Preparing to travel was like building a small confetti cannon from scratch, and now I have launched it, and so I am frantically grasping at all of the colorful strips of paper as they tumble away. I know that I am diminishing the quality of the production, but I am terrified of seeing so many people and places and being left with eyes open and palms empty. I suppose that, to be fair, we seem to construct personal tragedies out of any material at our disposal--plane tickets, cocktails on rooftops, walks around the park. But these moments feel so unique and otherwise unattainable: like bits of language that I love the sound of and can't replicate, or progressions in an orchestral piece that I cannot gather quickly enough to notate.
The above is in Dresden. It's a funny place--beautiful, but almost accidentally. It's like Prague in that way. The things that are really lovely catch you by surprise: you walk around a corner (or look up) and realize that a tiny scab of architecture survived bombing, war, and modernization. The city eats itself and lives forever. (You can thank Barbara Kingsolver for that last bit.)
This is the Elbe. Still flooded, but some people (mermaids?) seem to prefer that.
And this is from the train window traveling back to Prague, to which I just returned. I need to give a respectable description of Dresden here, but this is just not the evening. This is an evening for old things, and solemn things, and Dresden is simply too newfangled.