A Walk in Sacrower Schloss Park

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The leafless trees look over the park, serenity reigns. Not quite free of ice, the Havel flows, almost with an excuse: it may be February, but winter is far from over. In the distance, through the mist, one can guess at the Glienicker Brücke, the bridge of spies. Many years have passed since then, since the hideous wall was removed, new trees planted, the park reopened, and the old church finally restored to its simple splendour.

The Schloss is still closed, its windows blind; a few steps away stands the millennium oak, witness to the folly of man. The old, tortured trunk still proud, even if half of it lays on the ground, finally resting. The path leads to the edge of Scarow, and further to the west, deep in the forest that surrounds the lake. There, in Summer, the young, and not so young, bathe and flirt in the nude, in the cleanest water around, under the shade of the trees. Now the woods are almost silent, if it were not for the woodpecker’s tireless effort. Half melted snow still lies on the ground, covered in patches with the small, pale bulbs of snowdrops.

The lake is frozen, the calm waters undisturbed by visitors. Nature is still asleep, and Spring a long way off.

Photo: Oak tree in Sacrower Schloß Park, © 2017 Honoré Dupuis

Reflections in a Mirror #WritersWednesday

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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

Tempted #Sunshine #Rehberge

From the cheeky crew…

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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

Mythical #DailyPost #FaustCity

Friday’s Prompt

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The clouds came with the giant moon, as if to hide us, humans, from the glare of its pitiless light. At the corner of our street workers rush home, to warmth, love and a well deserved rest. Friday night is for joy, dancing, the smiles of lovers, the hopes of poets, and, later, as ghosts start roaming the quieter streets, the shadow of Faust…

Bless be the City, and be pardoned those, who believe in the right of man to walk alongside the gods.

Image: Dr. Fausto by Jean-Paul Laurens

In Praise of Older Streets #BerlinDiary September 11

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We love the cobbled streets, the antique gas lamps. The older city still resists the onslaught of developers and speculators, the “Gentrifizierung” brigade, and it has allies. Yesterday, cycling our way from the Alex to Kollwitzplatz, and the charms of Prenzlauer Berg, we admired the contrasts, the moving groups, the bon-chic-bon-genre façon Berlin. And we enjoyed the ice-cream…

Closer home, back in proletarian Wedding, the new city remains loyal to its history, its heroes, and through the rumble of traffic, its wonderful parks and small lanes, its lakes. This the rough and tumble life of a city that has now grown back to its population of 1944: yes, 1944.

So, we too, remember 2001 and the victims, on the day, and ever since, of the wars that followed. Bless the cities that are reborn from the ruins.

Photo: Petra Flemming, Porträt Käthe Kolwitz, 1985, Stadt Museum, Berlin (“Stadt der Frauen”)

 

Longing #exit #City

Deutscher Dom, Gendarmen Markt
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Maybe one day we will miss the fog, the infernal traffic, the idiotic media, the inept politics… Of course, you might say it’s the same over there. I smile. It can’t be, and even if it were I long for the new, not the old.

We want to ride through the tree-lined streets, in a city where riding is the way to see, to go places. We want to visit the angels, the memorials to heroes, all the history of centuries past, to hear their tales, their longing too. We want to buy our meals at the corner of busy lanes, on markets overflowing with the richness of the South, sit in small cafés listening to jazz, building in our minds a limitless future.

Maybe we want even more, who knows, this is Faust’s city…

A wall, and a tower #BerlinDiary, July 10

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In my street the only trace of the Mauer is the brass inscription on the pavement. All round everything is new: Berlin is being rebuilt, or renovated, but trees also are planted, here in Mitte, and elsewhere in this fascinating city. In the evening a fine rain started, veiling the profile of the television tower, built in the DDR days, and one the vantage points of the city (I prefer the monument to the victories of 1814-15 in Viktoria Park.)

I went earlier in an exploration of the centre, from the Columbiadamm in Tempelhof, the Alte Jacobsstraße, in Kreuzberg, to Seestraße in Wedding. To get a sense of who the city really is, one has to walk, or cycle. There is a lot of this in perspective…

Landmarks, in stone or time, are everywhere. 17 June, the Landwehr Kanal, Museeumsinsel, Kennedy’s speech at the Schöneberg Rathaus… An eagle still stands proudly on the façade of the old airport building in Tempelhof, on Luftbrückeplatz…

Struggle #TheDailyPost

Prompt idea by wittywheelz

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The rain falls, ceaselessly, ruining the roses, saturating the mild air of a rotten English summer… Soon we’ll be able to grow rice in the garden, and forget about cutting the hay for weeks to come.

Yet the fight continues. We have to continue the search, avoiding the traps laid out by greed and stupidity. Not that the outcome will change much. “They” will still be there, with their pump and ceremonies, their tax vultures, their “experts”, and, of course, their oligarchs masquerading as politicians, or is it the reverse?

Yet we have hope. I know the City awaits us, observing, amused, the signs of struggle…

Image source: norsestore.com

From Suburbia to the Centre, and back again #amwriting

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Planning a move is exciting, and also threatening. So much can go awry, the unexpected lurks at every corner. We have inhabited this parcel of suburbia for a long time, longer than we originally thought, for sure. And, now, we are about to leave this bit of the funny island for  the city of Faust, right in the middle!

We found, hopefully, the place, where to live, to dream, to love, to write… and to wander. More than a room, with a view. All the signs are there: the path through the urban, and ancient, gardens, the waterfall, the dark, deep waters of the canal… the bikes everywhere.

Not far is the river, the few remnants of the old wall, the new shiny skyscrapers: the fight with the Devil, who’s alive, and determined. The new book has a title, and a hero, more mature, a little bruised, and loving it. There is a diary to keep, and the photoblog.

In the meantime, we still have the city of Moloch, to enjoy. Later, we’ll be back. Peace.

Image: Engelbecken (Angel’s Pool), Berlin Kreuzberg, © 2016 Honoré Dupuis

 

Low Light #HolocaustMemorialDay

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The Atlantic rain hammers the windows, in the grey skies the birds are still, hesitant.

Is it the impossible memory, the fear to forget, to ignore, someday to face the nightmare, in our lives?

Those who deny, wrote Primo Levy, are ready to start again. Is it possible?

But then we know, in our time, not that far from us.

We look at the sky, the fast fleeing clouds, we hear the rumble of the city. We think of the long war, the fight for survival. Is this peace an illusion?

Yesterday we saw snowdrops on the edge of the woods, near the valley we love. The earth lives on.

Despite everything we do.

Photo: Käthe Kollwitz’ Pietà, Berlin Neue Wache, Unter den Linden, © 2014 Honoré Dupuis