Saturday, July 28, 2007
I had to visit the cemetery this morning. This was a pre-planned trip. Fortunately, not for services. I have to write a small article accompanied by a picture for an anthology.
I hoped early morning light would be soft enough for great photos...and of course I would sit on some bench and think cliche thoughts about death...then remind myself ....the purpose of writing is to find fresh thoughts on cliche situations.
After a nice spot of coffee from a nearby cafe....I head over to the cemetery.
I 'm not happy. By 8:15AM, the light and the sun were so intense the gray-white granite statues and headstones were faded. Damn.
I walked down row after row of very old worn headstones and statues....conscious of looking for the right angle....when I felt a small rivulet of sweat trickle down my back. Oh....It's going to be hot today.
I stop to photograph a statue of a cherub...saying to myself this is too cliche.......but if I didn't start taking some pics....I wouldn't be able to warm up and shoot anything.
I knelt down...tried this angle and that angle...and it was just okay. When I stood up.....I felt like my own personal hot springs....as multiple streams of sweat rolled down me and even dripped off my nose. I realized by the greenness of the grass.... this historic cemetery watered its grass regularly....and the hot sun was creating an open air sauna.
I find an interesting fat cherub holding a globe....but ..they are going to start funeral services soon....a small thought says this might be an interesting photo...but I don't want to be a jerk.
Giving up on the pictures....I decide to give contemplation a try.....
Here's my thoughts:
1) It's hot.
2) It's humid.
3) Wow, my capri pants are so wet it's like I showered in them.
4) I hope I don't come home full of chigger bites.
5) Death. Oh Death. Death. People dead. Dead people dead. All over. All over dead people dead for a long time. Historically dead people in a historic cemetery.
Let's try new perspective:
1) I'm gonna die. Blah blah....regrets....renewed lust for life. Blah Blah. Forget it.
2) Man, I am so happy I'm going to get cremated...who would want to lay here and sweat for eternity?
See huge white towering obelisk hidden in big oak tree...Get up to see what family could be so obvious. Ohhhh. Local Bank family. Look up....and see....huge downtown bank building with competitor's name on it. Awesome shot...one bank family's monument...in line with another bank family's monument....Telephoto jammed. Great. Forget it...it's probably too ironic for story.
Tourists stop by and chat with me. Am I a traveling cemetery fan?
Watch these sweaty Californians (dedicated cemetery fans ) get in their big suburban and knock over a small marker when they turn their monster car down the small lane built for carriages....not SUV's.
Blouse and pants drenched. Hair curled. Telephoto jammed. Sauna on full. Not a creative shot or a creative thought anywhere. Time to go home.
Getting in your car....and aiming your air conditioner vents right at your face.
Oh....my brain is obviously stewed.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Zurich and Slovenia already seem so far away as to feel unreal. I was looking at my pic tonight and smiled when I saw these....they are from Purin, Slovenia. Slovenia has about 30 miles of coast line....and it feels just like Italy. In fact, over the centuries I'm sure Italy owned this little parcel of land and probably jostled Austria for it. It had such a good feel about it....I feel I could write a novel here....winding streets, cobblestones, a city carved out of a hill and of course the sea....giving it both smell and sound.
The magic is in the streets...in the narrow passages....in the light....in the old air conditioners paired with even older shutters.....in pink and coral houses coexisting with orange and green houses without squabbling.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
But as I mentioned before....I do fall for art...or more precisely it calls to me....You Whoooooooo....said this art gallery located on a small winding street in Zurich. You Whoooooooo......okay okay ....can this be shipped? Zure. No problem to Zhip Ze Vase.
I told hub I bought a vase and it was being shipped. I could read his eyes when this huge box came...."What the hell kind of vase needs a 4 foot high box?
One unforeseen problem, apparently ze dog....is hypnotized by ze pattern......Okay Mikey... when you wake up you will be a smart dog.....a very very smart dog.....no barking at people who wear hats....no shredding garbage bags.......smart doggie ...very smart doggie....Mike?
Monday, July 16, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
These pictures come from a wonderful woman in Ohio, a teacher, Cynthia, traveling home with her husband. My flight left Zurich around noon and going West...you fight jet lag by staying awake and busy.
I glanced up...from my very complex writing to do list...and yelped...(that's the best description I can think of....for the sound I made)....my seatmate and Cynthia who was sitting in front of me turned to look at me....probably to ascertain if I was choking on a proverbial airline peanut or something on that order.
"Wow...Look at that....I think it's......Greenland!"
My seatmate closed her eyes without even a peek....a few other passengers (unimpressed that the yelp was a consequence of a geological land form ...turned away)....but Cynthia was energized......she grabbed her camera and began shooting.
Like kids....we wowed and ohhhed....as glaciers and icebergs and alpine lakes and finally clouds rolled over the landscape.
Okay I do exist, I know I'm never in pictures ...that's because I'm taking them....but Cynthia couldn't resist taking a pic of an amazed woman.....hovering 7 miles above Greenland.
Monday, July 09, 2007
This little cutie was the night waiter at one of the cafes in Lake Bled, Slovenia....In the evening, I would walk down to this little cafe overlooking an alpine lake...the cafe had bright overhead lights so I could do my homework and friendly wait staff who suggested that writing could be improved with a brandy and a treat....this time my friend insisted I try the speciality of the house...a chocolate cake with whip cream and hazelnuts and chocolate drizzle...accompanied by a smooth tummy warming brandy....ahhhhh....there are good things in life...and cake and brandy eaten in an outside cafe next to an alpine lake is definitely one of them.