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Oslo

August 12, 2014

Dear Jeff,

I am deliriously tired – that sort of drugged tired one gets after a combination of jet-lag and what I refer to lately as a Going.  This Going will continue for a bit yet; I’ve masterminded it myself and put its many pieces into place.  It started a few weeks back and will continue at least until I get to the staring of Iceland, maybe even until practicing the piano in Libertyville.

Today I was in Oslo for a few hours.  I nearly stayed in the airport, but was assured that the trip into the city center was a quick one and that hopping onto the westbound metro for three stops to find the Vigeland sculpture park would be easy.  It proved to be true, and I was glad I stepped into the world a bit, that’s what traveling is for, right?  The transit was exemplary; I was surrounded by aryan-featured folk like myself; and the sculpture park was a quiet and sunlit sight to behold – an unusual, kingly promenade of just over-sized, naked figures in various states of reflection, observation, intimacy and violence.  There was something in their physicality that reminded me of Rodin (I’m sure the bronze helped that), but there was something less visceral about them, more plain, more Scandinavian?  They definitely touched my museum-paced body with a texture and a smooth sort of warmth, even though there was a subtle removal about them.  The park is spread out like an illustrious world’s fair pleasance but themed with this heightened, pedestrian sculptural portrait of man.  It climbs to an obelisk in the center that is a stone roil of humanity of all ages climbing, scraping, building to the sky.  I took time with many of the figures and steeped in the place.  Mostly I was glad to be outside.  I will admit my favorite part was taking a side path and being cut off from the other tourists and laying in the grass.

I was unexpectedly a bit bored by the northern, developed European cityscape otherwise.  While I am simultaneously thrilled to be in a new place, at a certain point, the delirium has its pull.  And it makes me wonder about travel – wonder about how one does it with purpose and that perhaps purpose is needed to entirely engage in travel – probably in anything.  And I knew that it was time to get back toward Vienna, toward the identifiable goals of this trip.  And I wondered if I was tired of seeing developed, familiar nations, but when I pictured visiting less developed nations (based only on my one experience in East Africa), I realized any element of industrialization, ragged or pristine, discarded or polished, sounded draining.  And I thought, “I am thirsty for nature.”

Thanks for helping make all of this happen Jeff.

Deliriously and gratefully,

Tim

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