Eighteen years ago I moved to Stockholm. Though, I was a tree uprooted from the forest of my youth, at first it felt familiar from vacations and business trips, I knew the sights, I felt at home, but the first two weeks before we got the keys to the house we had bought I drifted between friends and relatives, sleeping on couches and unfamiliar guestrooms.
I had joined a startup and days were busy with new colleagues in the process of forming a company. I commuted on the subway, and every morning I was one among the many who filled the tunnels deep below streets. When transferring between the subway lines I joined the thousands who just like me were ants among the ants blindly following the paths through the anthill of the city. We all kept to the right when walking slowly, we held onto the same escalator railings. I was one but had not learnt to shut myself inside, pretending that there was a choice to leave and travel by myself.
After two weeks we moved into our house and I could bicycle again. Since then I have grown roots and sometimes I even take the subway, but I will never be an ant.
in the setting sun
black shadows on the rooftop
a building of rooks
Today Randall (qbit) hosts Haibun Monday at dVerse. The challenge is to write from the perspective of one in a collective, and I could not imagine something more so than having to move through the subway network of a city.
October 1, 2018