The Kiss 1907–1908. Oil on canvas. Österreichi...

The Kiss 1907–1908. Oil on canvas. Österreichische Galerie Belvedere. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now we’re in a pension on the third floor, an old apartment with a little room just for a day bed, and a painting on the wall of a mother with flowers in her hair and a child, the mother with a peaceful but serious expression, fierce; a miniature entranceway with different sized wooden cupboards built into the wall beneath the window, and two doors leading to a long bathroom and a kitchen we don’t have access to. We ate in a traditional restaurant that exuded the ambiance of decades: high wood-paneled walls, high windows, plain rectangular tables in lines.

We had the morning in U—, breakfast, and lunch in V—. The landscape between the towns was white stone river beds, very wide, with small channels of ice-blue water, and trees, some on the turn to autumn. But arid, dry and delicate. Into Austria, it’s greener, but there’s the singularity of conifer forests, and in the valleys, crops, tractors going gamely up the fields with their rotors spinning, and everywhere green, clean and neat, covered by green.

In When things fall apart, Pema calls a perfection a death. She says ‘Abandon Hope’. Hopelessness and confidence go together. She talks about the wound beneath the armour. She also writes about seeing what you see and hearing what you hear, for itself, without meaning.

On Tuesday, we went to the Secession temple and saw Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze, which seemed to say that the suffering of the world, chaos and filled space, is redeemed by the poet, the kiss and the choir of angels. His paintings show humans embedded in tessellated patterns of their clothes, the background, smocks of gold. That night we went to the free, late night opening of MAK, and poked around the galleries with art school students. The most interesting thing to me is that each gallery is curated, or arranged, by an artist.

This morning we had the breakfast at the pension, went to the Freud museum and a gallery that had a large collection of Shiele’s art, who lived to 28 and whose paintings of humans are grounded in sexuality, underbrushed, grotesque knuckles.