It's a strange feeling to be in a unfamiliar place trying to find something that is familiar. More so, the distance to home, that is in this case the Eastern Westphalia city that I grew up in, seems so much more farther away. Thinking about my mother who passed today twelve years ago.
A bicycle ride along the Iowa River and around the buildings that are part of the university campus and that were badly damaged during the flood of 2008.
After a one-day and one-night journey in an insanely large truck with tail (dolly for the car) I arrived safely in Iowa City and I'm blown away by the comfort and space and light and beauty of my accommodation for the next 10 months or so. It is a older spacious and lovingly renovated house in the central residential part of the city. Earlier, I was sitting at the table in my space looking out at a very large and old tree beyond which the original Grant Wood house is hidden from my view, and which is now occupied by the man who apparently initiated the Grant Wood Colony.
Hartmut Austen is a painter and educator living in the Boston area.