Struggle, write, repeat
In all this cleaning I stumbled on a slim packet of items from Prague, stuffed in a box along with the (mostly useless) grammar and language books. (I never managed to learn to speak Czech very well but I could get along and managed to make people laugh.)
In this thin packet I found
-- a photo of Vaclav Havel taken by a photographer at the Prague Post
-- a poem by Lucien Zell from 1996
-- my green card
-- two notebooks including my first one, with apartment addresses and lesson times from my first three weeks in Prague, with the final address on Pernerova Street, the tiny flat where Norma Jean and I spent two years
-- some photos of my friends the Bremers, who came to visit
-- an African prayer, The Motor Under Me is Running Hot
-- and these pages, torn from a book, "Introduction: On a Streetcar Named Success" by Tennessee Williams
With searing memory, I re-read this introduction and remembered how it felt to be so alive, as I was those two years, so devoted to writing, with no roots and hardly any possessions, just writing, poetry, short stories and some close friends, including Iva, David S.
Williams writes, that life, before the success of "The Glass Menagerie,"
...required endurance, a life of clawing and scratching along a sheer surface and holding on tight with raw fingers to every inch of rock higher than the one ...before...but it was a good life ... the sort of life for which the human organism is created....
With success, he no longer found himself scratching the rock face, but he faced more profound changes.
TOMORROW: Where this is leading, I hope