Es gibt kein da, da
I’m going to combine two days, Sunday, 4 May and Monday, 5 May. On Sunday, Arthur leaves for Berlin, so we taxi over to the Hauptbahnhof, have a coffee, and he mounts the stairs for his train to Berlin (which happens to be operated by Czech Rail – the same people that took me to Prague just the week before. I have some sadness at his leaving, and not a small bit of loneliness. I do go to the Reisecentrum and buy a round trip ticket for Lutherstadt-Wittenburg for the following day. Now what to do? I revisit.
Well, not really. I go to the Porzellan Sammlung at the Zwinger. It apparently was an exhibition that Arthur was not interested in. So I go by myself. August the Strong collected over 22,000 pieces of porcelain and then established his own concern at Meissen. Beautiful things are held in the collection, which manage not only to reflect his taste, but also the development of porcelain manufacture in China and Japan. Porcelain + Baroque = Incredible!
I go to revisit two of my favorite things. One is the van Eyck triptych, which I showed in an earlier post. The other is the Dürer Adam and Eve.
The first was newly discovered here, and the second was something I have longed to see all of my life. Both of them encapsulate not only my faith, but my esthetic as well. It’s delightful to see them in the pigment.
In the early evening, I go to the Hofkirche for Mass. It is not a pontifical mass, even though the Bishop turns out to be the celebrant. It is a warm, welcoming, and “just what I need” kind of mass. The sermon is an excellent exposition of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, and the readings are done by a laywoman, who also serves as a Eucharistic Minister as well. She has a no nonsense kind of presence, while the bishop tosses off several jokes. It is an interesting juxtaposition. The mass is celebrated at the new altar at Hofkirche. I don’t know what it is made of (stone and glass, I think) but it comes across as a not-so-good green dress with sequins. My friend, Lizette Larson-Miller, asks me what I think of it. I comment that it is certainly no worse than the Pieta in the front chapel. Another friend, via email, warns me about Roman pitfalls. At this point in my life I prefer to see our points of agreement and prayer rather than detect fine lines of difference. I go home quite satisfied.
The next morning I make my way to the Hbf again (it is only later that we discover that Dresden Mitte is much closer. The picture above, the main door of the Schloßkirche is what I was hoping for. From a very desolate train center (First Clue) I take a taxi to the Church. “Really?!” says the driver (Second Clue). When we get there I see the problem:
When I check in at the information center my worst fears are realized. Both this church and the “city church” are closed…until 2016. So I go to a restaurant that specializes in potatoes (101 Angeboten) and drown my sorrows. I walk around the town a bit; discover a Lutheran convent (Christusbrudershaft) and their beautiful little chapel (closed).
A small bulletin board tells me all about them.
I go back to Dresden, go to my hotel, and check into flights. I do have a ticket to Schwannensee at the Semperoper, but I’m not expecting much. I go over early expecting to be rejected at the door (these are the tickets I purchased from a scalper. I get in – go up to the FOURTH Ring, Row 1, Seat 73. From this vantage point, I can see nothing.
The people sitting next to me are from Holland, and as luck would have it, purchased their tickets from the same guy. We laugh. During the performance we make our way to the SRO rail, and see the entire performance from dead center. Wunderbar! I have wonderful conversations with Tom and Maia (who spent a great deal of her life working with people with AIDS), and then we take our leave. They are on to Berlin in the RV, and I’m flying home to San Francisco. What a wonderful time zusammen.