Monthly Archives: February 2010

Better Times

Wednesday night I stepped out of the Mons train station onto a blanket of snow. I started the walk home, taking a route that I’ve come to know so well. As I began to climb the first hill I couldn’t help myself, I began to cry. I also wasn’t able to stop grinning like an idiot.

About an hour and twenty minutes before I had shed those tears in the snow I was just taking my seat on my train home from Paris. I put on the new Beach House album and got out my copy of John Cage’s Silence. A few minutes later a girl, maybe a little bit older than me, black, took the seat next to me. The train started to move, I read a few sections of my book, and then closed it and set it on the little fold down table in front of me. A moment went by and the girl gestured to my book

“Can I read?” (in English)

“Sure…”

I shrugged and handed it to her. I detected some sort of an accent, but I’m not sure where she was from.
I proceeded to fall asleep (now to the new Charlotte Gainsbourg) as she tore into Silence. An hour later I woke up in preparation for my stop and she was till reading intently. I looked over and she smiled

“Very good!”

“Yeah?…keep it”

“You want to give it to me?”

“Yeah”

She said thank you about five times, and like that I exited the train.

Maybe that was the first time she’s ever heard of John Cage. Maybe she would have never been introduced to music of that strain, philosophies of that depth. Or maybe she’s already known these things.
I don’t know. I may never know. but I hope that she enjoys it. I hope that it gives something to her. I hope that she can give something too.
Maybe this is what those people feel like who hand out tracts or leave bibles in hotel rooms.
It felt good to spread the word, spread my religion. I became a bit lightheaded as I sloshed through the streets of Mons.
My bag felt a little lighter too.

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Emails I have sent today:

Ingrid

As it turns out, I’ll be back probably late Feb. (long story)
I’ll send something your way when I’m back on American soil and we can hang, work etc when you have the time
Looking forward to it ;]

Glen

Hello! This is Kassie (Samara’s girlfriend). Due to some complicated circumstances I will be leaving Belgium around the end of February. I’m trying to get all my traveling in before I leave and I haven’t seen Paris yet. If you have some time free, even just for a day, that I could come visit I would be really grateful. If not I understand, I know it’s kind of last minute.
Hope all is well with you and the family, and I’ll await your response.

Samara

yeah. I think it’s right.

Tony

Due to some complicated circumstances (long story) I’ll be back in the US sometime late Feb.
Do you think I could fit in some lessons with you before I head out of state? I feel like I’ve lost a lot of time and am in need to really start working with composition.
Let me know what you think.
Hope you’re well ;]

Max

I just spoke with my district chairman (Eric) here and it has been agreed for me to return late February. I guess what I need now is your permission.
I could go into a long detailed email about everything that has passed even since my move, but I think you know most of it. I’ll put it simply…it’s just not working. I’ve come to the point where I’ve realized I need to stop trying to make it work. What I’m saying is something you know very well…and exchange is not for everyone. Maybe it was a mistake for me to take this trip, but it was a mistake I’m glad I made. I’ve gained and incredible amount of invaluable knowledge about life and most of all myself. But I’ve also learned that it’s time to go. It’s been incredible, it’s been fun, but it’s time to go back and get my life together, because life for me here isn’t advancing.
I want to thank you for all you’ve done, and I hope you understand my reasons.

I’ll be waiting to hear from you,

– Kass

you do the math.

Tonight I’m going out with Les Gays to see a film during the Gay and Lesbian Festival of Belgium.
Tomorrow night I’m cooking dinner. woo.
Friday I’m going to European Parliament in Brussels.
For now I’m going to finish my mint tea and continue to take care of business on my end.

Later.