Admittedly, before my introduction to dancing….Alemania and Saarbrucken were no where even conceivably on my map of places to visit. Such is the beauty of life!! Let it flow…and it will allow you to flow… Saarbrucken is just a few miles from the border with France; thus, even just by location…it is an interesting mix of various European cultures. Without digging too deep into all the history, much of it derives from the river…and all that is associated with rivers – Saar!!

With a tidbit of breakfast, usually something I only do in this style when I am adventuring…I am heading out into my day, along the river…I still feel the good fortune…new places, experiences, and adventure. If you read my blog, then you know I have very little concern about the residences where I stay. I travel for the experience and less about the resort. Not diminishing the resort life, I just have my own preferences…and as much as I love to travel…simple and inexpensive…goes a long way….especially when combined with the value of a mighty fine grocery store 🙂

Lately, I’ve been introduced to the writings of Alain de Botton. In the description of his book, ‘The Art of Travel’, he talks about how,

“few things are as exciting as the idea of traveling…But the reality of travel seldom matches our daydreams. The tragi-comic disappointments are well-known: the disorientation, the mid-afternoon despair, the lethargy before ancient ruins. And yet, the reasons behind such disappointments are rarely explored.”

While I respect that this dynamic exists for many, it is not my reality. As I recall sitting by this river…and, I am a water person…

In all my travels, I’ve never had the experience of my travels not matching my day-dreams. Even as I sit here…it is easy to contemplate the historical concept of cities built by rivers. It is easy to wonder about the lives that have traversed…where are they now, their descendants, what will the flow of the river bring. But, it also makes me think of the many lives I’ve come across. The young man making faces at me laughing in the market in Surabaya, those standing outside the slave castles in Ghana, the rubber tree cultivators in the plantations in Liberia, the cooks at the residences in Haiti, my friends in Buenos Aires…ahhh…so many…and even more…these rivers…So, for me, it is not a matter of the experience matching the day dreams…I imagine it goes back to my own personal goals regarding traveling…whenever I travel….I always find them 🙂

Walking along the river ‘Saar’ and behind the ‘Congress’ center….is the ‘Buergerpark’ and ‘Saarterrassn’ business park basically located on the sit of the former ‘Burbacher Hutte’ iron and steel works industrial site…

One of my personal favorites is the mix of the old with the new – the ability to allow the story to remain and how the evolution of space tells the stories. Posted by the river, it is a great place to roam towards and to just sit…

However, wherever I go…I am most infatuated with culture and the human story. Here, so far from my own physical abode, what are the stories of these – those who contemplate, who reflect, who find peace by the pools, those who live on the water….and how these lives cross each other and demonstrate their affections for on another….

Recently, a friend asked me…’what is my favorite place?’…in truth, I don’t really have a favorite. In fact, when you dig down into it and find what I am looking for…are these places all that different. On the surface, there are the expressions that makes it to appear that variability rules the day. However, looking at these last pictures…brings to mind those common elements of the symphonies of our lives…and how are we doing with our part…

Back to around the town….

Finding Saarbrucken, Germany

February 10, 2021

One of the many blessings I have in my life is exposure to some wonderful teachers…of many things!! A blessing within such is that along with the knowledge they imparted was not an ego of arrogance. If anything, each lesson included a lesson in humility…of which I believe I did provide fertile ground. Why am I saying this? Well!! It would be easy to expound on my skill and excellence in travel…however, part of the beauty, although it doesn’t feel like it at the time, of travel..is to get lost!! And, my citizens of the world…this is one of those trips where I got LOST- For TRUE!!!! 🙂

Wrong turn, twist, missed the stop…whatever…LOST is LOST….The middle of the night…in Alemania, NO, I don’t ‘Deutsch Sprechen’!!!!! But, what I do have is curiosity and humility…so I ask…and wonder…and behold…guidance came forth! 🙂 Was there some fear…eh, not that something would happen to me…more along the lines of frustration that I did not plan more effectively…and that my trip was delayed…all the same…todavia, plenty of beauty…and plenty to learn!!!

And all of that…the flight, the time, the small seat on the plane, hanging in Paris, the train, getting lost…y finalmente, I arrive… in Saarbrucken, Germany…to see and meet new friends at the Festivalito Con Amigos (Melina Sedo & Detlef Engel)…

As I mentioned earlier, there was a Tanda awaiting me…and I awaiting it…specific laws on sharing photo’s in Germany. Since I plan on passing through their regularly…I’ll need to be mindful of them. Shout out to a wonderful spirit ‘Thorsten Janes’ (photo credit of me)…Lost or not, it was more than worth the trip…yes, all those hours for a few days of an experience that – for those of you that know…you know…something worth finding out about 🙂

Ciertamente – Maravilloso!!!! 🙂

Passing through Paris!!

February 7, 2021

Growing up in the United States, it is practically impossible not to get some kind of learning about Europe.  Depending on the context, this could create a nominal feeling, disdain, or a deep curiosity.  For me, I have at least a slight degree of curiosity about most things….as I’ve gotten older…some of those curiosities have obviously intensified. 

When I was working in Africa, a friend of mine once asked me “who was the president of Africa”….well, yes…I got a good chuckle out of that…but, in reality…Africa is spoken of as a whole…and mostly, the countries get ignored…as if there are no specific variations or dynamics.  Thus, in these forays through Europe.  I don’t pretend to know it all or to experience it all through a drive by.  But, it is just another venture in a life-style of continuous learning.

Getting ready to land in Paris, multiple contexts are floating in my head regarding Europe – the history, the planning of cities, architecture, museums, art, politics, among other things.  Yet, right from the start…I have to give a shout out to my fashionistas….Solaris and Dior right off the gate…

Tiffany & Co., Tod’s, Fendi, Moncler, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bottega Veneta, and…

and of course Prada (Shout out to Miranda Priestly)….

Most of these fashion symbols…well admittedly … they are lost on me, I’m still stuck on ‘the ‘Cerulean Blue’ sweater that I dug out of a box at a discount store that I’ve matched with a skirt I’m wearing to an upcoming hideous skirt convention’…. But, we all are who we are…

Once I step out into the street, most of my contexts disappear.  For me, I don’t travel to grab a picture for the foto album.  I am looking to absorb…

And, there is so much to absorb…something about the structure of the buildings and the stories that they hold…

like art in a museum when you have time to engage in intentional internal inflection…you find space for your own existence within the very thing that you are looking at…you aren’t looking at it…as you are now a part of it…

I’ve been through this area a few times…and have developed a certain familiarity.  But, the future holds a time that I will meet…and I will do a much deeper dive…But, for now…I have another destination in mind…

If you live in Europe, I imagine it is easy to take these things for granted…just as in New York, por ejemplo, when transit and the ease of it is built into the culture.

I won’t use this as an opportunity to rant on the ‘transportation public policy issues’ of the day, simply that part of the absorption I am seeking…even includes catching a ride down the road…and the simplicity associated with it… 🙂

Sitting back in comfort, rolling out from Paris towards Alemania…there is the continued shift from observing towards absorbing…and being aware of the feeling…

These country sides have many a story…the lives, the development, the wars, the loves, the families…yet what is life maintains its absolute and its dynamic…

So many things of which we are not aware, yet we act as we know, ignorant to what we don’t know. Allowing the smallness of our minds to dominate. It can be a new orientation to adopt, and certainly takes practice. Yet, even just the smallest glimpse of that level of humility can make us stop and marvel at the flower blooming.

I have been through Paris a few times…and have developed a certain familiarity.  But, the future holds a time, an experience in Paris, that I will soon meet…and I will do a much deeper dive. But, for now I have a Tanda in Saarbrucken that is awaiting me….and I it!!