There’s this island in the ocean

I don’t know which ocean, it’s not like I can check my flight details. I just get here. And I land on this wet pebble road. I can see my dark brown leather boots, my feet taking hesitant steps up the hill.

It’s so foggy, but I can still see the ocean all around the small island through the white floating veils. It feels as if the island, like a round bellied woman, is shy and has shrouded herself in these white silk veils, barely covering her, hiding and revealing at the same time.

I can see stone houses in the distance, wet and slippery, streams of fog sliding down their rooftops. No light, no candles burning at the windows, not a soul. I keep walking up that hill. As I’m squinting, trying to catch sight of a living soul, I’m starting to wonder what made me come here in the first place. Why in the world would I leave the comfort of my home country for this deserted place in the middle of the ocean?

Because you wanted to leave the past behind, I hear my own voice in my head. You want a new life. You said goodbye to all your attachments, another reminder pops up. You no longer wanted the dark cave of the lost. You set them all free. It’s ok, I’ll only be here for a short while, I say to myself in an unconvincing tone.

Everything hurts. As if everything has been pulled and stretched when cords were cut. So my eyes are heavy, my head is tied in a plastic bag, my throat is befriending the cactus stuck in there, my kidneys carry the burden of exhaustion and all my muscles are sore as if I’ve swum and walked all the way here.

Suddenly, I’m back at the school again, feeding the children black grapes.
“Are you all right?” a colleague asks me.
“I think so”, I reply. “I just need to get some fruit.”
“You know, Daniela, I’ve always admired how you are always in charge, always so strong and authoritarian and loving at the same time.”
“Really? I’m just tired, I don’t think there’s anything to admire there.”
And as he’s helping me give out the grapes, I’m popping grape berries in my mouth and suddenly realize I’m dreaming and I’m thinking grapes, no matter how sweet and juicy, are not good in your dreams. So I wake up.

It’s noon when I get out of bed. There’s this pressure in my ears as if I’m underwater. I take off everything, including the bed sheets, put everything in the washing machine and get in the shower. When I get out, I light a candle at my window, one at the bathroom mirror, another one on the kitchen countertop and two more on the table. Time for a new life.

PS Photos taken in Porto, Portugal, in 3-5 September 2016.





That wedding night in Porto


The sunset had spread its honey all along my arms. Out on the terrace overlooking the river, looking at the stars, listening to stories, smiling and dancing, wearing high heels for the first time and a stunning dress, having decided Portuguese is very similar to the Moldavian accent, tasting yet another drink, my lips leaving soft plum marks on the rim of the glass before smiling again and sending more words to kiss your ears.

“Sorry, Mr Maker, do you know which way the river flows?”



PS It must’ve been the proximity of the ocean that made everything much deeper and more dangerous. And slightly colder from the tide. Made everyone take good care not to let themselves dragged by some strong wave and lose themselves. So now, in the safety of our homes, we can look back.