Wandering

March 16 2017

Today I’ve watched from afar as the Trump administration proposes gigantic cuts and as Wilders failed to win the Dutch election. In Lund I took a long run through some parks on the north, including–if I understood the Swedish well enough–the site, memorialized with a ring of stones, of a church that was there from 1050-1536. After breakfast I did a walking tour of the city and, much later, did another very short run to “walk” the dog out towards the more “suburban” area. To be perfectly honest, there was some running, some walking, and a lot of snuffling (on the dog’s part).

One thing that’s become very clear to me on this trip is that I like to get to know places by moving through them and within them. I didn’t feel the need to enter a lot of the buildings, in part because what I was really doing was mapping them. Their beauty/characteristics mattered to me, but more in the way that they created a whole story in their common presence and organization. Lund has defied me a bit though; it’s “grid-adjacent” but with some interestingly-angled roads because of topographic and historical reasons. So I kept on getting disoriented, which is fairly uncommon for me.

Wandering
—-after Pablo Neruda’s “Caminando Alrededor

So it is that I am tired of this world.
So it is that I go to the movies or to the coffee house
burnt up, hollowed out like a sunken ship
greeting each day from the sandy bottoms of the ocean.

This is why March twinkles like the rhinestones on her shoes
when it sees me arrive with my walk weighted like a toy soldier’s.
It opens the gates for me and ushers me to wander this town where
the bones dig deep through layers of earth
like the rings of a tree.

It pushes me along the cobblestones, towards red tiled roofs,
towards grand statehouses that hog the blog and pump themselves up,
towards small stuccoed cottages that smell like coffee and crayons.

It pushes me between fancy shops with color bursting through window panes,
towards the ruins of a church and the church of a ruins,
towards the library that sounds like rain.

Wandering, I walk the streets over and over, memorizing
the words that they write, moving my lips to make those sounds
over and over so that the map of this place is written
on the soles of my feet.

 

 

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