A few days ago was driving to work when I stopped in front of a bridge crossing a country road.
I was alone in front of the long red light.
Driving through country roads is like a long walk to the seaside. Sometimes, and unexpectedly, the sea throws a bottle with a message there at your feet. That’s what happened to me that morning as I waited for the traffic light to turn from red to green.
The sky was deep blue, the early spring sun shone, and the temperature was cool. The silence was only broken by the flow of spiralling deep water that passed under the stone bridge.
Suddenly, the atmospheric sensation of the moment and the complex combination between the sun’s luminosity, the humidity of the nearby river and the sun’s heat on my skin seemed to be the same that I had experienced years ago in another country, my homeland situated on the other side of the world.
I recognised this sensation of temperature and heat as the one that, in my country, makes its way amidst the last days of summer and announces the imminent arrival of autumn and winter. That sensation accompanied me for many years while I was preparing to start school in March after the end of the long summer.
Today in front of the red light and thousands of kilometres away, I was preparing myself, this time, for spring and summer after leaving behind the ominous atmosphere of winter on the other side of the world.
Suddenly I was aware that these were two ends of a rope that brushed against each other for a moment: the sunlight experienced there and the one that now brushed against me were not identical; they were the same.
For a moment, I was allowed to inhabit two spaces simultaneously, and it was this brief and voluptuous opening to the world that had given me that moment. That “Kibbutz of desire” that Oliveira spoke of.
So my body told me that this feeling would be there as long as I lived: just as there were words in my native language that could express unique emotions and passions, so there were words in the new language that could express things never experienced before. So attention to the dialogue between the two was going to be the path that I should follow.
Just then, the green circle lit up, and I was able to continue on my way.