Disagree #DailyPost #WritersWednesday

Inspired by today’s prompt

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“It’s me you’re babbling about, isn’t it?” she said, on a tone of voice that betrayed her mounting anger. I kept silent, no point in denying: the computer screen clearly showing the latest entry on her story was there, in front of us. At this point she was arguing with her ex-husband, and a row was boiling.

“I asked you before: let’s talk first before you start writing about my intimate life, wasn’t that made clear to you?” I could not disagree, we had that conversation a year ago, she’d complained about not being consulted on details of her life she wanted to be true and accurate. Then she even went as far as mentioning “abuse”. An author abusing his characters, well, this character, at any rate.

I wanted a way out, but knew she would not give up easily. “I suggest you read the draft, and I’ll do the corrections you want, within reason. How does that sound to you?” Her reply was as icy as her grey eyes:

“The fool doesn’t even know the power of words. Think again: what you write can never be erased, or edited out. You just hurt people with words, as sure as you would with a knife! So take that for a certainty: I DISAGREE with you messing with me, my life, past and future, unless I have knowledge, beforehand, of what you are plotting.”

She knows her strength: characters have their rights, and for a writer, breaching those is a sure road to bad writing. I went to the kitchen to make her a cup of tea, but when I came back she was gone. The screen showed in large characters:

“YOU’D BETTER LISTEN THIS TIME!”

Longing #exit #City

Deutscher Dom, Gendarmen Markt

Deutscher Dom, Gendarmen Markt

 

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…

The City knows #WritersWednesday

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She never forgets: the humble swamps of the beginnings, the far away sounds of war, the medieval cruelties, the triumphs, the parades, the Enemy at the gates…

Then there was the long war – thirty years of destruction, rape, pestilence and ruins. Out of this came a stronger state, and she was the capital. The Soldiers” King – Soldaten König – made her powerful, perhaps a little agressive too. She knows what the fate of his son was, the sweet Friedrich, and Russia: a predicament for the next two centuries.

She remembers the Corsican invader, who would have feared Friedrich, and would lose his pride, and an empire, in the snows and fires of Moscow. And she loved Schinkel, the master architect, he who gave her the cross – on the hill: Kreuzberg, and what followed, the victories, the invincible army, the birth of the Reich, the Iron Cross.

Of the First World War she only remembers the trains full of enthusiastic soldiers, and then the revolution, machine guns in the street, Spartakus, the bloodbath, the corpses thrown into the canal.

Of the long night that started not so much later, she speaks often, soberly. So many sad memories, all those little brass stones on her pavements – so many human beings taken away, old and young, and burnt. The memorials, the thousands buried in her parks. Yes, the trees, fallen soldiers, reborn to adorn her streets.

Of the wall of division, yesterday really, a few seconds ago in her life, she knows all, and now she sees the builders, the speculators, the newcomers.

She sees us, my love, and is willing to tell us her stories. We will listen to her, in awe.

 

Prelude #Cityscape

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Exploring a city is like discovering a lover: the unknown sounds, the long avenues, the blind windows so much like eyes shut, the undecipherable scents… Then there are the enticing corridors, the forbidden cellars, the lovely peaceful cafés hidden behind trees, as islands of lust. The city does not yield easily: one has to be patient, one has to enjoy the foreplay, wait for the moment, the right time, observe and love.

The city is full of strangers, as many alive and as many ghosts, like the thoughts and dreams in the mind of the one we seek, as puzzling and provocative. She has its angry, even furious, side: thunder and lightning, when the pavements become hostile, the noise unbearable. She can reject the presumptuous, ignore the fool, she’s sovereign on her territory, she does not forgive.

Although many claim to possess her, she has no master. She has seen murder and rape, she knows much about war, about invaders… In our eyes she’s more alive than ever, risen from the flat sands, slowly stretching her wonderful limbs…

Image: via lightsindarkuniverselightsindarkuniverse.tumblr.com

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…

Island #TheDailyPost #BerlinDiary, July 3

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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We are ready, almost. A lot to pack, a lot still to plan. Will it be Wedding, or Schöneberg, or Tempelhof? The search will continue for the next few months. But now we have a foothold!

So, soon, we will be leaving this little foolish island. Maybe forever? We don’t know. The present atmosphere does not give us reasons to stay! And then we have so much to do, far from the politicking of monkeying politicians and their media puppets…

The diary to write, the photos to take, the novel to restart!

And you, my dear, to worship as ever…

Photography: Pelikan Haus, Ritterstr., Berlin-Kreuzberg, © 2016 Honoré Dupuis

Voyage #TheDailyPost

Not sure how to participate?

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The deed is done, my dear, so there is nothing to hold us back: we shall return to the City, among the youth, and the ghosts, and the walls full of memories. We will walk along the canal, remembering Rosa, and the heroes of the revolution, we will walk along the river, our souls in unison, our limbs alive – despite the attraction of Death.

For the City lives, not in her past, but in the present, forever renewed, walking resolutely to her future, a tall, blond walkyrie, who speaks your language with an accent. Along the tree-lined streets we will observe, and be observed, by those, like us, who have found themselves again.

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

Summer #TheDailyPost

Prompt idea by kashafS

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The morning was cool and fresh, the ground still damp from the rain, the night before. Once again we stopped and look at the gentle curves of the Downs: a farmer had recently cut the hay, crows were surveying the valley, in philosophical and not too assertive flight.

In some fields poppies peppered the wheat, no excessive chemicals here, this is man and nature attempting to reconcile themselves. I was following your silent steps, both of us deep in thought.

Why should we leave all this, for a summer in the city?

 

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