A Return to Dresden

There is often a lot in life which could be complained about.  Sometimes it is too hot, sometimes too cold; sometimes the neighbors are loud, or they are complaining about you being loud…how dare they.

Although there may be a lot which could be complained about, one need not always complain…sometimes inconveniences help enhance rewards.  Such was the case during my second trip to Dresden.

After a sobering 6-hour train ride from Munich, I could have complained about many things.  The journey was mostly on a regional train, for example, instead of a fast and comfortable IC Express train.  It was cold…in single digits.  It was snowing…and my rolling suitcase is ever losing life.  The more than 60-meter (180 ft) climb to the top of the Frauenkirche was slow, and laborious…and the tour-guide’s wisdom was dry.

But I lived through the moment…and once through a corridor, I stood overlooking a night-soaked Dresden, remembering.

In 2008 I stopped through Dresden while reporting on my Arthur Burns fellowship.  I found the Arizona Club dreaming of the Western US, and decided to stay an extra day.  I wandered the city and found a piece of Eastern Germany that seemed eerily at peace with its past.  Former communist-party villas are now apartments.  Pieces of a bombed Frauenkirche were pasted together  with respectful care to become a monument to restoration.  Murals remembering kings and nobles—deposed or other—remain clean and prominent in the old town.

This latest trip to Dresden was more to learn and enjoy, than to discover anew.  This trip as part of the ever horizon-expanding Bosch fellowship brought me to many spots in Eastern Germany, Warsaw, and a stop in Berlin to meet with politicians.

It is never easy to spend 11 days away from family, living day to day from a suitcase in a hotel, but complaining is the farthest from my mind.  This fellowship has given us a chance to do things otherwise thought too difficult, and my wife and child are safe and happy.

One could always find something to complain about, but I will choose not to complain.  Rather…I will try to absorb as much as I can, and enjoy our blessings.  Pictures from Warsaw coming soon.  Stay tuned.

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