the art of shopping

    Our family is a traveling family.
From memory emerges a picture
of my father’s father.
I am about seven years old;
laying down my hand
on a red plush armchair
where this stony colossus sits
puffing away smoke screen.
From behind steamed up gold-rimmed goggles
he glances past me
through a pale window:
trying to reach indescribable wide vistas.
I never heard him speak -
his posture said it all.
He played a waiting game.

In former days – according to my mother -
he always used to muse about tomorrow
with broad gestures underlining massive plans.
His stirring imagination playing on gorgeous Dwellings, Wealth and New Horizons just in reach
  are legendary and regularly memorized.
Privately we snigger;
for somehow we understand -
we understand this need for thrilling trimmings.

Our family is a family of restless roaming hearts.
Some build a boat just for themselves
for pilgrimage around the world.
But that boat
nearly ready
is readily disposed of
and they begin again,
from scratch,
with an old carcass
and oceans of time.
In their deepest thoughts
already miles away
while bodies still fast aground -
Fixed and fastened
to that spot.

No one called them Sisyphus.


  8.11 1996   A performance on the art of going out shopping.
Stichting Beeldende Kunst Ag De Molen, Hengelo (NL).