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vastness of little spaces

MALDIVES | Wednesday, 30 April 2014 | Views [124] | Scholarship Entry

Intimacy and vastness - what was the feeling of it associated with a house that I liked? - asked Peter Zumthor in a book he wrote.

At the southeast corner of Raalhugandu, facing east I sit. In my nose is the salt, the breeze, the sky, the sea, its waves, and the dead coral from a living coral reef. Vastness at the end of the day clearing up debris accumulated in the day and night before. Debris in my nose and debris in my mind.

My sister tells me that my mother brought us here on many nights. To sit at the seaside after dinner. It is time for us to wind down with the breeze and grass of the park. It is time for mother to wind down and get air, as she listens to the eight o'clock news played on the Voice of Maldives speakers in the empty grass park facing the sea. By the time she takes us back we are sleepy and ready for bed.

Earlier in the day, before the sun has set, we would come out to play on the grass at 'adi' park, running after grasshoppers, peering closely at their crooked limbs, and jumping from steps that lead into our imagined roads, ponds, seas, rivers, and banks. This is where our intimacies with clearings began, among wild weed and small moss-like flowers that make the grass comfortable.

The daily dose of vastness. A house needs access to vastness. A life needs access to vastness. Everyday. And a house houses intimacy secured from the spaces that vastness has given it. So that minds may rest and children may sleep. Leaving the grownups to whisper until its time to close their eyes for the night. And sometimes forever.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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