Monday, June 30, 2008
Today we spent at Schonbrunn, an immense palace whose grounds include parks, gardens and a really cool zoo with a baby panda and baby polar bears.
During the palace tour, we saw quite a small, dark room with a rather ordinary desk where the Emperor associated with the palace began work at 6 am every morning. Apparently he often ate both breakfast and lunch at his desk, and believed one should work until exhausted. It was a very small space in a palace of 1500 rooms, in a country that had immense wealth and power at the time.
At the zoo, we watched a polar bear pace the same ten yards, back and forth. He was pacing when we passed again, hours later. Back and forth over the same ten yards, vigilant and unsatisfied.
Wide open spaces. Growing things. An immense, open view over a prosperous city.
We were grateful that we were not in cages: even tonight when we sleep in a tiny couchette, we will be rushing forward into new adventures.
Friday, June 27, 2008
acoustics here in Vienna. A crowd of tourists heardfine musicians play
Mozart while dressed in sort of silly period costumes.
It was really quite marvellous and way more fun than I had expected.
The conductor got the audience clapping under his direction during
several pieces. He let them do what they wanted to do - to applaud and
participate - and as a result he had the chance to teach them subtle
lessons about how to listen and how to take direction.
I wonder who I would lead better if I started by letting them do
something they want to do anyway.
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