Monday, June 20, 2005

I'm back.

Hello. How time hath flown, eh? One month of absence, rectified with a 12 hour flight. What magic there is in this world.

The trip was overwhelming, chock-full of busy-ness, mentally exhausting and stimulating. I was up in the Alps, studying with some of the greatest artists and minds alive, at the European Graduate School.

Incredible connections were made. New projects being developed. I saw a lot of great movies. Elia Suleiman, Claire Denis, and Atom Egoyan showed their latest works.

I got to study with Jean Luc Nancy (just before I left for school I became nervous that perhaps he would die). He did not die.

School is located in a tiny Swiss ski village located high in the Alps, right by the tallest mountain in Switzerland. The town is called "Saas-Fee" and it is surrounded by 13 mountains, so every direction that one looks, there is snow-capped goodness. It is mostly populated by cows and sheep.

I sat with a brown cow on a hillside for half and hour, petting it whilst it chewed its cud. It burped in my face.

I wasn't feeling extremely social or energetic this trip, with all of my energies going into the studies and some quick rigorous hikes thrown in here and there. Most of the folks at school like to drink all night and cheat on their significant others, it seems. I liked to read, write letters (actual letters!) to my boyfriend, play my guitar, and sleep. I woke up early every morning and never missed a class.

The air is amazing and clear, the water is freezing cold and wondrously drinkable... It comes straight off of a glacier up in the mountains.

On the last day of class, after the final lecture concluded at 10:30pm, we had to grab our bags and board a bus that took us to a night train to Venice, Italy. On the train we "slept" 6 to a cabin, stacked up on either side. It was crazy small. And short. Me and 5 gents bunked like stowaways on a midnight train.

The train ride was about 7 hours. When the sun came out, most of us lined up at the windows in the aisle-way, watching the fields pass by. We arrived in Venice around 8am and went to the Biennale Art Show. The Arsenale was one of the most amazing SPACES that I've ever seen. It is now my dream location for directing a piece of theater. My favorite piece of the exhibition was a room by Annette Messager, filled with red silk, and a big fan. Simple, and awe-inspiringly beautiful.

Venice was beautiful. Streets of water, it's really true. Little boats everywhere. Great food! Espresso that feels like a horse kicked you in the face. And the light.... the LIGHT! As the sun was going down, and I was heading to the train station on a boat, and I saw the light. I SAW THE LIGHT. The light which explained to me WHY so many painters and photographers and artists in general would go to such a place. The light was beautiful.

I spent the night at this bizarre hostel, which was actually a campsite, with a pool and a disco and a bar and RV's and hundreds of teenagers and 20-somethings backpacking through Europe. The "room" was actually a tent. A tent, with 2 small cots inside, and a small padlock for the zipper. It wasn't bad at night, but once the sun came up it was like sleeping in a plastic garbage bag in the sun. Hot.

The whole next day I did nothing but sleep and swim and suntan (in my underwear!) and plot ways to get home sooner. How much would it be to change my flight? Should I take the train to Frankfurt instead of flying, just so I could start moving? I was ready to GO! I didn't WANT to do any more exploring of Venice. I made a decision that I will return. I will return with my boyfriend and my band. Venice is one of those places that I want to SHARE with someone. It's too hard to try to explain it, so I'd rather everyone just go see it for themselves.

The food, man. The coffee. The light. So good.

So, after 24 hours of transit (taxi to the Marco Polo Airport, flight to Frankfurt, 6 hour layover, most of it spent in really long lines, 12 hour flight to LA, 1 hour of customs and baggage claim, 1/2 hour of hari krishna) I got home. I spent my first night in my new house, in my new "living-together" relationship. It was good. So good.

Yesterday I went swimming in my pool. Now I'm back in the office. Ain't life sweet?

That's the factual account, more or less. In a bit I'll start feeeeeeeeling stuff and tell you all about it. My head is still spinning, and I'm tired as hell. I've been *sighing* all day. Deep sighs. Good for the soul.


Mindy Chiu said...

welcome home.

Anonymous said...

hallon julio,
found it ... tracking it through the server back logs ... becaus i forgot your damn password -
but moreover i wanted to say
thank you for the time in saas-fee ...
that should do.
feel free to spam me.