- Space (“You can’t become playful, and therefore creative, if you’re under your usual pressures.”)
- Time (“It’s not enough to create space; you have to create your space for a specific period of time.”)
- Time (“Giving your mind as long as possible to come up with something original,” and learning to tolerate the discomfort of pondering time and indecision.)
- Confidence (“Nothing will stop you being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake.”)
- Humor (“The main evolutionary significance of humor is that it gets us from the closed mode to the open mode quicker than anything else.”)
- Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
- Submissive to everything, open, listening
- Try never get drunk outside yr own house
- Be in love with yr life
- Something that you feel will find its own form
- Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
- Blow as deep as you want to blow
- Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
Lugano is a hilly city on the coast of a big lake in southern Switzerland where language, architecture, and food are greatly influenced by Italy, which it borders. Shielded by the Alps, the climate there is much milder than the blustery Switzerland I’ve gotten used to, and when we awoke in our hotel the next morning we were greeted with sunshine and relative warmth, as promised by Lori, our boss.
Then, in summary:
A long walk to dinner at a traditional Ticinese resto tucked away from the Luganian bustle.
Bomb spare ribs, okay pasta, local wine, and the promise to reunite there in 10 years.
A tepid attempt at partying all night ($19 vodka cranberries will keep a girl sober.ish.)
A long uphill journey back to the hostel.
A rude awakening by the deep rumblings of flatulence by some guy in our dorm.
Sunday graced us with more perfect weather. We soaked it in as we ambled along the lake following the Olive Grove Trail, dotted with ancient olive trees. After about eight miles of walking round-trip, we gave our legs a rest on the red benches of Lugano Park, where the people- and bird-watching is top-notch. Sabio noted, quite aptly, that the majority of park-goers had one, if not all, of these three things: a small dog, a child, or really, really expensive clothes.
The ICON Interns found a good deal on train tickets to Munich, Germany, so we took a day trip on Saturday.
The Frauenkirk, where you’ll find the Devil’s Footstep
The Toy Museum
On Sunday, my roommates Kat & Bianca and I took the train to Wassarauen to hike up Ebenalp, the Northernmost peak of the Appenzell Alps. The ascent proved difficult without snowshoes and hiking poles, but we put in a solid effort and made it halfway up before saying fuckit, hiking down, and taking the cable car all the way back up. The view was glorious but the air was so cold it hurt, so we sought refuge in a resto at the summit. We soaked in the grandeur sheltered from the wind, sipping hot chocolate, and scarfing down Appenzell mac & cheese (Kraft would die of embarrassment here). Seeing things from high up is sobering – the panoramic view of the Alps, down to the rolling hills of Switzerland, Austria, and Germany bordering Lake Constance got me thinking about the scale of things and how I truly fit amid it all.
Being in Switzerland in December is like being in a snow globe. These people really know Noël. Like, it’s where Martha Stewart comes for decorating inspiration. No blow-up Kris Kringles here. No mechanized, jerkily nodding light-up reindeer littering the lawns. Yes to windowsill displays of fir boughs, candles, and wooden carvings of stars. Yes to white lights only. And yes to waves of comfort and joy, and Christmas with class. On a recent walk through the the hills of my neighborhood, I came upon a pile of recently felled trees. Inspired by the understated decorations that surround, I pulled out my ever-so-handy Leatherman keychain and collected a bunch of branches to liven up my accommodations. It’s amazing how bringing a little bit of the outside in enhanced my space, as well as my mood.
I have loved pussy willows since I was a lil tyke. No substitute for Looshkin, but at least these little guys won’t wake me up with the sound of crushing rodent skulls.
Any serious grocery shopping requires a train trip to St. Gallen, where you’ll find Migros, the Meijer of Switzerland. The Denner, the only local alternative, is okay if you don’t need anything more complicated than clementines and toothpaste. And as far as convenience goes, The Denner wins hands down. Despite it’s meager selection of goods, I certainly take advantage… like, almost almost every day. I go partly out of necessity, mostly for recreation. In case you couldn’t tell, this was the haul from a Migros trip. And those are the Daniels, two of my fellow interns.
Afternoon walk through the neighborhood mist
Mountains in the clouds
Morning sun makes brilliant hills