Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Amsterdam Pt 5 [Oud Zuid & the Amstel Canal]

In the last little while of my life there have been some really heart breaking things that have occurred and twined themselves up into my soul, a part of my reality from now on. Life being such as it is --- a confounding exercise in balance --- these heartbreaks have been what heartbreaks always are; tragic, heartrending, fury inducing... and yet for all that grief and frustration; I can't help but see the beautiful in it all as I recover more and more of myself and come to understand my new place in my own world.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this trip to Amsterdam has been no exception to the rule of what seems like a sudden steep mountain of profound experiences to climb. But I am surprised. Being here is wonderful. Truly. But in that wonder there is also heart break. Because I have to leave soon. And I've never experienced a city that seems so much the literal externalization of my own internal workings.

This city, so busy and full of life is often incongruently quite. Often on my wanders all I hear is the gentle 'whoosh' of bikes passing by, their bells fainting tinging as the road dips under the wheels. A chugging of a boat engine or the squeaking of the ducks if you are near a canal...it's still. It's serene. You can hear dutch voices echoing across the canals, bouncing off the densely layered buildings. You can hear your own voice.

The light is a particularly stunning shade of golden. It spills over the tops of crowded row houses and through the trees casting slanty shadows everywhere...
And I sit and try to wrap it all up into me, stitching it into my inner quilt of memories so that I can take it with me when I go. So that it too, along with the other recent sweetness/sorrows, is a part of my reality from now on.

5 comments:

Jeannine said...

So wonderful to witness your journey to Amsterdam here in this space. It's hard to think of better first-aid for hearbreak, than travel. I'm glad for you and hope it continues to soothe your heart.

It's fun looking at your beautiful photographs. I visited Amsterdam when I was 13 (a long time ago, ahem) but your photos evoke the indelible images etched in my memory from my short time there long ago.

Zaina Anwar said...

You will always remember this experience, Letha. It will never leave you..

LethaColleen said...

Jennine, Zaina...I SO agree (and thank you.)

Megan Leone said...

Beautiful Letha!

Erin B said...

Alright. This one brought actual tears to my eyes. At my desk. At work. Letha- I'm so happy for you and that you're taking "you" time to reflect, gather, and cherish all the beautiful things in your life (past and present).