I spent the last six months in the USA, visiting family and friends. When I finally settled into my own space for a brief 5 weeks (I do admit, I’ve had enough travelling for awhile), I decorated my apartment. I took squiggle paint and window paint and drew all over the mirrors and the windows and even the bathtub. I purchased a drop cloth from the hardware store, along with some sharpie markers, and wanted to hang super large pictures on the walls…. you know, the floor-to-ceiling kind of scribbled art.
When I returned to Berlin (especially the district of Friedrichshain), I realised why I was doing “strange” things like writing affirmations on my windows and making cute little signs for around the house: it’s Berlin. The city is decorated everywhere, from graffiti to street art to colourful people in the u-bahn. It’s like these people have a thing against walls, and are constantly making art to cover up the ugly grey buildings from the times of the German Democratic Republic.
Warschauerstraße, behind the underground/tube/subway tracks. (Yes, it’s a joke in Berlin that the city trains and undergrounds are both above and under ground…. the only difference is that the subway is slower!)
“Wir sind ein Volk” means we are one people…. statements like this aren’t hard to find in Berlin, where the separation between East and West is still very apparent. Employees still pay a “reunification tax” even.
It’s been a great sort of sabbatical. After staying with family in 4 different cities in Northern Minnesota (actually, 9 different cities in 5 different states), I’ve been blessed to find my own little place in Duluth proper, centrally located and with a view of that breathtaking Lake Superior. I’ve found a very wise and powerful Qigong teacher/practitioner (in Duluth of all places!) and am honoured to call him my teacher.
They’re washable, of course. I spotted the bath tub crayons next to the watermelon-scented Spongebob bubble bath and let me tell you, it was an impulse buy I did not regret. I often come up with songs or lyrics or poetry in the tub. Rather than fumble around with wet paper and smeared ink, why not just have some writing utensils that were cool with getting wet?
[explanation of inspiration at the bottom.]
it keeps growin’ and growin’, this world we live in
the only choice is what to feed, the virtue or the sin
it spins ’round and ’round, the present and the past
grammatical tense reveals just how fast
this world can change, in the blink of an eye
tell me what do you want, what will you decide
to commentate in adjectives as the colours pass by?
or will you pick up your crayon, learn to grow and to thrive?
There were two powwows on this day, so after spending some time at the Ain Dah Yung Powwow some twenty minutes away, I came to this one in time to grab a plate from the feast table and get a good spot for the drumming competition.
A couple of the men were quite good, and one of the little boys was so unbelievably cute!
I’m sitting at the powwow and it just struck me as beautiful that we all come together and occupy a space for a given period of time. We sing and drum and eat food and sell things, then clean up and move on. It’s a melée of older people moving slowly, young ones running around unsupervised, and teenagers with their typical drama. It’s a colourful chaos that lasts the day, then everyone returns home.
I guess I was in an especially nostalgic mood, thinking about my upcoming return to Europe (date at that time still unknown) and my recent return from Florida and the friend visiting later that night from Philly. Here I was, frozen in a moment of time, celebrating the movement of life.