Saturday, September 20, 2014

sunrise moon moment, or: home

the weather is still mixed here in Europe, with huge rain systems moving through. but the clouds also bring stunning moments, like today's sunrise spectacle. i looked out of the window when the clouds started to light up – and then noticed a celestial visitor higher in the sky, easy to miss, but beautiful to find: the crescent moon:

the photo is also a "home photo", taken right from the window here - it's one of the things that fascinates me, how the same sky can look so very different every day. here are more sky moments, all from the same window:

i still remember how this sky series started: the first photo of the series was inspired by a task/share thread in a web forum - Lonely Planet Travellers. the simple task back then: "take a photo from the window of the room you are in."

many responded, some with stunning city skylines. one posted a simple image of a small garden, with some houses and trees beyond. "Nothing special, just the view from the window here," she wrote. to which someone answered: "Those views are special - because they are ours."

i still remember that line: "because they are ours".

which is also one why i admire and enjoy online communities like sky friday or photo friday; each is a celebration of "just the view from here".

here's the link to the whole series: life as a journey of changing skies.

and as an ending note: a close-up of the sunrise moon:


More "home" moments: photo friday
More skies from everywhere: skywatch friday

Have a beautiful sky week ~

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

links that touched me: September 2014

When I come across an interesting link / video / story that touches me, I often copy the link to blog about it at a later point. Yet by then, there's already another interesting link that is waiting... to keep the links from vanishing unblogged, I started this "links-that-touched-me" series. Here's the next part:

Previous links:
- August 2014: the art of fiction, NY, Maya Angelou..
- July 2014: look in the mirror, 61 things...
- June 2014: travel is, Slowalk, real words
- May 2014: Perspectives, ISS, Poetry Storehouse
- March 2014: Kerouac, shipping yard, film fatales,Hiding, Guardian Film Show
- February 2014: transforming problems, noticing thejourney, poetry podcast
- January 2014: stop saying, when i was, worstpasswords, windows, why dieting....

Monday, September 15, 2014

World Reads, continued: short stories from the Caribbean + from Exile

The stories I read this week... were from many different place. Here's a photo that gives an idea, reaching from the Carribean to the Middle East and further, and including places that were "firsts" on my reading map. Like: Tobago. Or: Jamaica.

Pepperpot:  short stories from the Caribbean
So: Jamaica. And: Bahamas. First thing that comes to mind with those names is: long white beaches, ocean breeze, Sun. Reggae music. No real idea about the places themselves, though. It's great that the 2 publishers Akashic books and Peepal Tree Press teamed up and made this collection possible. It includes stories from:
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Jamaica 
  • Belize 
  • Barbados
  • Antigua & Barbuda 
  • Bahamas 
No easy island reads, but some rather tough topics included. I guess to every place, there is an outside / touristic view, and the view of the people who actually live and work there. This collection takes you there, to this other side.

Here's more about the collection: Publisher's page: Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean

Story  links
The opening story is also online at Granta, and gives an idea of the different view the collection offers:

The Whale House by Sharon Millar, Trinidad and Tobago
"These offshore islands rise out of the water, rugged and black with deep crevices and craggy promontories. Her father used to tell the story of building the house. Dynamite under the water to blow a hole in the hill, a false plateau appearing like a shelf, the hill buckled up behind it."

And a second story link, from an online magazine that focuses on the Carribean, too,with a focus on poetry, but they also published some stories: Tongues of the ocean – stories

Here is one of them, one that stayed with me:

"Saving Rupa" by Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming, Trinidad
"Yesterday I decide I not running no more. I can’t manage with coming last again. Ever since that time when the boy hold down Rupa, it look like I use up all the speed Maha Devi give me for this life..."


Writing Exile
Last week, the new issue of Words Without Borders went live. And it was such a good suprise. The theme of it is: "Writing Exile".Which connects almost perfectly with my recent reads and the blog post about them: "Reading from Chile to Paris to Romania with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Milan Kundera & Herta Müller, or: home, exile, and fiction (blog post link)"

Here are some lines from the introduction to the Exile issue:

This month we present writing about and from exile. Although not all exiles flee political persecution or war, they have in common an involuntary departure forced by adverse circumstances. In fiction, poetry, and autobiography, writers explore the notions of departure and absence, memory and loss.

Reading it, it made me think that violence is a theme that runs through these days, too - and that exile often is a form of violence: being forced to leave your homeland.

Story links
The issue includes authors from Syria, Cuba, Uzbekistan and other places, here are some direct links:

  • Fragile States: Artwork from freeDimensional: the issue also includes a virtual exhibition with artists from Iran, Burma, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Syria, and Malaysia: "Fragile States explores the physical and psychological experiences of persecution and forced displacement."
  • Exiled in Europe: an interview with 3 women writers from the Middle East who currently live in Europe, with some surprise views of exile: "The Iraq that we see on TV today is not the one I was raised in and lived in. It’s like Noah’s Ark. The millions who left, not only for political reasons but in order to have freedom, took a little bit of Iraq with them and preserved it.”
  • Bag of the Nation: magic realism short fiction by Osama Alomar, Syria: "I took the big bag that I had inherited from my grandfather down from the attic. It was brightly colored like a storm of rainbows. I hoisted it onto my back and went out into the street. I closed my eyes and began to choose samples at random from everything that was inside: humans and stones and dust and flowers and wind and the past and the present and the future..."


Links + More

Reading the world:  the collected list of stories is online here: global reading, and a note on the reading journey can be found here:  reading the (missing parts of) the world 

Friday, September 12, 2014

sky friday: sun beams and a field riddle, solved

For sky friday: moments from a sunny September walk along some new ways. The route first led through forest. some parts were still green, but some trees were yellow. Such a play of light and color and sun beams. And i am glad i tried to catch that moment. didn't think it would work, but there it is, the touch of September sun:

From forest, the walk moved on through fields , and along a patch of apple trees with a view. The grass is so green, from all the rain we had, it also could be a spring image:

The walk also brought the answer to a field riddle i had come across: in several places, there are fields that look like sun flower fields at first glance, but with lots of other flowers and plants growing there, too. Almost as if the seeds had been mixed the wrong way, and then the farmer had let it kept growing anway:

Now I learned that the mix was exactly right: the patches are a nature project, to bring back more diversity for the field birds that live here, and provide places to nest, and feeding spots (here's more, in German).

Still glad for the walk, which also brough a video moment (will dowload it and put it online this weekend). It also made me think that like the diverse field, the walk held all kinds of diverse horizons, from forest to fields to nature projects.


More skies in this blog: life as a journey with changing skies
More skies from everywhere: skywatch friday


listening to: FKA Twigs / Young Turks at Dazed
reading: Litro interview with Catalan author Marc Pastor 

have a beautiful sky week ~

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

machine meditations, revisited

Revisiting this video and blog entry made me remember that i wanted to experiment a bit more with video....

"from the series of "machine meditations" - after the washing machine, and the coffee machine, and the old clock, another of the machines who "live" here: my sewing machine.

and a note on the machine videos, from poet Rose Hunter:
"I like the machine videos. It makes me think, how astonishing it is we have all these machines in our lives, and (most of us/someone like me, not technically-minded) – no idea at all how they work. I find that's what occurs to me when I contemplate/meditate on, your little videos. :) I like it!"
it's same with me - this thought: how does this work? all those inventions that surround us, small ones and big ones. each coming from a line of development, adjustment, innovation. and even the manuals they have sometimes need an own manual."

reading: The Old Houses of Belgrano: Place and Memory in Buenos Aires, Argentina Part 1

listening to: Kiesza / Hideaway (to be able to dance like that..) (& watching it also made me think of this note in an essay on the web, that MTV could have been YouTube, if they had realized the potential.)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

nightfall & longreads

Nightfall... the new photofriday theme "nightfall" made me revisit some files from short trips. the first is from Erlangen, at the end of June, with the sky bright until late evening, and dusk arriving after 9:

the second is from last year in September, driving back from France, starting in the morning and driving all day, into the night, to arrive home after midnight. 

Longreads: this week, i followed various literary hashtags and arrived at funny ones, like mini stories from bookstores: #bookstorebingo, which reminded me of the days when i worked in a bookstore myself during university time, and the customers that arrived with puzzling questions: "Do you have that book, it was up in TV yesterday, can't remember the title but it had a blue cover.."

I also followed a hashtag that is for longer articles and stories: #longreads - and arrived at new magazines, and interesting reads, mostly non-fiction, here are some links:
more nightfalls from around the world: photofriday
more reads: reading the world

Friday, September 5, 2014

Violence, the world, "violent" links, and a new blue "bomb" in the supermarket

Watching the news these days is difficult. So many tragedies, the Middle East and Ukraine and Ebola, and all the small dramas that happen close and far. And the brutality of it. It feels, all this shouldn’t be happening, that mankind was on a more peaceful path at the milliennium, and got all off the path. 
But then, looking at the larger timeline, Europe for a long time was going through the violence that now is shadowing the Middle East. And maybe mankind at its core isn’t really a species that opts for the peaceful paths.
Still. There is all this technology and knowledge, and shouldn't we learn at some point? And is it helpful to show and watch the pictures of violence and of its effects, in the amount that is continually present in the news, and where does all this violence come from? 

I don't have the answers, but in the last week, it was a theme that was in my mind, and either there are more articles about it, or I noticed them more than before. Here are some "violent" links: 
  • What are all these violent images doing to us? - a blog post from a journalist, which includes this link in the comments: Tragedies & Journalists: "A 40-page guide to help journalists, photojournalists and editors report on violence while protecting both victims and themselves."
  • Coursera has a new course up, which is about violence. Started by a nurse, who was faced with violence and the injuries it caused - and who looked for patterns of violence, and for ways to prevent it:
    "Understanding Violence: Violence is among the top three leading causes of injury and death in the US and globally. We will focus on different disciplinary approaches and perspectives to understanding and potentially preventing violence."
    I watched the first parts, it’s approaching the theme both on a personal and global level, and is presented by two instructors and additional experts, which also adds to the broader view of this complex theme. 
  • Watch as 1000 years of European borders change timelapse map that shows how European borders have changed over the last 1000 years. and the maps don't say it, but probably most of the changes were the result of wars, or acts of violence  
Ironically, when I went shopping, I walked past the shelf with energy drinks, and even there the theme was present: "Bomba" is a new energy drink, which picks up the mood of the world, it seems.

Peace ~

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

L is for "A Like", or: a play with language/s

continuing the a-z blog series with a short story i once wrote: a play with language/s.

A Like

“Sea,” he says.
Her eyes are closed, her toes curled into his. “She,” she answers.
He doesn’t get it.
She paints the words into the air: sea, see, sie.
“They are alike,” she explains, “sea and see. And in German, it would be understood as sie, which means: she.”
“Homonym,” he says.
Now she doesn’t get it.
“Different words, same pronunciation,” he explains. “Definition of homonym.”
“Probably the very same word in German,” she figures, and searches for more of them.
“I,” she says.
“Eye,” he answers,
“And in German: Ei. Egg.”
Outside, a bus drives by, honks.
“One more?”
“Easy,” she answers. More. Is Moor in German: bog.”
“Okay,” he says. “Done.”
She beams. “That’s another one, actually.”
Dann. Then.”
“So then,” he says, his hand in her hair, and they both fall silent while their minds go hunting for more words that sound as alike as they feel that day.

more words: previous A to Z posts 

about the a-z blogtour: notes, map, links...

reading... Last Words from Montmartre by Qiu Miaojin from Taiwan,
online at Guernica

listening to.. The Sculpture Diaries