I’m Back

June 15, 2008 at 10:45 am 5 comments

This brief title is almost cryptic in meaning. I’m back from my travels. I’m back to work on and finish up various projects. I’m back with my family. And I’m back to being myself. That seems to be a never-ending process: to reclaim the self I once gave up. By the way, this post isn’t directly about bulimia. The only real connection is that it wouldn’t be possible if I hadn’t recovered.

The trip was wonderful. I went by train, since my energy has been kind of low and I wanted to relax. Diesel is so expensive that it’s now cheaper to take the train as well. A friend I hadn’t seen in four years lives just 10 minutes away from the concert hall, so I had called her up and asked if I could spend the night. There wasn’t a room to be had otherwise, due to the soccer European Cup. She picked up my luggage upon arrival, then left me to my devices. I had an hour and a half to myself before it was time to meet a friend and her husband at the Café Glockenspiel (which is now Café Demel).

Thus I was at leave to pursue my favorite game: walking around and seeing where my feet lead me. As usual, they gave me a special treat. I walked through the Steingasse and saw a steep stairway between two buildings that went up a mountain (Kapuzinerberg). It reminded me of some of the stairways I’d seen in Florence, tucked in between the houses, leading up to the sky. In Florence, however, I hadn’t dared go up one really steep one. It was deserted, very narrow, and I felt afraid. In Salzburg I was reminded of that experience and it struck me that I felt no fear, although there was also no one around. Perhaps my knowledge of the language gave me the sense of being on my own turf.

I proceeded up the stairs until I came to a fork. I went to the left, enjoyed a view over the city, then went back down those few steps and up to the right. There I discovered the Stefan Zweig Path. There was a placque on the high stone wall around a garden, informing the inquiring visitor that he had lived there for several years — until 1934. That was somehow appropriate, as I have been reading one of his books “The Struggle with the Demon” lately, and read several other books by him many years ago. There was a strong affinity.

So I continued along the path, which left the stairs and led through a forest. A man appeared from a side path and kind of caught me off guard, but he was pursuing his own dream and barely registered my presence. After a while, I wondered where it would eventually lead to, as it was getting close to the time to meet my friend. A friendly-looking woman was sitting on a bench, so I approached her and asked where the path eventually came out. She asked where my final destination lay, and when I told her, she recommended that I turn around and go back the way I came.

On the way, I passed a bust of Mozart with the saying: “great in his youth, recognized late, never equalled.” That’s a rough translation, as usual, but it gets the point across. Just before the stairs began, I saw a church to the left, which I hadn’t seen on the first passing. I went in. It was beautiful. To the left was a statue of Mother Mary, with a rock background, portraying her on a mountain — appropriate for the general setting.

There were two stands with prayer candles in front of her, and an individual pew centered in front of them, facing her. I’d been hoping to find a fitting church because I wanted to light candles for my grandmother and for the boy whose funeral I attended the day before. I put a coin in the box, lit two candles, and knelt down to pray. As I prayed, my own children entered my prayers. I decided they needed their own candles, so I put in another coin, lit two more candles, and knelt down to pray some more. By then I included not only Granny, the boy, and my kids, parents and friends, but everyone I know or don’t know. The only stipulation for inclusion was their need of assistance — regardless of its nature.

With renewed peace and direction, I walked back down into the city, crossed the bridge and went to the café. My friends arrived soon thereafter. We spent a nice afternoon together — drinking coffee, then walking around the city. At one point, it started to rain heavily. We passed under an archway and decided to go into the next place we found. When we saw the red lantern hanging outside, we laughed and went on. Although it would have been funny to burst through the door and tell them we were seeking shelter from the storm!

The concert was wonderful. It’s delightful to watch Dylan do his thing. The band sounded great. The songs were arranged quite differently, but sounded good. It was my second concert, the first was in 1999. This time I definitely appreciated him more, as I’ve listened to so much more of his music since then. Afterwards I waited for my friend to pick me up. A woman stood next to me, waiting for her ride, and we had the most intense, informative 15-minute conversation imaginable! When my friend arrived, we parted and I recommended that she get to the Patti Smith concert in Vienna next month. Maybe we’ll meet again.

The visit with my friend was nice. We sat up, drinking wine and talking, unofficially waiting for her daughter to get home, and realized that we have experienced many similar issues and feelings over the past few years. I am so glad we hooked up again and will be sure to make Salzburg a regular stop when I’m headed in that direction. I’m grateful that we could easily pick up our friendship after so long, and to have a friend who would go out of her way to pick up my travel bag so I could move freely, and then wait up and pick me up after the concert. After spending the night, I got back on the train and went to Vienna, but I’ll tell you about that some other time.

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Entry filed under: free time, life. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Greetings! Father’s Day

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. SanityFound  |  June 15, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Wow it sounds so incredible! I always find just walking around going where my feet lead me to be the greatest inspiration and normally so full of inspirational. Glad you enjoyed Dylan, saw him 2000 – isn’t the vibe from the people in the audience incredible! Ok now I am jealous! Glad you had a wonderful time!!!

    Reply
  • 2. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  June 16, 2008 at 7:09 am

    The audience was a lot of fun – very mixed. The wandering really is what my life is about.

    Reply
  • 3. SanityFound  |  June 16, 2008 at 10:59 am

    I prefer to think of it as exploring for I am like that as well 🙂

    Reply
  • 4. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  June 16, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    How about, we are wandering explorers? Or exploring wanderers? No, the second doesn’t work – more like explorative wanderers. I think I like wandering explorers better! Want to start a wandering explorer club? It’s easy – we just keep doing what we’re doing! 😮

    Reply
  • 5. SanityFound  |  June 16, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Ooooo A wandering explorers club we likes this idea very very much! Imagine if we get bloggers to explore and then write a post about what they drew from their exploration be it the symbology found or the actual experience…. ah now you have my mind going yet again! Sheesh!!!

    Reply

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