I am staring at my opponent, focusing on every tiny move he makes and trying not to move myself. He looks straight at me with his perfectly round eyes and the bright orange iris.
‘Don’t blink or you will miss it’, I tell myself.
I forget about the sun that was shining a bit too hot just a minute ago or the loud muttering of people around. A flock of swans glide by, so close they could easily reach my feet which are just centimeters away from the edge where the small walkway ends and the river begins.
Today was our first day off and we started our long travel towards Norway via bus. It brought us a three hour layover in Hamburg which we used to grab some proper food and sit in the sun by the water. “Do pigeons blink?” I have just asked my girlfriend. She is used to my sometimes a little weird questions out of the blue. “I guess so. I mean they also sleep.”
It is hard for me to let go of thoughts. My mind is constantly filled with the imperfections I see around me. Things that are missing, the next fire escape or interactions between people to which I make assumptions of whys and whats. Work related tasks are even more difficult to throw off because I feel responsible. Important and unimportant topics alike swirl in my head and it is hard for me to calm everything down. The last days with preparing our three weeks away and making sure everything – work, the cats, the apartment – were stressful. And just very slowly I start to relax.
I look at the pigeon in front of me. It seems they only blink when they turn their head away from me. I might be a danger or a potential food donor, so better keep an eye or both on me.
Being present in the very moment is a precious gift. No thoughts, just observations. The color of his eyes, the shape of his red feet, not cruelly disfigured by accidents. This one seems healthy and young.
We both watch each other for a while until he decides that I have no food and slowly turns away. And then he blinks. And again. I feel like it should be in super slow motion, yet the world has already slowed down a lot for me. And my head as well. I breathe in and out. Pigeons blink.
“Should I get us some cold drinks, so we can sit a bit longer before we have to go?” I hear my girlfriend asking me. I blink and turn my head. “Sure! I guess I will wait here for you.”
I haven’t seen the swans blinking yet.
Some context and thoughts
Bridget and I decided very last minute for a three weeks road trip through Norway. Three days before our departure we booked the bus tickets to Oslo, the micro camper van and the hotel for the first night. We waited so long because the travel regulations kept changing every week. After months of being in the city and just working (from home) we needed a blast of nature and being outdoors.
So, on 22nd of August we left Berlin for a 16 hours bus ride via Hamburg to Oslo.
During the last weeks – enhanced through a 4-weeks-Story Skills workshop – I figured (finally) out that I am not a ‘travel blogger’. I don’t enjoy describing destinations, places, how to get there or give recommendations for bars, cafés, restaurants, activities. I think there’s already a lot of really really great content about it out there. Also, I am not very good at it.
But I do enjoy writing stories about small moments, specific encounters and experiences. This is what my blogs will be about. Some in the past have already been like that. Some I might rewrite.
So, if you want to know something specific about a place, a how-to or a great local brewery, ask me directly and I am happy to respond.
Thank you for your time. <3