Landstreicher is German for hobo, tramp, vagrant, drifter, wanderer, roamer. Someone who doesn’t hold a job for long, who rolls across the land as the wind pushes, making what he can of what comes. Wanders the land to see what he can see, and doesn’t have a home.
A Landstreicherin is a woman who does the same.
My name is Marisa, and I have to admit that I am a sedentary person with a real job. With this new website, I am reclaiming a place on the web for my words. I write about places, whether new or old to me, and books that I’ve read, and the life that I’m building. I’m always seeking the optimal arrangements for happiness and beauty in my home, I’m trying my hand at gardening, and I’m working on learning Turkish. I love to stare off into the distance, to appreciate landscapes, to see the world as it once was and could later be, as well as how it is now. I’m a devotee of trains, commuter up to transcontinental, and I love animals: house cats and fat collegiate squirrels and the wild beasts I wish had more freedom to roam the earth.
When I first took the name Landstreicher from Hermann Hesse’s novella Knulp, I was about to move to Germany for a year, and I was excitedly imagining my semi-nomadic future. I visited thirteen countries over the course of that year. Then I moved back to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and have lived here ever since. I have no great attachment to the specific character Knulp, the carefree, wandering man who avoids career and commitment, who over the course of his life experiences neither the trouble nor the rewards of responsibility and loyalty. I could not be happy without a home. But I do want to live a life that doesn’t cost me forty hours out of every week, one that is flexible, mobile, meaningful. I want to dabble in different interests, to travel the world, to explore ways of living. So I’ve adapted Landstreicher to Landstreicherin for this new iteration of my blog.