Imagination #writephoto

Imagination

art

 

“It’s a puzzle,” I said as we looked up the victorian wall. “There was something there, before, and the artist…” But I realised my companion was not listening, rather he was looking closely at the colours, and delicately taking small samples of the paint he carefully saved in an envelop. “I wish I could take a picture…” Holmes said finally. “I am sure this has been copied from somewhere.”

Later, at no 221B, as we lit our pipes after dinner, Holmes suddenly declared:

“You were right, Watson, it’s an allegory, and of course you have recognised the pavots, your “artist” is a drug dealer, who advertises his ware locally, and the allegory is about the Nirvana of the opium smoker…”

I sat back, and reflected.

Arch #writephoto

Arch

arch

 

For centuries the great abbaye had stood, in its majesty and glory, in the peaceful landscape. It was then a centre of faith and science, where wise men worked, and kept the flame of civilisation burning. They were frugal, up in the frosty mornings before dawn, ploughing the fields and teaching the children; their chants filled the vales and forests, rising to the sky.

Then the heretics had come, plundering, burning, torturing the faithful. A dark veil had fallen on the earth, the Dark Lord’s reign had begun.

But today, in the faint light of dawn, I can hear the monks’s voices, the soft footsteps of their sandals. I sense their presence, their curiosity, even, about this strange creature, this human being who survived the fall. Their anthem is but a light breeze through the icy air.

The arch stands, witness to a millennium of folly. And there, on the cold stones, I kneel, praying to the true God, in submission and piety, the last, shivering survivor of the war, that ended the evil empire.

Dedicated to the builders of the great abbayes of Yorkshire, and their defenders.

Looking back… #Iamwriting

Berlin_Kunstbunker

 

Last winter, there was ice on the windows… Perhaps, now, we miss that cold edge to the air?

The long walks along the river, the parcs, the lakes. A cold Sekt on a bench, long rides in the vibrating forests, the discovery of ancient sites, the monuments to deep history…

The storm. Each day counted, a boat trip on the lake, an hour in the museum, Luther, Sans Souci… Ruinenberg…

Yes, some short stories, but the novel is still beached, going nowhere. Does it matter?

No, it was a good year. Each day counted, 1937, a look into a recent past, and, wrapped in mist, a further away time: what ghosts roam in those older streets?

Discoveries: characters to make alive, tales to tell, dreams to repeat.

Inspiration: each new dawn, nature fighting back, art… The dark Muse.

Books? Turing, Wittgenstein, The Plot Against America, Silk Roads, Musil…

We are grateful for every morning, in the City of Faust: a Moveable Feast…

Photo: Air-raid shelter in Berlin at the Reinhardtstraße. At the present it is used as a private museum for contemporary art of art collector Christian Boros. On the top of the shelter is a reproduction of the Barcelona-Pavillion.

By Times – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3950214

 

Enchantment

Weekly Writing Prompt #100

tumblr_otylnygu321rv2dfko1_540

 

He found her story enchanting, and the way she was telling it to him a real treat. The fire in his mind was a mere flicker, for the predator within him had long given up: his life was now just about beauty, art, and good stories. So he would write, what he heard, and what had inspired him.

She, in turn, was playing with his mind, yet another victim of the wicked witch.

Picture: Fisherwoman, Odilon Redon, via fleurdulysfleurdulys.tumblr.com

Le grand homme de la nuit

DSC_0279

 

The park is immense: we leave the car near the house on the lake, where the couple lived, and where, we can imagine, Hélène planned her acquisitions. We walk around the house, a structure that inspires solid wealth, and a longing for a bygone age. The sombre bricks reflect in the water, children have left their bikes against the steps that lead to the wide terrace. We follow a narrow path that serpents on what must be, in winter, a very wet land. The ground is soft but almost dry, despite the recent torrential rain. The path takes us to a square building, in the style of the house, which encloses a well. Nearby we leave the main track to circle around a small pond covered with lilies: a beautiful toad meditates on one of the larger leaves, impassible. But we want to see the museum and the famed arboretum. Most visitors are cycling and we feel somewhat ashamed of driving.
The sculpture garden closes at four thirty, so we decide to go and see the Van Gogh gallery first, then visit the garden – a museum of modern sculptures and installations. Hélène had good taste, and a large (they say “unlimited”) budget. She bought Van Gogh both before the painter had achieved fame, and later. His early work is astounding: Van Gogh painted peasants in his native land. The Potatoes Eaters show the rugged faces and hands of a poor family, lunching under the light of a small petrol lamp. The beautiful Dutch white coiffes contrast with the dark garments. The profiles are almost medieval. The collection is an amazing treasure trove. We recognise some the best known paintings, the postman and his wife, the village main square at night – the stars in the Mediterranean sky! – the light of Provence. Hélène bought many avant-garde paintings, Seurat, Picasso, Monet, Mondrian… An hour goes by and we haven’t seen more than a third of the museum. You say that we ought to visit the garden, and then come back to see as much as we can before closure.
This is an enchanted place: the sunlight bounces across the green lawns, and lits the sculptures scattered over open spaces, reflecting in small basins, or part hidden in the trees. You guide us through the maze, and we watch, mesmerised, the variety of inspirations and forms. There is la femme accroupie de Rodin, there the columns of the Sacred Grove

Later, you walk back to the museum, as I continue to explore the garden.
I retrace our steps, and discover more hidden treasures. It is there, a little away from the main path, that I sense him. He stands, in the shade of a large tree, on a block of stone so that his small size is not immediately evident. As I look up the reptilian face, taking in the short arms, terminated into powerful triangular wings, and the cruel hooves, the sun disappears behind a dark cloud. The face is inscrutable, the enormous penis, half erect, exudes menace. I dare take a first picture that turns out blank, then try again, this time more successfully. I read the legend, “Le grand homme de la nuit”, and the name of the artist, Germaine Richier (1904-1959). I can no longer hear voices, nor the laughter of children playing on the grass. I feel the malevolent presence, and ask myself, was Germaine his victim? Suddenly I feel the need to move away from le grand homme.

I walk back to the museum, and look for you. “Did you see anything interesting?” you ask. “It’s a delightful place, and we must come back for another visit…” I reply cheerfully.

Inspired by a visit to the Kröller-Müller park and museum, near Arnheim, Netherlands

Germaine Richier (en français)

Au Luxembourg #5Words

Weekly Writing Prompt #96

 

IMG_0086

 

She appears lost in thoughts,

Perhaps about the poor poet,

He who immortalised her…

We do not know where

She now lies, in peace.

Here, the card says “Laure”,

But he knew her as Laura,

So that there is a doubt,

As to whether she was the one

Who inspired him.

Here, in a press of children, of tourists,

She dreams among the queens,

And the senators,

Until her fall

 

Photo: statue de Laure de Sade, dite de Noves, par Auguste Ottin, Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris (Honoré Dupuis)

You #IWD2017

tumblr_omfyhyjjzp1rtbipvo1_540

 

You haunt my dreams, you haunt these pages, and the places where I once was, and the ones I haven’t seen yet, indispensable, sometime smiling, sometime not, as if you wanted me to know when I keep to the path of truthfulness, and when I don’t.

In a crowd you always find me, and, in my worst nightmares, I no longer see you…

Without you I wouldn’t be here, just a few mineral atoms lost in vacuum. I would not write, what is a writer without muse? How would I even know that this world existed?

Yet, without me, you would be around for sure, but someone else entirely: her reflection in your eyes would belong to another being, maybe even the opposite of me? Can I imagine that strange being, in a world I know nothing about?

No, you are saying, this couldn’t be, for you have made me, and in many ways, I have made you.

Picture: The river, by Chris De Becker

Filter

The Prompt

img_20160817_135721170

 

So many faces, so many objects, coming to us from the past; some strangely familiar, others, forever enigma, forged by minds we cannot decipher, or from individuals so distant in time that their language is forgotten. We parse, think, and chose, the ones we can retain, remember, the ones that inspire us, or invite us to reflect on our own time, to extend our dreams.

We meet them on the street, in the eyes of passers-by, in the windows of small shops whose purpose is uncertain. Or in museums, already acknowledged by some unknown collector or curator, half-way between celebrities and relics…

From time time, our mind captures one of those that are different: the still vibrant ghost of a powerful spirit, who, perhaps, has not spoken her last words.

Photo: Clocktower, Göttingen

Ovation #DailyPrompt #BerlinerDom

Steps to Heaven

img_20160914_173539369

 

The notes spiral high to the far away dome, Luther looks down impassively from the vantage point of his stele. Hensel, Bartolini, Crüger, Praetorius, Bach… Concertos and chorals resonate deep in the baroque church: the audience, enthralled, pauses before the ovation.

A venue of legend, resurrected from the ruins, in the midst of the City, reborn to her splendour…

Inspired by the Dresdner Bläserweihnacht, Berliner Dom, 26. Dezember 2016

Berlin classical concerts