Once we were sitting in a coffee house in Dali, talking about a short story I worked on at that time. The story was about a group of kids that every day crossed railway tracks to get back home from school. The area around the tracks was wild and lonely and there was a small bog nearby. A narrow path skirted the bog and passed under a row of tall and creaking trees until it climbed up onto the railway embankment. – Secluded tracks and wild vegetation around them lured all kinds of perverts, bums, drunks, stalkers, petty thieves…. – It went something like this. But the kids marched on in a flock and were as careless as, well, a flock of kids. It was an adventure, a cops and robbers game, and they were thrilled. But as the school days went on and the novelty of the place wore off, they – told each other gruesome stories of murder and chilling perversions once read in a book or seen on TV, – and the adventure was on again.
You got caught by the word “thrill,” that combination of fear and relief charged with adrenalin. I told you of that feeling I had while trekking in the Himalayas and once got lost on a glacier. You told me that being in a relationship with a dear one is more thrilling than all the mountains of the world. In fact, this is a fantastic story you and L. have. It is so funny how you cornered her with your three-option offer: get married, remain friends or stop communicating at all. And now, you told me, you had all the trills of opening up your heart to another person and being afraid that some of the parts that is you to be rejected and then to feel a relief after you are accepted in all diversity of your personality.
I remember it all very well but to tell you the truth, I forgot about the most important ingredient of the thrill, the ingredient, from which we started talking about thrill at all: childhood. You simply cannot be thrilled by anything, if you don’t become a child again, full of curiosity and daring to explore.
By the way, the photo with a kid behind a tree I’ve made somewhere around Dali, near the lake. Trees is something special to me, as well as stones. This one reminds me of another tree that I once saw in Nepal. It stood in the middle of a forest, right near the path. It was split up by a lightning and there was a huge, burnt in hole in the core of it. A man could easily hide inside that tree, as if it was a wooden coat or a close-fitting cocoon. Or an open house of a tree spirit, who waled around the forest and then came back there to sleep. It was creepy and it was a thrill.
Hugs from Europe,