Leaving the city, I’m a gray cloud made of workday dust and the worry of being late. I crawl into the bus, because I missed the train, in the careless trample of a hundred feet trying to get away.
“Don’t ask why. Just keep moving,” the road tells me. I submit.
The city fades. Lines of windows flashing television screens get slowly replaced by dancing shadows of trees. Glimpses of paddies emerge earthly green, cast into temporary pools of yellow by the lamps dotting the streets. With that, I find that I’m healed—from the Monday-to-Friday, from the apathy of the herd. I’m reconciled with the world.
On the road, I’m reborn. I’m a bird taking off from the street wire to spread my wings over the holy mountain. The air is a song.
I’m home, long before home.
This story ‘Rebirth road’ was inspired by a work of mixed media art by the Sri Lankan artist Dhammika Perera. Dhammika’s hometown is by the tranquil inland hills and rivers of Sri Lanka with a view of the sacred Sripāda mount; he had to take a daily commute to Colombo for his day job as a teacher at the University of Visual Arts. Talking about those years spent in commute, Dhammika says he remembers the healing in the journey. The experience of growing past the city’s exhaustion with the changing landscapes stayed with Dhammika, inspiring him in the art studio of his village home. This original art is now available at the PW Store.