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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Fog and Impermanence

The fog this morning reminded me of another me.  Like all things, he is gone.  With the exception of the foggy vision in my mind and those of others he touched, no one knows of him.  Remembering his time is not so good for the ego.  He was a handsome lad.  But not so peaceful.  He made the fog in his mind to obscure the fear of failure as well as that of success.  He didn't know that even with fog, the thousand year old moat, the city streets, the people in the invisible houses are still there.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hasn't Been Much of a Winter

The weather's been extremely mild here.  February, the normally treacherous thing, was a study in temperance.  The temperatures stayed over the freezing mark and averaged early spring numbers.  People insisted on the tables being brought out into the market place and they've been using them.  The Stadtfuehrer reminded me of the lines from Faust about the Easter walk and compared it to our present situation.

If the Sun shines in the Winter, the people of Herford consider it a good enough occasion to sit outside and eat an ice cream.

That anecdote, and a cold that's lingered for weeks are all I've got to say for Winter this year.  There's just about enough material for a Haiku, but it wouldn't be very good.

Winter's flat
the grey reflected by the Winter Sun
ice cream is good.....

While I sit around the cafes reading and drinking coffee,  Russians march into the Crimea, Ukrainians man the barricades, and everyone else beats their drum, hoping to drown out the possibility of yet another clash of ideologies to be paid for with human blood. Where have all the flowers gone?

Friday, January 17, 2014

How'd That Happen?

It's been ten years since I first landed in Herford, NRW, Germany, actually eleven if you count the first visit I made in 2003 as part of an acquisition team looking over the company we eventually made a part of the big thing I used to work for.  I started thinking about it a few weeks ago, when my landlord offered to sell me this apartment.  I thought about the price, the possibilities, the responsibilities, the benefits and concerns and the whole internal conversation gave me a really bad case of wanderlust.

With the exception of my homestead in Mayfield, Pennsylvania, where I lived from birth to 18 and then on again/off again between marriages, university stints, and other transformations, ten years is the maximum I've stayed in any one place, state, job, or condition.  The wheels are rolling, the gears are clacking, zeroes and ones are streaming in my unconscious, but there's a catch, I've grown fond of this place.  It affords me solitude, it serves as a hub for my travels because of its central location in Central Europe, entertainment can easily be found, and it's pretty.  It does lack a zen community, but there's always the internet.

Still, I'm an explorer.  I'm not the kind that roams from coast to coast.  I'm more of a microexplorer.  I like to know all about where I am.  There's still a lot to learn here, but Krakow has been pulling at me, and after my trip to Prague a few months ago and Poznan and Warszawa last year, the Slavic genes are saying 'take me home'.  But, still, I'm content here.  No dog, no wife, no worries, enough wood to carve for the next five years and an infinite supply of electrons to scribble with.  But no canoe, something which can easily be remedied.

Am I talking my way into something, or out of it?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Year: No Resolutions

I've been writing for about half an hour now, revising, rethinking, rewording.  The outcome is this:
I have nothing to say today, but thank you for listening.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Wilkommen in Dezember

The first day in December, the first Sunday in December, and the first Sunday in Advent.  Happy Sunday, Happy Advent.  Happy December.  I never used to think of much other than Christmas in December.  Thinking about gifts to buy and whether or not a ten foot tree was more work than fun.  Thinking about Christmas past and family gatherings.  All of the stuff that most people are concerned with, except for the lights.  I was never big on decorations that blink or dance or resemble abominable snowmen even though they're intended to be Santas or Saints.

A few years ago, I had a bad December.  An era ended for me and I felt pretty bad about it.  I recovered sometime the next March.  I began sitting again and not thinking again and reading the things that always put me in the happy place.  I learned something I'd learned before and that I'll probably have to learn again someday:  alone is not lonesome.  Lonesome is a self-imposed restriction on contentment, as are anger, greed, and all of the other ways in which we make ourselves miserable.

This December holds promise.  Sitting needs work.  No-Mind needs work.  Creativity needs work.  And when I've got something to do, I'm content.  So up, up, and away minions of the Stone Street, it's Christmas time in the city.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Who Cares Where the Time Goes?

I've been away from the keyboard for a bit.  In the interim, I've done a little travelling and a little writing, a little cooking and a lot of walking.

A few weekends ago, I met an old comrade, from my days in automotive, in Fuerth.  We drove to Prague from there and then traversed the entire city by foot/  It was on the order of a forced, but leisurely, march because of our time constraints, but it gave me a good idea of how much time I'll need to really explore this wonderful city.

I returned to Herford from the Nurenburg train station, a place I haven't seen for about 40 years.  The Oberpfalz landscape was surprisingly familiar and comfortably so, after such a long absence.  I'll be back to explore it again.

The Weihnachtsmarkt started up on Monday and has been met by the traditional cold rain for it's first few days.  I did a round of the layout on Sunday, when all of the booths were still shuttered and no one else seemed interested.  I like having things to myself.....

Peace and Good Will from Steinstrasse, where the men know everything, and the women let them believe it.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Life of Pi

I was sitting outside of the cafe this afternoon, reading 'The Life of Pi' (highly recommended by my daughter, and now, by myself) and I thought about a few religious friends of mine and how they might react to it.  I decided I would approach them with the idea, telling them it's a book to read without forming opinions or making judgments, just read, enjoy the flow of the language, smile every once in awhile.  When you're done, okay say something to yourself about it.

That's the way I approach all literature, prose or poetry, wait for the gestalt to form and then feel it.  As I was formulating this thought, I had visions of the one pointing to heaven and shouting blasphemy or another pointing to hell and shouting something easier to spell and I chuckled.  Good fiction should bring you into the world of the characters, lifting you out of your physical location and setting you down in theirs.  It should be lived, loved, and most of all, enjoyed for what it is: language, the only magic left in the world.