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
We retrace our steps, without intention, it just happens: suddenly we see ourselves, there at that terrace, one evening, or there, along those walls, pushing our bikes. It’s later at night, and the Neue Gallerie is not yet closed, we meet there, in a concert of bright lights and laughter.
That was three years ago, then it was Spring; how fast time goes in this City? Those ghosts are us, or perhaps, we have become them. We know those streets, we can follow our shadows. They, us, look at us, interested and tender, those younger faces, ours, so familiar, now observing us from the other side of the mirror.
But which side are we in?
Photo: inspired by the beautiful blog https://streetberlin.net/, street photography. berlin. kulturforum. 2016 © martin waltz
What is time?
Only propositions have sense; only in the nexus of a proposition does a name have meaning.
~ Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921), 3.3
We live surrounded by symbols. In this city, where you and I dream, love, walk and invent new causes to believe, infinity lives through their immortality.
The ghosts have names, some secrets, as yet unrevealed. They have left for us so many traces of their own dreams: Viktoria Hill, the Iron Cross, the Blue Angel, abandoned airfields, hideous ruins, and for each one we can discover them, silent, ever so present, braving the flow of time, as ice covering the Spree.
The lakes are now frozen, the air carries the scents of wood and coal fires, perhaps the lingering sounds of ancient wars. So, you and I, my love, we walk with the Dead, from time to time, listening to their calm voices, evoking infinity.
Picture: The season of fallen leaves. © 2017 Irina Urumova
From the cheeky crew…
A ray of sunshine, a reflection on the fresh snow: it is so tempting to think of the new year, and of Spring! Yet we are in winter, souls are hiding from the cold winds behind long coats and wooden scarves, the days are short. Only the ducks appear to be quite at ease in the icy water of the canal. We know it will come, after many other days of staying indoors, just popping out when the sun comes out…
Photo: Plötzensee, Berlin Wedding, © 2017 Honoré Dupuis
So much to see, so little time…
History walks along the quiet streets, ghosts hide in the corridors of museums: our steps resonate in the night, so much to explore… The story ripens, enriched by the findings, tombs of soldiers, standing knights in corners of baroque churches, damsels hidden in wooden scarves and dark mantels. Renaissance painters, medieval crosses, Japanese swords, enough material for many books.
Will there be time to pillage so much wealth?
Photo: Alte Museum, Berlin – © 2016 Honoré Dupuis
Steps to Heaven
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
Sharing is Caring
We are but small pebbles in the midst of a big storm, rolling, rolling, until we fall into the great void. On the way we hold on to our memories, our feelings, our fears, our hopes. Sometime, for a few seconds, we encounter peace. It does not last, pebbles are not made to rest.
Photo: Böcklin, Toteninsel
From the daily post crowd
I prefer the German verb: “entspannen”, as for me it evokes stretching on a hot mat, cool drinks in proximity, maybe the sound of little waves hitting the blond sand… Right now, I am relaxing, writing this nonsense, grey skies and +2 deg. C!
But it is Monday, and starting the week in a relaxed mood (!) is surely best. So, cool jazz in the background, nice posts to like, gifts to wrap up. Cool.
And, of course, herzliche Season’s Greetings to you, dear reader, whatever you chose to celebrate in this end of year 2016!
Image source: andBerlin
The woods are silent, high above the hills a hawk observes the few walkers: we are aware of what we are treading on: a still intact Nazi building that resisted attempts at destroying it, on top layers after layers of rubbles from ruined homes and monuments destroyed by the war. We admire the views, the lakes on the horizon, the stadium’s tower above the trees, the white city and its domes.
We approach the site through the naked trees, past the climbing rocks, along the double fence. Everything has been vandalised, rubbish strewed over the once well ordered roads. What remains is enough to show the extent of the buildings here, and there is more underground.
What did they listen to? What did they learn? Was there a sane reason for them to be there, for nearly forty years… Was there a sane reason for the division, the pain, the fears?
What do the ghosts think? Or have they given up since the devil persists in haunting those hills?…
From a visit to Teufelsberg, former NSA listening station in West Berlin.
Along the canal…
It’s a nice relaxing walk, some three kilometres from our place, soon on the bank of the Spandau canal, formerly Hohenzollern canal, following the Mauerweg. A small cemetery lies there, it must have been, for years, in the no man’s land between West and East, and the graves are those of senior officers of the Prussian army who were active before or at the start of the first World War.
This place is eery, as the Wall has vanished, bar in a few places (one can see still a watch tower entirely preserved, surrounded by new buildings where families and children now live.) Yet one feels that other presence: there was a border once, and thirty years before then it was not the City we now see. The province – Land – that has survived, is no longer Prussia, it is back to being Brandenburg. The founding myths of the new republic, “wir sind das Volk”, gloss over the historical complexities. What we see, or guess at, is the multitude of ghosts who haunt the space, all the way to the Reichstag.
Photos: © 2016 Honoré Dupuis