I’m in Austria.

Photo 1



I’m in Austria drinking a Franziskaner Weissbier and people-watching on the deck of an Apres-Ski.  Vanilla-iced mountains and mounds are dazzling fortress, shielding me from the real world; my real world, anyway.  I’m writing a fairytale and I’m aware that sometimes it is green eyes that read me, the color that fails to consider that fairytales are penned at cost and sacrifice. 

One day I’ll go back ~ I’ll have to go back and I’ll want to ~ but I’m determined to see this as it is—unexpected gift in the middle of my life.  So I relish the daily and mundane equally to the spectacular and once-in-a-lifetime.  Both are reason to seep gratitude. 

I spy raccoons, ruddied faces with pale masks, burned from blinding white reflection and not the sea and shore to which I’m accustomed.  Some hide behind sunglasses but others shed goggles to let their eyes breathe.

Three are smoking but they’re far enough from me I don’t mind.  I watch smoke twirl from their fingers, curious about what they’re really exhaling.  I imagine the sludge of their lungs and life, tinged in gray and stained with vice and sin.  Things I don’t typically think about but time is standing still, and in that space there is room for speculation. 

So I wander and wonder. 

Two old men join two young women, and none of them know each other.  One woman drinks juice, the other mineral wasser, and the men drink pils.  Strangers, islands, communing around a table. 

Americans don’t do this, of course,  We like our space too much and construct invisible walls.  Are we protecting ourselves or just not letting anyone in?  What are we scared of? 

I’ve been in Germany a month now and I’ve learned to read beer by sight.  I didn’t know five weeks ago beer could be read.

I’M IN AUSTRIA and I want to scream it from the tops of the mountains I’m too fearful to climb.  Silent scream echoes inside my head, or is it my heart?

Photo 3I’m walking along streets lined in snow walls, no longer white because they’re road weary.  Exhausted by exhaust which strikes me as funny because it’s the same word with dual meaning, the kind of thing that makes learning English exhausting.  Which, again, strikes me as funny. 

I’m happy meandering, enjoying my own company.  I remember learning to enjoy my own company 25 years ago, and realizing for the first time it was something to be learned. 

Some people live their entire lives without learning how to delight in the solitary, for their heart to hear the things that are only spoken in hush and whisper.

I scan the alpine ridge, awed by God’s majesty and splendor, bowed low at His greatness and my smallness.  The hills come alive with this sound of soul music; this thought brings tears to my eyes and my soul weeps thankful…




Crazy talk, isn’t it?  Unless you’re here with me, and I do want you here, with me.

Which is why I write, for my blue eyes back home, and brown, and yes, even for the green.                  


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