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Archive for the ‘Treks’ Category

War + Peace (in Hungary) > 2 Images

In About All Publications, About Image Works, Treks on 12/05/2012 at 03:17

There’s nothing quite like a private tour of the countryside.

It was May 2012, in the spring heat of Hungary. A local resident took me in his car…

First stop was Sümeg Castle, located in the town of Sümeg, Veszprém, Hungary. The castle sits atop a mountain called “Castle Hill”, about 20 miles north of Lake Balaton. Built in the 13th century by Béla Read the rest of this entry »

reconnecting with my senses in hévíz

In Blog Carnivals / Events, MicroMoment Videos, Treks on 03/10/2012 at 06:11

My memory of Hévíz—a Hungarian spa town—is a memory of sensation. My time there is sacred. It’s not a particularly “exciting” time; it’s a rejuvenating contemplative retreat more than anything. For close to a month, my routine consists of eating, walking, resting, sleeping, soaking in mineral hot springs, and receiving wellness treatments (massages, mud packs, etc.). For me, it is bliss. It’s the closest to I get to God.

On more than one occasion I’ve gone there to disconnect from life-as-I-know-it where I live; to disconnect from computers; phones; responsibilities. Solitude is available in large quantities. I slow down. I stop thinking. And when I stop thinking, I begin to sense life in and around me in ways I tend to overlook during the rest of  the year. What I find through disconnection is a reconnection with the language of my senses—and nature.

For example …

From my window each morning
I hear and see:

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From the cobblestone streets
I watch and listen:

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From the lake—a thermal lake—
I feel my skin enveloped in heat and liquid nutrition:

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I smell
sweetness in the earth; air; trees:

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Well … there’s earth, air, and trees in that video, but you can’t really smell them.
Perhaps one year I’ll capture the scent and share it here …

~

This post was prepared for:
Language > Place Blog Carnival #14:
Locating the Senses in Language / Place

‘Old Country’ Greetings

In MicroMoment Videos, Random Curiosities, Treks on 12/30/2011 at 21:06

Meeting relatives within walking distance of my paternal ancestors’ bones.

Translation aside, I have no idea what they’re saying… do you?

 KleinwarasdorfBurgenlandAustria

VisuaLiving > Festetics Castle Wedding

In Celebrations, Treks, VisuaLiving > Highlights on 12/05/2011 at 02:34

It’s funny, the memories that stick with us. For me, memories from a wedding I attended in Keszthely, Hungary have little to do with the castle it took place in, or the even the bride and groom (dare I say).  What I remember is the flower girl, the flow of her dress, and the light that made her glow like a light bulb as she left the castle to get on with her day . I also remember the man who wore traditional Hungarian boots. It actually wasn’t the man so much. It was more about what he had on his feet.  I thought, “How can I get a pair of those boots to take home with me on the plane?”

For full-sized images click the links:

Flower Girl  /  Hungarian Boots

VisuaLiving > 2 Views

In Treks, VisuaLiving > Highlights on 07/27/2011 at 03:52

It came together in a flash of inspiration when I had a list of other things to do…

I felt the urge, desire, to capture a memory, yet my attempts to contain it recalled the circularity of a familiar moment that changes hue.

The sunrise each day—in Hévíz, Hungary—would greet me with
variations on a particular sky view.

Below, two renditions—complete with visuals, words, and links to avian tunes:

View 1  /  View 2

VisuaLiving > Lukács 2

In Random Curiosities, Treks, VisuaLiving > Highlights on 06/29/2011 at 19:09

Another image of the Lukács Thermal Bath in Budapest.
The bigger, better view is over at my photo blog:

VisuaLiving > Lukács 2

~

History:

12th c:  monastery baths existed in this area
1880’s:  first spa hotel built
1937:  drinking cure hall added
1979:  daytime hospital established
end of 20th c:  spa thoroughly renovated and modernized
now: a popular meeting place for artists and writers

Treatments:

healing drinking cure
physiotherapy
mud packs
Finnish sauna
dry and steam sauna chambers
foot massage
underwater massage with water beam
refreshing massage
medical healing massage
carbonic acid tub bath
weight bath

~

Here’s a different view >  Lukács 1.

~

Have you been?

VisuaLiving > Lukács 1

In Random Curiosities, Treks, VisuaLiving > Highlights on 06/26/2011 at 18:32

Water!

Not just any water–thermal, medicinal, healing water.

Here’s the direct link, with more details and a larger image included:

VisualLiving > Lukács 1

~

Do you have water you’d describe in these terms?

If so, where?

> language > place blog carnival #7: oenisplx igrnimeeg spnimirt

In About All Publications, About Image Works, Blog Carnivals / Events, Treks on 06/24/2011 at 16:10

oenisplx / igrnimeeg / spnimirt is an asemic project I put together with Dorothee Lang.

It’s included in the language/place blog carnival #7–assembled by Julia Davies:
“unwritten language / unnamed place”.

A larger version of the asemic images appear in life as a journey >  the direct link is here.

~

The term ‘asemic’ is variously described as “post-literate”, “nonsensical”, “non-symbolic”. Like abstract art, asemic work promises viewers the opportunity to generate personal meanings from their own cultural and linguistic standpoints rather than having meanings imposed by writers and artists.

In keeping with the spirit of asemics, I won’t tell you the origin of the images. I certainly won’t reveal that the images began as photographs I took  inside the bathing complex that sits at atop the mineral-rich Hungarian Lake Hévíz–the largest thermal lake for swimming in Europe; the second largest in the world.

Something else I won’t reveal is the video below; that water in motion–a MicroMoment I captured on camera while standing inside the Hévíz Complex after a long afternoon of soaking:

Other things I promise to keep secret are the symbolic meanings in the title of the project. I won’t tell you the nonsensical three-part name carries the following interpretive content:

~

oenisplx = the letters of the word ‘explosion’
[explosion of energy that leads to the elements]

igrnimeeg = the letters of the word ‘emerging’
[life emerging, colors spilling into one another]

spnimirt = the letters of the word ‘imprints’
[dried out world, only imprints remaining]

~

Other collaborations with Dorothee Lang include: Induction/Deduction,  The White Squares, POP UP Poptagon, and Dealing with Family and Friends.

Gone Swimming

In Treks on 05/02/2011 at 14:33

Please feed the fish…

All you have to do is point your mouse at the tank,

and click click click click click …

Together @ The Quarter

In Treks on 12/19/2010 at 10:17

There I am, relaxing on pink, at Vienna’s Museum Quarter back in June 2010.
Dorothee Lang snapped the photo.
She captured Andy Warhol in the background watching over me …

Where Is Home? [4]

In Home Reflections, Treks on 12/14/2010 at 19:37

Home is the site of my ancestors’ bones …

Bubble Station

In MicroMoment Videos, Random Curiosities, Treks on 12/07/2010 at 17:25

Grab onto the railing…underwater massage
with jets in all directions. Thermal bubbles like this are
commonplace in Hungary. Hot springs in Canada
don’t feature these contraptions.

Wonder why that is?

Translation Treat(ment)

In Treks on 11/28/2010 at 18:10

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Hévíz, Zala, Hungary

More treatment translations here.

Prepared for Edition #2 of the BluePrint blog carnival >Language>Place.
It’s hosted by Hong Kong-based author and journalist Nicolette Wong.
The direct link to the carnival is here.

(Hungarian) sanitarium: just a moment

In About All Publications, About Image Works, About Word Works, Treks on 11/09/2010 at 21:05

A fresh word/image combo is live in ‘just a moment’–BluePrintReview’s companion blog that publishes ‘moments’ of various kinds on a rolling basis between regular issues.

Here’s the link:

(Hungarian) sanitarium / just  a moment

I took the photo poolside, penned those words, while keeping the company of
health tourists in Hévíz as I contemplated the meaning of life and gained perspective on
time and age.

~

Previous works that have appeared in ‘just a moment’ include olympic (dis)comfort zone and East Vancouver Detours. While you’re there, consider scrolling through the archive of literary news and slices of life expressed through words and images by a variety of international contributors.

Vespa

In MicroMoment Videos, Treks on 11/04/2010 at 07:08

This is the only traffic I encountered along the 5 km stretch of forest
that connects Hévíz to Keszthely, Hungary.

Before heading down the pathway, I asked a local woman:

Any wild animals that should concern me?

No, she said, then laughed, and looked at me funny.

~

For more on Hévíz, go herehere, and here.

(Banff) Hot Springs Testimonial

In MicroMoment Videos, Random Curiosities, Treks on 10/30/2010 at 20:57

Three words.

What’s amazing in your world?

Pilgrimage to Upper Hot Springs

In Treks on 10/29/2010 at 03:25

Crack of dawn, Canadian Thanksgiving,
westbound Trans-Canada Highway #1, from Calgary to Banff, Alberta.

Drawn to the light in the sky, to the Rockies,
to the sulphates & bicarbonates, calcium & magnesium
that fill the hot springs on Banff’s Sulphur Mountain.

Felt like bathing in a mythical world, a place that I dream of often…

Water: 37-40° C / 100-104° F

Only downside: no bubble station …

Tree Dwellers

In Blog Carnivals / Events, MicroMoment Videos, Treks on 09/28/2010 at 17:32

Trees, the forest, the view from my room in the Hungarian spa town of Hévíz.

Every day, for 21 straight, these birds broke my sleep at 4 in the morning.

Wonder what they’re saying…

~

Prepared for Festival of the Trees
a monthly blog carnival for all things arboreal.
Festival #52: Healthy Curiosity

Bird Song

In MicroMoment Videos, Random Curiosities, Treks on 09/18/2010 at 21:24

This bird sang for me on a May day in Hungary.

I was strolling streets aimlessly in the spa town of Hévíz.

Any idea what kind of bird this is?

Remembering August

In Blog Carnivals / Events, MicroMoment Videos, Treks on 09/14/2010 at 06:49

swimming sideways at harrison hot springs

a balmy august evening at 10 pm

 reverence / luminescence

waves of light

~

Prepared for Language/Place Blog Carnival #8: The Poetry of Place.
A few words from host Walter Bjorkman > here.

Lake Hévíz, Hungary: elimae

In About All Publications, About Image Works, MicroMoment Videos, Treks on 09/07/2010 at 03:28

Two photos of Hévíz, Hungary are featured in the September issue of elimae. I took the photos of the lake in broad daylight back in May–the water was warm; centigrade, about 33 degrees.

Here’s the link → Lake Hévíz, Hungary

And below, a MicroMoment I captured the same day:

In case you’re wondering, the correct pronunciation of elimae is el–ee-may. It stands for ‘electronic literary magazine’.  It’s been around since 1996, features creative writing and occasional images, boasts an elegant minimalist design, and is currently published under the joint editorship of Cooper Renner and Kim Chinquee in the U.S.

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dinner for 2 in Vacation town: BPR #25

In About All Publications, About Word Works, Treks on 08/24/2010 at 17:37

Sometimes I marvel at global connections:

I draft a poem in Hungary. Polish it in Canada. It’s accepted for publication in an international journal based in Germany. It appears alongside a photo by Claire Ibarra who splits time between  the USA and Peru.

Now, the poem and the photo it’s coupled with are digitally available around the world.

Here it is → dinner for 2 in Vacation town

And a link to the collection → BluePrintReview #25: the two² issue

The cast of geographically dispersed authors and artists in the issue includes:

Michael K. White, Marcia Arrieta, Ray Scanlon,
Michael Brandonisio,
Eckhard Gerdes, Molly Sutton Kiefer,
Linda Simoni-Wastila Z.Z. Boone, Changming Yuan, Kirsty Logan,
Michelle Elvy, Rose Hunter (+more), Kim Keith,
Susan Gibb (+more), satnrose, Jean Morris, bl pawelek
Sheldon Lee Compton, Smitha Murthy,
Jeff Crouch, Brad Rose, Steve Wing (+more),
Suzanne Marie Hopcroft, Tyler Cobb, Justin Kern
Karyn Eisler, Claire Ibarra (+more)

~

What kinds of connections inspire you?

Arctic (from) Air

In Random Curiosities, Treks on 08/19/2010 at 15:56

Always been curious about the High Arctic.
Hadn’t occurred to me I’d fly atop it on my journey to Europe.

After a nap, I look out the window–ice floes everywhere.
Baffin Island. Baffin Bay. Greenland. Norwegian Sea.

In-flight TV monitor reads:
Minus 86 degrees celsius at over 35,000 feet.

Go here for more on Flight 493.

July Sunset

In Treks on 07/28/2010 at 20:41

I look in awe at my surroundings,

move my head to the left, and see a man with a shovel:

“What’s with that?”  I wonder.

Mountainside Mineral Escape

In Treks on 07/24/2010 at 15:35

Mountainside, yes. There’s a blue lake, too, on the other side of the windows and loungers and mineral-rich thermal spring pool.

There’s no question about it: I’m a ‘spa culture’ aficionado. I love massages and mud packs and anything else that might fall under the banner of ‘leisurely wellness’. A critical part of the equation for me is spending time soaking in thermal baths–commonly referred to as ‘healing waters’. Many stunning examples are found in Budapest–the (un)official ‘spa capital of the world’. The city’s thermal baths are featured in a video I posted recently here.

Having spent a full month in the hot springs of Hungary, I found myself missing my daily soaks. To remedy my mourning I took a look around to see what kinds of thermal waters flow through cracks in the earth’s crust closer to home. The photo above is one example of a B.C. public mineral pool. It’s located in the village of Harrison Hot Springs–just a 90-minute drive from the heart of Vancouver. I hopped in the car, made the trek the other day, claimed a lounge chair by the window, then soaked and relaxed the hours away.

Water temperature at source: a scorching 62.8°C / 145°F.
Water temperature in pool, cooled: a soothing 38ºC / 100°F.

While soaking, I met some Vancouver regulars who make the pilgrimage every week. A woman I spoke with told me her weekly visits have been part of her schedule for the past three years; a man I talked to said these waters have been a weekly habit for the past fifteen.

And a question:

In your part of the world, are there hot springs where you like to soak?

Post-Vacation Blue

In Treks on 06/08/2010 at 06:39

The music in the video conjures the feeling.

The images, but a morsel of the sights and experiences I am missing …

I am dreaming:

My luggage, still brimming, I hop in a taxicab, go back to the airport, and in less than a day, arrive back in Hungary, float in thermal waters, breathe the sweet air,
and stay, this time, forever …

Good-Bye Vancouver

In Treks on 05/07/2010 at 06:13

Vancouver, as much as I love you,

I’ve got places to see and things to do …

But if time moves as quickly as the clouds in this video,

I’ll be back for you — or anyone else — can say: Read the rest of this entry »

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