy sound waving his hand as gesture that he doesn't want, not even taking his eyes of the game. “But they are delicious.” I say. The second man also refuses but thanks me kindly. Then the third looks at me exclaiming "Are they washed?". When I nod he eagerly takes a big hand of berries, making up for his two friends who refused. Then the fourth old man mumbles "What is all that about?" "Strawberries from the village." His buddy explains while he hands some to him. Apparently the man is blind. "Oh great!" he replies with a lively voice and begins to eat. I great the men and they thank me. With a big smile I move on and turn around the corner.
By the time I finish the strawberries I am greeted by a tree that last time was full of blossoms. Now it's lush green with bright red cherries all over. As I am tall I easily manage to pick some of the darkest ones and fill my cup for the rest of the way and continue my walk in sheer bliss.