Happiness is a cold hose

Light and wind on the canal
It were a garden hose, some cheap hand soap, an almost completely screened off garden and a brought along towel that gave me a sense of home. In the backyard of Café de Ruimte I took a cold bath in a wooden tub and washed myself happy from head to toe.
I was two hours away from meeting my ex and his new girlfriend and an hour past some grimy physical labour. I wanted to look clean and smell nice. No-one I knew or dared to ask for a shower was home. The tub was there waiting for ice cold baths on Saturdays as part of the Sauna in Noord program. I cannot easily describe the feelings that washed over me when Bart gave me the go ahead. Relief, pride of independence perhaps, but sheer joy comes closest. Not only was there just enough hand soap to wash my hair, did the sun its best to start a fire in the sky, but also the ice cold water just felt great. A little bit of squealing and laughing made it a private party for one. And when I oiled my skin in the kitchen standing behind the ice cream bar, it had never felt so good.

Somewhere around the same time I sat just some fifty meters away on the waterfront. I was enjoying the movement of the light on the water when a similar feeling caught me. I felt at home being alone in the city doing exactly what I needed to do and enjoying it too. It turned out to be perfectly possible without warm weather, in spring, in between meetings, creating a bubble in space and time that I could call home.

Light And Wind on the Noord Hollands Canal from Loes Glandorff on Vimeo.

Is it enough to go out anywhere and meditate on solitude? I am afraid not. These feelings were tied to a certain place on a day that I was preparing my next nomadic adventure. It was part of a plan to craft myself a place on this earth. Now that I am without my own house for almost a year, there is a toll to be paid. I am so happy to have lived for five months with my friends in Zaltbommel, but I miss home. Not because I need my own stuff – I hardly seem to care for the things in my room in Zaltbommel – but because I crave a sound proof place where I am king. A place where I can stand-up and stretch my arms up and sideways as far as I can. Where I can walk around naked and belch and fart and laugh too loud. Where I am shamelessly touched by an emotional film and let myself cry without thinking about the effect on whatever company. Where I can only break my own plates and follow my rules for hanging up toilet paper. That kind of home.

I do want a place that is mine. Twice as long, a little wider and fifty percent higher than I am. In between trees. I want my own schaftkeet and convert it. I can already see it in mind before I go to sleep. I would like to buy one this year and insulate it pretty well.

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