"I am trying to check my habits of seeing, to counter them for the sake of greater freshness. I am trying to be unfamiliar with what I'm doing." - John Cage

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4 - Sarajevo to Prague

Woke up early and hiked up the hills from downtown Sarajevo to the edge of town. An old fort was built to protect the city from Austrian attacks in the 17th century with a wall enclosing up to 900 houses. From this hilltop I had a 360 degree view of the city of Sarajevo and the hills and river and valleys surrounding it. Everywhere I've gone people have made me feel welcome, even this morning as I climbed up the cobblestone steps in a neighborhood that doesn't see many tourists. Many older people here, and cemetaries, and bullet holes in the buildings. An old man pulled himself up the steps carrying bags of fruit and groceries. Gardens are tucked between buildings or anywhere a few squash plants and corn rows can fit. Cats everywhere in the lush wild flowers, where garbage and litter are tossed regularly. I sat on the top of the world where the trees edged into town and watched the mists and river. This afternoon I fly to Prague and get down to the business of poetry.