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The Gears of the World

The world is a strange machine, a clock, that with fits of jarring gears slowly appears to be coming to a halt. A whooshing noise resounds, like a washing machine turning off, or a kettle which, after heavy steaming, has brought the water to its desired temperature. Now all that is left is for the tea to steep before the tasteful aroma can enter our nostrils. The hot liquid will torture our lips. 

The machinery of the world has come to a halt. But our heads keep going, like runaway washing machines. The door of the dryer clatters like a drunkard. But with every day this continues, those wheels will also start rotating more slowly. After a little while our ears will start losing their numbness. When the rattling has stopped, we can hear a whole new palette of sounds. Sounds that resonate more softly, but more deeply. Sounds that touch our being and tickle our souls. Like the swans and gooses that are returning in the channels of Venice. In the suddenly clear water thousands of fish are floundering.

The gears of the world have come to a halt. Should we press reset? Try everything to get the world back to full steam ahead? Who touched the gears, anyway? We gaze at the world like we gaze at a broken coffee machine, impatient and craving to satisfy our thirst for caffeine. But with every shot we ingest litres of agitation, us, the productive bees of our world factory.

But today the world factory has closed its doors. We have been sent home. There we are trying to set up our own little factories. Teeny tiny chimneys, an assembly line on our kitchen counters, maybe moving some boxes, hoping to send products to our clients. But between packing the staplers and rolls of tape, everything we need for meeting rooms and offices, we witness how only one hand is packing (because caffeine works), but our other hand is wavering.

The wavering hand starts stroking the petals of a flower, starts losing itself in the curves of a cat’s tail. When that hand opens the window, we gaze at the old face of an oak, an ancient one that’s right in front of our window, but which we apparently never took notice of. This giant has stories from a distant past that take us back to our youth, when we did not yet regard fantasy as poverty of facts.

And slowly we witness, first hesitantly, then more rapidly, sash-windows and skylights being opened everywhere around us. Then our faces find each other. 

And at that moment, a beam of sunlight touches the earth.

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