- piece in the New York Times this morning about naked children being tolerated or not in various contexts (sometimes the parents think it's fine and the grandparents don't, sometimes the other way around, sometimes boys are OK but girls not, etcetera) - reminded me of one of my favorite images from my first time swimming at my wonderful Teufelssee lake - that I had meant to write about but the timer dinged then if I recall, cutting me off.
The image was this: a family with about four small white-to-nutbrown children running around naked playing on the little sandy-dirt incline to the lake at the first main entrance to the water - while I was swimming they had been playing there, and then at some point I got out, dried off, got dressed, and sat on the log to put on my shoes, and next time I looked three of the four had light blue terrycloth robes on that involved hoods and then loose ponchos coming down - it seemed like a wonderful, warm, comfy, easy way to get warm and dry and covered up at the end of a day at the water, and while three were continuing to play and scramble in the robes exactly as they had while naked, the father chased down the fourth and littlest one and popped a robe over that one as well. That was a very nice image. The light blue robes swallowing up the little tan round bodies, that kept moving around as though the robes weren't there.
- last night, a lovely good-bye party at my friend Anna's WG (Wohngemeinschaft, living community, i.e. shared apartment) - this is a vegan WG and there was a fantastic gazpacho into which Anna's sister Esther was just tilting the last tiny chopped bright green cucumber pieces as I was arriving, and then we moved furniture around and carried plates and bowls into different rooms and then I sat and chatted with a lot of people the absolutely oldest of whom was 28 I believe, and I had SUCH a good time, I left around midnight only because I knew I was going to want to get up in the morning and it was already way past my bedtime - but such fun to talk to these people and be outside my life but apparently be completely accepted as a reasonable conversation partner (found out from Mareike, a world-traveled young woman I was comparing notes with on culture shock and transplant discomfort, that Galsan somebody-or-other, the quite-rude Mongolian shaman and chieftain and writer-in-German who for complicated reasons my family had over to dinner in Bloomington a few years ago, is actually pretty famous among Germans who know anything about Mongolia, as well as in Mongolia, and she thought it was pretty hilarious he'd come to dinner at our place).
- went for a walk around one or two of the lakes in the woods down the street from us this morning with my friend Annette, and that was a lot of fun. Annette is a rhetoric coach and has a lot of coaching experience and she was in a way coaching me on my writing coach work, but we talked about lots of things, and she said some things about writing I want to chew on (she just finished a book distilling her approach to what people need to do to communicate effectively). Except that for now I've sort of forgotten one of the main things she said that I thought was smart, useful, and something to remember and use. Perhaps it will come back to me.
That's about it now, we're at thirteen minutes out of fifteen. This afternoon I went and retrieved my bike, whose flat tire had been fixed - reading The Hammer of God, number 3 in the science fiction trilogy I had been reading. We've been packing, sorting, boxing. Leaving in two weeks and 3 days if I count correctly. Fourteen minutes out of fifteen. The fact that I'm allowing myself to start a book again means a lot of the pressures are lifted. In ten minutes I'm off to lead a dress rehearsal of all the different entertainment acts that are going to be presented at our big party for the staff of the institute tomorrow.
Fifteen out of fifteen. Love and greetings to you all my dear friends out there in radioland!