Donnerstag, 28. Juni 2012


For this post, I was inspired by Emma. I so much admire the way she talks about herself and her faith to God in her blog. She made me thinking why I have such a hard time to express my relationship to God. To be honest I fear to be called a freak for believing in God. I am not sure why I care. It makes me think my faith is not very strong if I can't even stand by God, if I feel embrassed to admit I like God. But on the other hand I love talking about God ( I keep saying "God" because I am trying to not picture God as male or female) and religion if I am sure I have found a like minded soul. So today I stand up and just dare to talk, no matter who listens:

God and me, we have a funny relationship. I am not sure what to call it. I could call myself a protestant but what does that say about God and me? I work for a catholic NGO, the Caritas, but what does that tell you? I am a big fan of the ecumenical movement but somehow the combination of catholic and protestant religion is not what it's all about for me, it is not where it should stop. Maybe I could say I don't believe in religion, I believe in God. To me a religion is just one way to live my life with God, never the only possible way. I can find God in a mosque, as well as in a forest and sometimes I can't find God in a church or at home, you never know... 

Today my employee Caritas invited us on a one day pilgrimage and I happily joined in. My, what an event it was! A bus toke us to the outskirts of the city from where we walked a few miles towards a huge old monastery. There was singing and praying on the way there and a long service at the monastery. Lots and lots of singing, a lot of other rather catholic stuff I don't know how to name it. I enjoyed it immensly, despite the big crowd. We were more than 2000 people, which was rather daunting to me at first. But being part of 2000 people, singing and praying together is a wonderful experience and God was near by and he didn't mind me being a protestant I am sure... Another good thing was to stand next to my big boss, praying and singing with him, exchanging the "peace be with you".

To me God is a divine power. I feel it is easier to imagine God abstract than figurative. Jesus is another issue here. He is so very tangible but that makes it even harder for me to understand him. So hard to understand how he can be Gods son. I am sure he wouldn't have wanted to seperate religions the way he does, in those who believe in him and those who don't. So very sad it went that way, isn't it?
Since I am a mother I feel much closer to Mary though. In the monastery today there was a sculpture of Mary with her dead son on her lap. It was created during the years of the black death in Europe. It made me cry. I could feel her pain. Next to me sat my friend who just lost her baby a few weeks ago in the 4th month of pregnancy. She is heartbroken not just by that death but by what God did to her. She stopped going to church, she only came today because she had signed up for it before it happend. And she wanted to give it a chance. And somehow, seeing Marys pain helped her to understand God didn't want her baby to die, God is crying with her and wants to comfort her. I think today she toke Gods hand again.

Of course, this is not all there is to say about God and me. I hope to continue my spiritual journey and thoughts here with you from time to time. 

Dienstag, 26. Juni 2012


The last weekend only lasted from Sunday to Monday but somehow it felt so much longer. I guess that is how you know it was a really good one. Despite all the rain we spent a good time of it outside in the woods, splashing through paddles and muddy places. Unfortunatly I have not discovered yet, how to take good pictures in the woods. They all get blurry. Just imagine a small boy jumping into a paddle here:

Inbetween rain showers I managed to go treasure hunting at a flea market and of course I can't spare you with some pictures of my favourite pickings:

Some lovely vintage towels. So many ways to use them I will still take some time to decide...

A vintage clutch which I might use to carry small projects.

This fantastic old whiskey box.

A beautiful childrensbook telling the story of a japanese cherrytree that stopped blossoming during war and how the people cared for it so it would blossom again. A very sweet story.

I also found a few meters of light blue crocheted lace. Some of it has been brought to use immediatly:

Aaron tried to help a little...

There was also another birthday to deal with. It was celebrated with a special breakfast and a looong, kid-free afternoon with old girlfriends and young(er) sisters. I was showered with lovely thoughtful gifts, such as a foot massage, a soon to come afghanish dinner out, the fanstastic new book "Reinvention" by Maya, flowers and this very friendly garden gnome torch made from 100% beeswax by handicapped people in a Camphill Community. Isn't he cute?

I hope you all had a good start into this week, wishing you a lovely one!

Freitag, 22. Juni 2012

{this moment}

Joining Soulemama today for (this moment): A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Mittwoch, 20. Juni 2012

Yarn Along - Knitted Landscapes

Knitting and reading - my favorite things to complete a perfect day. So I am joing Ginny for Yarn Along today to share my passion with you. Come and join in if you like!

Last week I had around five lucky minutes at the liberary. One of my favourite founds was this inspiring read about Yarn Bombing. I posted some yarn bombing pictures that I had found in Colognes streets a while back and I always feel lucky when I find another piece somewhere in the streets. It hadn' really crossed my mind though to create my own piece of knitted streetart. Not until I picked up that book. But the chapter that inspired me most was the one about knitted landscapes by two dutch artists . That's what I feel like I want to try myself. I have been in love with the land art by Andy Goldsworthy for a long time now. Adding knitting to a landscape just seems to make sence for me.

And what better use could there be for all those small amounts of experimentally colored handspun yarn that I have, than transforming it into knitted land art? So far I only knitted up one simple square and sewed it around a stone I had at home.  It was funny, how that knitted square fitted around that unusal shaped stone very smoothly.

I can think of a great spot for my knitted stone, but I didn't manage to go there yet. Next time we'll spend at the shores of our river I will take it along and place it in the landscape. Hopefully this weekend the weather will be ok as we want to go and celebrate St. John's  and a little belated Solsitice with a bonfire on Sunday. I know, Solstice is today, but it is raining badly around here and I have to work late so we postphoned it to the weekend. But, of course happy Solstice to all of you! I hope we will at least see a little bit of the sun today at one point...

Montag, 18. Juni 2012

Fast forward - Pause

This week has started weird. Like someone pressed the fast forward button right after getting up. The one who pressed that button was a lady from court calling me on jury duty as a lay judge (Schöffe) this morning. An assignment I had applied for years ago when I was still studying social work and a bit into that law thing after having had a hard time with my exams. In Germany you can apply for this voluntary duty (sounds contradictive) but if not enough people apply you can also be called. Anyway, I had not heared back from court for years, until a few month ago when I recieved a letter telling me I was an official  lay judge "(Hilfs)schöffe" now. Then again, no news for month. Until this morning, that phonecall, if I could please be there in half an hour. The court being at the other end of the city. They paid for the cab though. Of course I can't talk about the case itself, but just the procedure itself was exhiting to me. Before the hearing we sat in a small room together with the judge and joked around.
In Germany the judge and the usually two lay judges have the same rights. Unlike in the US the judge also decides on the case, but the two judges can outvote him/her. As a lay judge I also sit right next to the judge in the front, which must have looked funny today because I was dressed very casual in t-shirt and jeans while the judges and the attorneyes were dressed in their robes, the other lay judge was wearing a suit... ooops. Well, noone said anything but maybe next time I will choose a black shirt instead of the orange-purple one to blend in a bit more...
Then I was sworn and the hearing started just to be called off again after a short while because the witnesses didn't show up. There will be another hearing next week.
Have you ever been called on judge duty or worked as a Schöffe? How did you feel about it?

I went to work straight after this and still hadn't had time for breakfast. Thats how the day continued until I got home late in the afternoon.
But someone pressed the pause button just in time for the evening.

It was about time for my very, very favourite summer salad: strawberries, a large handful of basil and mozzarella, seasoned with some sea salt and pepper, olive oil and dark balsamic vinegar.  Boy how that tastes like summer!
Our nights are still spend watching too much football/soccer. Some spinning included - for a project I am very much looking forward to share with you soon...

Samstag, 16. Juni 2012

Birthday crafting

I try to sneak in some crafting at any time, but sometimes weeks pass by without any. One thing that always makes me start again are upcoming birthdays. I just love giving (and recieving) homemade things, even if its just something small adding to a bought gift. Sometimes I end up preparing the present the night before. Like yesterday. Fortunatly Aaron was still up and helped me out.  He painted this thrifted bowl in my friends favorite color and I turned it so the color would end up all around... I really like the way it worked out. First I wanted to add different colors but then I though weniger ist mehr as we say in German ("less is more", do you say that in English too?) Aaron had anounced being finished anway (fertig! is one of the few words he speaks yet) and so he climbed down his chair the dirty brush still in his hands using it as a very good weapon against me to keep me from washing him, and the brush. You can imagine the mess... After burning the color into the bowl in the oven the next day, I filled it with cherries and roses ( I know, the colors don't exactly match but somehow I like mixing different reds) and off we went to my friends birthday party.

We had a lovely afternoon, except I reacted more allergic then ever to her cats. So we didn't stay too long. But it was good to see old friends again and meet new ones. My six year old godchild (the one you know from the photograph I toke right after his birth) gave our friend the best present ever. He was so so proud of his work that he praised it all afternoon and showed it to every new arrival. But, my, he was right to be proud. He made this huge, wonderful, impressive dragon and my friend pinned it right over her bed to be better protected from now on. Isn't it fantastic?

I placed an order with him for my upcoming birthday. Let's hope I am lucky...

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!

Freitag, 15. Juni 2012

{this nostalgic moment}

Porto, Portugal June 2008

Joining Soulemama today for (this moment): A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Mittwoch, 13. Juni 2012


Memorialplace of the Berlin Wall at Potsdamer Platz, a billboard in the background.

The German word "Grenze" has a whole lot of meanings in English. It can mean: limit, border, boundary, limitation, frontier, barrier. Yesterday was a day about Grenzen:
I woke up after a very good nights sleep. I wanted to turn around and get up. That's when I twisted my back, very painfully. I lifted myself up, the pain stayed. The day didn't wait for it.
Nathan went running, which was good, because I wanted to bake the cake and set the breakfast table.
Aaron somehow thought it was all about him. He poked the cake, he unrapped presents, he even blew the candles, but acctually my love turned 30! How does it feel to turn 30 Schatz?

I went to work, breathing deeply, trying to ignore the pain in my back. I spent some time in the office doing the paper works and documenting my last client meetings. Then I crossed the city by bus and train to pick up a client from work. On the way I felt very sorry for myself and just wanted to go home and get a massage. I wasn't looking forward at all to meet that client. Someone I never met before, I just covered the appointment for a colleague on parental leave. I wans't up for anone elses problems. I had read his files, I knew about this very depressed, traumatised man from Afghanistan whose life had been destroyed by torture so that the former successful businessman, able to speak six language now works at a place for mentally handicapped people, spending his nights at his parents place because he can't be alone without freaking out.
I met a man who thanked me about a hundred times for coming, for taking my time for him, for talking to him. A man whose wisdom hit me by surprise and who somehow managed to change my perspective of life at least for this so far very selfcentred day. He spoke a lot about his country, like someone who has told his story very many time but still can't believe it actually happened to himself. He said the people in Afghanistan don't have love, war has destroyed all of that. His words went deep. He wanted to thank me again but I was the one to thank him.

After work Nathan and I met for a very rare date. We went to a small theather to see a play called "SOS for human rights" set up by a refugee  right group in Berlin on tour through Germany now. The play told the very sad story of three young people from Ghana and Afghanistan on their attempt to cross countries, deserts and an ocean to come to Europe. It was acted with very few means, only three actors but endless passion. A masterpiece of creativity! There is a short trailer on YouTube if you want to get a first impression. I also found some recording of the play:

There is one poem that expresses my opion on the idea of states, borders and the like. I have nothing to add:

(by Wislawa Szymborska)

Oh, the leaky boundaries of man-made states!
How many clouds float past them with impunity;
how much desert sand shifts from one land to another;
how many mountain pebbles tumble
onto foreign soil in provocative hops!

Need I mention every single bird that flies
in the face of frontiers or alights 
on the roadblock at the border?
A huble robin - still, its tail resides abroard while its beak stays home.
If that weren't enough, it won't stop bobbing!
Among ennumerable insects,
I'll single out only the ant between the border
gurads's left and right boots
blithely ignoreing the question "Where from?" and "Where to?"

Oh, to register in detail, at a glance, 
the chaos prevailing on every continent!
Isn't that a privet on the far bank smuggling
its hundred-thousandth leaf across the river?
And who but the octupus, with impudent long arms,
would disrupt the sacred bounds of territorial waters?

And how can we talk of order overall
When the very placement of the stars
leaves us doubting just what shines for whom?
Not to speak of the fog's reprehensible drifting!
And dust bowling all over the steppes as if it hadn't  been partitioned!
And the voices coasting on obliging airwaves,
that conspiratorial squeaking, those indecipherable mutters!

Only what is human can truly be foreign.
The rest is mixed vegetation, subversive moles, and wind.

Of course my own family has its on "crossing borders and limits" story too. Not as painful though, there were more resources on both sides, so the crossing went smoother. Noones life was threated. But Aarons grandparents can't affort power, medication and other daily needs. We don't have to fear deportation for Nathan because he is father to a German child but he also can't travel freely, his embassy refuses him a passport and the German goverment refuses him working allowens because that stamp can only be stamped into a passport. Those are our daily struggles. They seem small and lucky compared to the big picture. Still the small picture takes over most of the time and my strength and energy are challenged by rude staff at foreigne offices, useless phonecalles, thousands of photocopies of account bills for social offices etc... The worries about money are still freaking me out every day, so I have refused looking at our account in the last weeks which doesn't help the problem. I just closed my eyes and hoped for a miracle. My body tells me there is something wrong though. My limits are reached, my back told me so. 
The miracle happend today when my granddad told me he will give us some money from my grandmother, some money big enough to equalize our account so I can look at it again. And we can send some money to Aarons Grandmother too. Sigh!
My back, somehow has healed today, still tension but no breathtaking pain. It is that simple sometimes.

Sonntag, 10. Juni 2012

Back to the shores

Inbetween a lot of football (the Euro-Cup has started), some knitting (sneaker socks for birthday on Tuesday- check!), popcorn and cake we sneaked in some lunch at the river. And I think we found our new favourite spot, very lonely, green, enough driftwood to keep our fire going all summer and a sandy beach with soft waters for Aaron to play in. Now you know were you can find us this summer.
I don't know why I even bothered to bring toys for Aaron (for playing in the sand I thought) when there are rocks to throw in the water. What a boy needs... At one point he was standing up to his shirt in the water but Mama had brought enough clothes and shoes. But energy was at a low point so Papa had to help out for the long way home. We were not too sad though, the Italy - Spain match was coming up and the little boy was sleeping neat and tight by the time it started ;-)
Joining Amanda for Weekending today, such a delight!

Freitag, 8. Juni 2012

{this moment}

Joining Soulemama today for (this moment): A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Mittwoch, 6. Juni 2012

Good to be a little weird!

Knitting and reading - my favorite things to complete a perfect day. So I am joing Ginny for Yarn Along today to share my passion with you. Come and join in if you like!

I finished the crazy colored socks and started some plain grey sneaker socks that my man will get for his birthday next week. he wished to have some knitted sneaker socks, so nothing can go wrong here...
Sometimes I feel weird to knit woolen socks in summer. People seem to give you weird looks when you knit in public (i knit on trains, in parks, in cafes etc)  but usually I just don't care. Most of the time I think there is nothing wrong with people thinking I am weird. Cause I might just be weird, I don't like being very normal anyway. I guess that's why I like the book I am reading this week: "Irre". It could be translated "Insane" and is written by a psychiatrist who explains, why we should not be afraid of psychologicaly sick people (most of them at least) but of those being very healthy, but crazy. (Like some politicians, finance managers and other people who would like to run the world etc.) We can only treat and help people who feel sick and suffer. Most of them are all worried about their own being. Those who are crazy but don't suffer they are the dangerous potential. The book also gives very well written and simple explainations of most of the main psychological problems like addiction, depression, fear, schizophrenia etc. There are so many statements in this book that I find very, very, helpful to learn about for my work and privat affairs.
I think this strawberry has also developed some sort of personal disfunction. It seems like it would rather be a shrimp... But, and that's what I have learned from the book: there is no need for treatment as long as this strawberry feels very happy looking like a shrimp...