I walked along the river today. My dearest love, these words are withering under the glittering sun. I miss you so dearly. As I walked along the waterway, I thought I saw your reflection on the waves. They teased me, if I reached out to touch, they fled from me. Then from afar, they beckoned to me, mischievously. My dearest heart, were those your wings I flew on? Did my weight burden you? We flew for too long. We saw the world from the topmost spires. The organ wept in the cathedrals below us; the keys were beaten, the notes, they wept; the notes, they were ferocious in their sadness. My voice, it cracked, and songs, broken and withered, were pulled out of me, out of the deepest depths of my soul. I beat on the music, I urged it; enraged, I beat on the notes; furious why I couldn’t fly; why my wings lay broken; why my heart no longer felt. My love, if this was yesterday, I would have given into you like no other. If this was yesterday, I would have taken you to the heavens; I would have sang to you songs of fire, songs of a wild, wild rush. I would have carried you on my wings, taking you, craving you; right into the skies, to the moon, burning like stars- I would have taken you. If it was yesterday… My love, yesterdays; ghosts, whispers and echoes- yesterdays; lights glowing softly, curled up in bed with a book, with a cup of steaming tea; laying next to you, head resting on your chest, hearing your heart beat- a scent I cannot forget, a touch I cannot stop feeling- laying in an infinite world, clouds soaring in through the open window- yesterdays… My dearest heart, love wanes. Memories come and they go, leaving behind soft footprints you can follow for some time on a slow day. My dearest dear, echoes will not stumble forever, ghosts will not always haunt; faces will eventually disappear; rust and dust and broken trust; they will win. They will win. And where will we be then?
Freedom is a strange thing. For the first time, I could walk on the streets, I could wear a skirt. I was free. I was free to feel, I was free to fall in love. Free, I could laugh, feel, I could drink in the rain and let my dress blow in the wind. But free doesn’t mean easy, free doesn’t mean there are no hard lessons, free doesn’t mean I can catch up to decades of progression in a blink. Everything is different but I belong; and everything is familiar where I won’t give in. Do I feel I’m too old for dresses? Could I sleep forever if I had the chance? Would I give up an awakening, a ray of hope? No, even if every day is dark and the sun never comes out, I won’t. There is something about life that keeps me here, something about chances, love, truth, that keeps me here. There’s something about emotion, hope and songs that keeps me here. Something inviting, a temptation, a taste, that keeps me here, that makes it hard to give up. To taste it again, to breathe it in, it keeps me alive, it keeps me sane. There are days I feel like I’m lost in a storm, days where I walk and endlessly walk. There are days it keeps on raining, keeps on falling, a constant tapping on the streets, on the window pane. For a moment, the sun comes out.
This is winter, this is life.
Burning, incendiary, forgotten fires
Lit up in a shadowed room
Pulpy, throbbing, pounding silence
Hurtful, lustful terrible pictures.
Did he love me? Forget-me-nots.
All we lead, is a double life
Fitful, wakeful, twisting sleep
Endless, blissful, repeated dreams.
Candles, lamplight, every time
Misty, lit-up, shining bright
Bring me to the rising smoke
Does he haunt me? Fraying knots.
It is one of those best kept secrets. You never hear anything about it, you never read something about it. When people talk of Düsseldorf, it’s about fashion, or an upscale sheen that’s absent in Köln; it’s about the Düsseldorf-Hafen (Düsseldorf Harbor) or the Rhine Tower, Rhineturm in German. All memorable places, of course. The recognizable skyline has become the symbol for Düsseldorf. It’s a beautiful city and it shouldn’t be overlooked next to its bigger neighbor.
As I was walking from the central station- the friend I was with promised there was something else here that I would absolutely love. He was right. I think this is Düsseldorf’s best-kept secret. You’re walking along surroundings that look ordinarily gray and dull and you turn a corner and suddenly there it is: a magical street full of homes painted with wild colors and even wilder imagination. It’s enough to say that I was dancing with joy. On this day especially, it was completely empty. No one else was there- just I, and the treasured explorer who had brought me here.
Kiefernstraße is simply delightful. In itself, it has an interesting history with regards to squatting issues that emerged in the 1980s. Along with the first view, above is a little grid through which I am trying to convey the atmosphere of this mysterious street. I am not aware of who the artists were, I am still looking into it but it’s slightly difficult because most of the information is in German (at which I’m not so good). Little trailers are parked along the sides of the street, painted in different themes; perhaps attempting to capture the aura of bygone hippie days!
These two pieces spoke deeply to me. The amount of work and imagination that went into them is absurd. On a sunny but brisk winter day, as the light reflected above the house tops, I thought to myself that it was worth it coming to Europe. The biggest pleasures are unexpected- not waiting in public places and famous city symbols (those are great too, of course!) but my ultimate fulfillment from travel comes from places like these.
“Books, which we mistake for consolation, only add depth to our sorrow. ” ― Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red
It’s one of my favorite lines from Carl Sagan’s Cosmos,
“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”
I designed some self-prints and tried to give them a cosmic, meditative feel. I backed the frames with a sky blue painted wood texture (I also added barely-there embossed wood carvings to the texture).
There’s quite a list of credits;
For the frames, I used mock-ups designed by Tim Easely, which I downloaded from Behance, using this link.
For the cosmic layover effects on the photos, I used the patterns from Webtreats, another one of my favorites- the Classic Nebula Space Patterns.
I took the photographs myself, using a (cheap) tripod and a Canon EOS 600D.
My two years in Freiburg are almost over and I’m (finally) moving to another city, I decided to make some Freiburg posters from my collection of photos! Here are a couple of posters of the Stühlinger bridge, or more commonly what we call ‘the blue bridge’. You get an almost symmetrical view of Stühlinger Church from here (something Wes Anderson would be proud of). Yes, I did some Photoshopped coloring- trying to go for the ethereal look; this place does hold a special place in my life!
Here it is from another angle; beautifully lit up as evening falls…