~every spider & spore~

September 12th, 2009


We hiked ten miles today along the Havel river, from Charlottenburg to visit our friend Jochen at the American Academy in Wannsee. My first visit to the Grunewald (Green Wood).

It was a good walk, traipsing through the underbrush of my honey’s childhood, gathering acorns and pondering the invitation to fall into “play” that a natural landscape invariably offers me.

Alfonso called sweetly over his shoulder, “we don’t need to stop for every spider and spore, do we?” (well, yes, we just might, my dear.)

And there (in my mind) was my father, presenting me with a backpack of my very own after several Point Reyes hikes found him carrying half the forest in his pockets on my behalf.

Scarecrow: This way is very nice. It’s pleasant down that way, too. Of course, some people go both ways.

kim photographs a leaf dangling from a spider’s web, ali is the tiny figure far beyond.

tree “Pre-sen-ting……” (drum roll…drum rolll) “…..Tree!” (cymbal crash)

I’ve been thinking lately about the idea of play, or it’s more accurate to say I’ve been becoming aware of playing from time to time, pulling back just enough to notice the pleasure of delving in.




What crushed my spirit when I left grad school was what seemed like the end of playtime for me. My twenties were a time of frolicking, of relishing the moment, of looking forward to the future, not worrying much about the shape it would take. That is to say, trusting the universe/myself.

Came time to “earn a living” (lets not even begin to unravel the meaning behind that language), be an adult, and this meant a 9-to-5 office job somehow. I was miserable but also reasonably good at it, and relieved that I could “function” in this “real” world, so I stuck it out a long, horrible while.


I have been free of that job for a decade, and I am currently as free as I was in grad school. Freer in fact. Though there is pressure to be “successful” which means eat my words, or be able to eat as a result of having produced them, there is also a delight in returning to play after eons spent believing that I “didn’t do that anymore,” that being: dancing, making photographs, dressing up, gardening, writing, making movies, cooking extravagantly, and otherwise rising to the creative occasion of life.

As Mister Wilde says, Life is too important to be taken seriously.



Where is the landscape you wander about when lost in creative play? It feels like a parallel universe to me, not unlike a dreamscape. It’s as though it is always there, just waiting, crowded with memories, ghosts, monsters, moods, images, language, secrets, scenes, imaginary things all jumbled together. Like the way when you turn on the radio, when you tune in, it’s already happening.




The day went from Cocteau-inspired dalliances: playing, thinking about playing, thinking about playing becoming play itself, to a quasi-Felliniesque revelry when we asked a stranger advice regarding a good local cafe, and she proceeded to drive us to her favorite spot on the Havel river shoreline.

The wedding reception band staggered through How High the Moon, the wurst did the Lindy, and my companions and I passionately pondered ways of conjuring joie de vivre over some very fine Pilsner and Grüner Veltliner.

Then we hightailed it to our new friends swingin atelier for dinner, making it a solid sixteen hours away from our domicile. Not bad for some lately screen-mesmerized folks…

Swan contemplates Alfonso contemplating Coot contemplating the deeper meaning.


All the while, my radio program was pondering the faith-flame of just writing without having a clue “what” it is I’m doing, or whether it may or may not interest anyone else at all. The special guest was the gratitude I feel to have been able to rescue myself from the clutches of the monster of doubt. When it returns, I’ll know just what to do: the bratwurst shuffle.


5 Responses to “~every spider & spore~”

  1. Alfonsoniono Rutigliananni says:

    Very lovely entry, that. *However*…ze korrekt spelling is: ‘Bratwurst’. Starting a noun with a small cap is so verboten in German that it’s considered reallyreally bad for you. And others.

  2. kim says:

    Nein, in englischem schreibt: bratwurst, nicht Brätwurst.
    Aber Vielen Dank für Ihren Kommentar, Meinen Mann. ♥

  3. angelina says:

    Those pictures are so gorgeous. I want to wander around in the green forest too! It sounds like it was a great day. I learned to play again the year I got to be a housewife without a baby- I learned to garden on my own, decorate my little cottage with flowers from my garden, and cook, and sew. Those things could all be considered work to some but to me it always feels like playing. When I’m in the garden I stop for every spider and spore! All these activities both rouse my curiosity as well as satiate it. I can tell it’s like playing because when I lug in a basket of herbs and food I feel a great surging of glee welling up from forgotten corners of myself. It makes me want to skip like a child.

  4. noria says:

    These images are magical. So tactile. And so green!

    The whirligig seed pods you collected (among the acorns and feather) remind me of New England. I think they’re maple seeds?

    Can’t wait to have a playdate with you.

  5. karen/mom says:

    What a beautiful human being you are. I love that you share your happiness with the universe–and with me.

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