Uit: Flanders Diary (Vertaald door Miriam McIlfatrick)
“This perfect world is strange, and a little awful. I went out on the bike yesterday, planning to stay out longer, to go further, I felt that I could not stand being here in this room or outside any longer. Curious, at home I hardly ever get that feeling. I can move between room and garden for a whole week, going no further and it never enters my head that I should. If I have to go somewhere, it is simply a bore. It would be nteresting to know how many of those writers whose pictures are hanging on the corridor wall have agonized here? Most of them, I suspect. This bed where I toss and turn must have been a similar nightly battleground for a fair few. A struggle with your chimera, a writhing consciousness which wants to become itself in the mirror, but does not dare. Dreams. I am already a little afraid of this room with its cold, damp smell, the constant whine of a gnat in some corner, the broad white bed. Only at midday when the sun shines in through the withered vine tendrils and scatters patches of light over everything, is it good to stretch out, not on the bed but on the hard wooden sofa.
A perfect world … It would be if we did not have such imperfect dreams. Yesterday I decided to do the 39-kilometre cycle route and it was good. It goes along backroads, in between fields. There is more land round there, less real estate development. There is not much development anywhere, the real estate is for the most part ready, completed earlier. The same goes for the roads. The smaller roads here are made of reinforced concrete, they seem to consist of slabs with little interstices, just like the Narva, or rather, the Leningrad road once was. It was built by German prisoners of war. In one place near Tollenbeek I saw this concreting, they were doing repair work. Apart from that there is no major road construction anywhere to be seen. Everything is ready. When this was all done, all this concrete laid down between the cornfields and grazing land, is impossible to guess. Earlier. And all these houses. If anything else is built on, it is garages. Not that there aren’t any garages, where would you find a house without a garage! You can always add another one, two or three, if the site is big enough of course. Cars seem to be multiplying here, as with us. Life is good. Could it be better? I do not think so, not significantly. Everyone could have slightly larger houses, but would anyone want that, especially when they are away from home all day. There is enough to do as it is.The roads could be a little smoother, but what difference would it really make whether the road under you is very smooth or slightly less smooth if, on the way to work in the morning and back home in the evening, you have to sit in a traffic jam anyway?”
Tõnu Õnnepalu (Tallin, 13 september 1962)