31 October, 2010

Fossil Fabrication


I'm still doing my best to create collages for my up-and-coming art exhibit titled "Woman on a Journey". It is a year's art exhibit, as well as a series of seminars all doing with journeys in diverse sense of the word.

I can not believe it is almost November and other than a rough outline of what we want to do, Nothing Has Been Done! I am beginning to panic.

Had a great time with this collage, once I discovered a fossil effect of the rock texture.

30 October, 2010

Short Days and Sleepless Nights

Just bits and pieces of going-ons and mundane reflections...

Is it only me, or does your sleeping patterns change with time of year and increasing age? I used to hibernate in winter. Literally, sleep long and deeply through all the dark months. Now, I'm battling to get five or six hours a night. Sorry, this sounds like more a complaint than it does a reflection.

October is a month of quiet anticipation in Luebeck. No one starts with Christmas, but you can see that the shops and the marketplaces are itching to pull our their decorations and lighting out. I love this city for its music and lighting during Advent. I'm going to see if I can post a photo a day (ok, every few days) capturing the delight of the season.

We have an optics shop around the corner from us that is owned by a suppressed drama queen. For, let's face it, there is nothing more sobering than spending your days helping people to try on glasses. The only way the owner can let loose is in his choice of window decorations. He does really unique decorations so numerous and varied it is hard to know where to start. Oh, yes, how about the decoration he put up just for Halloween: a lifelike mannequin lying down with contorted limbs, covered with a white sheet, stained red as if from a bullet hole; pronouncing the victim one from a murder scene. The figure is outlined with chalk and glasses bejewel the "installation". Totally bizarre. The fact that the optics shop is right next store to a toy shop only makes me wonder how many traumatized kids are going to remember this window display for a long long time to come.

Happy Halloween everyone!

24 October, 2010

Nowhere to go but home


“... and there is nowhere to go but home, which is nowhere to be found and yet is here,
unlost, solid, the very ground on which you stand but cannot visit ...” George Szirtes

Late autumn afternoon. I'm on my way into town to do some chores. A carpet of leaves lie on the sidewalk leaden down with rain and shadowed by the winter darkness that is coming. My mind hears sighing whispers about summer travels on coastal waters in warmer seas. I turn my back on the idea of pressing on, and instead return to the warmth of home with its golden lighting and silly loving family chatter.

23 October, 2010



More than 15 years ago, when our children were small, we moved into the apartment we live in now. We moved from a small slanting-ceiling attic apartment into this spacious end of the 19th century stucco-ceiling palace-like apartment. This apartment is twice as big and the ceilings twice as tall as the old one. Literally.

For the first time in my life, I took some money from my savings and bought furniture and building supplies to “make” up our new home. I spent nearly two months installing lighting, bathroom features, assembling cupboards and various pieces of Ikea furniture, building bookshelves, curtain rods and coat racks. It was an amazing time.

My father taught me a lot about how to use tools and how to build, repair, and restore things. So this time of preparing for our move into the apartment was, in hindsight, almost an homage to all of his patient instruction and care.

What I didn’t realise until today while having a conversation with my son, is that there is a very large likelihood that I might never do something like that again. Secondly, even though my father taught me how to make things and use tools properly, I have not passed on these skills to either of my children. It makes me sad to think that something so valuable and costly learned would not be used again or be lost to others.

Even the idea that no one in my immediate family remembers how my father used to whistle under his breath while working, or how he was able to repair anything, and I mean Anything, either using a special brand of black electrical tape or cable binders, is a sad thought. Obviously, it is not possible to pass on all that you’ve learned in your life to your children, but perhaps we should not slip in our diligence.

Upon reflection, what would you like to pass on from either your mother or father to your children?

16 October, 2010

Travels though my Imagination

suitcase on a beach

A dear friend and I skyped this morning (New Zealand/Germany), while the rest of my household slept. We recounted travels of past: when we were young and not so innocent, but often alone and lonely. Feeling cut off from family and friends. Those were the days when long distance calls were made only every few months, or for emergencies. Letters would take a few weeks to arrive, if not more. When you left home, you were gone.

I've spent the rest of the day remembering past travels and imagining new ones. The edges of past disasters are softened, as are potential future risks or complications. Imagination is such a great place to travel in.

15 October, 2010

Blog Action Day 2010 - Dreaming of Water


When I dream of water, I am sitting alone at the wheel of my father’s sailing boat while everyone else is below sleeping. Ahead of me, behind and aside of me, is an endless horizon of water. The sky is clear. The moon is full; casting shadows off the whitecaps of large waves thundering past and underneath our keel.

The ocean is a constantly moving, scary, awe-inspiring landscape that propels us forward towards our destination, as does the wind in our sails. The wind. The water. They are a symbiotic brotherhood that very rarely concurs.


Water makes us feel small and insignificant. Too much or too little and we are useless or helpless beings at its mercy. Yet, having once experienced that smallness, we can no longer turn our back upon the plight of others living the harsher reality of those in need. It is a burden each and every one of us carries, this call to action, not just today, but from today onwards. We have to ask ourselves what we can do to help bring clean water to others, and then do it.

I thank the Blog Action Day 2010 team and all the family of bloggers for focusing upon the topic of “Water” this day. May each of us take a sip of clean water today and pause in gratitude for its existence.

13 October, 2010

10 October, 2010

Just Right

After a week of absence (illness), I wanted to share a Goldilocks' moment of finding something Just Right.  This is Jim Boggia’s wonderful version of Thunder Road from Bruce Springsteen.

Well on my way to a full recovery.

03 October, 2010

Not being melodramatic

Trying not to be melodramatic this evening. Nomad Son is going off tomorrow to study computer science at a university in southern Germany. Don't know if I should burst with pride at seeing him set off on this new adventure or crumble with grief at reaching this poignant milestone of family history.