Sunday, January 10, 2010

Life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness

The Apartment: Look behind and beyond the second floor windows of the center building and you will find The Apartment that will be the home of Fram Actual for approximately the next six months. The open area in front of the buildings is known as the Castle Square. It is in the heart of Warsaw, Poland.

The Royal Castle: Look straight ahead when leaving The Apartment and there is the Royal Castle, once the home of Polish kings and later seat of parliamentary government. The original structure was destroyed during World War II and reconstructed in exacting detail a decade later.

The Column: Look to the right when leaving The Apartment and there the Sigismund III Column dominates the Castle Square, a landmark that has existed since 1644. The very air in a place such as this is life sustaining to those of us who are born with an instinctive belief that all of time is but a single moment, and that we are present within that moment. These photographs may be viewed full size.

And, from there ....

How many Americans pack a bag or two and go to live in a "foreign country" for a few months, then move on to another "foreign country" for a few more months, I am not certain. Possibly, it is more common than I realize. I do know that I never have met anyone who actually has done it.

Most people, other than those whose American-based company assigns them abroad or students who are attending school overseas usually travel with a tour group, and then return home to resume their "normal" lives. At least, this is the case as far as I know.

There always have been Ernest Hemingways, for example, who move from mid-America to Paris because they think (hope ??) the Parisian atmosphere will somehow assist them to write a great novel, or a Robert Louis Stevenson-type, who leaves his native British Isles to embark on an extensive walking tour of Europe to learn, to see with his own eyes, and to experience what he has read in books. In the case of Stevenson, as an attempt to improved physical health, as well.

In recent months, I have encountered people who think a particular city or country is magical. Those who know me understand that I find nothing made or even dreamed by mankind to surpass nature, and someday I want to return to a house atop a hill in the woodlands by a river or a lake. Before and until that time, life will be a search for the right location.

And, to my way of thinking, a person either carries magic within or does not. The magic, therefore, is not in a place as much as it is in specific people.

Therefore, I will live most of the Winter, all of the Spring and part of the Summer in cold and snowy northern Europe because my search has led to a specific magical person named Magdalena. In the summer, I will move along to hot and sunny southern Europe. Rumor has it that Italy will be the destination country. And, from there ….

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