20 February, 2015

Perplexed and speechless

Recently I was walking though Hamburg awashed in political posters and billboards for their upcoming elections. All of them pretty normal: the visionary, the steadfast, the game changer. 

Then I stumbled over this poster...

A portrait of female politician from the conservative party. She is starring out of a golden guided frame hanging on a white sterile tiled wall. A black - orange froufrou dog sitting on a plastic chair gazes at her.

It leaves me speechless. 

On the road

Four years of working with what was on hand, which was never very much (though it was oddly all consuming). Running after this opportunity or trying to pursue that possibility; which seemed a smart thing to do under such circumstances, but often enough didn't pan out. Running in circles. Hitting walls. Jumping over obstacles. Taking leaps of faith. Keeping my nose to the ground. Putting in the hours.

More than all of this, what counted were the kind and generous people on the way. Those that mentored. Those who quietly lead by example. The nay-sayers, who questioned my ideas and helped me test my resolve. The cheerleaders who bolstered me in those times of desperation. The ones who blindly believed in my abilities. Those whose lives touched me. Those who listened to my fears and aspirations. What a rowdy tribe.

Now, four years into my self-employment I have this amazing feeling of being the navigator of my own journey. To celebrate this, I am on the road visiting family and friends and doing business in between. Sweet! Who would have thought...

08 February, 2015

10 years of blogging

Hard to believe it folks, I have been writing this blog for the last 10 years. The last 3 or 4 years have been a challenge. Not because I don't want to be here, but just time wise, inspiration wise, and energy wise it's been a struggle. Becoming self-employed at 54 years old is not an easy task.

Sure do not want to complain since work wise things are stable and even growing. Big feelings of gratitude for that.

My kids asked recently why I continue with this blog. It is not an easy thing to explain. Part of it is building upon a body of work I want to leave them and their children. It is a very modest way to sharing thoughts with those of you who still read it because I still get so much from reading your blogs. In this era of twitter, it also seems old fashion to write in complete sentences and develop ideas in a meandering way.

Thank you for all the considerate words you place in the internet and the kindness you give me for reading this blog.


09 December, 2014

16 November, 2014

Circular Economy


Last June I had the great pleasure to spend a few days in Paris with two deardear friends from high school. Meeting thenm, one flying in from Montreal and the other from Goa, in this amazing city was a fantastic experience. Each day we made discoveries. Many of them were fun (being part of the crowds of people watching the Paris Open on live stream at the Eiffel Tower), inspiring (Rodin’s garden) and some even made my brain go into overdrive (a Gregorian chant sung in the Notre Dame Cathedral during an evening concert). 

One discovery was as provocative as it was disturbing. The above is a photo of a window display in a chic clothes store. It shows purses made from frogs. Posing the question what can you do with the rest of the frog who is killed for l'escargot? 

This is a long way of presenting the topic of "circular economy" and doesn't quite do it justice. So, please please watch this panel discussion, "Can materials innovation save the world?" It is well worth taking the 30 minutes and let your brain go on overdrive. The people in the panel persuasively argue how the greatness of materials innovation lies in its simplicity.

Art Lover

Dripped from ChezEddy on Vimeo.

To all of you who love art...

11 November, 2014

Fireworks in the brain!



Doesn't this video make a sound argument about why all of us should play a musical instrument?

Unfortunately, I do not , but my dear husband plays his guitar numerous times daily. Now, I know why! Fireworks.

Love the visuals.

09 November, 2014

25 years later

(Do go and watch the google doodle!)

It is 25 years since the Berlin Wall came down. A momentous occasion that none of us who were there willever forget. There have been perhaps five such occasions in my life like this: as a child living in California – President Kennedy’s assassination and the moon landing, as an adult living in Germany – the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nelson Mandela’ release from prison, and 911.


My first reaction to all of these moments was one of disbelief and trepidation. Knowing I was a witness to living history. Not knowing what it all meant. It took hours and days for my brain to assimilate the enormity of the occasions.



Whether tragic or joyful, each of these events radically changed my sense of what is possible. 

When the Berlin Wall fell, everyone living in East and West Germany was immediately affected. Lübeck, where I lived, was a “border” city and instantly flooded with East GermansThe disbelief and trepidation we all experienced seeing the first cars coming over the boarder was quickly replaced by elation. 

So much has changed in the last 25 years, some good, and some bad. I would not have missed one moment of it though. I was a witness and participant in all the ensuing events.


x

07 November, 2014

The good thing about the internet is...

The good thing about the internet is the people you meet along the way. More particularly, the people you would not normally meet and once you have met them, they marvelously expand your perspectives on life and living. I am not talking just about the online friends who I've met through blogging or other social networks. Those friendships would take many posts to explore and explain.

Today I just wanted to mention one person, Alys Fowler, whose videos have filled my life with all sorts of joy and imaginings about how living a life with a garden could be.

(Sorry, if this video posting is a copyright fauxpas, I can't find another possibility.)

The greatest gardeners I have known have been my paternal grandfather, my sister, my friends Maria, Sonja, Tine and Andrea. Even though I have rubbed shoulders with numerous master gardeners, I do not have a green thumb at all. Actually, I am a couch potato gardener and will most likely remain so.


Yet, they taught me many lessons about gardening, which can be used well in life. Lessons about patience, planning, beauty, hard work, modesty, humility, artful endeavor, and a feeling an underlying tenderness about all of their plants. To Alys and my gardening family and friends, thank you so very much.    

28 October, 2014

Spectacular


Isn't this spectacular? Once again from the Boston Globe's "The Big Picture". A merry work-week to you all!

26 October, 2014

Never say never


Yesterday, a friend and I went to visit my daughter at her university a few hours drive from here. She started there in August and this is the first time we have been there since delivering her to the university gates during orientation week.

My friend rented a chic car to transport us and a huge amount of "goodies" for my daughter and a few gifts for her newly acquired friends. The absurdity of filling up a whole station wagon full of produce my daughter could, with a bit of effort, buy herself, was not lost on me.Thirty-two years ago, when I first came to Germany, I stayed for a few months at a friend's parents place. Their grown son, who was only a few years younger than I, came home every weekend from where he was studying and let himself be pampered by his mom.

She'd make him all his favourite dishes to eat, bake him cakes, and do his dirty laundry. By the time he was ready to leave on Sunday evening, she'd also have this care package for him to carry him over during the week.

Needless to say, my feminist emancipated soul was aghast. It took all of my muster not to make scathing comments to him as he was leaving the door with his duffle bag filled with freshly laundry clothes and the “muesli package” tucked under his arm. (I was after all a beholding guest in his parents’ home.)

I could only cope with the situation by saying to myself, “I will never indulge in such a wanton act of pampering once my children leave home! No, I will honour their well-earned independence. I will not practice such blatant and, let’s face it, easy appreciation-seeking practices. I’ll stand tall.”

Ha! The joke is on me. Yesterday proved I am perfectly capable of ridiculous levels of pampering. You know what? It was fun!

Touchingly hopeful



As an engineer, every time a new technology is developed I take some convincing as to its "worth", as well as it's potential for meaningful, appropriate usage. Up until now 3D printers were interesting and I could intellectually see their potential, but emotionally my heart didn't flip. This video outlining the social experiment Touchable Memories made this connect for the first time.

It is not necessary for a technology to make some sort of socially sentimental connect in order for it to be socially relavant, but it sure does help. There are some amazing applications for this technology. It's odd it has taken me this long to catch up.

13 October, 2014

Edge of Sanity



Just wanted to share this video. Don't know what is more stunning the idea of what the surfers are doing out on the water or the way the film was put together. 

It's been far too long since the last time I wrote a post. This year has been marvelously crazily busy. What a blessing! What a challenge! (And I am not substituting "challenge" for "having problems".) 

Being self-employed at my age is fascinating and sometimes quite frightening. I worked for nearly 30 years in international corporations or large universities. The transition to one-woman-show has been educational. Who would have thought it possible. 


Our children are both off studying now. Nomad Son is doing a co-op program in computer sciences. Nature Girl is off studying international relations. It is amazing to stand on the periphery and watch them stride on.

14 July, 2014

Game well played


The final game last night of the WM was wonderful to watch. For all you non-pulsed scoccer fans, it must seem an odd thing to say, since the score was 0:0 at the end of the normal playing time. Nevertheless, what a game!

(note: to google... if I am doing something wrong by placing the google doodle in this post today, please be tolerant. It was done in a sleep deprived state of jubilation.)

10 July, 2014

Good cup of tea


When I went into my blog dashboard today, I discovered this text. I wrote it, just before a whole avalanche of work landed on my desk! 


The weeks and months of this year have so far been exhilarating ones. Lots of work, which is encouraging.

Yet thankfully the next weeks are going to be more relaxed. So I can sit quietly over a new book or listen to a podcast or two.

Milestones

We reached another milestone in our family. Our daughter has graduated from high school and she is off in a few weeks to start her university career. Very exciting. Monumental. Both children now grown up and on walking on their own path now.

I have special feelings of wonderment and pride mixed with astonishment: did it really happen: is it really over: what comes next.

Thinking of you all.

27 May, 2014

Every day is filled with feelings



I just loved the ideas and thoughts these people share with us about how they define beauty.

When I was a young woman, there seemed to be so much attention on beauty. Usually, it was about how women should try hard to be beautiful. The measures of beauty were determined by outer forces; mainstream media, fashion industry, and, at that time, the femminist movement. I was never very comfortable with any of it. Neither was I familar or comfortable about the concept of "my inner beauty". I navigated my way through my 20s, 30s, and 40s doing as best I could do, though never feeling truly beautiful.

This video does well in showing what beauty is and how to feel it. It says we can be beautiful showing momentary strength of character or by feeling the beauty of a breeze on our skin. Inward. Outward. It's all one.

Now that I am older, maybe it is time to redefine and rediscover my beauty. What do you think?

29 April, 2014

Looking through a pin hole


There is something about the explanation and visuals which allowed me for perhaps the first time to really understand how it is we see. It is strange when something like that happens; when what was ony half understood becomes clear.

Hope you are all enjoying a lovely spring.

13 April, 2014

Letter of Inspiration



This video realisation of Kurt Vonnegut's letter to high school students brings joy to the heart. I originally saw this on The Guardian site and wanted to share it with you.


The days and weeks flow by and I am skipping happily from one stepping stone to the next. Lots of work to do, a fair share of it even billable. Halleluiah. These last three years of self-employment has brought many challenges and yet, I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

01 March, 2014

Serious about recycling

I went with a friend to place flowers on her mother's grave. It was really interesting to look at all the floral arrangements and mini gardens loved ones of the deceased have planted on the graves.

We were there quite early, yet still there were numerous candles burning next to grave stones (they are contained in glass laterns) and new flowers had been placed artfully in amongst the bushes and heather.

We turned a corner and there were these two recycling bins next to a compost container. The red one has a hole on the top and is for empty candle holders and discarded flower pots. Now that is taking recycling seriously!