Oct. 26, 1992
Meredith and I have made it to Prague. A once-mighty city still proudly painted, each building telling a story in colored murals of Valkaries and peasants, fifty feet high. A clock, older than time itself, chimes out the hour. Astrologically accurate, with planets spinning perfectly and precisely ticking seconds -- forgetting Galileo. We buy sweet bread for three Koronies: three crowns worth two pennies, and walk across the city in one day. Mozart lived here. He said the people understood him though he spoke no Czech. His house was in the countryside, its grass-green hollows and garden woodlands are surrounded now by slums. Waiting under glass, there is a harpsichord he might have played. In the main square, the clock chimes three times. A skeleton pulls a string that rings a bell, that summons forth the wooden prophets to parade before the tourists in a city in a country where the people once believed, like the men who built the clock, that the sun revolved around the Earth.
© Jessica Minier Mabe