... men en af dem, som var god, sendte ham en gammel kuffert og sagde: “Pak ind!”
Hans Christian Andersen, Den flyvende koffert
I'm packing. Not only clothes, that's easy now; also books and papers, and that's not easy yet. But I brought several carton boxes and sheets of bubble wrap, and I go on slowly, lingering on books and reading the journals before I get them down to the recycling bin. There're lots of things accumulated, practically since the beginning of my academic career, and even earlier in the 90ties. A final insight into a becoming. Their becoming, not mine. I'm feeling my difference, my non-belonging, so intensely.
There is an old Armenian song of exquisite and lacerating beauty; it's called Our Es Mayr Im; this is what I listen to as I pack. It fits this kind of intellectual epic, bitter, inglorious and sublime.
How childish it was to believe myself minor in the humanities, in bondage to the margins! I'm in the major thing now, very far away, and packing for a far journey. It tastes smoothly melancholic to throw dusty papers into the recycling bin. The other that stay, in person and in their writings, while I'm taken higher up and away on a Caucasian tune, in my flyvende koffert. Feels like a kind of lonely Christmas. A kind of proud sadness, and being happy and glad of being, finally, alone.
Wonder what the neighbours think of me, as they hear me playing Our Es Mayr Im over and over again through the open windows. But nothing is strange at a time like the one that is upon us.
I indulge in erudition, literally biting at the old Arberry's volume of Classical Persian Literature. All those things that I'd unconsciously denied to myself when I still believed in being minor. They lay open to me now like a plain lays open to a nomad conqueror; that's only a question of time.
And all the languages of humanity whispering so temptingly to my ear! I just can't stand not knowing Farsi to enjoy more fully those examples that Arberry brings forth to enliven his argument. But only a week ago I've spent over 80 reckless euro in La Valletta, on Maltese books. Not mentioning that new Bengali grammar because it was on sale. Nor the method of Turkish, because I said myself I need it for my research on Postel. Nor the package of materials for Japanese, because I said myself I need it for my research on Jesuits.
Anyway, I think there is a bilingual volume of Rumi somewhere among my papers. And the immortal story of Dominic Matei that I printed from the internet months ago, when I understood that now I'm in my own tinerețe fără de tinerețe.