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flooded, remains sedentary behind me, its doors closed like a sleeping animal curled in on itself. What was once a road winding down to the river is now transformed into a harbour, and I watch children paddle in the water and skim stones on the surface. There are no strangers here, and bound together by this spectacle, we lend a helping hand when one slips on the tracks, or take the time to point out some new marvel the person next to us may have missed. I lean over a rail and inhale the humid air deep into my lungs. The sunset glints silver and gold on the surface, yet the water surges past at immeasurable speeds. I shield my eyes from the sun and look over to the other side. With the river at this size, it is too far to make out anything other than the Renaissance buildings that contribute to the city’s character. I imagine crowds of people gathered on the other bank. Perhaps there too is a woman, much like me. I wonder if she has made the same mistakes, dreamt the same dreams, felt the same fears. I wonder if she has been able to conquer her demons and keep in her life the clarity of only what truly matters to her. If she has done so she is a stronger woman than I, and I want to break through the looking glass of the water to ask her how she has achieved such a thing. But the water is too wide, and the tide is too strong. I turn away and follow the crowd towards the Hungarian Houses of Parliament. Here the river Danube has also broken her banks and sweeps against the building's walls. The sun has now set, and an enchanted half-light hangs around us. This is a city well-versed in reconstruction. After decades of occupation and changing ideologies, it has uncloaked itself to rediscover its true identity. Like this city, I too am well-versed in reimagining myself, and the concept of new beginnings is not so new to me. I watch the play of city lights on the water’s deceptively calm surface, and remember that through ruin, regeneration is born.

by Aimee Wilkinson

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Budapest Anthology 2013  

The Dovetail project gives people in Nottingham, Karlsruhe and Budapest the opportunity to tell each other their stories using creative writ...

Budapest Anthology 2013  

The Dovetail project gives people in Nottingham, Karlsruhe and Budapest the opportunity to tell each other their stories using creative writ...

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