Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mere Seconds

This is fiction.

It happens in less than seconds.

This, he realises, is what it feels like to travel inside an ambulance car. Quite probably, the majority of people will never know, for their whole lives, what it is like to travel inside an ambulance car. In this little universe, neatly packed with things to save lives, rescue, cure and prolong for that special stretch of time until the hospital. This is how it feels like; in the middle of traffic but outside the rules, zipping along on the trams’ tracks with sirens and with speed.

Outside, the life of reality is zipping by fast and far away. Like another reality, it is played back with muted sound on the screens of the windows. There are people and their stories, cars and bikes, even birds and a few dogs. Nothing of this relates to the insides of an ambulance car shooting by at full speed. And yet, all of this is reality, and all of this happens in beautiful synchronisation.

A small woman, nearing sixty, with greyish brown hair that hangs in flat, tired waves from her head, crosses a small side street and approaches the entrance of a nightclub. She carries two burlap bags with her left hand, and inside the bar everything is dark and silent. Upon reaching the corner house’s door, she pulls out an enormous bunch of keys and unlocks it.

The city is grey and so are the remains of snow, remnants of white now shrunken together in corners and around lamppost. A grey sky above a grey ground, framed with houses in dark and light shades of grey and the air itself in hazy same. One late February day, when winter seems to wane but spring is still a long wait away. And on this one day, in this weather, an ambulance car shoots through the streets, the lanes and boulevards, until it reaches a bridge, long a wide, stretching over the massive river parting the city. With an air of remoteness and farewell, like leaving a place very dear to the heart, the car moves over the bridge, the city’s outlines in the hazy air on both banks and it is with the insignificant movement from one side to the other - crossing the river – that he waves a motionless goodbye to his beloved city and his beloved life, crossing over to that other bank of the river; beyond.

It happens in less than seconds.

Rushing along with the traffic and for one little moment caught by the smallest detail of that large painting we call “now”, his front wheel hits the car’s rear and the force of gravity, urging him onwards, lifts him swiftly and carries his body far above the busy road and the many heads and the pedestrian buzz until he, as if gazing backwards with a fish-eye lens at the whole scene, crashes through the shop window and falls unconscious.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The growth of a project

Interestingly, the desire to write (and write beyond the work on my thesis, at that) does not, as it seems, coincide with my writing on the blog, here. As with many things, I tend to rather procrastinate or, more specifically (since there is no actual focus present, mostly, which would warrant procrastination) just let my unspoken longings trickle into the fog of non-application. That needs to change.

I’m quite busy, lately, which is nice considering the fact that much of last year went by without me making considerable progress on the one project I should and wanted to be progressing on: writing my thesis and getting done with university. Ever so happily, towards the end of last year I was finally able to haul this tottering project back onto the rails of my desk and am now slowly but steadily progressing towards completion.

The interesting situation of writing a thesis in a country different from that of one’s own university (not being in field research but moving away due to personal reasons) has had, beyond causing the momentous deceleration and delay of my work, the very fascinating effect of causing my bibliographical library to be, for the far biggest part, situated at (my new) home. Instead of buying train tickets to go back to my university and access the library in a very limited amount of time, I have again and again chosen instead to hunt down and purchase the books needed for my work. Consequently, the whole project of writing a thesis to finish my studies has become something taking hold much more deeply in my life and concretely, my personal space. Whereas in the beginning I had already feared the moment of nascent fatigue towards any subject I have to spend a long and exhausting time with, this dreaded moment has not come and instead I watch the topic and framework of this project grow on its own in my current life. Therefore I am now rather confident that this focus and, dare I say, ongoing (read: never ending) process of specialisation will continue and shape my life even after handing in my thesis and finishing my studies. As if the thesis I will hand in is less the static outcome, i. e. peak point, of a scientific endeavour, than a snapshot along the timeline of an ever evolving theoretical body. Frightening, as it may seem in one sense, I find this development (that seems almost outside of my own influence) quite fascinating.