Project Description

Maxi Obexer – Waiting with Waves

Counting the waves in the novel by Virginia Woolf.
Listening to its murmur in the air
of the mountains of northern Italy.
Sitting in front of them, sitting in between, sitting on the balcony.
Learning that we are – like horses, flight animals – we have always been,
we just call it differently: mobility.

Counting the meters I’m allowed to walk, 200.
Imagining those I’m not allowed to walk.
Looking at the snow up there, disappearing meter by meter.
Counting the multicolored drops melting from the roof
at noon, in the afternoon,
watching as they pause at night.

Deepening the difference between longing and belonging.
Fleeing into the forest, counting the steps until I reach the forest
safe and hidden.
Listening to the deer in the woods,
to their barking in the gorge.

Counting the pills of my schizophrenic aunt.
The meals I hand her through her window.
Counting her smiles, appearing deeper every day.

Counting the springs.
The days getting longer, meter by meter.
Counting the light in The Waves: 220.
Its colors in the morning, at noon,
counting the different ways the light shapes houses, rooms,
plates, knives, curtains, tables, chairs – the hours.

Counting the sun crawling up the wooden hills,
the smell of the ground defrosting
breathing with the ground, with the trees,
breathing with the balcony rail.  
Counting cars – none; counting cats instead,
strolling, slinking, cruising under the lanterns of the street.

Preparing for the blackbird’s song,
starting on time every night at nine.
Six bottles of Riserva, delivered after an online-festival,
counting those who are joining – none;
waiting until some will.

Counting what is missing. 
Counting me staring out of the window.

One paraglider in the blue sky – hovering down from the mountains,
from the wooden hills, hovering over the meadows and the valleys
hovering as peeling a big apple.
Asking: what is jealousy if not longing without a view?

Dark blue sky, swallows flashing around the roof.
When did they come back? Looks like I forgot to count.
And crickets, chirping as if they’ve never stopped.

Counting the loss of the daily, monthly, yearly realities.
Exploring the new ones.
Waiting for the “peak” on the weekend
– each of them supposed to be the final one.

Counting the words.
Counting the new words of a crisis,
Counting the forgotten words.
Counting those which are repeated day by day.
Looking with the new eyes of the old ones.
Like remembering old friends.

Drops of white light. Looking up.
Last snowbanks blown up, dropping down as trickling rain.
The wave paused, and then drew out again,
sighing like a sleeper whose breath unconsciously comes and goes.
Time lets the drops fall.

I’m counting the shadows extending and flattening
meter by meter on the meadows.
Counting the days getting shorter,
counting the hours getting longer,
listening to the dark blue night.
Counting the first snowflakes in the morning.
Counting the waves in The Waves: 24.

While we wait for the waves to go by,
and for the second one to retreat,
now is the time for waiting,
for seeing what is here.
Not thanks to us, not for us, not because of us –
the sun, the light, the shadows
and all they let appear.

Maxi Obexer
Berlin, Germany
9 February 2021