Saturday, June 1, 2013

Dwindling, Throughout, May:


Today is June first, and that means many fundamental cultural and technological developmental aspects of 2013 have already taken shape, been processed, and expanded upon. The world, at this moment, is more exciting than ever before (at least as long as I've been living–27 years or so) precisely because it is changing so rapidly, and technology allows (for those who have access to it–yet another discussion) connections between everyone who previously would have not been so easily connected, instantaneously. The internet is overwhelming like that. Fiber-optic cables are buried below the streets of Amsterdam, and so luckily my connection to this larger digital world beyond this city is rocketing at a faster rate than my connection three years ago–innovation at work. I cannot imagine what facets of daily life, 50 years from now, will render me pondering, slightly set-back, and somewhat always in awe; what wonders will the world create, which I'll see during my lifetime–I can only dream and wait to see.

This past week I have been alone here in Amsterdam; staring out my living room windows and looking toward the tiny Dutch housing blocks in the distance. From this said window the view is rather layered, as my viewpoint in relation to this intersection and this convergence of six streets or so, sustains the illusion that my immediate neighborhood is huge. It's not. But I'll take the illusion, as it's full of late nineteenth century Dutch housing buildings, themselves full of brickwork trim and hunter-green painted window mullions. A unique, if not under-thought, urban planning of public space fills in the carpet of this street-scape below, the greenery sparse. The Indische Buurt is by no means the Oud Zuid, but it's magical at moments, yet sometimes slow-moving, and always a humble slice of this city in which to live. The view I have toward the city outside is engaging, and I have spent many a hour observing nature this past week from this view–happily planted on my balcony, and seen from within the house. Nature is so often so rewarding.

More often than not, as of late, I have been twirling–I feel that would the best verb to use–throughout the city, as Amsterdam and I have been involved in a strange dance, together, for quite some time. I refuse to walk, as walking in this city is wonderful, but not when you're in a hurry. Am I always in a hurry? No. Do I stroll? Also no. But I have been tram-ing, and train-ing, and metro-ing, and swanking and slanking myself throughout this city's streets; a snake in this city have been I. Perhaps it's because I've been hiding behind the glass of the often-relaxing, yet-often stuffy tram, which is whisking me to the west of this city during the day, and most frequently doing the same, yet only going east, at night. The window pane of the tram divides me from the city, I have come to learn. Though mainly the tram is taken by myself only in times of need–such as when it's raining–those times were very often, those weeks that composed May. The rain has not stopped for weeks, literally, and the gray and dark clouds still permeate the skies above.

The was a brief-break for sunshine on Friday. Happy were we in this city to see the sun.

Yesterday I awoke to a golden-yellow glow, rising from the Orient. It was the sun greeting me for morning as I awoke to began to ready myself for the day. As the sun was shining, I decided to take my bike rather than the tram to the studio. It was a much enjoyed experience, and it's clear that sunshine makes people happy–especially this person. Though on the tram, I can easily fall deep in the pages of the book I'm currently reading (which is usually about five at any given time); currently the book is about the Vikings; interesting indeed. I can't read while cycling to the studio, on my bike. The tram wins some strange points against the bike here, if only to allow me the time satisfy my intellect quite early in the morning, and set the mental gears into motion.

Sometimes I have richly livid fantasies about moving to an eighteenth century Swedish cottage/house/manor (I'm not picky; though it must restored, with everything (and I mean everything: fixtures, kitchen, furnishings, faucets, foundation, etc.) new) to take up shop as resident-writer-and-gardener meets-city-kid (because Stockholm would hopefully never be too far away). Snowy winters, Sami nearby, and lingonberries, and midsummer celebrations; Sweden could be quite wondrous, somewhat magical almost. Though North Holland has a mystique to itself as well, especially when the mist and lowland's fog rolls and accumulates over the soggy green-brown hued polders. The Netherlands itself already is quite magical; no need to relocate to Sweden, only to learn yet another new language. I'm still trying to master, or at least continue to improve, my Dutch. So I'll keep Sweden as a glamorous fantasy, and instead take vacations there, as I did last year, which was oh-so fun, and then some.

I suppose that my wildest fantasies, most of them, have already come true. I often forget that my life could have–should I choose to view it from such an angle–a fairytale quality to it. Amsterdam is a palette of burnt-maroons and dark browns mixed with hunter-green and anthracite with black. Lucky am I to live in this tiny city, which sparkles when the sun does shine, and where people still smile and laugh, when it doesn't.

Let's see, what June offers up... Sunshine? Here's to hoping so.
Summer? Spring? Where are you? Either of you?