Monday, October 24, 2005

Deutsche Wälder

It's like having the ice crack under my feet, and being drawn into a swift dark current.

In a good way.

Some time ago -- a couple years ago, probably -- I went browsing German blogs, thinking it would be a good way to keep up my German, and wondering what they might be saying, over there -- those people who have the blessing of knowing (if they care to) that they're immune to nothing, having suffered just about everything the horrible last century had in its repertoire. I love the German language, and German poetry is my favorite after English. (Forget the pretty Spanish and French stuff, warbling along melodiously -- I like poetry with a beat. Hard rock poetry.)

But -- whether my internet search skills weren't very good, or whether I was unlucky, or whether they just weren't there then -- I didn't find very much, and what I found wasn't very exciting. So I forgot about it.

Then recently -- how, I don't remember -- I stumbled upon Alma's blog, Denken und Träumen. I was enchanted at once; it was mindful, simple and heartfelt. Like hearing a penny-whistle in the woods. And (speaking of woods) there I discovered Arboretum, who maintains a remarkable forest, populated by all manner of creatures. (Arboretum called my German "charmant," which of course is the sort of nice thing you say to someone who butchers your language, but means well.) Thence to Bartleby, today, a lovely sensitive disquisition on loneliness. And the dreadful truth is that now it appears that wonderful German blogs also extend to the horizon. Clear off into the wild blue. I struggle along using the online dictionary of the Technischen Universität München, lost sometimes, but happily so.

Of course, I don't have time for this. I'll have to quit my day-job.

Here's Arboretum, "going down for air" --

Man strampelt und strampelt, nur um dann festzustellen, dass man nicht wie weiland der Frosch in Milch schwimmt, sondern nur in Wasser. Man wird also keine Butter unter die Füße bekommen, nachdem man schon den Boden darunter etwas verloren hat. Allenfalls produziert man viele Wellen, bevor man absäuft.

You struggle and struggle, only to find that you're not -- as you were -- a frog swimming in milk, but instead in plain water. So now that you've lost your footing, you're not going to get any butter under your feet. At any rate -- before you drown you'll make a lot of waves.

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