The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck
At long last we once again go on holiday as a family, seven of us. What is a family if you don’t go on holiday together?
We jest, jibe and point out salient stuff in the landscape. There is always something there to be noted on, that is how whizzing-by landscapes are.
But there is, after all, some slight discomfort of talking to one’s best knowns in public because, suddenly, unlike in the living room, you don’t just wanna toss out any and all information. There might be things close to the heart, there is such a thing as a naked phrase.
Sipho and Sarah are a good fit and not just because both their names start with S.
Especially on long train rides I can’t help thinking about what a nice thing it would have been, what a dream, this SwissMetro, slipping through a vacuum just below the surface of lovely Helvetia. Konstanz-Zurich-Luzern-Bern-Geneva, in what? 45minutes? But at a price, of course.
Some things were always meant to be dreams. Family vacations is not one of those things.
I tell everybody that Simi and I made this trip in the summer time, a couple of months ago, when the air was blistering. But when we showed up the spa was being renovated. It amazes me sometimes, how unforesightful I can be if I really put my mind to it.
We get out at Thalwil, which is a perfect station for idiotic wordplay [think clothing store]. But seriously: when does one ever get off at Thalwil?
Sometimes when the train rolls into the station one cannot help imagining what it would be like to, out of the blue, jump before it and get crushed by these rolling tons of steel. Is this the true meaning of “blood&steel”?
Sipho can fold Origami on any spot on this planet. I wonder if there is some kind of award for this. There should be.
Is waiting [e.g. for a train] a quintessential activity of&for our civilization? Is it only through the vastly non-productive awaiting of some future “event” that we can appreciate how crushingly utilitarian these times are? Why do I call it civilization anyway?
The amazing thing, really, is that within an hour you go from [more or less urban] downtown Switzerland to scenic Bad Ragaz in the verdant middle of nowhere, in the Alps, in the petrified and folded up heartland.
Given enough time and big enough hands: could my brother fold up continental plates and create new mountain ranges?
What is this irreality about returning to a place from childhood memory? And with one’s whole family the effect is multiplied and raised to unknown powers and lovely beyond the weak filter/signifiers/representationality of even the poetic word.
I wish Simi had come along. I really wish she had.
As early as the station one is immediately presented with works of art: big, elaborate, well-crafted symbols that remind one that there is more to life than pragmatics and profit. Mesmerizing, how this little town is one of Europe’s epicenters of sculptural art.
About every 50meters one will stop and look and look again. The eye, after so-long-a-starvation, feasting on the sublime.
There is the red head, the red head. Wooden, red, massive yet calm. Immediacy that cannot be interrogated.
If one could, one would, wouldn’t one? But one doesn’t, one never does.
The warmth and care in the soul/genes/heart of my mother, have fortunately been passed down. I’m glad it is with Nomsa, she takes much better care of things than her brothers. Yes, what is a family without its women?