/ A Letter From Budapest

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nealheanes on 29 Apr 2004 - user213040024036.dial.netline.net.uk [213.40.3.66]
We all have our favourite places, made special by moods and memories, atmospheres and conditions. A more open mind could point out that we are already deeply conditioned, but if I am colour-blind, I am most fortunate that it is my favorite colour that I can see clearest.

In a land locked city my eyes are drawn, my attention and imagination captured by a natural uncut boulder nestled unassumingly beside a more widely appreciated tourist spectacle. As if that boulder had burst through the surface of my thoughts, my memory is cast back to that place where the hills meet the sea, where my naked body is submerged in the most vivid blues and greens, greys and silver.

When the orchestra stops, the soloist begins. It's the time to put aside all life, all thoughts but one. The safety net is gone. The celebration of certainty and independence is an enormous gamble. One wrong note, one misplaced finger and the curtain will fall. But the unthinkable happens, the hand fumbles and the price of failure must be paid. Yet then, facing the abyss, the dark veil is lifted. This isn't the abyss. There are the most vivid colours- here are our favourite greens and blues and silver.

Beside the ocean we are never alone. From here all life originates. Here we are protected from the worst excesses of gravity, from the urban development, from taking ourselves too seriously. At our favourate places are our friends, and it is our friends that make life colourful. Even in exile my life is flavoured thus, and as I walk through this land-locked city I can taste the salt spray on my lips, and I can hear the waves in my friends' laughter.

Damian Cook (October 1995)

Ixtlan Damo,

Neal


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