It’s a half hour before sunset and I am sitting on a bench less than a hundred feet from the river. I can hear the waves lap against the stone of the shoreline. The sun edges closer to the horizon and I remember the many times I sat next to the Rhine in the late afternoon, fascinated by the waves. Like now, I could hear cries of seagulls amidst a cool breeze from the river. Maybe I was thinking about the river in the book Siddhartha then, and the wisdom of the ferryman.
Another motorboat passes, its engine and music drowning out the waves. The unpleasant noise-trail can’t disappear soon enough. Then the boat is gone and as the waves slowly calm down I can feel myself mirroring them and relaxing. My heartbeat drops and my breathing slows. The sun dips below the tree line and leaves a peach colored glow in its wake. As the sun disappears, the temperature goes down as well. For a little while, it feels like the inside and the outside of my skin are the same temperature and the border between me and the world disappears. And it’s strange because the outside temperature is nothing close to body temperatures but still it feels like the membrane is gone – no longer necessary. For a few minutes I become the world – then the outside temperature drops and the illusion dissolves.
Now, the calls of a pair of peacocks across the river reach me. Are they talking to each other or yelling at a motorboat? I am inclined to believe the latter.