Note from BEIRUT SHOWS CLEAR TEARS
Note from TRAVEL BEIRUT
Made it in one piece. Border guard was young woman. Got same visa as before. So much worry. Had to replace my passport with a temporary one because of malicious stamping by Israeli border guard two years ago.
Waiting for the Brussels crew to arrive. Guy sitting next table talking to Finnish UN soldiers about the Jew media and how the jews get their fangs into every country they inhabit. In Cyprus, there was this goofy teenager who told me and everyone else he had had enough of Greece and was heading back to syria. Just setting the stage.
Note from TRAVEL BEIRUT
Well, folks, I’m back home in Athens now. The composition and rehearsal process for Thierry Smits’ piece “Clear Tears” which has commanded my attention since September pauses for Christmas before the actual performances start in January. The Tuxedomoon Autumn Tourlet which we undertook during October and into November is now also finished. All we have left are our memories and those are fading fast. Time to feast the eyes upon some shadows of the already-glorious past. As I always say “The only way to improve the past is by living fully in the present.”
You’ve seen the photos, now marvel at the video. See! Vasco the Dog and his enormous blue ball! Hear! my slightly clueless singing on “Cielito Lindo”. Marvel! at the Rollerbladers of Brussels. Wonder why Bolivian Indians are dressing up like Navajoes and playing Easy Listening pan-pipe versions of Euro-disco hits on the streets of Europe, all dressed the same and using the same arrangements, selling the same Cd’s and using the same gear from Oslo to Athens. Who sent them? Then marvel at Greek airline’s Star Wars style greeting at Eleftherios Venizelos Airport. I was there, now I am back, soon I will return.
Here we are Monday, she left Saturday and I’m feeling the ache of missing her. My heart, my baby, my darling girl, the last love of my life Maria Panourgia came to see me here in Brussels, my former home for the 16 years from 1982 to 1998. It was such a joy to show her around the site of so many of my former and future exploits, to share with her my new enthusiasm for this aged burg and to close a symmetry with the world line of my past and present by including her.
How strange it is to share with her a history in Brussels that began again in 2003 as though my dark passage through a landscape of despair and toxic chemistry had been cancelled. I have been allowed to do it over and participate in a brighter version of the same town, see the sights that I had somehow missed before with restored vision and unclouded senses. What a miracle this is, my friends, to be granted the grace to begin again. How fine to be alive here, now, today. Thank you oh great one, oh guardian angel, oh myself, oh others oh lord and so on into St. Allen of Ginsberg’s litany of holy from Howl. I live, I die, I’m here, I’m gone.
Today, Sunday September 16th is car free sunday here in B’ville. And the sun seems to be shining. I’m outta here. Bicycle heaven.
I’m back home with the photos from the Brussels no-car day 2012. It was an amazing day. The sun was shining in a way not often seen here. The streets were jammed with pedestrians and thousands of bicycles. There were musical events everywhere, food, people laughing, sitting in cafes, strolling around. I rode 6 different Villo bikes. I went down to the canal which looked sparkly in the sunlight. I rode over to the Grand Place and sat down to a coffee. Even in the expensive Grand Place where one buys a coffee in order to rent a seat the coffee was 3 euros, one less than normal in Athens. There was a Mexican band playing in the Grand Place. I sang along to “Cielito Lindo” more lustily than I probably intended. “Ay ay ay ay. Canta y no llores!” Brussels was never like this when I lived here before. Something happened. It got better. I looked around myself and felt…dare I say it? Happy. Yes. That was that strange sensation. What a great day.
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Just got home from rehearsal in a sweaty but elated state. Steven and I bought one week subscriptions to the “Villo” service. Villos are city bicycles which are part of the public transportation network. Using a credit or bank card in an atm style terminal, you buy a subscription at a bicycle station, one of the hundreds spread all over town. You enter a pin and detach one of the sturdy yellow bikes from the stands where they are docked and ride to the station closest to your destination. This is marvelous. Beats seven kinds of hell out of a car or a bus, or walking.
The next day, I took a quick excursion with one of these gems around the neighborhood of Madou, close to where we are working. I never really visited this area when I lived in Brussels so it was all new to me. I encountered a very beautiful park called “Parc Marie Louise” which I had never seen or even heard of. It has a wonderful lake with a fountain in the middle and a fake grotto which sports a waterfall inside. Something about this first encounter struck me as celestially beautiful. It probably helps that I had seen something like the same scene in a dream I had about an astral Brussels analogue in which great flowing cataracts and waterfalls featured.
Here is the link to the official Villo site.
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