Wednesday, July 09, 2003

I have been back now for several days but feel as if I am still settling back into my life in san francisco. It feels as if I am still waking up, as if I have emerged from a dream.

(For no particular reason I mention that the spanish word for dream is sueño (pronounced 'swen-yo') So, to say 'she dreams' I would say 'sueña' (swen-ya))

Orginally, I was going to visit old college friends. First, Dan in Heidelberg who works as an astronomer for the Max Planck Institut. Then Ian and Jessica in London. As it turned out, I spent most of my trip, 10 days, in Hamburg or traveling around Northern Germany with Mina.

First was Berlin which I mentioned below. Then Hamburg where we played scrabble in cafes and walked along the Reeperbahn and I learned about Barbapapas. Then Kiel, where we sailed on the Baltic sea and saw fireworks on the Bay and I saw Blandine again who seemed to be tailing us everywhere.

I also spent some time in odd cafes where we ordered two spezzi and yet paid 30 euros. I recommend you check the bill if this happens to you.

The Hamburg Harbor was magnificent. It was an enormous labyrinth of machines and shipyards and cranes and even water-filled residential byways. After taking a boat through the harbor we took an elevator down to an old beautiful tunnel still used by cars which are lifted up and down and then creep slowly beneath the waters along narrow lanes that were originally meant for horses. Walking along these tunnels was both strange and wonderful.

The whole trip was composed of moments like that. Short but timeless episodes.

These last few weeks have been amazing. It was more than a dream because it was real. When we wake up and we long to return to our dreams it is because we miss that sense of being in the present, of acting out something beautiful. In our dreams we can imagine and feel happiness (just as in our nightmares we can imagine horror) But that happiness is also real, as real as anything else. It is not imagined.

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