Saturday, 2 May 2009

Your Love Is Infinite - 4


Granny says there are seven days in the week. I can count from one to five and from five back to one, but seven I don’t understand. Seven sounds like a lot. Grandpa has promised me seven days.

I hold a festive holiday in honour of this peaceful time. My guests are the trees of the forest. They bow deeply to me when I step into the forest. The trees have put crowns in their hair in my honour, dark green ones, pale green ones. The wind mixes up the tops of the trees so that the crowns go higgledy-piggledy. As they get mixed up they form new shades of colour, new glowing green crowns.

My holiday dress is yellow, more yellow even than the sun. Mummy made me the dress for the kindergarten spring fête. I chose yellow cloth, though Mummy thought pale green would be a more suitable colour. I wanted yellow grape juice and golden yellow sunbeams. I got yellow, and now I’m happy with it, though my dress has faded in the sun. Yellow is like a beacon for me. In a pale green dress I would melt into this forest, and soon I wouldn’t be able to find myself any more.

I feel around in myself and the ground. I find the stone where I sat when I got lost. Behind the stone begins the path that leads to the circular saw clearing. The clearing is nearby. I can’t get lost any more.

I dance along the path on bare toes, though Granny has said that there are snakes on the land. I can’t be afraid of snakes. Sometimes when Grandpa’s games have worn me out I hope that an angry poisonous snake will come and bite me so that I die.

The soles of my feet open out towards the earth. They marvel at the hard touch of the cones and fir needles. The soles of my feet are alive and need protection. Soon thick skin will grow on them, the hard and rough bark of a tree. Soon I won’t need shoes at all. In the autumn I will trudge to school in my bark shoes and in winter I will grow a thick coat of fur.

I will turn into a forest creature, watchful and swift.

I will enfold the tree with my arms. I will press my forehead against the mighty trunk. The tree will whisper to me that as a human child I may also enjoy the power and love of the forest.

There is a pricking in the soles of my feet. I step towards the circular saw clearing and drown the pain in sawdust. The sunbeams explode from the blade of the circular saw into my eyes. I see black balls, in between them the tips of my toes.

I bow and draw a circle in the sawdust with my finger.

Humming a quiet song I step into the middle of the circle.

Soon the second day of my holiday will be over. Then another five whole days, during which Grandpa will find others to play with. Perhaps the holiday week will go on and on. I hum in the circular saw clearing for a long time. In the sawdust I feel happy and safe, in a stall of my own, in the circle I have drawn with my own fingers.

translated from Finnish by David McDuff

Your Love Is Infinite - 1

Your Love Is Infinite - 2

Your Love Is Infinite - 3

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