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Friday, May 31, 2013

No man is an island by John von Daler

     Flying in to the #Faroe Islands through the
drifting clouds, the friendly man next to me pointed out from our window the exact spots where a few planes like ours had fallen. The runway started at the edge of a cliff.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Way to go by John von Daler

        My favorite uncle grew up in Florence
but moved to the United States as a young man, when he no longer believed in God or in the Catholic faith.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Blooming Shame by John von Daler

My green grocer had decided to make a bargain 
out of some incompatibles: he tried to sell me edible 

Monday, May 27, 2013

War and Peace by John von Daler

    An old man sat down at the next table on the terrace of the little Greek cafe. In between his sips of coffee he managed to become a part of our conversation. You know, vacation stuff, weather and food.

We complimented him on his English, but he waved off our praise.
"I'm no great student. These islands have been occupied so many times that I learned without trying. I just sit here at the cafe and soak up coffee, ouzo, wine and languages. I speak French, English, Italian, German and of course Greek. Not Albanian. You count the wars." 
Later on driving up the road in our rented car we saw the bald head fringed with white as we rounded a corner by an olive grove. 
We offered to give him a ride and he got into the back seat after he had handed over a magnum bottle of Retsina to us for momentary safe-keeping.
We asked what the occasion was.
"No occasion," he answered. "Just my daily walk up to the top of the mountain. When I turned over the cafe I used to own to my son-in-law, I made an agreement with him that I could sit there as much as I wanted, 
that I could eat and drink as much as I wanted and that I could have a bottle of Retsina every afternoon."
He settled back into his seat as if his story had finished.
"But what do you do with that huge bottle?" I asked.
He waved a flat hand towards the window as if to say, See it all!
"After lunch I walk up the hill with my bottle. I go to an olive grove at the top. I find a nice tree to lie under. Then I open my bottle and drink it while I watch the Ionian Sea. Sometimes I fall asleep."
We drove him to the top. After he got out nobody said a word.

Take my book
to the top of your mountain:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A trip to inner space by John von Daler

    Whenever I am in Berlin, I like to walk from
Potsdamer Platz past the Berlin Philharmonie
down to the Gemäldegalerie to see #Vermeer's portrait
of a girl with a pearl necklace.

Friday, May 24, 2013

An unused metaphor by John von Daler

    The cloudless sky, visible all the way around
360 degrees of horizon. A bright yellow sun
almost directly overhead. The green lawn of an oil
company in south east Tulsa.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Rubato by John von Daler

             Symmetry leaves me cold, with the
possible exception of Michelangelo's free-hand drawing of a perfect circle.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Prelude without a fugue by John von Daler

    Jogging past the hotdog vendor at the end
of Frederiksberg Allé I could smell the sausages
grilling even through the closed shutters of his cart.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cyber Alexandria by John von Daler

     I never met my grandmother. She was the
widow of an Austrian general who served under
Emperor Franz Josef.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fermata by John von Daler

    Slapstick and whimsy abound in Les vacances
de Monsieur Hulot
, Jacques Tati's masterwork.

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