solitary_summer: (Default)
*sigh* I tried to put nailpolish on my toenails, but immediately realised that the last thing my feet needed was anything drawing attention to them. Now I've got ugly violet stains there that I can't get entirely rid off. I obviously suck at all things female.

Pessoa's Buch der Unruhe is one of the books I took along but didn't read, but '[...] meine Autobiographie ohne Fakten, meine Geschichte ohne Leben' - I'm somewhat tempted to make that the title of my journal if it weren't too depressing; it's so fitting.

The possibility of reincarnation scares me.

. o O o .

Vacation so far has been a bit of a failure. )

. o O o .

Yesterday, four hour drive home from a cool Salzburg morning to sultry 30+ degree Vienna, dentist appointment (thankfully uneventful), laundry, crashed in front of the tv, tried to catch up with the internet.

Today, IKEA with my sister and niece, and if I ever needed confirmation that I'd not be suited to be a mother... Not that I don't love my niece, because I do, but I don't think I'd be able to deal with a child 24/7.

And now it's 22:30, I haven't packed anything, and I must leave before 8.00 tomorrow. Somehow I'd thought it was later.


*rushes off*

*comes back to edit*

*rushes off again*

solitary_summer: (moon (© clive barker))

Picture spam. Because I can, and because even when I spent two weeks mostly frustrated & depressed, part of me loves this place so much that it's almost a physical ache to leave...

solitary_summer: (cat (© clive barker))

Holiday, pt. 2

[ more pictures here ]

To sum up, and contrary to the evidence of the picture above, it rained. A lot.

In slightly more detail, I arrived in Maishofen. It started to rain. And went on raining. Thursday it finally cleared up and I managed a hiking tour, which was mostly pretty, but where I found out that despite the morning runs my form is still? again? sadly lacking. (Yes, it was kind of steep, and also a few days before my period started, but still...) Also, I need to do something against my cow-phobia. Saturday It started to rain again, and that pretty much was it. So it didn't really matter all that much that - Tuesday, I think - I ran against the door-frame and bruised and maybe, but probably not, slightly cracked my little toe. Trip to the hospital, X-ray, which at least killed an hour or so. Couple of days of hopping around, which was less than amusing. Saturday before I left if finally cleared up again, but by then I still couldn't wear my hiking boots without the toe hurting. Sat on the balcony in the evening with a glass of wine, watching first dusk fall, and then a thunderstorm approaching from the west, lightning flashing over the mountains... which was pretty much the only time I felt truly relaxed and almost happy.

And yes, I do realise that it's horribly self-indulgent and petty to whine about such minor irritations when a couple of hundred kilometers further west streets and houses were swept away by flooding and land-slides.

So what I did was try to at least get out on the bike for a couple of hours each day when/if the rain stopped, and read. A lot. Tolstoi's War and Peace, which for the greater part I liked very much. My only (very minor) issue is with the second part, where occasionally he gets a little too long-windedly didactic in his theoretical historic passages for my taste. The problem, I guess, is whereas his historic approach was probably ground-breaking and new when he wrote the novel, it is rather less so a century and a half's worth of historical and sociological theories later, and you occasionally get a little exasperated, when what you already understood and found interesting the first, second and third time, is explained over and over again. And there's the occasional over-dose of patriotism and partiality for Kutusow... Also while you get to like the characters so much you want them to be happy, the epilogue with everyone happily married and I don't know many children is a little too sweet for my taste, but, again, minor irritations. Great writing, great characters throughout, loved it. Cried through Andrej's death; he's perhaps the character I liked best, always searching for something...something more, something beyond, and never quite reaching it, never really finding peace, only in the end, 'waking up from life'.

Finished Dostojewski's Crime and Punishment this time, and was very impressed with it. The first time I got stuck somewhere around Marmeladow's death, because between the endless, all-pervading misery, the apparently pointless murder and Raskolnikow's constant mood-swings and near-hysteria, I found it rather tiring to read, but once Raskolnikow's motif is explained it and his true tragedy becomes apparent, that it is not remorse for the murder that tortures him, but the fact that he fell short of his own standards because he could not coldly commit and bear the murder that was supposed to prove him one of the few, great people set apart from the masses who for the good of humankind in his opinion are above rules, conventions and laws. The problem of course is that partly he is right, because history has double standards and allows people to spill a lot of blood and will still call them great, but the sheer arrogance of deciding that he is one of these people and committing a murder almost exclusively with the purpose of proving this is breathtaking, as is the hurt pride in the self-disgust at having failed. (It is rather symptomatic that he's convinced that his sister is willing to martyr herself for him, but when she does appear in person it turns out she's not quite the self-sacrificing suffering saint, but a woman with a brain, personality and standards, who's in fact perfectly capable of weighing her options and making decisions for her life.)

Somehow, this novel and Raskolnikow's character seem to be almost prophetic for a good part of the 20th century...

Aber wenn du Blutvergießen aus Gewissen erlaubst, so ist das entsetzlicher als eine offizielle, sanktionierte Erlaubnis zum Morden...

I can't put it into wordes, but there's something about both novels, the sheer scope and depth of emotions, the subjects adressed, that is... TM's 'heilige russische Literatur' makes a lot of sense.

Also read Gogol's Dead Souls, which was a good, amusing read, but I do hate unfinished WIPs, so it's probably a good thing I didn't know that when I bought it...

Barbara Nadel, Belsazar's Tochter and Ake Edwardson, Der Himmel auf Erden, because they were on sale and you can't read Russian classics all the time.

Re-read a good part of TM's Doktor Faustus, still/again very much intrigued & noticed that TM is the first author in a long time whose books I actually re-read.

Gave up on Josef Winkler (too depressing) and Amos Oz (just couldn't get into it).
solitary_summer: (Default)

[typed and edited 10-09-2003]

8:30 [? might have been a bit earlier] Saalfelden (Einsiedelei)
10:00 Peter Wiechenthaler Hütte (1.707 m)
(short lunch break)
14:00 Riemannhaus (2.177 m)
(another short break)
17.15 back at the car, somewhat stumbling with fatigue. Or would have been, except for the hiking poles, which are the best invention since, well, ever for walking downhill.

Beautiful, especially the first part of the hike; the part on the plateau itself between the Weissbachscharte and the Riemannhaus was a bit tiring; though I like the Steinerne Meer, its bleak, forbidding aspect, grey with only the occasional veins of brick red, violet or yellow running through the stone across one's path, those limestone rocks are not exactly ideal for hiking. The last part down from the Riemannhaus was annoyingly overcrowded and not really worth mentioning, except when one turned around and looked up at the mountains, a rather spectacular view.

I took so many books on this vacation, but actually read almost nothing worth mentioning. Indulged my fantasy loving side with R. Pinto's 'The Standing Dead', skipping back and forth, unsure whether to bother finishing it at all, but ended up reading most of it. He certainly has a fondness for gruesome details, but it's refreshing to read a fantasy novel where the author at least has a realistic view of the type of society he bases his world on. Nothing more annoying than those writers who only have the sketchiest historical knowledge or concept of different societies functioning in widly different ways and end up with some nauseatingly cloying mixture of the (alleged) romance of feudalism and the political correctness of late 20th century democratic ideals.

And while I do have a very un-intellectual love for sappy happy endings, I have even more respect for an author (especially in this genre), who sacrifices a potential happy ending in favour of realism and character development.
solitary_summer: (Default)

[typed and edited 10-09-2003]

Finished re-reading Tania Blixen's 'Out of Africa', wondering whether the version I had before might have been an abridged one. 'Shadows on the Grass' certainly hadn't been included, but even from the rest I remember some passages quite clearly, others not at all.

I'm maybe not quite as struck with it as I was when I read it the first time six or more years ago, but I still find the narrative style rather appealing. Vivid, a curious mixture of poetry, human understanding and humour - the ability not to take herself too serious, which takes the sting out of some passages that could be considered less than politically correct from today's perspective. Very straightforward, often tinged with the wildness, even unconscious brutality of someone living in close touch with nature, not separated or protected from her.

Emotional, too, in a very understated way, one can feel her intense love for the place and the farm, more so because the style itself is very clear and unostentatious, entirely lacking in drama. But her grief at having to give up the farm is just so blatant; I was on the verge of tears during most of the later chapters.

Is it the full moon that makes me so... irritable, discontent, or PMS?

The loneliness is oppressive, random sounds of other people going about their lives, disconnected from them.

I need someone to talk to, a random chat would do, but what I really want is a meaningful, inspiring conversation, an exchange of ideas.

Words dry up for lack of use, I guess thoughts will too, sooner or later.

It's a decline in every respect and I'm not strong enough to oppose it.

It's a frightening realisation that it's the internet that I mostly use as a voyeur (er, lurker) and the random talk at work that keeps the despair at bay that regularly catches up with me here.

Too tired to concentrate on anything, too restless to sleep.

In the evening all my determination and resolutions drain away, too weak to last with nothing to fuel them, leaving me hopeless and stranded.

Waiting for the moon to rise I saw two falling stars, the first one small and far away, the second a few minutes later, very bright, almost a confirmation.

Make a wish?


A hint of what I might see if I only dared look outside, away from the surrounding walls.
solitary_summer: (Default)

[typed and edited 10-08-2003]

Hiking tour, take two.
Ingolstädter Haus via Diessbachsteig (4 3/4 hrs), back via Weissbach.

Pretty, but hot even up there, unless the wind was blowing.

It was kind of impressive, especially the part where the path climbs up to the plateau at the end of the valley, but I won't remember it the way I remember my tour from last summer, where I met practically no one all day. That had been mine, a private experience, only I had see the clouds pulling away from the mountains just like that... Today - the same path, the same view for all the people who went up there, nothing all that special. But what with the heat and my lack of physical fitness I didn't really dare chose such an obscure path.

I actually bought soup and something to drink at the hut, something of a progress in socialisation for me. And hitched a ride for the last part of the way down.

The new socks apparently messed with my hiking boots, both achilles tendons hurt, especially (and sometimes quite badly) when there was pressure both from the side and back. Never had this problem before, but there's just no way I'm giving up twice on the same hiking tour.

I generally like hiking, but at one point between the sun beating down and me trying not to strain my feet the wrong way, sweat and sunscreen dripping down my face, worrying about getting sunburned to boot, part of me was really asking why I keep doing this...

Except that I hated to find out how truly unfit I'd become... That my body isn't really up to such rather average exertions bothers me more than the few extra kilos. I seriously need to get a little more exercise during the year; I'm not 20 any more...

Sat on the balcony in the evening, watching the moon come up from behind the mountains... full moon, turning the feathery clouds into dark continents and islands with bright shores.

Sound of the bell of a cow grazing, cicadas, train in the distance. Still very warm - sitting outside at 11 pm with only a t-shirt, not feeling even remotely chilly.

Not a breeze stirring.
solitary_summer: (Default)

[typed and edited 10-08-2003]

Waste of paper/webspace to even write this down.

In default of anyone else I didn't want to bother I called my mother yesterday, and because 'I'm lonely' sounds pathetic even to me, I mostly bitched about the heat and the aborted hiking tour.

I hate the way my life is subjected to the constraints of work time, meaning that these two weeks filled with whining about the heat are all the holiday I'll be getting until next year.

Slept early, full of strange dreams. A desert scene so brilliantly hot that the white sand was scintillating in shades of blue and violet.
A three legged baby elephant.

The heat must be good for spiders, if nothing & no one else; there are cobwebs everywhere on the balcony. The telephone booth I used yesterday could have been in the early scenes of any given spider horror movie. Good thing I don't have a phobia...

There have been clouds all day, dauntingly drawing together and dispersing again, no rain to speak of, but a bit of a thunderstorm further north and south. The wind picked up, rustling through the trees, rippling the long grass on the meadows like waves, like water; But only a few drops of rain and a curtain of clouds hanging low, concealing the northern mountain range for a moment before moving on again.

Still, on a psychological level it was a relief even so.

Rosy sky, a refreshing breeze, a welcome change from the evenings that are only a tired end to a heat stunned day.

There's a bee drinking from the nectarine juice I spilled on the balcony floor earlier, always flying away & returning again. Can't wipe it up yet...
solitary_summer: (Default)

[typed and edited 10-08-2003]

Er. Hiking tour, take one.

:: facepalm :: This is depressing, not to mention incredibly embarrassing.

The usual routine, get up at 6 am (vacation? what vacation?) leave at 7. Started out from Weissbach at 7:30, not quite where I intended, but never mind that for the moment, managed to take the wrong direction at a crossroad quite early, but didn't notice my mistake until the forest road that had looked really inviting ended absolutely nowhere. I had to go back all the way and lost almost two hours only to end up barely 200 m higher than where I 'd started, at 10 am, the day already starting to grow hot, so angry with myself I could have cried.

Part of me would have liked to return home at once, but I forced myself to go as far as the Diessbachstausee at least, the Ingolstädterhaus of course being out of question at this point. Self-punishment, more than anything.

Pretty, but kind of pointless (my standards for hiking tours are if it's not 2000+ m, it's just not worth bothering), but then so are the biking tours, by now.

Another day like this and I'm either leaving or killing myself. Kidding, mostly.

Finished the HP books, and please JKR, enough with the ... . I'm using them too often myself, when I'm too lazy to finish a sentence or thought, but that is some serious overkill there.

There might be a thunderstorm.


It's such a thin line between the normal functioning me (or what passes for that) and the meaninglessness and resignation. So easily crossed, stumbled across.

The evenings are worst - want someone to talk to, alone I'm nothing.

solitary_summer: (Default)

[typed and edited 10-08-2003]

It fast becomes routine to get up early and go biking for a couple of hours and then hole myself up for the rest of the day. Not the best way to spend a vacation, but I can't tolerate the heat at all; I find it oppressive on a psychological level even more than on the physical, which is bad enough already.

Set out at 7 am today, biked to Krimml (only as far as the train station, to be precise), took me only 4 hrs with a good bike - I seem to remember it took us rather longer when I did this tour with my sister several years ago. Going west, sun in my back most of the time, so at least I didn't have to worry too much about getting sunburned, what with the sweat & sunscreen running down my face.

Took the train back.

I'll give hiking a try tomorrow or the day after, if it's at all possible for me to get up to 2000 m without collapsing.

Evenings are... not good. Yesterday, tired, but tossing in bed, unable to sleep, the isolation eating at me. It's not as if I talk much to people on the internet, but the illusion of someone being there seems to be enough...

If the weather continues like this and real hiking tours should turn out to be out of question I might be returning home earlier than planned...
solitary_summer: (Default)

[typed and edited 10-08-2003]

Dark yellow half moon - does this mean the weather is going to change? There was a little rain shower earlier...

The loneliness is catching up with me.

I hate my body, my lack of self-discipline. Too self conscious to put on a swimsuit.

Somehow what little self-confidence I had recently, all the determination to do things, are seeping away, I feel like hiding. Again.

Sat on the balcony for at least half an hour, watching the lightning flash across the night sky non-stop, picking out the shapes of the clouds and mountains in stark silhouette. Always several bolts of lightning almost simultaneously, and it still went on after I'd gone inside, though slightly less intensely. An amazing spectacle, ever seen anything like it before...

Only a muted roll of thunder from the distance and no more rain, but at least the wind picked up a bit.
solitary_summer: (Default)

[typed and edited 10-08-2003]

God, it's hot. Last year the rain kept me indoors for days, looks like it's going to be the heat this year.

Went biking in the direction of Hochfilzen around noon after I'd got the bike fixed - most definitely not a good idea; didn't quite make it, too steep for the last few km, too hot, and I'm neither ambitious not masochistic enough. Very little shade for the last 10 km or so on my way back home, only the early afternoon sun beating down - might have got a slight heat stroke, started feeling nauseous and dizzy, ready to collapse.

No way I'm going to do any serious hiking as long as it's that hot; rather go biking for a couple of hours in the morning and/or evening and stay in otherwise.

Yesterday passed in a haze, got up at 4 am, left at 6, arrived in Salzburg at 9:30, stopped at the parents' for half an hour and arrived here at noon.

Slept through the afternoon, totally disorientated.

Re-reading the HP books, because at the moment my brain doesn't seem to be able to cope with anything more intellectual.

On the whole I'm feeling slightly more balanced than last year, though I'm still feeling the isolation in a place with neither internet access or a phone.


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