Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Kukushka & Bumper Stickers

The weather has been too frigid recently to allow beach walking, but today, at last, the wind chill has died down, the air is clear, and the cool winter sun lights up the sky, bright blue as usual. I bundled up in down and we headed for LeCount Hollow where the sand, for once, was frozen. Much to my surprise, the path resisted under our boots as we descended from the parking lot. I tried to place my feet in the footsteps of others, as I always do, and found it quite a challenge. So, then I stepped onto the crust of windswept sand, which did not yield under my weight. Slipping and sliding, I descended, leaping the final yards onto the beach, shoes full of sand.

Sven and I frequently discuss movies during our beach walks. Yesterday we viewed Aleksandr Rogozhkin’s The Cuckoo, a film that takes place in Lapland, a landscape familiar to Sven who lived above the Arctic Circle for 17 years. The scenery in "Kukushka" is spectacular. The three main characters speak different languages, so one of the themes is communication. All are weary of four years of war. The Finnish soldier and the Sami woman can understand each other somewhat, because their cultures have coexisted for so long. The Russian soldier speaks only Russian. The Finn is an intellectual, a student in Stockholm before the war, and tries to break down barriers by using references from literature, which does not necessarily work but makes for funny scenes. Even without speaking the same language, the three manage to communicate on a deeper level than would be possible through words. As Sven puts it, “They were able to see the human beings behind the stereotypes and uniforms.”

I bring up this movie because I intend to purchase the DVD for the B & B so our guests can enjoy it, too. We try to offer films, which often go unnoticed but merit attention. That is another fun thing to do in the Quiet Season: watch movies!

We had kind words from last weekend’s guests: “Chez Sven is simply the best. We do not want to go home. It is so peaceful and tranquil in winter. We very much enjoyed watching the birds, building fires, walking on the trail to Dyer Pond, and just relaxing. We also loved the Bookstore Restaurant and walking along Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro. We had a wonderful time and hope to return soon.” They liked Wellfleet so much they hope to move here!

I got the nicest note from a stranger today who complimented me on this blog. I hope it may inspire her to visit beautiful Wellfleet some day. I love the ocean from Oceanview Drive. It fills up the horizon like a cup. We opened the sunroof, I stood up, and snapped away. The Comcast truckdriver behind us must have thought I was the kukushka. There were no other cars around, but I was determined to capture the view, typical of this part of Wellfleet.

I thought it would be interesting to think about the character of this town based on a sample of the bumper stickers I recorded this month:

My other vehicle is my imagination.

If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention.

After Iraq, France.

I am an artist and I vote.


When I lived in France, I had a great bumper sticker, which Oedipus, formerly of WBCN, gave me. My little Renault advised DIE YUPPIE SCUM. Over and over people commented on it, unable to understand either the meaning or the language. My car wore that bumper sticker proudly. Now I am on the lookout for another, appropriate to a green B & B. Any suggestions?