Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Very Busy Week!

(Above: One of the streets in Udvari, Hungary as seen from one of the many field above the town. Click on image to enlarge.)

I arrived home from a week in rural Hungary last Monday at nearly midnight. Since then the days have rushed by in a hurried pace. There was custom picture framing to do, correspondence to write, pictures to download, preparations for the upcoming exhibition to accomplish, and a "to do" list that just wouldn't go away....probably because I keep adding new items faster than I check off the older ones!

Generally, I write about my trips. They are artistic sources of inspiration. Putting words to my impressions always cements the memories.....but.....I'm too short on time. Let's just say: The trip was a mixture of thought-provoking ideas, emotional encounters, rustic beauty, and a chance of a lifetime to walk down the village streets of my Dad's childhood home while listening to his stories.

Since returning, I have managed to sort through the nearly 900 images I snapped. I deleted approximately 45%. The remainder have been "corrected", "sized", labeled, and put into neat "albums" on Flickr! Here is a list:

General photos taken in Hungary
The Former Lenz House in Udvari
Udvari, general photos and festival
Udvari, Church and Cemetery
Belecska and Keszohidegut
The Fish Park
General Photos of the Gyonk Heitmatmuseum
Embroideries in the Gyonk Heitmatmuseum

I do have an absolutely FAVORITE photo from the trip:

(Above: The remains of the organ in the ruins of the protestant church in Udvari. Click on image to enlarge.)

This building had been the center of life for the Swabian Germans who populated the town until being deported in 1945-47. My Dad was fourteen when he and my grandmother were forced onto a railway cattle car with each carrying just 50 kilos of their worldly possessions. They were trained to East Germany. Yet, they were lucky. They escaped to a DP....Displaced Persons...Camp in Kassel, West Germany and found passage to the United States three years later (1952).

In the guest books at the private Heitmatmuseums (local cultural history museums), my Dad wrote entries that said (translated and paraphrased!): For some, deportation was a great tragedy. For others, it was an opportunity and a liberation.

This is so very, very true! The week in rural Hungary was amazing. It was beautiful, hot (upper 90s), humid (nothing ever really dried), festive, happy, colorful, joyous, and a walk into my family's past, to culture and tradition that became real and reachable. It was also a week without a newspaper, a television, a radio, Internet connection, and air-conditioning. (I missed the air-conditioning even more than my email!) Most of all, the trip connected past with present and suggested a deeper appreciation of everything for the future. I'm still mentally processing all the visual stimulation and making notes for artistic expressions that will undoubtedly result.

1 comment:

Lynn said...

I am glad for you having had this trip. I will come back over time to look at the photos. I hear how meaningful this was and to be able to do it with your father, how sweet is that! Hard memories for him.