Several days of news
8 September 2011 § Leave a comment
8 septembre 2011
I have not written lately because there has been so much going on. The blogger’s dilemma? Or the writer’s dilemma in general. There must be a golden balance between living, really living, experiencing every sound and flavour and moment, and escaping to write. Perhaps the writer’s every experience is subject to exploitation for material or at least under Victorian observation—one is one’s only complete encounter with the entirety of human nature (I stole that from C S Lewis). I like the film Bright Star, and at one point, Keats says that a poet is the most unpoetic thing, for he hardly exists, he simply channels the world through his pen—he records events, movements, musings, yet he himself is not what he writes. Or he should not be, if he is a good writer. Did Keats actually write this thing about the poet being unpoetic, or was it just in the film? Clearly one must not mix films about and biographies of the same person. (Do watch the film—especially the scene with the butterflies.)
On to actual events: the morning of 6 septembre (writing the month in French in posts, by the way, is my way of brushing up, it is rather pathetic), we drove back to Salzburg and walked around the city in quite the downpour. À cause de capillary action, my entire skirt was soon soaked, but that did not matter compared to the fun of walking around the building where most of Judith’s undergraduate classes were, bumbling along a path with Festung Hohensalzburg (the castle, with the satisfying translation of High Salzburg Fortress) in view, finding a tea shop with an intimidating number of teapots, and seeing places I remembered from my last (only other) day in Salzburg.
The wet, did, however, eventually drive us inside for lunch, where I ordered Paradiessuppe (paradise soup—how could I resist?), which turned out to be an enigmatic mix of several orangey-red ingredients with dark green pumpkin seeds and a dollop of some creamish thing on top. The paradisical part was its warmth, I think. Soon afterwards, we headed back to Judith’s apartment, where I accidentally took a two-hour nap, and later that night we had, to date, the most impressive of girl times. Girl time discussion, however, is not relayed—or if it is, not in a blog—so you must settle for exercising your imagination, reader, in order to satisfy your curiosity.
On 7 septembre, we drove to Munich, where we walked around for exactly an hour and a half. After a quick look in Marienplatz (the main square with the clock tower), we went to see the square with giant stone lions, which I found during my last (…only other) time in Munich, and then hurried to the Englischer Garten so Maggie could see them for five minutes. We hurried back to Marienplatz so Maggie could see the glockenspiel (the people in the clock dance to celebrate 1) the marriage of Duke Wilhelm V to some girl from Lorraine and 2) Schäfflerstanz, the dance of the coopers, who apparently kept up morale during the alleged plague of 1517. Perhaps a small bit of religious turmoil sickened some? Then we ordered lunch and practically ran through street musicians and crowds to return to the car before our ticket expired. Next followed a rather slow return to Mangoldsall because of a disagreeable tire that went flat; we could drive on it, though slowly, so we ditched the Autobahn in favour of slower, smaller country roads, and six hours later we were back home. Poor Judith was exhausted and plagued by a headache, but aside from that everyone was in good physical health and relatively sane.
On 8 septembre, Maggie’s impressive communication skills inspired me to answer many emails at once. That is not a mundane detail, because email and I are not exactly friends. (Correction: the internet and I are not exactly friends.) We applied ourselves to creative cogitations in order to decide which designs we wanted our silk scarves to have. Judith’s parents have a sign-printing business (we walked through it a few days ago—it is a miniature modern-snazzy factory), and other kinds of printing seem to be enjoyable offshoots. Before making them, however, three things had to happen.
I went running (in the VFFs) through the countryside, on narrow strips of grass between fields and on paths beside rows of apple trees, as the wind swept me along and blew against me by turns. It was a grey and mournful day, and I passed sheep and horses and some plums that had splatted on the ground. So purple on the outside, they have rusty orange insides and reminded me of people. We are quite different from what we appear to be. Yet I hope that no one has been splatted on the ground lately. Secondly, we ate lunch—Rouladen, which once upon a time I made in German class. Thirdly, we went to Künzelsau to buy more supplies and visit a bakery. We also saw the Anne-Sophie, an elegant-looking restaurant that that Würth man established—apparently one of his granddaughters (Anne-Sophie) died at a young age because of a mental disorder, and so the restaurant employs people with mental and physical handicaps. The whole idea impresses me.
At home, we had German coffee (…tea) and cake, which people normally take around three o’clock, and then we began the long process of scarf-making. First we printed the images (from a computer printer) and then pinned them under the silk, which was fastened taut on a wooden frame. We outlined shapes with outlining silk paint, let that dry, and then filled in the lines with water-based silk paint. Judith’s pattern was a painting from the Niki de Saint Phalle exhibit that we visited several days ago, Maggie did large ivy leaves of different colours and sizes, and I did small gold butterflies that made a large butterfly and filled the outlines in with blue paint. Then, I did the background with the palest yellow. It turned out a bit watercoloury—all of ours turned out really well.
While we were scarf-making, I caught sight of a headline in the newspaper covering the table: Angst ist eine ganze vernunftige Reaktion. This post is already so long, however, that writing about that shall have to wait until later . . .