Street Scene in Bremen
We packed the lorries at 8.30 this morning, sat in the bus at 9 and left at 9.30. we drove to Oldenburg and thence to the American Ferry in American Bremen.
On being told that it would be four hours before we got across, we drove to Wesermunde and took two hours to cross. We drove in a sort of large Y shape South from Wilhelmshaven to Oldenburg and Bremen, then back up North to the bridge at Wesermunde and South again to Bremen and Verden.
Thus we took over four hours to cross the river Weser from Bremen West to Bremen East on the other side. We arrived here at 8.30, having had no food except three sandwiches each for over twelve hours, having been travelling for eleven hours and having played 144 rounds of solo, with over a hundred pass rounds in eight hours continuous play.
Bremen is lousy with Yanks and terribly bombed. I never dreamt to see such utter, efficient devastation. Occasional gaunt walls leapt up to the sunset, much as Egyptian obelisks do in cheap water colours.
A fleece of clouds was crimson above the West and ragged in the wind, like a sea of fire, unquenchable.
As I said, we got here at 8.30 and as we were expected at 1 pm, there was nothing ready. No plates, no lights in the rooms, no blankets. Now, at last, at 10 o'clock, everything is sorted out, all kit unpacked and everyone fed.
Thursday, March 27th, Verden
the smell of cheap scent, like the remembered touch of a silk stocking...........
grey clouds across a sombre sky, and all around, like the dubious security of a residential suburb.........
Is it better to know the agony of solitude, or is this disillusion a release, a kindness?
My old Gods look hollowly at their crumbling feet and as I am now without my painful worship, I feel a new emptiness, a sequestration........
Where ignorance is bliss.........
And yet I know that for the rest of my life I shall build new temples to my old, nostalgic, wistful, often profane deities, and, with a little tremor in my heart, I shall turn away when the rain dissolves their feet.