Looking through the scribbly gum branches up into the sky, Dave Frankston felt calm again. Calm, if anything, was something he could really do with, as his discovery of the truth behind Alan ‘Ironbark’ MacGregor’s daughter’s adoption was giving him sleepless nights. Up until last night, that was. Last night, sleep had finally found him. It had done him a world of good, especially as today was Saturday, his day off. He had woken up early alright but had the luxury of staying in bed for half an hour extra with the curtains open, so he could watch the little white clouds drift slowly across the dark blue sky.
Ironbark sighed deeply as he left the National Archives building in Canberra and walked to the car park. He loosened the collar of his chequered flannel shirt and wiped the sweat from his neck and throat. It was not so much the abnormal heat for this time of year that was troubling him as the information he had just read in the records.
Unrest in the world, unrest all around me, unrest in my heart. Situations, things, people turning my world upside down. All of this created by myself. Through my beliefs, my thoughts and my reoccurring drama. They push me under, they ravish my sense of well-being. Their pitch-black thunderclouds cast my world into darkness. Uncertain and utterly unworthy is how I feel.
Consider this for a moment. Our Earth is located in the solar system, which is located in the Milky Way, which is located in the Universe, which is located in the Cosmos. And then? What lies beyond the Cosmos? And where does that end? Hang on, where there’s an end there’s a beginning. Oh right, I can see it now: there are two little boys playing marbles in the backyard. One of their marbles is our Cosmos. The time needed for that one marble to bump into another marble is a few seconds. Speaking in terms of the boys’ planet, that is. Converted to Earth time: umpteen billion light years.
Photo: ‘Marina Ginestà’ by Hans Gutmann
Last week I finished reading the Dutch version of the novel El lector de Julio Verne by Almudena Grandes. This is the third, touching story, after The Shadow of the Wind and For a Sack of Bones, about the Spanish Civil War I have read. But then the subject fascinates me. As a ten year old boy I often read a book of my Dad’s about this war, of which the scars are still visible in Spanish society. And besides reading, I regularly see images before me, especially when I am in a meditative state. Meanwhile, I know I was involved in this war in a past life, yet I don’t have a clue as to what role I played.