Going, Been to, California

July 2017. Just after the 4th, I took a 14-day trip to the Golden State, mostly for the funeral of my younger sister, but also to join my family in dealing with/experiencing her final goodbye.

I took some pictures along the way, and seeing as how my site, “Traveling Down My Inner Ear” is finished, I felt obliged to put them on this site instead.

Part 1: Goodbye Denmark, Hello Amsterdam

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That is Denmark below, if you didn’t recognize it.

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I felt a bit homesick. Going home to California. Leaving my home in Denmark.

Two sides of the same story, I guess.

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The clouds were nice, and the weather too.

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KLM had a nice sandwich waiting for me with a small box adorned with chickens.

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Note the obvious Dutch Windmill Theme!

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Holland on End.

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Amsterdam always seems a bit on the largish side. (over 800,000)

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I’ve never actually been outside the airport, so I don’t know if it counts, saying that I’ve been there?

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At the airport. The blue /white planes in the background belong to KLM.

I’d like to say that these photos have a deeper meaning, but that would be pulling your funny bone. Try to enjoy the view from my vantage point, but don’t worry about not seeing new things, I’m sure there will be something for you in the upcoming chapters!

Next time: Flying over the Atlantic Ocean.

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Shady Images

My thoughts
cloudy as of late
thought about how
lacking sunny places
and shadow spaces

Wondering
what powers that be
having deciding my fate
a job left undone,
only being one,

I sought outside
shady images cowered
hiding from the noonday sun

I laughed
while the sun sought out
the shadow spaces

Leaving me laughing
while the heat burned
my skin, unprotected
felt the warmth,
the redness growing
my eyes shaded

Sitting under a fig tree
imagining myself, waiting

The garden wall to ascend
Nirvana waiting….

Death and Its Changes

A close member of my family died suddenly within the course of last month. To say that I was not affected by this, would be to tell all of you lies, which I won’t be doing in this blog.

I was in the USA for 14 days to deal with this death together with my family. We talked, and racked our brains for any/all memories, or scraps of such to do justice to the person at hand, but the result of this event still leaves its traces upon me.

While I was in the States, I maintained a degree of silence, both due to the cost of calling to other places, but also due to the intensity of the situation. Everything went as it should, with a Memorial Service, and burial, then my return to Denmark.

Death and its changes are things that are not completed by the completion of the burial ceremony. Questions still seem to pop up, affecting both my family over there, as well as in Denmark. Why did this happen, and why did it happen so fast? Why weren’t we better prepared, and who will be the next to say goodbye?

Not everyone will be able to accept these changes, but death, as we all know, is also a part of life, not letting us decide how/when we are able to say goodbye in our own time, leaving only regrets and questions as to our own place on this planet.

My family in Denmark has also been affected by this event. A sense closeness has developed since this tragic event, changing the way we think about each other, and the consequences of something so far away, hitting us as if we were all there during the last moments of life.

I’ve also had to question things like blogging. Why is it important to continue doing so? I realize that a lot of things will fall into place with time, but for now, I’ll be taking a break from doing anymore writing, except this short explanation to any/all that follow this blog.

I really can’t explain things more than I am doing right now, because this event continues to be felt by me in my everyday life and its situations. I continue to reflect on the events of these past few weeks, and will grow with that knowledge, be it good or bad.

Thanks for listening to my explanation…..

Looking Out

My mind opened
the tent flap, the wind
blowing
the cloudy skies
the mountains encircled,
I might consider myself
trapped
in any other reality.

This scenario, however
which my mind has
created,
not being foreign
nor unintended,
being a reality, more real
than the life
I now live,

Looking out
a rocky landscape beckons
I lean back, considering the view,
complacent
in my thoughts….

Skål!

Two Danes toasting
the night being young
while the alcohol flowed
freely,
not remembering, in advance
what the morning
would bring,

“I propose a toast” said the one
to the other,
“To the Americans and the USA”
the other didn’t respond at first
the clinking of the glasses,
the silence that followed
all eyes rested upon the first one,

“Those poor devils deserve all the luck
they can get, don’t they?”

Everyone present raised their glasses
in unison
“Ja, Ja. Yes, let us toast those poor devils”
they yelled

And the night rolled onward
with a rightful Danish Hangover
in wait,

While those poor devils
were none the wiser…..

I Am Amazed

While visiting the USA
I tend to be amazed
by cars that say, Vroooom!
by shopkeepers who want credit, or debit
by streets that didn’t exist
by stores that offer everything
by changes too hard to comprehend

I wish
I could make it all easier to understand
if only, I had a car that said

Vrooooom!

The Sun, Relentless

The heat
of the day
not yet begun

I started to sweat
beads of water, exiting
my mind attempted
to cool itself, showering
my memory

A velvet waterfall,
bubbled and shouted
the base of the falls among
the slippery, shark fin rocks
glistening,
the moss, the life seething
the current flowing deep
the coolness, the inky colors
where sunlight failed to announce
its arrival,
the river began to dry
the banks showed the hidden,
revealed,
the fish gasping for air, the reeds
losing their flute-like tones
the music was fading
in my mind,

I wiped my brow
and watched as the droplets hung,
hesitated for a moment’s time
disappearing, into the sands below

My thoughts dried out
and begun to adjust themselves

The sun, relentless
in its arc across the sky
the heat, chasing out
all other thoughts

From my otherwise cool,
and moist imagination…

Simple Elegance

Being
among my family
their forgotten ways
smiles and frowns
mannerisms, quirks
loud noises, shouts
of disbelief, yelling

Sitting at the table
tasting food in a way
forgotten to my way
of thinking,

The simple elegance
what exists in one family
separated by the years
being reminded
of who we each are,
of who we have become,

Remaining in the family
regardless of the changes

Neglected

My sister’s house was a place I’d visit, now and then, but not as of late, you see. The years became many, and the miles became kilometers, which stretched out between the warm California summers to the cold Danish winters.

My life became something else, than it had been before. I did other things, with other people, yes even doing those things in another language.

My sister’s yard, however, continued along its way, growing and expanding, without any help at all.

I tended and cut, and raked and watered, my present yard and its flowers. I built and tore down. I admired and feared the invasion of springtime weeds, and waited until the flower bulbs gave way to the summer cutting of my lawn.

At my sister’s house, the grasses of springtime had turned their characteristic yellow and brown, accumulating under the pine and oak trees, as if they always had done so. My rake stood silent, as did any mention of me having lived there, or visited when birthdays called out, or a cup of coffee, a tale about something silly, or serious beckoned.

My Danish Dream slept while I left it for a while, breathing in the reality of other places, traveling long distances starting in kilometers, ending in miles returning. Returning to my sister’s house, and her yard refusing to acknowledge my existence, or wanting to extend a hand of greeting.

I raked and I cut. I moved huge piles of downed trees, and observed my work. No one praised my actions, as they were never meant to be. I continued along in my madness, as if it called out to me, reminding me of the 30 or more years, in which I had neglected my duties, neglected to fulfill my rightful place on this side of the world.

My sister’s yard will continue to change and to grow, regardless of where I choose to call home. The leaves and pine needles will continue to accumulate, creating slippery pathways, and an increasing fire danger, year after year.

Existing in a brief moment, between where I am, and where I was, gives me an opportunity to correct my many years of neglect, hoping against hope that my actions will bear some fruit, in the short time that I will exist in this time frame.

My sister’s house. A simple refuge. A point of collecting the family. A rally round meeting of past and present faces, surrounded by the pines and the oaks, dreaming their dreams of someone who used to lean on a rake.

Sweating and toiling under the California sun.

In some place called the past…..

A Journey, One of Many

Today, I went out
not expecting to travel far
but a journey, it was
all the same

We be travelers
first walking, then flying
the time spent in our
imaginations, wondering
striving, parked along the wayside
not moving, stuck in life’s
traffic jam

I extended my hand
wondering if someone else
would do the same,

Time does seem to hurry by
increasing in speed, changing
well, changing my perspective
altering the way I think I live I love

Time itself
begins to seem different
the impatience of youth
the complacency of being an adult
an increase in my questions
of what is to come
in the end, in the end

Today’s journey
being one of many
along this stretch of road
this busy highway, the garden path
a mountain meadow, a dusty street
all of these places, spaces,
all of these journeys, where I had been
where I am today,
where I am going tomorrow

I extended my hand
not knowing if there would be someone
anyone traveling along the same lines
in the same direction,
as I

The car was hot in the noonday sun
my air-conditioned thoughts
awaited the opportunity to exit
to leave my otherwise
metal frame of mind,
the other cars parted company
allowing me to exit,
allowing me to stop one journey
only to begin another,

Another landscape
my mind generated
another journey
in this long life…