Monday, April 28, 2014

Irish Folk Music

A friend of mine is a musician and she invites me regularly to performances or concerts. I guess she is trying to give me a musical education. I have had a lot of Irish musicians around so I am quite familiar with their tunes and songs, to the point that even now I can sing along in a group when a few traditional songs are performed. These  two musicians where really great, treating us to a variety of old and translational songs. John is on the guitar and Harry on the different flutes and singing acapella or accompanied  by the guitar.

There was a group of students present from the Conservatorium of Borgerhout who had worked whit John and Harry in Dublin.
Even in the afternoon they had been at a workshop. The students gave a brilliant performance of a song they had just learned in the afternoon. Especially the young man on the guitar and the one on the small wooden flute were great. Of course the others were as brilliant as these two on their own instruments: the violin, the accordion, the flute ...  All these youngsters are extremely talented. I love the soothing irish lilt when the songs are introduced. Irish music has the gift of making you feel part of the proceedings, of the group, washing away one's worries. So all left in good spirits, refreshed and renewed.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Love hurts

Sadness can turn to anger between two people who do love each other but fail to understand each other. The balance between them lost, both will scream, speak the truth as they perceive it so bluntly that it hurts their own soul. Tears flow in private. The communication break down has crept upon them. Yet they are a great team. She has failed to draw the boundaries clearly and he has overstepped. They can't understand the other fully and both get hurt. How does one show support for a person? How, in general, one can help another person without exploiting, using the person... and without being exploited or used. How to show tenderness among the hurt. Time flows differently for different people. One is fast paced, running, to cram as much into life as feels good. The other is in slow motion, thoughtful, deep thinking but not communicative, not speaking ever  about what moves on a personal level. A lot about the world, music, opinions, but hardly anything abou what makes this person tic. So, silence installs itself between two people and misunderstandings arise more and more often. How does one feel loved?

I see the blue-black eye
hear the nagging
and know the bruises of their soul

There is a war out there

Don’t wage that war on me
I lost my past and who I was
to find searching
a gentle caring sharing
But waves of anger
wash me to a breaking shore

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Silver lining...

 Being a dreamer, the first saying my mother shared with me was:
"Who looks at the stars will stumble over the stones." I have thought and thought about that one as a child and was always totally offended at the stealing of dreams, being called to reality.
It changed when I learned the expression: "Every cloud has a silver lining." I live with a good window to the east and greet the sun rising almost every morning. This was yesterday's sunrise, illustrating the silver lining in difficult times. One just has to look at it every time there is a silver lining and feel grateful and look for the moon, greet the stars. I promise, you'll feel better. Never mind falling down once in a while looking up and up. You will have had many splendid sights, learned a lot and have many interesting encounters on a possibly rocky road...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Under the watchfull eyes of my friends...

In my absence Mojave county is cleaning up my place, the old gas station in Chloride. Since I never operated it as a gas station and since those who did, have passed away, they call those UST (underground storage tanks) "Orphan Tanks". A couple of yeas ago I signed up for the program, but the county ran out of money. While I was in Chloride they contacted me asking whether I was still interested in getting those UST out. Of course It was a bit scary to have such work done during my absence, but my friends talk (Dori among others) to the good people doing the work, send pictures (Irene, thank you) and all. Since cleaning up the environment is the goal, the soil will be tested for pollution. If it is contaminated they will dig out the polluted soil and replace it with good dirt. I am grateful that I can help cleaning up old contaminations of the past and have a small part of the old mining town unburdened by the past.
Thank you all for helping with this.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ruhrort II- The art exhibits and some permormances

Since some Native poetry would be read in its German translation, the artists decided upon the theme of 'wild animal meadow' since many of the artist had work with animals in them. Ralf Luttman made the Ostrich and got it finished in time. Claudia Sper was given a lot of animal pelts by a furrier and made tis tunning costume. Horst Weichbrodt made these ladies with flowers...

Many of these artist work with found objects, with land art, driftwood,  tree trunks, clay, particle wood, cork and glass marbles to bring light in the work as Horst does.
The shortest photo exhibition ever was under the the tent: black and white digitally enhanced with crows in every picture. That is the trademark of HH Bergmann.
World Internet Books is where the books are published.

 A lady we recently met, through the cute black dog she had turned  out to be an artist and poet as well so Sabina also read some of her poetry of sudden insights and musings.
We started out in the program with "Sounds of Harbor' reading with a bunch of people in German the poem called 'TIDE', written by six authors from four countries...

I love this arc by Florian Waldhof and the kids: he made the boat out of a trunk and the children made the peoples and animals in clay for the arc. I love the detail in this way of showing that the animals and the people are leaving the arc. The desaster is behind them, they have survived!
Musician singer songwriter Ilona Vildebrandt entertained us all with her heartfelt renderings of her songs.

The one in the middle is Fred Schywek, organizer and poet, Florian, on the right and Heiko, devil does all in the middle.I thank all for working together to make this happen in the beautiful way it did.

No internet but a lot of nice things... in Ruhrort

Having been on the road in North Rhine Westphalia I rediscover the world without Internet and the world of hyper security: not one open hot spot, nothing coming in on my phone... Yet a lot is happening there in the region where artists and writers seem to flock. A bunch of "mafia knitters" are trying to soften this rather masculine environment where the rogue TV policeman Schimanski had his job cut out in getting the bad guys. In wool with flowers and gentle colors they soften this place of steel and stone.
And of course water is abundant  at the confluence of Rhine and Ruhr. It is a downtrodden area with cheap rent. The empty shop windows can be rented easily as a showplace for one's work. Of course there are improvised parties, people bringing food and drinks, grill on the roof in the old town. There is a proposal to classify Ruhrort as cultural heritage since many of the houses in 'Grunder style' still exist. Of course all the water most cellars are damp... On Easter Sunday among others these people will perform as poets or exhibit their art. I saw a beautiful cooperation where one hustled a tent ( there was a strong wind, but we were spared the rain), where another brought a small scene to stand on. Some brought enough food to share... I thank all.

Monday, April 7, 2014


With three funerals in a short time, I didn't quite get to my blog. First was my mother, after 10 years of dementia it was a good thing that she slipped quietly away during the night. My parents being catholic, an intimate service was held in the small church of Overbrook. The pastor's openness for other believers or non-believers was refreshing. Then the father of a close friend passed away. A civil service in a huge crematorium. The woman who lead the memorial did a great job. The fun loving side of him was brought out, his jokes and yes, I too remember the twinkle in his eyes, his kindness. Yet I felt dwarfed by the size of the hall, the coldness of of the marble... It was good later to return Daisy's father's ashes to the earth in the old cemetery of Stekene... Closeness and togetherness. The third funeral was a friend of mine Lydia. She never found the road back to life after her husband Hugo died. They had done everything together, were a great couple, dancing tango, traveling, sharing their humanistic beliefs. This service too was in a Crematorium. It is situated in the beautiful setting of the graveyard of Schoonselhof, Antwerp. Here, her friends spoke about her life, her ideals, her philanthropic work, her son Wim spoke movingly about his mam. They had recently been to London together and had had a good, happy time. This kind of memories will sustain him during a difficult period. Sometimes death comes too soon, sometimes death would have been welcomed earlier, sometimes death is a choice. All kinds hurt even when one knows it was welcomed. Each funeral adding to the load and grief of the others...

So, don't forget to live and cherish your loved ones. Celebrate life.