Last year I met a man who told me that I was like the city of Geneva — elegant and detached. He has since revised his notions of me, but the description had an impact on me. Well, at least the detached part. So this year, for his 41st birthday we went to see if the vision held true.

But there was a road to take first. This particular road carried me through the Alps after a night of driving. Dawn found us with the Alps hovering over us. Climbing up jutting rock met sky. He danced on the morning of his birthday under snow covered peaks. We spoke German for breakfast, slept in the car, then descended into those green valleys with the dog-eared chalets and vineyards. That was an experience of a lifetime. More driving, afternoon came and French was spoken, then Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) and its cloudy cold blue. Cully charmed us around sunset and the autumn leaves put on their best.

Around dark, excited, tired, we came into Geneva. I’m in love with this place. I know the identity with banks and the price of neutrality. I can see the detached. But the elegant. It’s too much to write about here. I took too many pictures to show here. So, give me some time. I’m still getting over the magic.

More ahead.  For now, know I’m back, happy, and rich with connection. Je suis heureux.

8 responses to “Ginevra

  1. Don’t get over the magic. It’s been too many years to count since I spend the late summer months in that city (an the villages beyond). There is really no place like it in the world. You know my favorite city is Venice, but in Geneva as a young woman I reclaimed my independence, which I had misplaced for several years. It’s beautiful to revisit, if only in my memories, resurrected by your eloquent words.

  2. Ooh, I felt like I was there speaking French and German (even though I don’t know either).

  3. You are elegant! But obviously not detached or your words would not have such passion. Dancing with snow capped mountains in the background. Sounds like a good backdrop for a short story (or play). Happy Birthday to your wonderful traveling companion! Happy trails to a special talented daughter.

  4. Pea, do know that I was in Geneva during the time you were there. So, if you are indeed defined as Geneva, I have been driving all over you. Does this disturb?

    I am in Iceland today. We have an Icelandic Airwaves Festival and we have the Magic Numbers playing in NASA night club. So, I imagine Iceland feels detached now and then, but if you invite a party, many will come. Like me.

    Pea, do take care. Do not be overly concerned about anything– other than your parents of course, which is concerning, very concerning. I suggest you just think of them as distant relatives from a previous marriage. Not that Sandra is evil. More just evil-prone. But I digress.

  5. How can Stafford speak of evil? I can recall a happening in Prague.
    A mountain top inn in Thor where he created a scene (or caused me to have one) that he videotaped. And a very troubling time when we were asked to leave the burial site of Emperor Franz Joseph (on the emperor’s birthday) with the monk shaking his finger as we left that cathedral in Vienna. Does the name “Fido” help you recall that incident? So Stafford my evil proneness can never equal yours. Beware my daughter has a blog and she might recall your evil in words. She witnessed the Prague breakdown, and I told her many stories including Thor and Vienna. In spite of the evil we did have great travels in the 90’s.

  6. Pea,
    Your mother’s sirens are calling, but turn away …and run into the warm plush blades of grass that await you.

    I was never in Vienna, or Thor – have never met Fido — not been to Prague, that city where St Charles Bridge pick-pockets attempt theft of the sweetest of American men. The stories Sandra makes are fiction, all deep in her head and wiggling off that occasionally cursed tongue — some distorted Deep South Version of Halo II Unplugged.

    May all your men friend’s toes be properly clipped, your mattress high in the air reaching for the stars, your mama in the bath tub getting cleaned, and may all the nights of your pillow for two or three or (dare I say) four, be appropiately fluffy.

  7. Dear Daughter, Stafford lies. I have many pictures (he refused to let me have that video) but I have film. He was in Prague, Thor and Vienna where he was employed for years. I sometimes doubt that he really worked for that major corporation that we will not mention here. (He likely was doing evil things) Even though he did have an impressive office there. My stories are not fiction, But I am Deep South unlike Charleston that is frankly pretty far North. What do you expect from a boy from Charleston whose good friend and schoolmate was Stephen Colbert. Naturally he will embellish the truth. How does he know about your dad and the pickpockets on St. Charles Bridge? Oh I remember he was trying to drown you on the river near the falls that I had advised you to not get in the boat with him because boys from Charleston are not good sailors. To quote dear StaffordL ‘ But I digress.”

  8. oh, oh a skirmish of the jolted memories…did he or didn’t she…

    Thank you Julia for the mini vacation. I needed it. I am looking around for my passport and alien registration card and seeing if I can scrape up enough Euros to rent a room and be able to ramble… I need to run away for a temporary respite…. I think alas, I have enough car fare to Darlington….sigh….


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