Sunday, September 25, 2011


So far it has been almost one month we are here in Midwest of the USA. Iowa City says me every day, welcome, Milena, I still feel here welcome and happy to be here, well, one month!
What a change after Berlin... I cannot imagine the change after Bejing - I must ask my Chinese friend Yueran, how is it for her?? This is really a small city BUT with a power of writing´s potential in itsself . IS unique, we are lucky here to be a part of the center of it and to have access to the beautiful outstandings possiblities and to write!
I have just learned - think local, move local, see local, meet friends local, shop local, read local!
I am in the SANATORIUM! I cure my soul.
For me it is an important time to heal here - to say to write and concentrate on the inner creative soul.
Thanks for the regimen.
We are a group of writers, we see each other everyday, we meet / encounter each other passionately everyday, love is in the air or in the stars*** (far away are the stars...) we dinner or at least we drink together in the evening, there isn´t day when we don´t see each other, we must take care of each other, we love, the whole group. And if we don´t see anyone we miss him/her, so far my feeling about some in the group. 


Oh, those oh-so-emotional emotions. Oh, oceans of emotional emotions. If it's emotions that are moving us well, don't panic, you are not alone.
Instead, lie back, look up at the sky, there is a sunny Indian - summer- day, put your arms behind your head, and float, float, float, letting the rise and fall of feelings buoy and sink beneath you. Ah! All we write down what we feel now... we have time for our feelings, beautiful here!
I am likely to be the patient in my sanatorium.
Writing in a place you enjoy can be like soaking up the sun before you dive into the cold waters of a mountain lake. The comfort of the place can make you feel less alone and help tease those first words onto the pages you start in the new place. I am full of the stories and words so I think I will overcome the first writing - difficulties. To write requires faith in yourself. Requires that you say no to others "normal" life. That you believe you are worth standing up for, when deep down you would like nothing more than to walk off into the sunset, to a different life and into the arms of a new and more comfortable self!!
Everyone has his issue to write about, everyone deals with it every day and everyone feels here some pain. We are writers and writers must suffer and create from the suffer. Good to suffer. We nurture our souls every day with a pain and happiness in our daily solitude. We cannot ease the isolation we have chosen for ever!
And here is such a quiet healing atmosphere. Nothing disturbs me like in Berlin, attempts to say yes to the wild nights of Berlin! That´s why it reminds of a sanatorium?
As I described our hotel is a patient´s residency and outside the city is just a holy extension of our sanatorium. Remarkable is the FIRE ALARM which has already been set 4x in this week!! It´s apparently defect and just in one week so much stress, in the early morning FALSE ALARM of the fire. I start to believe in the THEORY OF CONSPIRACY in the USA! Every day early in the morning they want that we run out take laptops, passports, the most important things and wait outside in the cold weather - I am sure there the authorities they don´t like the writers! We just hope there won´t be a fire for the 5th times and everybody in his room... nobody trusts now the alarm. Love the writers - keep them in peace!
Anyway, how noisy is this small city, the trucks make a horrible noise, the train which cross the river near this hotel makes noise - reminds me again the movie Mystery train, the workers start to work at 11 pm very loudly in front of the hotel etc... there is never quiet in that small city!!
There are always some adventures for us in the US!

 We get every morning (as patients) a meal, vitamins, sitting in the breakfast-room makes fun, the low and loud buzz of talk around me, the click and clatter of cups, the toast´s smell, bagels and peanut butter, the American coffee which I must indulge, there is no oven to make a right Italian coffee - I brought the Italian cane, there is just a microwave in our rooms, so our meals are done in the microwave if we really don´t want to go out. We do! Nell, a friend of mine tried to make "smashed eggs" in the microwave, not successful! For the lunch I usually buy a fresh, in front of me made sushi, almost every day. What a nice habit.
We have almost every day a schedule to follow; we also have free hours for a writing and what my inner doctor ordered: work work work and live! In the evening we go out, to play each other which happens differently, as a group or solitary - self -abandonment, out of habit or frustration. Everyone want to streamline his life.

We walk normally in the circles. I meet the same people. But still get to know some new as a miracle. I believe in the miracles! I see the same pictures of the city. My eyes are used to see always the changing scenery from Berlin. The same pictures I bear in my eyes, daily change people/students I walk through the streets but also not such a great change, they all wear the same t-shirts, shorts with the label IOWA, which looks nice and even shows their love & belongings to IOWA... what a honest nation of Iowans. (Just for the creative eye boring to see always the same... it smashes like the eggs in the microwave.)

 OLD CAPITOL... lovely sitting here in the days like now - sunny sunny and still warm weather!

The streets are all the same. For me it was quite hard to orientate here. Even if it seems to be simpel. For me wasn´t. Ok. There was said: The starting point for all of Iowa City is the corner of Iowa Avenue and Clinton Street. Adresses increase in number outward from here. The numbers are on both South and East sides of the steet, while odd numbers are on both the North and West sides of the street, I can orientate now. It took me a while to understand this small but somehow too city in the architecture, so simple that I feel lost. I got to know Berlin quicklier than here. The numbers and the names of the streets mixed up with the history of all the presidents of the USA was always very difficult to learn them by heart. And here are in one cube of the city. Jefferson, Washington, Clinton, Governor etc. ....  some simple shopping malls but 4!

The walking around the city isn´t for a leg-stretch, it´s a small tour but at every corner you can PLAY A PIANO!! Yes, there are pianos in the city outside and musicians play, unfortunately I forgot everything how to play reasonable...  I have already met some interesting musician here like Jaison, Henry, Bina, or Chase Garett who told me, he is going to have a concert in the Carnegie Hall 2013 in NYC. - Those pianos are not supposed to be serious instruments, they are not in tunes - anyway every piece of music the musicians play in the street is fun and technically challenging to play. Talents playing here are worth seeing as Chase Garett. The impressive way his hands fly up and down the keys with precision and force outside in the plain air!! I love it!
So I meet in my sanatorium also another artists.
Around are big books so you can read in them as scupltor, not very artistic but smart and clear image of this UNESCO city of LITERATURE.

The area I am concentrated on calls the MARKET Street: One Cofee Shop - T-Spoons, opposite is a wonderfull book store: Haunted Bookshop, where I am going to have a reading Oct. 14th, further go to eat cheap & ok by the Mexican´s or to shop  in the wonderful second hand craftarts shop for some winter-clothes or just some nice stuff, for a grocery shop I continue to the Jack´s and already is an evening!! Back on the Market street to the Iowa House or  to stay and just cross the street are two bars. 
Voilà most of us continue on meeting at the bar George´s or at the Foxhead. The Foxhead has been till now our favorite bar where we always met to discus our clinical topics we write or think about. There we meet mostly another graduated students or undergraduated in writings workshops, or just people who once wrote or just write passionely or just as a hobby, as a lost hope to be a good writer. They started here once... Well, to be a write is a tough job, you must deal with the solitude and with the concentration on your soul and head to put it raisonable together. 
But now I already know where I am and where I want to go, every day. I am almost familiar with the city, with my daily circle. With my promenade in the crowd of the "similar" iowa- students in gold and black -  the Hawkeyes! Keep their interest up and give them support with the call: Hawk, like the origin-people the Indians, or not? Or just the birds!?

The "landscape" of the city doesn´t change, I must change inside.. I must have full life inside of me.
Slowly I know my sanatorium, I would like to travel, to go out of the city to change the scenery, some pleasant variations of this grand circle of the city I cannot afford. I don´t have a car to move... I cannot get to know the outer circle of IOWA. But soon!
Just sit back, close the eyes and take a few deep breaths, inhalling completely and releasing the tension as you exhale. Create the optimal conditions for you! It cannot be forced. Sure, it depends upon the quality of the air you breath, you cannot be always in control of the chemistry of the atmosphere that "surrounds" us... 

Fill your head with culture today - I say everyday and there is a quite everyday some culture on the program I try to consider that demad also here, in Berlin was it easier even too much! The more people appreciate it here, in Berlin it´s just one of ...
I went to the reading of the Russian poet: ILYA KAMINSKY!! What wonder-ful poet!! Trully a great poetry, I love it so much! (
He spent a week in Iowa city presenting lectures and discussing such topics as translation and international literature. He asked me how are the best Czech & German poets!! Who put such a questions? Only a humble great poet. Ilya has been deaf since the age of 4, has been recongniszed by many organisations for accomplishments in his two volumes of poetry. He lives in San Diego and teaches creative writing, outside of his writing *career, is he cofounder of Poets for Peace, organisations that supports such programs as Doctors without Boarders and Survivors international!

Then all the participants are also a part of the culture here, pannels readings, the readings in the book store Prairie Lights Bookstore or in Shabaugh House.

With the Iowan Henry in the Prairie Lights... with a book from the wonderful U.S. Poet, very ill, Dean Young: SKID.
 I have already met here some interesting people - authors, translators who held the readings here, coming from other states!

And another cultural event is ahead: A TRIP to my beloved SAN FRANCISCO! the cure continues...
The autumn is still warm smart chilly in the night... this is the 23rd Sept. With love...on the way...

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