Ventured out for our first family getaway to Rothenburg ob der Tober. Took the 81 toward Untergruppenbach, then the 6 toward München, the 7 to Ülm. Espoused our strategy for spending money in the middle of a cobblestone street when the kids asked about the toy store:
We’ve spent 100 euros already today. Fifty on gas, 50 on lunch. We have another nine months to go and need to make our money last, so we’re spending our money on experiences, not objects.
Sounds good, we’ll see.
On the autobahn back home everyone but me slept. Eberhard chastises me, calls us whiney Americans, “no AC in the car, boo-hoo.” Kept the windows at half-mast and the CD player running late 90s lounge music, weaving in and out of the hot wind, sports cars flying by, names and numbers of logistics trucks en route to Slovakia. Can’t ever snooze in the passing lane here, I like that. They all conform to a line on the right, to a queue.
Saw selfie sticks for the first time: a couple Asian girls preening, framed by half-timbered homes, a village left undisturbed by the last world war. The sticks look like antennae with a forked clamp at the end for your phone. About as ridiculous as blogging like this, trying to stuff it all in your pockets, breaking everyone else’s stride.
Mom put a new stick of deodorant on my bed, which I took as a cue. And when I gave her a hard time the other night about something, Benny reminded me the next day, be glad you have a mom you can talk to (his is in dementia).
Watched No Country for Old Men in bed on the laptop with Dawn, and hard for either of us to fall asleep with all the questions it posed, and I think that’s art: more questions than explanations. If it’s good, it should leave us feeling and thinking more than we were before.
Didn’t think I could ever make money writing poetry so I didn’t even consider it, really. Got so far into it — a well-paying job — I forgot who I thought I wanted to be some day, didn’t think it was that important, wound up being somebody else, then nobody at all.
Walking the Roman steps above the vineyard looking down on the village, pausing beneath the power lines admiring the angles of the pine tree farms, the rows fanning out below, opening myself to see what will come in, what comes out — not knowing, but teaching myself to believe and to some extent, not care.
Wrote more scraps of poems, stopped to rewrite them, started to look out a few months and imagine what I could do if I put my mind to it.
Off to the Austrian Alps tomorrow with Lily, my mom and Eberhard — Donnerstag through Sonntag, no Internet. Cows with bells that echo across the meadows, cable cars up the valley.
There are stories about Hemingway staying there with some of the old timers, up late drinking, playing cards. The days before blogs and selfie sticks when you had to remember, to pass it along by mouth, to make it yours to tell. And once the story carries on to the next, like a gift you’ve given away, it’s gone.