Sunday, 5 April 2015

Concerto Loci

Inspiration: White Palace by Olga van den Brandt

Elena is staring out of the window, looking at the snowflakes falling down in her silent white world. She knows she has to start searching again, it has to be somewhere, if only she could remember which room. For days she has been wandering around in this palace, never meeting someone, only faint shadows of people. Elena can’t even remember how she got here in the first place, this colorless, silent world. The first days she has been shouting, screaming, singing, smashing doors, stamping her high heeled shoes on the tiled floors, anything to break the silence, anything to make her presence known. Nobody cared, not even the shadowy people, they just ignored her and there is nobody else.
There has to be a first day, there must have been an arrival. In her head is a mental image of herself standing outside the palace, shivering in a thin white dress on her unsuitable high heeled shoes. An image of herself, admiring the palace with its white walls, its stepped gable facade and pointy tower. Than the cold gets the better of her and she approaches the grand white door and steps inside. The palace has been hers ever since that moment, weeks ago. Inside it is warm, there is a fire in every hearth and even in the kitchen. Somehow there is always fresh food. Elena suspects the shadowy people are taking care of that.

The first days have been an emotional rollercoaster, filled with exploration, excitement, and frustration. Now she is much calmer, with a sense of determination. A few days ago Elena wandered into a small room, a room she had not seen before. There was a teddy bear sitting on a desk. The moment she picked it up, she remembered she was here with a purpose, looking for something. The teddy bear guided her from room to room, although it was not literally speaking to her. How strange, how could she not have noticed before? Every room has something special, the white rooms that seemed so equal to begin with, started to be distinctive. Elena found small things in every room, sometimes a picture, sometimes an item, like the bowl with nuts she found yesterday. Moving those items is not an option, she knows that will get her lost again. The only exception is the teddy bear, which she kept close ever since she found it.

On her bare feet, in silence, with the teddy in her left hand she turns away from the window and grabs the railing of the stairway to the top of the tower. She has been there before, on one of her first days. The skirt of her thin white dress blows slightly up by the draught, going up with her. A rope hangs down from the top of the high tower room, a thin string. At the end of it, just within reach, dangles a beautiful G-shaped golden key.

Elena looks at it with admiration and anticipation, she reaches out with her right hand, holding on to the teddy bear. She has to stretch herself on the top of her toes, like standing on high heeled shoes. The very moment she clasps her hand around the key the silence shatters to pieces, music surrounding her. With the silence the white mind palace disappears. Elena is standing on a podium in her white dress and high heeled shoes with her violin under her chin. The conductor is staring at her, while the orchestra is holding on their last note, in anticipation for her to set in. Violin Concerto in G minor, how could she forget?

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