Where am I?
(Disclaimer: Started 9 February 2013 – Ended 24 April 2013. So this blog has been awhile in the making. But finally it is here. My friend Jen (https://twitter.com/Munki_J) sent me some cool photos of her adventure. I like writing. So I decided to make a story with her photographs.)
My eyes squinted as my pupils adjusted to the flood of light they had collided with. How long have I been out for? Have I been sleeping? I glance around the room taking in this foreign surrounding. I note I’m in a small room with white walls (it’s always a room with white walls); huddled on the floor and I’m surrounded by photos scattered on the ground. Where am I? How did I get here?
I jog my memory to see what I last recall. Blank. I can’t tell where I have been.
I have to figure this out. Maybe these photographs around me will reveal where I am and how on earth I actually got here.
I haphazardly pick up a nearby photograph:
Could it be snowing outside? Or has it stopped? The picture is taken from inside. Is that my home? Was that my hotel room? This one picture won’t help me so I pick up another:
Taken from an attic or a second floor; I see that there is no snow in that picture. How long have I been in this room? Wherever in the world I am, have I been here for a while to witness the changing of seasons? I feel rather warm in this stuffy room.
I pick up another photograph:
A cleared pavement; my guess is that it’s winter or the last few weeks of that dreary season wherever I may actually be. I don’t recognize the street though. They say a picture paints a thousand words but all I am getting now are a few words…
As I grab this photo, I feel a slight breeze enter the room from behind me. I turn around suddenly to see some of “the wall” open ever so quickly and a plate of food is slid along the floor to me. How had I not noticed before? Disguised in the wall rather faintly where the outlines of a small door as if for pets only.
“HEY!!! Who are you? Get me out of here, what am I doing here?” I shout to whoever is behind the now closed door.
I yell for a few moments, then stop realising the futility of my efforts.
On the plate of food there is bread and cheese. The cheese is rather scrumptious.
It sure is a cold time of the year. The breeze I felt (when that small door opened) and the brown leaves along the hedge in the picture confirm it.
A weird thing happens as I look at this next picture. It comes with a flood of emotional and flickering memories. How can this be I wonder, maybe the food helped. In satisfying my hunger, my alertness is sharpened.
I feel that distant warmth of that sun, and I feel the crispness of the cool air clashing together against my tender skin. I can “smell” (if that’s they right word) the shimmering water. What is that factory in the distance? I wonder.
Was I here on business? But why am I in this room?
The next picture confuses me a little bit. What is this about? A whole lot of faucets lined along a wall.
I grab three more pictures and hold them up like a dealt hand of cards.
It becomes clearer to me. I am in Europe somewhere. Those European style buildings; three or four stories high and this must be a place where trams are still in use. And that wall with a montage of photos, some of those scenes begin to jog my memories.
That looks like the Rhine River. I remember having a pint of some local German beer in a quaint restaurant over-looking the water at one stage in my life; on a trip to see a friend.
However on closer inspection that isn’t the Rhine River. Wait! I remember seeing those buildings carmped closely together, once before. I gazed at the picture on the far right of the montage. I hold the photograph closer.
Yes, I remember now. I was on a canal boat with my father and on a tour, the guide pointed out those buildings to us.
I get it. I know where these photos are from. These are taken in Amsterdam. Does that mean I am in Amsterdam? However, if that were true; what does it matter? What is my purpose here?
I was feeling exhausted! Maybe it was the lack of air in that room. So I decided to lie on my back and have a nap. I love my naps; they help me put things in my life in perspective.
I smiled as I lack on my back… I could see my desire to be out from behind these walls and be roaming the streets of any European city. I have had that opportunity before.
I remember… and I dozed off.
I awoke in what seemed about half an hour later. I felt afresh. I knew that in those 30 minutes my memories had taken me abroad to cities I had been to before: the Christmas market in Berlin / The night entertainment of those summer nights in Rome / playing speed scrabble in Poznan (Poland) with my friend Darren.
I was also surprised to see how the photos around me had been placed strategically in a sphere around my once sleeping body. I felt a bit freaked out. Someone had come in here, probably through that small “pet” door and maybe they had “watched” me sleeping. I shivered with that thought.
I scanned through the pictures that were in the circle:
I smiled. It was obvious. I had got it right. These are scenes from Amsterdam. I mused at the picture of the beer. How refreshing a beer would be right now!
And that last picture:
Could not be any more obvious…
It was then for the first time I peered at the wall in front of me. I hadn’t noticed it yet because I was so fixated with the pictures on the ground. Written on the wall were these words:
THERE ARE STILL PLACES TO GO (KEEP THE DREAM ALIVE.)
I then realised: that is why I was in this room: the pictures, the memories mingled with them and the desire awakened as I napped were all part of “setting me free.”
It was in that moment, the walls I had been surrounded by had disappeared and I was staring at my laptop screen, an open Word document, I saw the curser flashing…
Just above it were the words:
I HAVE FOUND MY VOICE