Escape

Weekly Writing Prompt #94

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On the map, the thin ruby line shows the road snakes its way from the center of the city – this immense space where children, and adults, play, and where the birds sing all day, all the way down south. We lose our way several times before reaching the city’s limits, and it does not matter, for this is a wonderful summer day. The trees are lush from the rain of the last shower, as we follow the trace of the old wall. We will take the escape route again, later, all the way to the old city.

Inspired by the Secret Keeper’s weekly writing challenge, June 19, and a Sunday ride on the Berlin-Leipzig long distance cycling route.

Image: http://gruen-berlin.de/projekt/flaschenhalspark

 

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Temporary #TheDailyPost

The Prompt

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After sundown the city soon wears a cloak of silence: aside from the main avenues, traffic thins out, children rush home, buses and trams, stop by stop, deliver their cargos of precious and tired humanity to their homes. This leaves the freedom of the quiet streets to the flâneurs, to the tramps, and to the night lovers. Except on Friday, when the young revel late, and noisily (bless their voices and their smiles) this temporary truce lasts until the early morning, just before five o’clock, when a new work day starts.

In these few hours of peace, the ghosts roam unheeded the deserted parks, along the canals, and if you are lucky, you may even see some poet, lost in her world, in the semi darkness of a bridge, or lying on a bench, near a lake. It is as if the city was catching up with her inner thoughts, before her children awake from their dreams…

Picture: berlin 2017 © martin u waltz. streetberlin.net, at http://streetphotography.streetberlin.net/image/158029491898

Of a Bottle of Coke, and a Typewriter

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In 1937 the city of Berlin celebrated its 700th anniversary. 1237, was the year when the first artefacts and documents attested of the existence of an organised municipality, in what was then the town of Cölln, as Berlin was still then a mere nearby hamlet. In 1937, the NSDAP, the party of Adolf Hitler, had been in power for four years, following its electoral success in the general elections of 1933. Fleeing the noises and fracas of another election, we visited the most interesting, and beautifully laid-out exhibition “Berlin 1937, Im Schatten von Morgen“, at the Märkisches Museum, Berlin.

Fifty exhibits, photographies, audio recordings, day to day objects, display the day, as it happened, at a time when all organised resistance to the régime had long been brutally suppressed, and the city’s cultural and public life were totally subordinated to the dominating ideology. One can see the Wehrmacht marching, Coca Cola Gmbh doing well, and a typewriter, magnificently manufactured, and doted of a special key for “Schütz-Staffeln” (SS). There are also recordings of letters and diaries of people, then jailed, soon to be directed to an even worse fate, and their murder.

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It all felt strangely close to us, not at all old history. Yet, since, the city saw so many tragedies and as much destruction as the human species can take. We walked those streets, and heard the marching songs. In 1987 Berlin celebrated its 750th anniversary.

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Pictures: courtesy Märkisches Museum, Berlin

Control #TheDailyPost #MaiFeierTag

Today’s Prompt, May 2, 2017

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As we approach the well known street, the crowd gets denser, perhaps quieter too, as if listening to itself. There are many people here, young and old, in pairs or small groups. The air is crisp and the sky peppered with cotton-like clouds. Will it rain? People chat, laugh, stop at little stalls that sell food and drinks. Some carry flags, or small hand-written panels that proclaim peace, or the end of time.

We walk hand in hand in this familiar city, our home. We stop at a band, listen for a few minutes, walk on. There are speeches, some photographers stand on ladders, for a better view of the human sea. More people are coming. Residents sit at their windows, admiring the show.

At the limits, barring motors to access the streets, stand the city police, calm, reflective, attentive. Girls smile. Little ones in push-chairs look at the sky. You look at me and say: “You see, this is a great holiday, and all is in control!”

Picture: Sunday morning, May 1, 2017, Brandenburger Tor (Honoré Dupuis) 

Roots #TheDailyPost #WritersWednesday

The prompt, Wednesday April 26

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She belongs to this city, even if she would deny it. Her accent, I know, is – ever so lightly – from somewhere else, further East, for such is History. Once upon a time, those lands belonged here. Her roots are here.

And I, wandering those streets, drinking quietly on the benches of the parks, try to guess where she is, now, that war again sounds on the horizon. She haunts my dreams, her steps always fading, beyond some wall, or perhaps, behind a cloud.

The ruins have gone – so many women cleared the streets, as the soldiers jeered. At night I roam the squares, near the churches…

She’s nowhere to be found…

Photo: berlin 2017 © martin u waltz. streetberlin.net

Blindly #DailyPrompt

Today’s one-word prompt

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He watches the City born again, the ghosts of the past walking, silently, amidst the joyous crowds. The ancient monuments look old and cleansed, no longer ruins martyred by war. Yet he does not follow the script, blindly, but, rather, reflects on the meanings, the hidden messages, the untold truths. Here were divisions, for sure, and the hideous spectrum of tyranny. But here was courage also. And patient work, and the indomitable spirit of a great nation.

Photo: Brandenburger Tor, von Bundestag cupola, 2017 (Honoré Dupuis)

Territory #WritersWednesday

The Prompt

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This was her city, she’s lived here all her life, and even before she became the angel she now is, she knew the streets, the people who haunted them, and the sort she could meet, the day people, and the night creatures. She was a little of both, and even now, if you could see her, it might be in the glory of dawn, or in deep darkness, in those hours when the ghosts of the city roam the deserted parks, the tree-lined alleys and the silent museums.

She’s here on her territory, she knows the history, she knows the truths, the myths, the real faces behind the masks. She can read the stories the old houses tell, the dreams of the humans who live there. She can hear distant voices, she recognises them. She can read ancient books, she can read what is engraved on stones, hidden from view, forgotten, in abandoned buildings no-one ever visits.

She’s here for a reason: she’s the angel of Death, and close to her the Devil never comes.

Image: “Angel statue in a destroyed city

Purple #DailyPost

Monday Prompt

 

 

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We see the birds gather and fly, first as a small group, then swarming in a dark cloud, defying the glowing sunset. As the coulours change, as the sky turns from blue into purple, then into the deep hue of the coming night, they fly higher, for a short instant, to finally dive, back into the trees. Violet strikes appear in the sky, time seems suspended, the fleeting memories of the day prepare us to the silence that follows, to the peace yet to come.

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