29 January, 2017

Disconnect from reality

I've been talking to friends recently about the turbulent times we are experiencing. Universally, they mention how overwhelmed they are with all the developments of these last weeks. We sit there shaking our heads in disbelief.

As most of you probably know, the political landscape of Germany has changed considerably in the last two years with the arrival of over a million (officially) or two (unofficially) refugees and immigrants. Most of them coming from those nine countries on the President's travel ban list.

It is encouraging to know the US judicial system can react as quickly as the government is able to issue new orders.

And it is also equally encouraging that people are ready to show up in protest. These are all important forms of activism.

I believe the way we, as citizens and as political voices, treat the (still) millions of refugees seeking safe harbour is of critical importance to the survival of our cultures.

It is not enough to watch the news or call your congress spokesperson, or march the streets. No, each and everyone of us needs to experience a fundamental change of heart. The plight of these people is our plight. They should not remain faceless or nameless. A change of heart only can happen when you closely know someone or a few someones who are struggling for their lives.

The people I know here in Germany, can be divided up into two groups. Those who approach our "refugee situation" intellectually, and those of us who use our hearts, as well as our brains. Those of us who work and befriend and share the struggles of the refugees and immigrants, are changed people.

We no longer fear or question the validity of their rights to stay here. We are incensed when our politicians resolve to allow refugees into our borders wavers. But, most importantly, those in need have names and faces and they become our friends and family. It is the easiest, most effective, though admittedly modest, way of becoming part of the solution.

21 January, 2017

Let's talk about balance

Today (hopefully) many many people are going to be marching for women's rights in Washington DC and other cities worldwide. Some of my friends are going to be there braving the cold. I wish to send them off with my thoughts and gratitude for their bravery.

I am watching the news live. Something I didn't do yesterday during the inaugural ceremony. The only reporting I read was a post a dear friend wrote about the speech. 

The Upward blog is new, and this is their reason for starting their blog,

"With recent changes to the political landscape, I feel a need to speak up. Even if no one hears me, in the very least I said something. I feel a need to keep my eyes open, to watch what is happening and not turn away. I feel a need to write. Not necessarily about politics per se but about what my watching causes me to think and feel. I need a place to put my angst and anger."

So please give the blog a read.

Always something new to discover...

Even though I have been riding the train between Hamburg and Munich on-and-off for over 25 years, we passed a small lake 30 minutes out of Frankfurt, which I had never seen before. How are there always new places to discover along the way? 

20 January, 2017

Healing powers of music

I have known some wonderful people in my life who have been art therapists and never quite understood what it is they do. They say they use dance, painting, music to help heal their clients, but it seems obscure. This video, "Hitting the right note: the orchestra helping stroke survivors recover", illuminates how music can heal.

The project shown in this video tool place in 2015, but it was nice to read the work has continued.

15 January, 2017

Living out loud

I wrote recently about my wish to partake on a study of the word "wisdom" this year, but what I forgot to do is name this journey. I have gone on such a journey before, so I know it will not be a pleasant meander, but a messy battle.

Viola Davis talks about this messy battle of being an artist so beautifully. During her speech she quotes Emile Zola...

"If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud."

I realised that "living out loud" is exactly the road I wish to walk this year. So let it begin!

09 January, 2017

Behind your image...

The morning has risen / a lone bird sings outside my living room window / my work week begins / so grateful my calendar is full this month... self-employment is a constant flux between creative fire and sluggish despair / yet / so grateful / how precious / to explore all of the undulating nuanced landscape called life.

08 January, 2017

Promise to myself, my promise to you

The night after the US elections, I promised myself that I would not concern myself with American politics for the next four years. Nevertheless, I want to put this last video in my blog, and then I promise you, my dear and wonderful readers, no more commentary of any sorts about the going-ons in the White House ...

After this post, I will be able to refrain from following obsessively all the twittering and fluttering of the media. This does not mean I will not follow global news: just the other stuff that passes for news from across the ocean.

To this end, I tried to delete my FB account this morning. Only to find out that they only offer the option to "deactivate" my account. I am going to put my son who is a computer scientist and see whether he can't rectify the problem.

07 January, 2017


Years ago, at the beginning of a year I would take one word and plant it in my "heart's garden" to observe and explore the whole year through.

Eight years ago, the word was Trust. This year I decided on Wisdom.

My journey will be intellectual, philosophical, spiritual, and even scientific. It will span readings on the wisdom of crowds to the wise words of the desert mothers and fathers. I will research and study and contemplate and experiment Wisdom the year through.

If you have any suggestions for authors to read or directions my journey could take, please leave a comment.

01 January, 2017

Turning off my autopilot

This new year is going to be one of exploration and adventure... not one of trying to do things better, or becoming more healthy, or undoing past wrongs, or overcoming those constant fears and worries about the future (think Trump)... no, it is going to be about doing things differently... with love and tenderness, with tenacity and boldness.