Wandering Wollishofen it’s hypnotic: the tick, tick, tick of its looming church clocks. Then, abruptly, it’s a jolt: the clang, bang, bong of the of the bells … awakened, it’s not: where am I? it’s, when am I? Wollishofen, a fragment, a drop, afloat in the municipality of Zürich, somehow maintains a serene, separate vibe. An echo of another place and existence. Viewed from the Eggpromenade while watched by its clock towers it is like time itself has stilled. Rolling pastures, barns, schools, playgrounds. Beautiful and eerie. Quiet, broken by a child’s delighted laugh, the bark of a loping retriever, the cluck of a hen. Afternoon sun streaking through rolling clouds and my fingers numb. What is it about this place?
Perhaps, in part, it is the sense that I have been here before. Not just in the last year. Despite the lines on the clock I increasingly wonder if time is a lot less linear than it seems. How about you? Do you frequently experience deja vu? Remember the first time you looked into a mirror that was reflected in a mirror behind you?
Commencing this week I want to start sharing some links and articles by some very articulate and entertaining people that make a deep impression on me and help me through the everyday anxiety of existence.
One person I have been listening too a great deal recently, especially as I feel the absence of beloved ones and beloved places, is the philosopher Alan Watts. If you haven’t listened to Watts, I highly recommend you do so. First off, he has a wonderful voice, and delights in words yet also helps us to understand the limitations, even futility, of such symbols when we try to construct our reality using them. His playful approach to the topic many of us (myself included) take far too seriously — that of what our lives mean. Here he talks about the delusion of spiritual attainment. It’s good for a bus ride, a taxi journey or any other moment you find yourself a bit adrift. I hope it leads you to listen to more and appreciate the quotidian wonder of just being.
I’m currently reading A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. A big shout out to the bookseller at Orell Füslli who recommended it, and a reminder to me of why it’s great to go into a real bricks and mortar store and talk a living breathing person who gets your taste. There’s one of those annoying stickers slapped on the cover that says: Now A Major Motion Picture, but the illustrations and text make it a very worthwhile print experience.
Lastly, a humble request: If you like this post, please share. It makes all the difference. Hope to see you and hear from you before next week.