2015 | Netherlands
My trachea ties up the moment I try to take my first conscious breath. The sleep around my eyes makes it almost impossible to open them. Leftover makeup makes my short black lashes stick together. As soon as I could manage to have a clear sight my pupil immediately shrank to the minimum. Dust covers my body, my hand moves slowly over my legs to remove the dirt which was collected over night. Trying to stand up but my weak knees instantly collapse and I fall on the hard ground. Like a newborn fawn I practice myself to find stability and balance in my body. The sharp dry fissures which lead through the entire landscape, almost like splinter of glass, drill into my foot. The pain which wanders through my body makes me almost forget the great heat of the stone-sand. Trampling over dry earth, the weight of the day is noticeable pushing the hot air down as it devours everything green. The sky a chrome mirror to the sun, makes me feel the dehydration and the urgent need for water in my body.
I wandered through the scenery until I lost my sense of time. Looking for a shadowed place where I can accumulate my energy and refresh myself. After hours of walking I can finally make out a green little spot in the far, seemingly floating surrounded by the heat haze. With my last strength and mental willingness I can reach this much longed-for place. Defeated by this single tree standing in the middle of nowhere, without any water source nor big shadow.
I try to take a nap so I could sleep through the day, forget my thirst and wait for the cool night to come. I lie awake, not able to fall asleep for hours. Starring between the branches in the bright sky I recognise the features of the tree as the name Acacia goes through my mind. Still remembering the classes which indicated that this tree is able to save its water in the small leaves which shape the inside of a lung. I jump up and climb the big trunk to reach the verdurous petal. Back on the ground I extract the liquid and suck it directly from the leaf. The consistency reminds me of clear maple syrup and so is also the taste, bitter sweet. Even though this little amount of liquid did not make me feel fulfilled I could finally fall asleep. During the frosty night I woke up multiple times, by losing the ability to breath and the strong pain in my lungs. Rolling around, to make myself comfortable on the tough ground I hear liquid moving underneath my costal arch. I try to distract myself by counting the stars I could see drilling out of the black night sky, in the clear air. My breath gets slower the calmer I get.
Breathing……. Breathing………… Breathing……….
Until it stopped.
Peeking into the vast of the dead ground, I follow the movements of the shadow as it falls in on itself. Bizarrely I felt okay with the great heat of the midday. For a second a soft breeze cuts apart the heavy standing heat as I feel it moving my whole body. I sense little particles sticking on me.
The moment I start moving to find a better place to stay, I feel my consistency shifting, as if I would drag something behind me. Nevertheless, I glide along the surface very well. Looking back, I do not see any traces I leave behind. It feels as if I would only change the current state of status of the earth. As I look up I see the reflection of the light braking in me, dividing it into the intense colours of a rainbow.
During the days of my journey I felt the difference of state as it changes from day to night time. While I feel loose, soft and warm during day my aggregate state changes to hard and cold during the evenings.
Almost like an artificial Fata Morgana, a green oasis suddenly appears in front of me. I move faster the more curious I get. I have never seen such a breathtaking place. Entering this stunning surrounding I try to orientate myself and appreciate this fertile area ringed by the dead desert.
In the centre of the oasis, at the end of a promenade is an impressive freshwater lake. Sparkling in all colours in the bright light of the sun, I have the impression of finally being at home. I come closer and without stopping I float into the water. My surface tension dissolves, the moment I join.