Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe...join me!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

running to goethe

I have been running towards Goethe. Through the dark woods, on soft gravel, along lanes of fluffy, cherry blossoms, through the rustling of leftover leaves, on a high hill overlooking the wide, lazily flowing river, lastly past the massive, gothic cathedral. And there he is. Goethe.

Huffing and puffing, I stop. A landing place. A place of rest. Simple, strong, quiet. I imagine him here, writing, drawing.

Goethe is ubiquitous here. He’s like Germany’s golden boy. A scholar, a poet, an author, a lawyer. Statues in his honour, streets and town squares bear his name. And, writely so. He seems to have been brilliant, but a little strange. Women liked him, and he fell in love a few times, but he didn’t like formal commitment. He was described, by the fiancĂ© of one of the women he loved, as being bizarre, but that he had a kind of genius which children and women found fascinating. He did what he wanted, felt no need to conform or to follow trends, and he wasn’t too concerned with what others thought about him. He also hated pressure; from his father, from society, or from women. Sounds like one or two German men I know.

I’m fortunate to recieve daily quotes, compiled and sent from the desk of my favorite octogenarian. They lie in a folder called „John’s Jems“, which seriously must have over 500 entries. Recently, one of those gems included the words…“More powerful than the will to win is the courage to begin. What you can do or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius and power and magic in it.“ [Johann von Goethe]

The words hit me, like some words do, sometimes good and sometimes bad. What you can do or dream you can do. Begin it. Be bold. Try. Just do it…okay, that’s Nike, but still it‘s inspiring. Now what to apply it to? New work, current relationship, old dreams? Be courageous.

And now, it is coming on Easter. I really want to be around family, and it doesn’t even need to be mine! My nephew turned one, far far away. He talked to me on the phone, kept spurting out enthusiastic „HI’s“. Heart-breakingly cute. My brother sounds so proud to be this little guy’s dad. There’s nothing more courageous than choosing to be a parent.

Personal note: It has been a hard go of late, I won’t lie. I write a lot but feel like nothing is quite interesting enough to post. My cousin's husband committed suicide at home, a few weeks ago. She says it's the worst time of her life, and yet she still invited us for Easter - how incredibly kind of her. I can't imagine the horror, the despair, the sadness, the anger. I think a lot about that family. I want to hang out with my brother so badly I cry. And somehow it feels like in my everyday, all which I do, say, feel, seems to be wrong. I’m not sure what or where the future is for me, and at this point in my life, I had really hoped this would be clearer. If you are reading this, then you must be a friend and I thank you. I think of you each day, knowing that I want so desperately to talk, but not really knowing what to say. Thanks for staying tuned. I’m continuing to write to you, for me. And, I’m going to keep on running…
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