i'm sitting in bed under my white quilt with all my clothes on, even my socks. it is a cold night. my bra is digging in to me but i don't care about getting undressed. i don't care about getting comfortable. there is a cocktail on the nightstand to the left of my bed.
when i was in Europe my phone didn't work. no voice and no text. i could connect to the internet and use it as a mini computer if there was wifi available but it was freeing to know that it wouldn't ring or buzz. i no longer spent precious time worrying if so-and-so would text. i was on my own in so many ways and, for the first time in a very long time, free to stop worrying about Time. the only actual responsibilities i had was feeding and cleaning myself. there were no other obligations to satisfy and no duties to respond to. the only Duty i had was to myself: to live as forthrightly and bravely as possible and to open my notebook whenever i could manage.
i haven't looked back at those pages yet. i want to but instead i flip through the photos i took and enjoy the sweet fermentation of memory that has already begun. the images of bridges and building in my mind are more romantic tonight than they have ever been. Berlin is a city of fairy tales. while i was there, i marveled at the great luck that had found me. there was a moment when i found myself half asleep on the small deck of a rowboat and thought to myself is this really fucking happening right now??? to me??? it was all so inexplicable and yet somehow easy. i felt at ease the second i got on my flight to new york. i felt even more at ease when i landed in Berlin a week later. i felt so secure and safe inside the world. i wasn't afraid of anything. not once. it felt honest and good to simply walk along old cobblestone roads and take pictures of the fresh graffiti that cropped up overnight in Kreuzberg. it felt honest and good to share my beer with strangers and follow them to a bonfire on the west bank of the Spree. it felt honest and good to sit at a cafe for hours and just move my pen... all my lofty thoughts and the rhythm of my heart inside this new place, this old world.
it's hard to believe that i'm already back home, already back to work, already learning a new menu and new wines. it's hard to believe that another semester of german awaits and that it is already august. 3 weeks in europe was not long enough. not nearly. not for this soft and eager heart. i fell in to the tempo of the place so quickly and felt at home so instantly that my life took on a feeling of timelessness. then suddenly, i was back at the airport trying not to think of the fact that i was already leaving. i'm glad i had a few days in new york before coming back home to california. it was a buffer of sorts. i could still pretend i was entirely free and that no timelines existed for me. i saw the Ellen Gallagher show at the New Museum my first day back. it was strange to walk through the large rooms and gaze at the work of an art heavy weight and think i'd just been at the Martin Kippenburger retrospective in Berlin 2 days before. and in the rear room of that museum, i saw the large lead airplane Anselm Kieffer constructed flanked by two of his huge paintings. it felt important and special to view his work IN germany. so laden with guilt and history and horror. it felt important and special to see Joseph Beuys' felt suit and violin case. it felt important and special to view this work with a german friend. and this all a few days after having visited the Anne Frank Haus in Amsterdam. such a heavy moment. such a heavy memory. those empty rooms... so small. i felt honored, especially as a diarist, to walk through the rooms where she lived and wrote. i felt honored to see the pages of her diary on display. the pages, so thin and so fragile that the room must be kept very dimly lit in order to slow the rate of their degradation. a man behind me started crying. i wanted to cry too but i didn't because i don't think she allowed herself to cry in those rooms either.
everything felt important and special. everything.
i have so much to say but it's all out of order. it's all mixed up and crisscrossed. maybe chronology doesn't really matter.
i thought when i got back i'd instantly start saving money in order to move to new york by the end of the year but now i can't think of anything more important than getting back out in the world and doing it all again. and next time for much, much longer than 3 weeks.