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Friday, May 29, 2009

The Green Balloon - The Price Of Stamps

It's around 2 o'clock in the morning and I'm sitting in the dark, reflecting, just trying to take it all in. It's actually 8 o'clock in the morning, Europe time for me, which I've been on for the last three weeks. After perilously navigating German in Switzerland, clever French (the only language I'm remotely fluent in, besides sometimes English) in Marseilles and Cassis, and Italian in the Lago di Como, I've returned home to New York, remembering that few people speak English here either.

The quandry I have hovers over how to at once accurately and concisely describe it all, to create a picture postcard with some meaning; this part of my life, this wonderful gravity whilst in flight, something beyond the price of stamps.

I want to write about the moments, so suddenly ended the minute they dissolve, the tears I feel approaching, having had to leave it all behind. I am tired but I can't sleep. It's all too rapturous, the line, the weave of something finite, a finish, yet something extraordinary and infinite that brings us around the world and back and around again:

The whistler in Cassis who would bathe on occasion in the cold Mediterranean and froth the air with his particular tune. Moody, hazy mornings as well, that puffed up to full stride, grandly offering brilliant, sunny afternoons, and evenings at La Bar de la Marine in the port itself.

The Bouillabaisse in Marseilles that I didn't like, and the neighboring horde of Texans that I liked even less.

Fondue in Zurich, past the season to have it, but marvelous just the same. With chunks of bread dipped in glasses of Kirsch, before dunked into the bubbling cheese.

Lago di Como: on the ferry, there was the breath, the incredible mountains, the surrounding Alps, as we left our hotel in the little town of Tremezzo, venturing forth to Varenna (the unexpected, glorious maelstrom there) and Bellagio.

Lunch in Como, dinner in Milan, I put my hands on La Scala Teatro. We couldn't resist Varenna again, sunset fell on St. Moritz during the way back to Zurich, and we settled into a Bier Gaarten there.

The Zurich lake! I had put on my bathing suit underneath shorts and having removed the latter on our pedalot, I dived into the refreshingly chilly water, frightened as I was, seems silly now. There was a marvelous, soaring, eruptive fountain to swim to, anchored by a ring that anyone could bask on, once reached. I did.

The richly glamorous European couple, having paused for an afternoon behind the sausage stand in downtown Zurich at Rosaly's, sipping Cynar with soda, and still smoking.

Moments, images; some imprints captured or not: the price of stamps. The rest of it left to fill a lifetime, so often solely from memory.

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