(From my Washington D.C. trip journal)
Today is a day for being 'here'. I am grateful that 'here' is such a beautifully decorated room and not the cookie cutter blandness of boring, but dependable hotel chains. Still, there's something to be said for 'boring and dependable'. I would not to be laid up in a certain unforgettable 'hostile hostel'. No private toilet, no gentle classical music to soothe me...
Still, it was an adventure, and that's part of the fun of travel, coming across the unexpected.
While it was unexpected that we could not receive entry Thursday into the tall monument, we also had an unexpected delight that day. Due to construction, the bus let us out in a different spot than in those carefully saved maps I'd printed. But it allowed us to discover the Albert Einstein memorial. A huge bronze of the old sage posed sitting on the ground delighted us. Seated so, he was more approachable than we would be sternly posed in a 'throne' or standing tall and proud. Down to earth, his statue proved a friendly place to children:
A dozen or so of them clambered all over the statue. The adult with them let them all have their frolic, and then gathered them up for their next adventure. I didn't mind waiting for my photo opportunity:
Click to view larger
I took note of the many quotes around the outer curved wall. I think I remember a few of them well enough to identify at a quote source:
THE RIGHT TO SEARCH FOR TRUTH IMPLIES ALSO A DUTY.
ONE MUST NOT CONCEAL ANY PART
OF WHAT ONE HAS RECOGNIZED
TO BE TRUE.
I've always tried to give total report of all aspects of Truth that I uncover. Mostly, I've succeeded. Another quote was about the beauties of nature and the infinite mysteries:
JOY AND AMAZEMENT AT THE BEAUTY AND GRANDEUR OF THIS WORLD
OF WHICH MAN CAN JUST FORM A FAINT NOTION
Part of those beauties are those which come from the arts. Wagner is playing on the radio, WETA is the station. Julia said she could receive it when she lived in Towson. It reminds me of WMFT which I loved from the Chicago broadcasts that I could hear when I lived in Joliet. Always the 'disc jockeys' have those calm, well modulated, but soft spoken voices. ('Disc jockeys', can one call them by a name reserved for purveyers of pop music?) Well, I am doing so!
The music soothes...
Julia's brought a bounty of food, fruit, yogurt and tea for only thirteen dollars. I had a banana, some melon, blueberry yogurt and Green Dragon 'Honest Tea', the best bottled tea out there. Each bottle features a quote. Mine says "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr Seuss
And I took time for another little drawing, immortalizing a lamp detail:
Gold open work 'flower', black 'stem'...
A lovely restaurant "Weimah", is right near us, with perfectly square polished dark wooden tables and a view of busy streets from the windowed wall. Huge shrimp, crab and broccoli in a whitish sauce on rice revived me. That rice arrived in a perfect round ball sitting in a separate bowl. I plopped it on the round plate and it turned out to be the perfect portion.
After a short while spent sitting in a mini park, we went home to TV surfing. At first random bits, the last bit of Johnny Depp's delightfully twisted Willy Wonka, then game shows. But then Julia flipped the channel to Book TV - CSpan2, where Walter Isaacson, an author of a book on Einstein expressed his concepts of this scientific thinker.
What synchronicity, as we chanced earlier on his memorial statue!
He told us how Einstein was a more visual than verbal thinker, considered 'slow'. False, that he flunked his class, but definitely 'slow'. As I understand so well what it is to have a 'slow mind', I have hope. It is really because we are processing so much data. Thus we are slow to learn and slow to talk. "Questioning every premise" takes time. Also, Einstein was a non conformist. Isaacson stressed that Einstein's lessons to us involve the 'awe and wonder' and 'really being curious' regarding the 'underlying principles', the WHY of everything. "Seek the Mysteries - Reyn til Runa, indeed!"