22 February 2010

Heigh-ho, Berlin!

My Russian history book is open to the chapter on Russian exile in Berlin, Paris, and America, post-Bolshevik.  My ticket for the DDR (German Democratic Republic) museum in Berlin, ever the faithful bookmark, is tucked between the pages.  Berlin here and Berlin there, and it makes me want to go back.  We only spent 4 days in Berlin, those few days packed with snow, trains, and tourism, but it was enough to generate a lifetime of interest.  I'm no worldwide explorer, yet, but I've been to my share of European cities, and Berlin stands out starkly, embracing its scandalous and tragic recent history to defy traditional spire-filled European skylines. The panoramic brochure of Berlin as seen from the Reichstag that makes a pretend window on the backing of my desk shows a different, clearer, and more cluttered Berlin than the dark, snowy, light-studded city I saw from the same perspective the freakishly cold night that we ventured to the glass-domed building.  What is it about Berlin?  Is it the Soviet bloc buildings?  The ruins of a French Prussia?  The insistent modernity sprung up alongside, in spite of, inescapable past?
It's quite possible that I am romanticizing the city.  I tend to romanticize things I don't know much about.  Yet, the remnants of a soviet world, so foreign to me, whisper enticingly.  There are hundreds of cathedrals and castles in Europe, but only one Berlin.
Berlin.  It speaks to me just like all the other places I long to visit.  Always restless, always wanting to go somewhere, do something, have an adventure!  Adventures are never what I expect, though.  Usually they're decidedly less adventurous.
Robert Louis Stevenson reminded me recently that "the most beautiful adventures are not those we go to seek."  I was frustrated when he told me this...does this mean I should sit at home and just wait for adventure to come to me?  Robert, what are you thinking?  Unfortunately, he died a while ago, so he can't answer me back.  I do agree with his statement, but it leaves much to be desired regarding how to approach adventures.
It would be nice if I could achieve some resolution in this short blog post.  Adventure equals __, therefore I should ___ in my own life.  Enter dreamy and optimistic phrase with a sunny outlook on life.  Adventure is out there!  You know.  But alas, life is always far more complicated, varied, nebulous, ambiguous, turbulent, and deceptive.  How's that for sunny side down?


gandyer said...

Well, said.

lifeuntranslated said...

Oh Berlin..favorite city to date.

Come back to Europe and we will visit it again, you can never spend too much time in Berlin

Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife said...

Myers-Briggs has really helped me too!!

David is an INFP. Pretty close...except he's not so logical. haha! = )