Thursday, March 21, 2013

You are here

Keep tangling and interweaving and taking more in, a thicket and bramble wilderness to the outside but to us 
interconnected with rabbit runs and burrows and lairs.

—Marge Piercy

Greetings from chilly old London! 

On the first day of spring, in keeping with this time of equilibrium between the hours of daylight and darkness, I began by trying to regain my own body's balance, thrown off by zooming east for a few thousand miles. It will take a little while to catch up with where I am. 

It was about 40 degrees and cloudy here yesterday, but despite the unseasonably chilly weather, spring is still about a month farther along than it is in Minnesota. I was still feeling as if solid ground was subtly moving up and down—a remnant from 9 hours in flight—so I thought a walk in a green place would help get me grounded on the planet again. I took a red doubledecker bus (upstairs seat) to Hyde Park.

I saw: beautiful avenues of silver-green trees with delicate branches and pregnant bulges blanketed in moss. Gardeners busy hoeing, snipping, grubbing and unrolling sod to cover the bare spots left by winter flooding. Daffodils, primroses and shrub roses in shivering bloom...droopy-headed crocuses beginning to unfold in the thin, green grass...huge, mute swans, Canada geese, gulls and other water fowl paddling in the Serpentine...bright-eyed dogs being walked. Teams of school kids playing rugby (at least I think it was rugby, there was a whitish football involved)...they wore shorts that revealed skinny and very muddy legs. (The running and shouting must have kept them warm?)

I breathed in the smell of the damp soil, and felt my brain unclench a bit, my inner ear recalibrate. I heard one birdsong, which sounded a lot like a red winged blackbird, but didn't see the singer. After a couple of miles I could feel my lips turning blue so I headed to a cafe in the park for hot lentil soup. Then wandered back to Knightsbridge and the shopping district, where I randomly came upon my favorite place from Paris: Laduree! They were out of violet-flavored macarons so I had to settle for rose petal and lemon. I know, it's a rough life. 

I'm still adjusting to the time change, the location change, the everything change. As usual with these things, one is brought from the clouds down to earth very suddenly. Sometimes literally (as in, last night I slipped on the ladder-like stairway inside my studio and sprawled down the last two steps to land on the wooden floor. I'm unscathed, but for a beaut of a bruise forming on my hip—off balance!).

Then, as I was about to post this, I discovered that I'd left my camera adapter cable at home, so this morning I got to explore Regent Street in pursuit of the Apple store. Oops. It's easy to get flustered by these missteps, but I don't have to do it perfectly, right? And now I have the cable and can upload those photos to share little slices of London with you.

As always, I remind myself that I am here; here is just in a different place than usual. 

(My apologies—blogging from an iPad has some limitations so I need to put all the photos at the end of the text. And I can't change the font, apparently....)


  1. Sounds like a wonderful time thus far! I hope you get adjusted and acclimated soon... and those photos of the crackled tree bark are so beautiful. And now I want macarons...

    1. There will be many photos of trees—take that as a warning or a promise!


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