Sunday, July 24, 2011

the official weighing station claims that i am not a witch

since witches are infamously light-weight, those accused of witchery/wizardry would be taken to Oudewater to be officially weighed. this was easier on the witches than just being tossed into the water to see whether they floated.

anyway, i am not a feather-weight. and i am officially not a witch. chuckle.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

es tut mir leiden

back in 2003, tom & i cycled the rhine from holland up through germany and france. tom made it to switzerland, but i turned around a day early and went to a folkfest in france... but that's another story.

yesterday i completed a pilgrimage which we did not manage to do (whether in ignorance or lack of time i canna recall): i cycled up to leiden where rene desCartes (who is called "cartesius" in dutch) sat by a fire and thought a thought which led european philosophy astray for centuries. i found the address where he was lodging: there is a placquard to the blackguard there which says simply: rene descartes 1640. i spat at the name and felt better for it. i felt like a haji throwing a stone at the devil!

today i might return to leiden to hear an organ concert and mayhaps to photograph the blackguard's placquard just for inclusion is a few other forthcoming photos "homages hollandaises aux philosophes". most will be kinder. (more kind? more of the kind kind?) not kindertotenlieder, fer shure.

here in the swamps of holland i am cycling hours daily, longing for a hill, any hill! and i think of my dear friend nancy perched high atop a tuscan promontory littered with renaissance castles and fabulous gardens.... sigh....

bright blessings


oh, OH! i also found a brand-new windmill in the neighboring town of schiedam: it was built to grind grain for "ketel one" products. schiedam's wealth was once based in the alcohol trade: dutch folks drink a curious liquor called jenever, which is neither gin nor vodka nor raw whisky, but it is what it is, dammit. they have decided to save money by using an old-fashioned windmill to directly harness the wind power rather than using a diesel engine like most distilleries do. there are two modern windmills in schiedam: one just opened up three months ago! and of course there are old windmills all over for tourists to gawk at and for mad knights-errant to serve as enemies at which to tilt... but there are few knights-errant roaming about... i suppose they are in spain or italy... and they all seem more like friends than enemies....