by Kleitia Vaso

Spring awakening. As anything beautiful, it does not come without a price.

During the lethargy of a winter which lasted nearly six months, everything visible and invisible was as placid as the surface of a lake. Every night, an occasion to wholeheartedly surrender to restful sleep, plunging its both dark and comforting depths with no pangs of missing out on something more exciting elsewhere. On waking up, my skin, white and pure as snow, untouched by the sun for a few months, reflected this calmness bordering on lethargy. Yet, lethargy can be relished only for a while and comfort slowly but surely gives way to impatience, an impatient desire for its very opposite. In short, I could not wait for the sun. Previously in a country where the sun shines with a heat bordering on hostile for nearly six months, I had often dreamed of a cold so powerful that it would sterilize everything into order and cleanliness. I longed to live without discomfort, sweat, and the occasional sense of suffocation. Actually, during those sweltering summer days, I often fantasized of fjords and, as it tends to happen when we truly desire something, I nearly got them. Not actual fjords, but a climate that might accommodate them. Yet, once I had something I wanted, while appreciating life’s generosity, I longed for its near opposite, some kind of spring awakening.

Before it came, I sensed its approach. Not outside, surprisingly. The agitation, i.e. awakening, started within, specifically right underneath my skin. Nearly flawless – by my standards, not the modeling world – during winter, as the sky grew increasingly bluer and the sun started to fearlessly shine for whole days in a row, slight irritations started to surface. And, their surfacing merely represented the tip of the iceberg. Further beneath my skin, I felt a movement starting at the pit of my stomach and moving up. A movement similar to flies buzzing and going in circles, higher and higher up, climbing through my lungs and reaching my throat. Even before going outside, I could detect the overpowering smell of flowers blooming, trees flowering and every membrane in my nose and lungs sucked in, naturally responsive to this flourishing. Every layer underneath my skin, every organ drawn to the outermost layer. My being in constant motion like the separate pixels of an image failing to form a solid whole. No divisive screen between me and the air, the charged atmosphere. Felt rather than viewed, this world appears as a desert mirage, flickering, tense and unstable reflecting the hidden one within. Nothing is solid. The atoms and molecules comprising each plant, flower, being, suddenly become visible, unable to stick to one another as they once could in the dense winter snow. Each spot sensitive, vulnerable and permeable by everything else. Within and without, now one and the same, everything wells up with tears, itches, pulsates with an uneasiness borne of the desire to live again. These tense, still hesitant movements foretell the monstrously beautiful flourishing to follow, a short moment where everything will explode and burst with life, shedding tears of joy.

by Kleitia Vaso