Monday, June 21, 2010

Stroll Report: Bumming Around

Smilla Dankert from Cologne, whose blog I follow, asked how I was. In the same message she wrote:

Your blog changed a bit; at the time you were in Miami you always wrote these little stroll-reports
and so it was more easy to get to know your all-day-mood (sort of)
Now it's not that easy anymore...

I thought, Back north in Fast Land, it's not so easy for me to know my moods. Photos pile up, details scatter, work increases. At the southern tip of Miami Beach I was three blocks from the ocean and got there almost every day. I could see the horizon.

Spring up north came all at once this year after flooding rains. Epiphany spring. Boom! Poems came in electric spurts. Electric for me. Who knows which ones will be left standing.

It's been lovely to stroll again: to artist Mimi K.'s garden--poppies and butterfly plants in bloom; it was lively to find a cast-off undergarment that heavy rain washed to the sewer grate.

This bike was meticulously organized to carry a light cargo of materials for recycling: plastic bags sorted into types. There was a paper bag neatly filled with plastic bottles. There were pairs of protective gloves clipped to the carrier. At first I foolishly thought the bike belonged to someone dedicated to green, recycling, etc. I shot a few photos and as I walked away I saw a man cross the main street and head for the bike. "Is it yours?" I asked him, and he said yes. When I told him I had taken photos of the bike--"so beautifully organized"--he said, "I'm trying to earn a few dollars." He had come from the return-for-deposit machines at the supermarket across the street. He works on his own at collecting discarded, tossed, for-deposit bottles people don't bother to redeem for money. He redeems. We shook hands. He gave me permission to take his picture. His name is John. Will I see him again? I was so happy he didn't say something like, 'You're a nice little lady.' Lady I'm not.

At the pond the faucet gleamed. The water was clean. I wish I had the skill and time to rebuild that rotted-out piece of wood so that it still bore marks of age and the grain. Or find a piece of salvage I could cut to fit that round opening. Marked salvage.

Stroll rhythm--now too as I write and quiet down. (Bummel is a German word for stroll--just found it on Google. Does the word Bummel have anything to do with the English "bumming around"? I hope so!)


  1. I love your stroll reports. And you really can not blame it on New England since other summers you were doing them. I think it must be a reflection of where your thoughts are these days.

  2. Yes, mimi k, thoughts, but also too many left-brain tasks I had to do. Now I've cleared some space.

    Thanks for your kind comment. Bon voyage. I want to hear/read all about it and see the pictures.

  3. Dear Mim, you put a big smile on my face! :-) Stroll report is back, yeahhh. And it's the atmosphere, expressed by those pictures and your words, that hooks me so much... like you I calm, or quiet down. It's a bit like I was 'on tour' myself, just welcome what ever comes up, or whoever, like the bottle-man. We have lots and lots of bottle people, I even have some on my blog; but they asked me not to write it, and you wouldn't expect it.
    Bummel is quite similar to 'bumming around' as far as I understand it. You're not really heading somewhere, but go with the flow..
    (Besides, my last name is Dankert, Anders is part of my blog name...but somehow your creation fits pretty well.)
    all the best; today my exhibition starts; I wish yu could come over for a beer :-)

  4. You know, when I looked at the photos you posted, my first thought was: 'What's the story behind those objects and people?' It's always the same. I look at that garment in that sewer and wonder who wore it, in what circumstances and what they did whilst they had it on.

    Many thanks for your strolls. Very enjoyable.

    Greetings from London.

  5. Smilla:
    Sorry about the name switch. "Anders leapt over Dankert." Don't I wish I could see your exhibition and drink beer with you. I've stolen/adopted your phrase: "stroll reports."
    Cheers from bumming around Mim who will check into your blog to see what you've found today.

    Me too. It's rare that I actually get to hear a little bit of the actual story, as I did from John.

    Cologne, London, Boston--not bad, our link in space. I'm grateful.

  6. Mim, thanks for changing my name again :-); it hasn't been that bad for me...
    I'm proud that you use my words, thanks :-)
    and like you I'm always grateful that visitors from far away pass by.

  7. i loved the stroll reports that you did in FLA, and also in your MA is a minivacation to walk along with you!

  8. Mim, these are my favorite posts. I love Mimwalkabouts. If I tried to do this on one of my epic walks every photo would have my thumb in it or the people would have no heads. If I had a camera.

  9. Now that I'm strolling I feel more Mim-human again..

    So come with me when you can, Susan, Rebecca, Cuban, Smilla . . . all.

    木堯木堯: Oh, no, not for the poor who work themselves to death and die poor.

  10. I went to Smilla's blog...and then I, of course, had to read about these wonderful folks who she photographs...and then Krissy came up and I had to show it to her because I like it more than the fashionista (forgot the real name) that you and she like... this one has the stories...

    nice little walker that you are, glad you're walking. I actually walked the dogs around the block...big progress...

  11. Mim, careful with your bidi poster. It's a blog spam. You can report the url to blogger.

  12. Melissa--I've dropped the high fashion blog, not to my taste; I much prefer Smilla's blog. Until tomorrow when I see you in actual space.

    Radish, thank you! You mean the blog with the Chinese language characters, right?

  13. Radish:

    I've reported the URL to Blogger and deleted the comments in question. Thanks again from Mim