Amsterdam, Winter 2012

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The Portugese Synagogue was empty on a winter’s day in Amsterdam, dust in the pews. I caught my tiny humunculus of a reflection in the sheen of the silver chandeliers. Outside, a statue of the philosopher Spinoza (banned from the same Portugese Synagogue for his radical ideas, history’s first “secular Jew”) cast his gaze on the nearby canal. On an adjacent street, I found these two musicians– the saxophonist with a ready smile and a tip of his cap, both of them playing with gloves. I dropped some coins into their instrument case and stood still in the chill air, soaking up their soulful sounds. The day before I’d visited Anne Frank Huis, it had been over thirty years since my last visit; how can it not fail to move one to the core climbing those steep stairs to the annex, the glimpse of sky from the attic window? When I was last in Amsterdam decades ago, I played a demon at the Mickery Theater in Ping Chong’s AM/AM. Returning to this beautiful city, Wandering these streets is a joy, surprises abound.

Ah to be alive in Amsterdam on a winter’s day in 2012, what a gift. I stood transfixed listening to their music. 

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Amsterdam street musicians (notice they’re wearing their gloves!)

2 Responses to “Amsterdam, Winter 2012”

  1. love to be transported back to such an extraordinary city, the centre of Europe for me. I was there early Dec after 22 years also and had similar experiences Louise, including watching our brilliant friend Michael Levine in tech rehearsals for The Magic Flute with Simon McBurney. Thanks for your beautiful words.

  2. Doyle Lormah Says:

    The silver sphere reflects the world in which we have a tiny yet
    disproportionate presence

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