Absolutely random picture to test a camera. The little bastard works. Will have to take a bunch of photos in Zagreb, Sarajevo, and Belgrade.
I have become a tacky photographer: Flowers in front of the Croatian People's Theater in Zagreb. Well, at least I take pictures now. Four years ago I took a camera to Anchorage, Alaska, took one photo to see that the camera worked--and it was a picture of my randomly tossed sock on the floor. I went into the mountains, beheld incredible beauties of nature, and didn't want to be distracted by the damned camera, and so in two weeks, all I had was the image of my sock in the camera. I do miss my sock, but not enough to look for it in the camera as I also miss the lost camera. Anyhow, in some ways, I am improving, but I am becoming decidedly tacky.
A tree growing from the roof of this abandoned house in Zagreb.
Victim of global warming, February 26, 17C in Zagreb: nobody wants his beautiful wood, which he is selling from his truck.
My friends in front of the bookbinder's shop.
A blind calico getting as close to the sunlight as possible.
A view from my temporary window (it's temporarily mine but if this kind of history is to be a guide, maybe it's a temporary window)--bullet holes.
House of my birth, Ive Lole Ribara 31, Daruvar. The street is now Masarykova and the house number is the same. I was born in a dark room in the back of the house and lived there till the age of 3. I remember the dank darkness and piles of wood in the yard, and two horses which nearly trampled me down in the passageway, etc. Actually, my brother, 16-years older than I, tells me I was born in the front room on the left, where the window is lit.
This is the worktable where my father carved wooden soles for clogs when I was a kid; the table, Hobelank, as he called it, is a decade older than me.
The huge gingko in front of castle school. . . as boys we used to climb the tree all over it, forgetting to return to the lessons after long breaks.
Old post office in Daruvar from which I mailed thousands of letters.
Veljko is explaining how the logos of our parallel universe sucks.
If Hegel had preferred wine to beer, maybe we wouldn't be here.
My old friend and poet Damir Zacskai has become a Pan.
Dead parents and two sisters. The sisters died years before my birth but I always wondered who they were and who they would be if they hadn't been killed by absence of medicine, or, in the case of Ljerka, by American experimental medicine, an overdose. 81 kids in Yugoslavia died from it and she was one of them.
The passenger trains rarely run now, but these are the rails that led me astray into the world. And probably the deportation of Daruvar Jews south to Jasenovac and north to Auschwitz took place here.
Mighty beeches on the way to the Jewish cemetery in Daruvar--some of them take two men to encircle in an embrace.
I've spent a couple of hours here, with songbirds and crows.
Chicken of the woods near Daruvarsko Zidovsko Groblje.
Miles and miles of sugar beets in full bloom beyond my neighbor on the bus to Belgrade, who turned out to be from my old hometown. I posted this picture about a year ago, and unfortunately, I have new words to add to it. Last year around this time I met Sandra on the bus from Zagreb to Belgrade. She was in a sunny mood, and sugar beets in bloom appeared in her background, and then when the bus stopped for a break and we walked out into the beet fields she said it was a beautiful moment, maybe it would never be that beautiful again. I was puzzled, and didn't know what she meant. I never saw her again, although we had planned to meet up at her favorite fish restaurant in old Belgrade. It rained during my entire stay in Belgrade, and the beet fields were flooded and wilted on my way back. So it was only one ephemeral vision, too good to be true, or too true to bode good. She died of cancer a few days ago. She had dreamed of opening an herbs store in Istria, to cure maladies which doctors could not.
Two musicians singing old Vojvodina songs for their daily Fanta, on the street of Knez Mihajlov, in Belgrade.
Sasha is pondering how you translate exotic grasses from the island of Hvar into English.
The accordion player is doing his best to depress us. He is not even asking for money.
The flowers are peeking into the Fountain Square where anti-Milosevic rallies had taken place a long time ago. What and against whom should we protest now, they ask.
More sugar beets, on a rainy day.
I've given my camera away, so I took no pictures in Sweden. I didn't want to be distracted by thinking of images.
As my friend Robert Appelbaum and I sat at the banks of the river Fyris in Uppsala, admiring the composition of old buildings and their colors, he said, There's no ugliness here.
Yes, but Bergmann filmed Fanny and Alexander here, I said. Isn't that troubling?
No, not at all, he said. I grew up in Chicago and it took me 23 years to get to a spot like this. In Paris I sat near the river and looked across at wonderfully harmonious old architecture, and that was it for me. Adios America!
You don't miss America?
Not at all.