Day off for my birthday! Hmm, not really.

Today I am officially one year older. It has been a notable year. To tally up the gains and losses would probably send me into a rather un-celebratory mood so I'll skip that for now and be open and content with the moment at hand. 

We had some thunderstorm last night. It capped off a day of increasing anxiety. After the air-raid sirens went off at 11 PM (just a test to make sure everyone wakes?), then feeling mentally worn and nearly unstable from my wanders (I think we can safety say I was feeling a little home-sick) I read for a few minutes and easily faded...

At once I'm awake. The air outside is electrified. A constant distant rumbling accompanies the random yet contiguous flashes of lightening. It's not usual. It feels as though we are inside the storm itself. The lightening is everywhere. At times it flashes and I can see the outside, in full color like it was noon, yet the brightness is not like any known hour of day. It could be I imagine more like the light from an atom blast, light that makes everything still, turning living things into frozen images. Other times it's just a whiteness and the color is sucked out of the picture. The two phenomena trade off, rumbling and flashing until a third element arrives, wind along with a fourth, hail and rain. The storm pushes on the walls of the building. I reluctantly leave my bed and push the balcony door shut afraid the wind might blow it off it's hinges in one whip of its rain soaked tail. I return to bed, wrap my blanket around me as I pull my knees towards my chest and wait. I think of the air raid sirens I heard only a few hours before and how Schwandorf  was bombed to near oblivion at the close of the war. Blitz, blesk, lighting and rumbling while we sit waiting and hoping the building holds up against the storm...

It grows calm and then begins to build up again but never reaches the climax it attained before. The rain is still falling and the flashes and thunder lean away as the storm travels over us and on to the next village. I roll over and in minutes, am asleep. When I wake, it's my birthday!

It's very windy now. The weather is changing. It's 10 degrees cooler today. I think while the heat was something to contend with, I am going to miss it. It's like vacation is ending. Time to get to work.

Last summer I found myself in another similar place, swimming in ideas, currents pulling me this way then that. The only thing that stabilized my voyage was this thought: Let the land lead you.

I'm not sure if that's the answer now. I have different questions. They're larger questions that go beyond place. What are my questions?

  1. What am I doing here?
  2. What do I want to do/see/make?
  3. Am I making connections? What are they?
  4. Why do I feel so spooky?
  5. Is this something about global-localism, or loss of home?
  6. Is it about loss of species diversity?
  7. Is it about the 'intrinsic guilt'?
  8. Why do I keep getting lost?

I have some competing images in my mind, threads that may eventually, hopefully, weave together. I need to get them down. First is this more philosophical urge... 

  1. When I first got to Prague I had to touch the grass in the garden to really feel I was there. What's that about?
  2. While I go out into the "field and forest" daily I'm floating through it, riding over it. I feel dislocated and detached yet moved.
  3. I feel like an observer (this might only be a by product of being abroad in a foreign country where I do not understand or speak the language). There is no significant sense of belonging.
  4. Yet I'm drawn to the forest, to the stream, to the freedom of riding through the fields. It's when I feel most calm. I almost feel like I belong.

Then another approach might be to work off the pattern I have used before... describe a natural phenomenon, a forest, a thunderstorm, and phrase it in such as way that it can have many meanings, it can touch on the more complicated ideas of nationalism, belonging, transience, intrinsic guilt, anxiety, war, happiness.

I think this second part feels stronger. I can begin here. Describe the ecology of a forest. Begin with this.

Me at my new "studio" with my new collaborators. 

Me at my new "studio" with my new collaborators.