Bla bla …

I already shares this on my photo blog, but I thought some of you guys here might like it as well. Today I went to university and wanted to get some books from the library for my thesis before class; and this is what I found in the bookcase dedicated to Nilo-Saharan languages …

tiger and bowstring

He tenses his muscles and turns his body into a longbow,
a bowstring woven of music and playful prancing
– then instead of an arrow a tiger flies forth
(and the tiger is carved from the lithe heartwood still beating one-TWO-three-pause)

He is a tiger sleeping in a library,
in semi-sleeptalk dutifully teaching little birds to hunt for words,
while longing for the moment to escape the grey walls with the jungle-green bow he keeps hidden under his chair
(and only at night he hunts words and songs for his own enjoyment, one-TWO-three-pounce)

He builds himself a seaside castle from tiger-striped driftwood,
barefoot he fights emerald waves and throws sand dollar shaped pebbles into tidal pool wishing wells,
in hazy summer-lands alive with the whirring energy of a bowstring sending arrows flying into battle
(and in the shade of a bottle gourd planting he turns salt-water soaked book pages, one-TWO-three-breathe)

like coming home

The scent of leather bound books, covered in dust and the wisdom of ages – crisp paper full of words and perfumed in earthy shades by the soil of foreign lands, then again blank sheets waiting to be filled with lines and swirls traced in the sharp, black scent of ink

– and it smells like coming home.

The sound of wind chimes, the tinkling of stringed seashells in the open window, from the house next door the crackling of a small fire and a tea pot singing

– and it sounds like coming home.

Beyond windows wide open vast landscapes, a mighty desert, sheltering green hills, billowing curtains, and at night the Milky Way so clear in the sky above one might believe our planet had rings like Saturn, Jupiter and all those giants – dreams of greatness, feeling humbled by sand and stars and ocean waves

– and it feels like coming home.



Some pictures my mind painted. It all started with the phrase “and it feels like coming come”, which was evoked by a decision I made today. I’ll return to the branch of linguistics I have drifted away from and write my master’s thesis on a topic which will be part of a bigger upcoming project.

I don’t know what will happen afterwards, but I’m not so sure anymore I’ll be ready to leave my academic home and move on towards more technical work next year. I might be here to stay for another couple of years, and yet not to stay. Life is crazy right now, but then again, when has my life been normal the last time? I can’t remember. Always something going on, either trouble or throwing myself into unnecessary work on term papers more complicated than required because I can’t do things the simple way  and then feeling depressed because I can’t see the end of said work. Only one more term paper to finish before being free to put all my time into bigger research.

We have weird weather right now, not really warm but somehow sweltering, hot and cold at once. My window is opened as wide as possible because I felt like I was melting and suffocating, but at the same time I’m snuggled into a blanket. I want to live with open windows and vast landscapes outside, always.



umbrellas in the library


Today it rained and rained and rained like crazy, and there was a lot of wind as well. I was stuck in a building after eating lunch because I didn’t want to get soaked within two minutes and then sit in the library for the rest of the day while shivering in my wet clothes. Later it got better for a moment so I ventured to another library first to get some books. As usually I went to the rows of lockers first and was greeted by a colourful swarm of umbrellas. There are at least three rows of lockers (I never counted, but it could be four or five) and all of them were covered in open umbrellas! I guess on a day like this no one worries about thieves because there are bigger problems.

I went outside with my books and got a little drenched because I didn’t want to wait another hour, but at least my coat didn’t leak so I could go into the other library and sit on the floor hidden between rows of shelves with a stack of books on cognitive linguistics in front of me.

serendipity and finding things: wooden crate

From early childhood on I’ve had a tendency to find things. Funny things, expensive things, beautiful things, and material for creating new things. Some examples were big coins at the beach, a golden ring with a teeny tiny brilliant in a street in my hometown (of course we took it to the lost property office, but nobody claimed it, so after a year we could take it home for a small fee), small stones guiding my way, single earrings, big picture frames, and today a big wooden crate.

I like wooden crates, but the prices are crazy at the moment. The one I found today is pretty sturdy and has nicely stencilled lettering saying “Mount Athos Vineyard” in red, so at a home decoration store it would cost 20-30€! It was just there, leaning against a tree in the small street I usually come along when going to the mall for grocery shopping. I sent a short prayer for it to be there upon my return from my errands, et voilà, when I came back it still sat there in all its wooden glory. Sure, I had to scrub it and it would need a bit of sanding if I wanted to put delicate things into it, but it perfectly fits on top of my nightstand (which we found in the attic of our current apartment, by the way) and will serve as a small bookshelf for my favourite volumes. I like reading in bed and had been looking for a storage solution for some books for a while, so its a really nice instance serendipity :)

I hope to be able to share more findings and other cases of serendipity in the future. Sometimes things come for free if we just wait a little while – for another example, after I had been wishing for a sewing machine for some years we got a pretty good one for free from friends, we only had to pay for the repair it needed (we got if fixed a few weeks ago, finally).