I’ve been spending some time lately in Real America, including a sojourn with The Old Man through two previously-unvisited-by-me states, Wisconsin and Minnesota. More on that later. But at the same time I’ve been traveling through a hot, wet American summer, I’ve also been traveling through 1970s Germany in the dead of winter, thanks to Werner Herzog’s book Of Walking in Ice.
Why did Werner decide to walk from Munich to Paris in late 1974? As he explains in the foreword:
In November 1974 a friend called from Paris and told me that [esteemed film critic] Lotte Eisner was seriously ill and would probably die. I said that this must not be, not at this time, German cinema could not do without her now, we would not permit her death. I took a jacket, a compass, and a duffel bag with the necessities. My boots were so solid and new that I had confidence in them. I set off on the most direct route to Paris, in full faith, believing that she would stay alive if I came on foot. Besides, I wanted to be alone with myself.
Which reminds me of the immortal words of Geo. Thorogood:
I drink alone
With nobody else
And when I drink alone
I prefer to be by myself
So where am I going with this? Right now, nowhere. Just clearing my throat, trying to get the machine going again after a long idle spell. It’s a beautiful night in Kansas, the air calm and cool after the rain, insects buzzing and occasionally even lighting up, fireworks going off in the distance now and again. It’s the 4th of July here as of four minutes ago. How to celebrate? Perhaps I will go watch infomercials till dawn.