- To turn the world upside down.
- To free us from, to break away from, parents.
- To die to what is finished.
- To question authority.
- To follow the barely legible path through the wilderness.
- To love.
- To be ready to sacrifice that which we, until only a moment ago, believed to be sacrosanct.
- To take the next step.
- To dare to look at what the next step might be.
- To stay with the discomfort when the present moment offers no way forward.
Recently I had to go to Venice to see Dr Bomboka. The ways were dark and twisted in the way that we all know Venice can be and the heat was considerable. But what the hell, this was the chance of a lifetime. I say that I had to go and see him, but that is not quite true in that I had the space and the opportunity to make a choice. The information that he would be in Venice was out there. Certain websites hinted as such. A text message arrived to say he was thought to be in Berlin. I broke out in sweat, it ran coldly down my spine; shivering I ran down a narrow side street and eventually found my way to the river. Berlin? Belgrade? No it had to be Venice. A policeman narrowed his eyes as he looked at me, his fingers touching the pistol strapped at his waist. Who knew what? Only a week ago I had been climbing in the mountains, free as a bird, now I could feel the jaws of the trap closing around me. Venice? But how could I get there. Money was running out. I didn’t dare go to a bank or use an ATM. So the last of my money was spent on a bus ticket. Three nearly sleepless days and nights, my mind drifting randomly, the tides of thoughts no longer tethered to the moon.
Dr Bomboka cannot see you. What do you mean cannot see me, he promised. The woman laughed at me, laughed in my face. He never promises, never. Am I too early? Or too late? What? I am one of the wretched of the earth, how can he not see me. Who is this woman? So . . . confident of her own strength . . . I wasn’t about to give up and go home even if I had a home to go to. I need to somewhere to stay. A change of tack, how will she deals with it? She touches an earring, drawing my attention to the heavy silver, the complex whorls of its design.
Do you have any skills?
Now there is a question. Surely I must have some skills after all these years. But what could they be. Of course, I say the words though without much feeling that they might be true – skills seems to be an idea that belonged to some old life of mine or to the life somebody I used to know, a friend I barely remember.
You better take a shower and I will find you some clothes; her eyes measured me.