Friday, December 2, 2011

A slowed rush

For no apparent reason what so ever I had the urge to rip out a page of a book and draw on it, skratch out words, silence ts thoughts as if those words were just to loud. I have been having a problem with expressing myself, maybe because I have to do so in German, maybe because I cannot seem to find the right words. But whatever the reason I had this urge to some hoe find some silence. So I grabbed a book that someone had given me but was not at all something I would ever read and tore out a random page. At first I felt guilt, destroying someones words. But still this urge was gnawing at me. I needed silence.

With the torn page in front of me I just stared at it. I was unsure how to proceed. So naturally I took a ruler and drew a line to remove the ragged torn edge. I stopped myself. How limiting. Even when I want to silence, remove, renew, and begin I am still forced but my limiting conditions, reminds or neatness and order. I erased the line. I then picked up a pen And at the corners drew serpant type creautres that wanted to eat the words. Ad then in the middle my renewed yet old self, a butterfly surrounded by circles and darkness.

I did not however silence all the words. I could not do that to the person who wrote them. But instead I merely hushed their loudness around me.

The funny thing is that the whole time I was doing this I felt this sensation of trying to hurry myself yet doing them slowly, anxious but at the same time calm...This is the second time I feel this contradicting within me, as if I were two within one, or just that is about to split into many.

Either way....

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I have been away fro quite a while. My needle has grown cold and the piles of cloth dusty. I have not had the urge to write, create, or even sometimes think. This adjusting to a new life has been hard. I do not want to complain or pity myself. But merely speak the truth. It is difficult with an almost three year old and even more difficult with my three year old that has too much energy. He is a lot to handle and I have felt my time, my strength, my sanity dwindle. There have been days where I have broken down and have felt like an empty shell unaware of who I am or what I like. I am slowly trying to find my way back. But it is difficult.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My life at the moment has changed with the season. With my mom's approaching departure, I have been anxiously practicing my new routine. Wake up before the sun in order to in drink my coffee in peace. Then wake, dress, and convince Basti to go to kindergarten. Breastfeed sometimes while doing many of these things. After forcing a jacket on basti off we go to kindergarten. Then silence for at least an hour and I am able to eat, do some chores, and if I am lucky respond to some emails. Then back to kindergarten, cook lunch, feed the children, naptime is for more chores, dinner time followed by bath time and bedtime. And the I can once again feel like An Adult. And then after a few hours of unconsciousness the routine starts again.

It has been exhausting, difficult, stressful, overwhelming, and questioning. I question how others have done it. How I will be able to handle it once my mom is back in bogota. Will I be able to eat? Why stay at home moms are not honored and praised for all their hard work. We are cooks, maids, teachers, negotiators, entertainers, nurses, and so much more. We are selfless beings that give everything to our children, and put ourselves on hold.

But even though at times I wonder if I can handle it all, if I can survive the screaming and crying and demanding. I cannot imagine having someone else raising my kids.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The wonders of his imagination.

Everyday I am amazed by how wonderfully imaginative my son is. One day there is a dragon living in the bell tower of the church, or a small brown monster that pulls his blanket, or the police are going to come to give the dog a ticket for barking.

Today his game was to run around in a green laundry basket and waiting for me to tap his nose and make a beeping noise. He was entertained for at least half an hour. I love this age. Children are so beautiful and happy. They are the best example of pure happiness.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Life at the moment.

It has been until today that I have picked up my needle and thought about stitching. I have been enjoying my mother's help, my little lindita as I like to call her, and the ability to rest ( thanks to my wonderful mom, what would I do without her). We have had our share of wonderful moments of basti learning to love his sister, and our moments of stress.

Here is Jude's magic feather. I will be sending it to her once I have finished.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The magic feather project

As you can see I have added a new logo on the top right side of my blog. I am creating a magic feather for Jude Hill's Magic feather project. The magic feather is her personal symbol, so for my submission I thought I would combine her symbol with one of mine, the butterfly.

That is all I will say for the moment. I will post a picture once it is on fabric.

Till then.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sarah has arrived

Wednesday August 3rd I roamed around the house feeling heavy, uncomfortable, and anxious about how this birth was going to be. I waited to feel any type of discomfort that indicated the arrival of Sarah, but the day went on and I was still pregnant. That night, as the mister and I slept in the living room, our mattresses stacked on top of each other, our clothing scattered in different rooms, the moon light falling upon us, I began to feel the familiar tightening at 2:40 am. I began to time them and realized they were around 6 and 5 minutes apart. "Isn't that when you are supposed to go to the hospital?" I asked myself. The idea scared me half to death. Everything would be in German. I would have to use a communal bathroom while in labor, and then share a room with another woman and her baby...It was all too foreign, but my body was ready. 

After three bareable contractions I woke up the mister and told him that I needed his company. I was having contractions. Right after I said that I ran upstairs to use the bathroom, and the contractions were stronger. I called for him to come up and he started a bath. The warm water dulled the pain. I could still breathe through them, no longer talk, but as I stared at the bubbles I thought how fast this all was going. I had imagined myself going through hours and hours of breathing and concentrating. 

With each contraction I asked the mister how apart they were and they were now 4 minutes apart.  It was 3:30 in the morning and I told him I thought we should go to the hospital. "I'll make coffee." he said and headed downstairs. 

Time no longer affected me, what seemed to take forever were only mere minutes. It was 4 am when we were in the car heading towards Kaiserslautern."only 3 contractions and we will be there." the mister told me trying to ease my discomfort. I opened the window and held on to the seatbelt strap. With every contraction my knuckles would turn white and I pull the strap as if I were trying to stop a uncontrollable horse. I breathed in silence and the mister drove through the dark morning hours. 8 contractions later, they were now closer together, we had arrived at the hospital. We still had to go down the stairs of the parking garage and get to the Kreisaal. At first walking was impossible, but afterwards it actually eased the pain a bit. 

Somehow we magically made it to the Kreisaal. I professed I needed the epidural. I could no longer take the pain and the idea of being in this pain for hours was the death of me. She told me they needed to take my blood and it would take an hour to get the epidural, but first she had to check me. I was sure I would be at least 2 or 3 cm dilated. At my previous doctor's appointment I had dilated at all. "well i doubt you will be able to get the epidural. You are 6 cm dilated." What ? I cried. I needed something. I begged. She gave me something That made me sleepy and the contractions were as intense as in the bath. So I could at least breathe. "But you will feel the push." She said in English. I was no longer able to understand nor speak in German. The push..I was going to have a natural birth. Something I wanted, but not in that moment. 

An hour later I was half undressed, didn't care, the IV in my arm, I felt the urge to push. I was at 10 cm. I began to push and a sense of relief and inexplicable pain came over me. I wanted to run away. I heard a primal scream come out of my mouth. My whole body was shaking as they placed me in a better position, kneeling with a rounded back. The pain intensified and I had to push through it. There was no way around it. 4 pushed later I felt relief. Sarah was born at 5:29 am. I had my back to her and slowly, with the help of the doctor and midwife I turned and almost tripped on the umbilical cord. There she was pink and crying. It was over. Finally I could rest. no more pain. 

I began to feel tired and the after-pains were intense. They pushed down on my stomach and it felt as if the were trying to pierce holes through my body. I could hear the mister say "isn't that a lot of blood?" "yes, more than usual." the midwife answered. I do not remember much afterwards. I am told a lost a bit more blood than usual.

After a couple of hours they rolled me into my room. The mister had to leave and I was not quite there. I kept on bleeding and they kept on changing the sheets and talking to me. They would come and inject something into my IV to stop the bleeding, come later and give me more. Until finally I was more aware and conscious. 

I looked around and I was not in a two person room, but instead in a four person room. I was the only one with a baby, I didn't understand why I couldn't move, why i was so weak, and what they were giving me. I was later told my hemoglobin levels were 6.8 when the normal levels is around 12. Whenever I sat up my hearing would go and the room would spin. I remained in bed for three days until finally I could get up on my own.

I felt very lonely in the hospital. The other three woman had their babies in the NICU and the mister was busy trying to get the house ready for when Sarah and I returned. I spent the days just staring at her face...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fragmented sun

The weather has always affected my state of mind. And with so much gloom, rain, and darkness this summer in addition with the pains and heaviness and sure things falling through I have been subjected to a feeling of fragmentation. Today I do not feel whole, complete, but instead separated from so much of myself. As if the glue that keeps me together has been washed away by all this rain. 

It has been an odd summer. Only a few days of warmth. Lately every night as we sleep with some fresh air I feel cool and chilled. I wake up to the fog in the palatine forest and a sense that summer just decided to never come here. I prefer cooler weather, but I still need a bit of warmth. I need to store it for the long hard winters that I have experienced here so far. 

But back to the sun. I have been holding on to the small boro-ish discharged magic sun. I never had the right place for it. And as I was preparing circles for the larger cloth that I want to make during The Magic Diaries, I decided I should make a place for this sun, even if it were to be left alone. So now it is the lenght of my forearm and awaiting to be embroidered. Maybe a face? 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The number of us

As the Magic Diaries progresses I continue to think about my mandala cloth. It is a ritual, a rite of passage, something that brings about meditation, awareness, connectedness, strength, and I was contemplating what should be in the middle of this cloth. It must be somehting of importance, a starting point and even a returning point. And so I began to think what happens in the beginning. Numbers...We are all just numbers before we are anything else to the world.

As I have seen while being pregnant, a human is all numbers the size of our head, our weight, the amount of time we have existed in utero. And at the moment of our birth number continue to be of significance; the time of birth, the weight, the height, apgar score. And then slowly we become ourselves, independent of numbers, but still reliant on them, still we identify with them. Our birthday tells us what sign we are and what personality traits we have. Our age tells us how much we have experiences, what we should know, what we shouldn't know, how much time we have lived and how much time we might have left. So I ask, are we all just numbers? Our whole being can me measured and quatified. However, there is another side of us that cannot, our imagination, creativity, feelings, perceptions, dreams, and so on.

This is what I want to place in the middle of it all. The division between our physical and impossed awareness versus the metaphysical and unimposed awareness of ourselves.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

the elephants are coming.

I have set the mothering piece aside for now, and have been thinking about a bigger piece, especially since The Magic Diaries has started. I have therefore returned to my elephants. I am playing around with magical elements and still remaining with the idea of drawing and filling in with thread.

I realized that a piece can only come alive not only by placing pieces of cloth in a certain manner, but You have to also add more of a personal feel to it. It may seem like a silly realization, but it just dawned on me.

Right now it is raining outside and the breeze is comfortingly cool. It has been an odd summer. There have only been a few days of horrible heat that actually made me sick. I wonder why the heat as refused to set in here. Is it so that we do not get accustomed to it? Am I in for another long winter?? I hope not.

Weather is a funny thing. It affects your mood, the crops, the birds, life in general.

I apologize for the pictures. I still only have my camera phone. But it shall do for now.

Friday, July 8, 2011

life is beautiful...

I have been steadily working on the mothering. Today the sun is shinning, the breeze is cool and things are looking up. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mothering flourishing

I have began to add color to her. A few feathers full of color. Her bosom full of nourishing fluid. Her mind swirling. And the center beings to glow and it comes close to completion. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mothering, birthing, creating an existence.

Apparently this child in formation is trying to teach me how to relax and not let the stress affect me. At first it was with the normal pregnancy lows of nausea. However, this mother did not listen. Then came toe groin pains and inability to walk without discomfort. But still this stubborn mother did not listen. Then came the back spasms and contractions and finally the mother began to listen, but already her body was headed to a downward spiral. The final lesson were the daily migrains, the cold from hell, and the severe contractions that finally sent this mother to bed to listen and reflect on how she was living life. 

The answer was, too much stress, too many worries, too little help. And as this mother remained in bed an image of a female mothering an birthing a whole new existence came to mind. She still had the ability to move freely with her winged arms. However the weight of mothering a whole new world, an whole new universe, a whole new beginning weighed her down. But she takes this with grace and with pacience. She contemplates in silence and the center of all grows within her. She is calm, quiet, at peace. She knows that it is her role and her place to wait.

However, while her body is quiet, her mind swirls with the future to come. She weaves outcomes and adventures for the existence that will soon begin.
She lives within this universe.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Today I used the needle as a pencil, spontaneously lacing stitches wherever they fell. It was as if my energy were writing its own language and giving orders to this flexible all grabbing guardian.

Compared to yesterday's controlled satin stitch.Even though I enjoy the texture and the look of the satin stitch, it takes more effort, more concentration...

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Guardians

It was a tough end of week. Thursday night as I was lifting my son out of the bathtub my back gave out and for some magical reason I was still able to dress him (while sobbing) and place him in his crib. While grasping the walls I was able to go down stairs, so that Basti would not hear me cry, and sat on the sofa.

I waited for my husband to arrive from his trip to London. Unable to move my legs. Hungry. Needing to use the bathroom.

At 11pm he arrived after driving almost 2 hours from the airport in Frankfurt. I was broken. I could not lift myself past 90 degrees and just getting up from the sofa was a journey of several attempts and failures. With his help I made it upstairs and into bed.

Sleep lingered above my head, a dream that I so desperately craved but never came. At 6 am my son decided it was time to wake up, and since we at the moment are in the same room I was forced to remain awake as well.

The day went by going to doctors and gripping cold and moist buildings only to hear that the only comfort I could achieve would be through rest, heat, and time. I was told that I needed to not lift heavy things, and to take it easy because things were happening that shouldn't be happening yet.

After the weekend was over, with only a few moments of rest, I am now able to walk. However, the pain is still there, a reminder of what I should be doing.

Yesterday after realizing that I cannot take it easy, my husband needs to work and I need to take care of a toddler, I created the guardians. One who could reach all at the perfect time, one that had the wisdom that brings me comfort and one that is pure light that leads me out of my abyss.

It is sad when you can only rely on yourself and even then you cannot even count on your own body to help you out.

At least I have the guardians...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Back to my roots

I have realized how I have been limiting myself, out of fear of it not looking pretty enough, wasting fabric, people not liking it. And I have decided that in this new place, my own place in this world, I will not be limiting myself anymore. I will allow myself to doodle and make mistakes.
This sunflower is the beginning of this liberating phase. I enjoy black lines on white fabric. I enjoy coloring in. And each petal represents a different stance, mood, emotion, thought, that have brought me here. ANd autobiographical flower.

The doodles are part of en exercise of allowing my hands to move freely and just do what they want. No thinking involved. No planning.

I believe I will just do some heavy embroidery in that one square. I am not sure though if it will stay with the sunflower. Probably not....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The smell of happiness

I finally have internet again, and with that came a sense of relief, of comfort.
However, I alo felt a sense of loss. I had gained a new perspective that did not involve hovering over a computer screen. I had regained a perception that I had learned with my grandma up in the Smokey Mountains. I would go to the cabin and stay with her for a couple of weeks and even a few months on end. There was no internet, standard cable, a few old VCR movies ( like Thorouhgly Modern Mille one of my favorites), and books, thousands and thousands of books. We were engulfed by nature and all one could do was live in a world of wonder and imagination.

I would spend hours outside day dreaming about an earlier time when women used parasols. I read a lot of victorian novels while I would visit my grandma. And this place reminds me of the cabin. A place I always found peace, calmness, serenity. I would only feel happiness there, and here it is the same.

The fresh breeze brings about scents that I longed for. These scents bring back memories of the mist over the lake, barbecues and bonfires, and drives through the cool woods.

And I am thrilled that my young son enjoys it here just as much as I do. We spend the days outside on our driveway playing and listening to the church bells.

We walk to the doctors to follow the river from our backyard.

We encounter goats and scurry and feed of leaves and grass and lay in the rain.

And when my foot is not so back we run down the pathway leading to the train station to watch the trains go by.

I am truly happy here, even with all the dust, drywall, and other renovating materials that lay everywhere.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Without real internet ( I only have my phone) I am forced to live life differently. I sit outside. I listen to the birds. I watch the neighbors do their daily routines. I dream of painting the walls with my own designs and find it hard to break away from the heavily engrained rules of having white walls.
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011


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caught in the rain

We have been in the new house for a week now. The air is clear and fresh. The neighbors are friendly and helpful. However, the house is still a construction zone. We do not have any flooring, no doors, a room full of boxes that are unreachable, and tools and materials every where.
I love the house and the town, but on a rainy day like this I feel like a prisoner. I can't do anything. I can't lift boxes, put things anywhere, or improve the condition of the house. All I can do is sit and keep basti entertained in one room.
At this level of despair I have even considered taking the train to mannheim getting the car from the husband's workplace and driving to ikea to get suplies.... I am not an adventurous person. I have a bad foot. I cannot find my jackets or sweaters a the stroller is in the back of the basement. However I am still contemplating going.
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Friday, May 27, 2011

The meaning of things

As my mother in law's birthday approaches the idea of a gift (a significant gift) keeps on glooming over me. Is there real meaning of turning 70? I do not ask this in a mean way, but is just living without getting killed a real accomplishment? Or, what I think to be true, is the meaning within how one lives their life, even if it is to 13. She was a young child during the end of World War 2. She married young and had five children spread out throughout her 20's and 30's. She  has always worked hard as a housewife, and for a while as the fabric manager of their furniture company that went under. She has been a caring grandmother who whenever asked takes care of her grandchildren when her children are busy working. She is an admirable woman. She deserves to be honored and with that to receive a gift that shows her how mush she means.

I have been going back and forth with the idea of sending her something that I have made. However, there are many questions that have risen with this idea. Will she appreciate what I give her? Do I give my things too much meaning? Will she think it is ridiculous? My upbringing has been a very artistic one. My mother is an artist, my grandmother sews, plays the piano and draws, her mother was an artist, and so on. And on my grandfather's side, even though they were more mathematical they have always found the beauty and wonder in art, like my husband. My husband however, seems to be a unique member of his family. They do not understand or appreciate art. They might see something that appeals to them but they only look at it superficially. Therefore, if I were to send her a sun for example, she would only see a small sun on a piece of fabric. I see a message of importance, life, everlasting, energy, the center, and also the desire to send her more sun, more light, more enjoyment for many years. Would she get that? Would she want to?

On another note, I have been going through my unfinished cloths, unfinished for a reason (I did not really like them) and have pulled bits a pieces out of them.

And so now I am playing with an elephant. I have been playing around with the idea of making a large cloth with the theme of sun moon and stars. This is an elph star, and I think it needs more color in addition to an eye and other things. But this is what I have in front of me this morning.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Black hole, black sun...

I have enjoyed the flap concept for a while. I first time being when I created the frozen beast in time. His gigantic eye came from flaps. Ever since Sun Moon Star started I have had the image of the sun with black rays. Maybe I will add the wonky face to this sun as I drew in my journal.

I was also very eager to try out the bleach that we were able to find while down in the Black forest. And it actually does bleach. I just played around with an old brush and dabbed around to see what secrets laid behind the color. I really like the result the red gave.

So far it is small, measuring 13 cm by 15. We shall see what I end up doing with this.

Monday, May 23, 2011

round and round...

This weekend we all went down to the black forest to celebrate the union of two dear friends. It was a lovely wedding, or at least the parts that I was able to enjoy (it is difficult to maintain a 2 year old sitting still for more than 10 minutes.) The reception was held up in the hills of the forest and the view was breathtaking.
We enjoyed the live music, delicious food, and good company and finally after a long night I, the pregnant designated driver drove though the dark forest with only the stars and my headlights to guide us home. Now that I am away from the forest I can enjoy the quietness and tranquility of this very living thing. I realized how alive it is while we were enjoying the fireworks. With each outburst the forest would respond with a loud roar. It was magical.
the little monster at 2 am....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

hope, faith, wish, and aspiration

70 brings tears

This is not my first time that a 70th birthday brings me to the depths of despair and makes a simple celebration that ultimate battle between my husband and his demons. During my first pregnancy his father turned 70. I was leaving my second trimester and beginning to feel the symptoms of preeclampsia. I was dizzy to the point that it was hard for me to walk straight. My legs were giant water retainers and the idea of joining his family to a trip to Las Vegas was not an option. I had a bad feeling about flying, not uncommon to me since I have a severe phobia of flying. The mere idea of being enclosed for hours and having to suffer the uncertainty of if this metal aircraft will remain in the air brings me to the verge of a mental breakdown. There have even been some occasions where I have had a panic attack. My throat feels constricted, my limbs begin to feel numb and the only way I can control the attack is if I walk and breath in deeply fresh air.

After my last doctor's appointment before the trip, she informed me that it would be best if I had bed-rest because of the dizziness. My Husband still had to decide if he was going or not. He decided not to and I was relieved that he had chosen me over his very tight nit family. Of course many of his family members did not agree with him. I could have stayed by myself. I was only 28 weeks pregnant. So when they returned from the trip we went to spend Christmas with them and the anger was felt and especially directed at me.

Now, two years later I find myself in another situation. Now it is his mother's 70th birthday. Her wish is to have all her children in Florida with her. I understand that wish. This time I am 32 weeks pregnant and luckily I have so far not had the dizziness or the giant water retaining legs. However, we are moving next week into our new house, which is still not done. It is still a construction site. And yet again My husband is feeling the pressure from his family to come to the birthday. Only one family member has said they understand if he cannot come. All the others are expecting him to come. And it is as if this birthday is the deciding point of the future relationship with the family. He goes and all is well. He stays and I become the evil wife that made my husband end his relationship with his family. 

It is all too much for me. I have cried to many tears over this birthday. I feel alone, so terribly alone. And if he does go the loneliness will consume me. So I sat outside on our balcony and wondered if I should face my fears and tell him to go, make it easier on him and just deal with my emotions myself. Or if I should allow my fears their space and remind him why I do not want him to go, but understand why he feels he should.

I felt hopeless this morning, after he told me he felt like he should go and if he went it would only be for 4 days. But then I say the Ikat. And I decided to make my hope remain intact.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Another journal page today regarding the moon. I have not felt motivated to start on the calender, maybe it will turn out to be one of those ideas that remain ideas for a while. However, this one with the moon and the waves is making me want to sit down and sew. However, I have found some difficulty finding cleaning supplies with bleach here in my neck of the woods, because my idea is to have the waves discharged onto the fabric.

Some thing that I have realized is that I have entered a wonky phase of drawing. I have gone from realist point of view to a cartoon point of view to a wonky odd point of view, and I am truly enjoying this phase. I even find them interestingly beautiful.

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Running through the sky

I have recently joined my fellow cloth makers on another journey with Jude, this time up in the sky. To tell you the truth that is where I normally am, among the stars and the galaxies, marveling at the history, and spinning dreams and worlds that only exist in my head. So it is very entertaining to go back up there even more so to look at the symbols and shapes that humanity has always adored and wondered about. I have already caught up with the other whisperers and my mind is full of questions. Some were Jude induced, others were already there, but finally landed on paper yesterday.

I know most of you, if there are any who still come here, are tired of me talking about being depressed and how life is sucky and what not. I know, but this time its a bit different. I have come to the revelation that in order for me to be happy and thriving and enjoying life I need to feel inspired. I need to create. I need, as we all do, a purpose. It seems odd that my purpose is to create things that maybe will never go anywhere except my own walls. Why is that? Why is that my purpose?

But back to my questions and what if's regarding the sky.

As I was watching an episode of Lost the concept of memories came about and it was said that the purpose for memories is so that one can recall the person that has left and enjoy their presence until they see them again. Sounds like a good explanation to me. But it made me wonder, what is the purpose of memories? Especially when they can be altered by perception, age, emotions, time, etc. When I began to gather ideas, or associations to the words of Sun, moon, and star (I recall fondly doing the same thing in my advanced English linguistics class....I miss college) I associated stars with memories since the night sky that we see is actually in the past because light from those stars take so long to reach us, by the time they have reached us some of them are burnt out, and only a memory on the night's surface.

As I thought about stars and their life cycles, while staring at Jude's quartered sun I wondered what would happen if I added more segments to a quartered sun? Would it look like an expanding star about to explode? I could stop time and look upon a bloated being before it disappears. I could examine that last moment of life before it vanishes and you are left with emptiness.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The dress

Well, I have come to the realization that I am not a dress maker. By pure chance this "dress" fit the doll. But I am still going to add a ruffled collar and a ruffled faux slip, with my mothers help who has extensive practice in tailoring.

When I showed my husband the doll. His first remark was that it had a Burton influence. And yes now that I look at it it really does. Tim Burton And Edward Gorey have heavily influenced my style.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Eine kleine puppe für eines kleines Mädchen

Forgive my German grammar. I always forget which case ending to use after prepositions or even without prepositions.... It has been a while since I have been nose deep into linguistics and word trees and heavy books filled with what look like mathematical formulas but instead are detailed views of sentences...Oh those days were so much fun. How I love linguistics. But now on to other things that might interest any of you that still might come by and are tired of me complaining. I have created my rag doll.

I am still in the stuffing phase. But I had to give you a peek at what she looks like all flattened out. My favorite part is her hair. I love the uneven, mismatched colored strands of hair.
I also enjoy her black on one side white on the other legs. For newborn eye development and entertainment.
I think her simple embroidered face is sweet and nother too scary or dramatic that might cause infant nightmares.
And I think having her bottom brandedwas the way to go. This way there is no confusion as to whom she belongs. I also added a loop on her back so that she can dangle from te air and gaze down at Sarah.
I quite enjoyed making her and still have to stuff and dress her. Her dress will have a checkered heart in the middle and a parted rounded collar. This will be my first ever dress I will make. Here is hoping it turns out alright.

More updates to come.
What do you think of my little rag doll? Does she need a name?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

One of those days

Yesterday was a bad day. My leg was hurting. Basti hadn´t slept well. He refused to take a nap. He was cranky and testing his limits all day long. My patience were very thin, almost none existent. My desire for sewing was infinite. It was one of those days that I had no hope and only despair. I felt alone, and that my whole life was going to be driven by screams and no time for myself. And the other major fact was that my husband had not been home for more than an hour in three days. And I knew that he would be away at our new house working till Sunday. So my despair grew. It was a little voice during breakfast. By lunch it had grown 12 inches, and by the time my husband was here to say hello and the landlord was showing the apartment to a not so friendly vibe person I the voice was 4 feet tall. I broke down after basti threw my laptop onto the floor with a smile and a giggle.  I ran to my room and cried.

A while ago, pretty much when I created this blog, I had come to the realization that I am the type of person that NEEDS to create. I need to sew or draw or sing or write. I need that for my sanity, because when I go without creating I am angry, short tempered, a mess. And while I was taking care of mz then infant son I had no time to create, and no materials. We had just moved to Germany and I had left behind all of my art supplies. I truly felt like ife was not worth all the hassle and stress....Maybe there is something wrong with my brain, but apparently creating is my medication.

I remember in college, after being told my a Chinese phD student teaching compostion that "You no good at writing. Find nother career." I was devastated. I couldn´t write a single creative sentence. I was blocked, and depressed. But luckily I finally forced myself to take a writing class, a therapeutic writing class, and felt like myself again....

So I guess I when it comes down to it. It has been difficult for me lately because of my physical limitations. Going up nad down stairs is a job, getting up from my seat is a job, going out and walking is a job. Pregnancy is a very very difficult time for me. But I guess the solution is to take it one day at a time and hope that my son will understand why I cannot take him to the park.

Sorry for the rambling.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The fuel for creativity...

I have asked myself this question many times, what fuels creativity? I know it is a very personal question, and in my case I have wondered if sadness fuels mine, or at least my literary creativity. I have always used melancholic music, instrumental music to create my stories. I always need a soundtrack for my stories. And it is funny, whenever I reread them I can still feel the tempo of the music in with each word being read.

What do you think?

Here I will post a few examples of some stories. I understand if you, whomever you are might not be interested in reading it. Thats alright. But if you are here is a dialogue I wrote in 2009.

Moments in an hour

A man is sitting at a corner table in a well lit bar. He holds his glass firmly as he swirls the amber liquid inside it. His hair is tussled. His white button up shirt has its two first buttons undone. His dark grey blazer is dirty. His hands are covered in dry mud. He hears footsteps that are coming towards him. He smiles with recognition and stands to meet his guest.

Man: I’m glad you came. I don’t know if you will believe me, but I have just been through a horrible hour. I wish I had not lived during that hour, and the only reason why I will relive it is because I need some relief. I need some comfort.

Guest: Ok. I’m listening.

Man: I was walking down the stair of my apartment building, to buy cigarettes. Yes I know I was going to quit, but my will power is faulty whenever I decide to quit. My hands start to sweat, my eyesight begins to fail, and I begin to imagine things. At first I thought it was all in my head, because these things only happen in books or in the movies.

Man: I open the front door. The autumn wind slaps my cheeks and I can feel my skin burning from the cold wind. I rub my hands together, and as I blow warm air into my hands I see in the corner of my eye a woman. Black hair, black overcoat. Just staring at me. I smile. She smiles back. She looks down at her shoes and I walk towards her.

Woman: Nice weather huh?

Man: If you are properly dressed.

Woman: Nice enough for a walk. Don’t you think?

Man: sure… I answered. I had to walk to the kiosk anyway, and her presence made the walk supportable, even nice. She was beautiful. She smelled of a fresh spring garden. She smelled of beauty. Her hair shined of a thousand colors under the lamp post. I began to long to touch her hair; to feel the silky texture of her coal colored hair. I yearned to place my fingertips on her cool skin, on her cherry red lips that I imagined tasted as such.

The man coughs as his fingertips touch his lips

Man: so we walked. I saw the kiosk, but didn’t want to stop walking.

Woman: I have to ask you something.

Man: ok, go ahead.

Woman: Have you ever felt real love. The love that drives you insane. The type of love that makes your skin burn and your mind go wild with crazy images.

Man: for a person or for a thing?

Woman: I can tell you have felt that way towards a thing, but no I mean a person.

Man: I guess I have not.

Woman: You will. I can feel it.

Man: You can, can you?

Woman: yup. I could tell you want to touch my hair. Know me. Hold me. Smell me. Why don’t you. I am here.

Man: You want me to touch your hair.

Man: I remember looking at her with disbelief, and pretending as if I didn’t want to. But I did. I grabbed a strand of her hair and as it laid between my fingers I felt everything that she was. I could feel her warmth. Her breathe on my neck; the feeling of her stare on my bare body; the vibration of her voice as she presses herself against my chest. I could feel a whole life time with her. My eyes moved from that single strand to her eyes.

Woman: Do you think you could?

Man: Could what?

Woman: love me? Just for a while? For an hour to be exact?

Man: why only for an hour?
Man: I said before realizing how revealing that sentence was. I could love her for the rest of my life. I wanted to experience those moments not only once but many times over.

Woman: I only have an hour left of life.

Man: what do you mean?

Woman: I am dying, and I cannot imagine dying without knowing that type of love. I don’t want to die alone, forgotten.

Man: I didn’t know if I could believe her, but her eyes confirmed this was true. Her clear crystal shining eyes were filled with tears.

Man: I have all the time you need.

Woman: let’s go inside.

Man: we were standing in front of a small house that was jammed in between two tall narrow buildings. It was her house. The lights were off and the entrance felt as cold as it was outside.

Woman: welcome to my house. It was my grandmothers. All my life memories are in this house. I can touch any corner of this house and I am taken back to another time. Like here.

The woman points to the dark and dusty right corner of the entrance hallway. It appears as if it had never been swept.

Woman: my mom would always send me to the corner when I was naughty. The last time was when I was 8. I was wearing her pearl necklace. The one she never allowed me to wear, and as I was twirling the strand of pearls in my hand the string broke. All I could hear was the echo of the faint tapping as the pearls hit the wooden floor.

The woman begins to cry

Woman: that was the last time I was ever put in the corner. That was the last time I saw my mother. She had the same fate as I do now.

Man: I placed my hand on her face to wipe away the tears. Her tear felt small on my fingertips, but all her sadness seeped through my fingertips. I stood right next to her 8 year old self. She sat on a small wooden stool. Her hair was cut short; shoulder length and as dark as it was straight. She sat facing the corner. Her eyes were red and hidden under her partly opened eyelids. She laid her hands on her lap and held them tightly closed. She was holding something. It was something small that she could push around in her small palm. She looked down at her hands and only for a second revealed what was inside; A pearl.

Woman: Come in. Please feel welcome here. Let me show you around.

They walked into the kitchen.

Man: it was a small kitchen, and it made you feel as if you were a giant among all these old miniature appliances. It was retro, but not because she wanted to be in style, but instead it looked as if it came from the 60’s.

Woman: the kitchen. Would you like something to drink? Something warm? Tea? Coffee? Hot chocolate?

Man: sure. I haven’t had a hot chocolate in years.

The woman prepares the hot chocolate drink.

Woman: So as I was saying this was my grandmother’s house, well it has been in my family for longer than that. I’m not quite sure how old this house is. But it’s pretty old. It has bound us all to our fate.

Man: What do you mean?

Woman: All the women in my family die at my age.

Man: Is it because of a disease?

Woman: No.

Man: Do you have a disease?

Woman: No.

Man: so then how come you know you are going to die?

Woman: because it is my fate. I know it is hard to believe, but I am telling you the truth.

Man: and then how, if you don’t mind telling me, did all of your relatives die?

Woman: Well my great great grandmother died in her sleep. One day she was healthy the next she was not. Then my great grandmother died while peeling potatoes. My grandmother died at the end of a waltz. My mother died while taking a bath, and me? Well hopefully it will be nice.

Man: but what was the reason for their death?

Woman: Well, it’s because of who we are and what we can do.

Man: what can you do?

Woman: I can open you mind. I can make you feel. I can help you live and enjoy.

Man: as she said this she reached out to touch my face. Her hand fell delicately onto my face. The touch was soft and comforting. I felt young again, as young as an infant, being held in my mother’s arms.

Woman: I can give you a life you have never had.

Man: my eyes were still closed, but I could see her next to me, holding me. I could not only smell her fresh scent of a spring garden, but also feel the smooth petals of roses against my skin as she stroked my neck. I saw her smile and was overwhelmed with the instant sense of happiness. I could laugh as never before. My stomach jumped with joy as it did as a child. Her hand left my face and the dryness of life returned.

Woman: drink your hot chocolate it is getting cold. We still have the whole house to see.

They drink their chocolate in silence. And after a few seconds the woman stands up and removes his mug.

Woman: come with me. Let me show you the living room.

Man: at first sight it was a typical European living room. There were ruby red Persian rugs on the wooden floor, stone fire place, a mantel covered with small porcelain elephants, a copper bell, a small wooden female figurine holding a wooden bucket, and a crystal clock. Facing the fireplace was an antique sofa with wooden armrests. It was decorated with purple, blue, and red pillows. A shawl lay on the sofa as if someone had just gotten up. A pile of books sat next to the sofa and onto of the books was an empty mug with crusty chocolate milk.

Woman: Can’t you see it?

The woman embraces the man’s right arm

Man: all of a sudden the room was warm, full of light and a sense of familiarity came over me. It was my family living room. I belonged here. I belonged with her. I found myself sitting on the sofa, staring into the flames as I played with her hair. She looks up at me and I can see inside her pupil a small speck of light that moves and beats to the same beat as my heart, as her heart. I can see life within her. I smile. She smiles back. Her hand is perfectly placed on my thigh. Her face comes in closer and for a faultless second I feel her lips on mine. I feel love. That insane love that makes you want to scream and cry and jump with joy at the same time. It feels better than that first cigarette you have after a long flight.

Woman: I think we have seen enough here. Let’s move on.

They walk up the stairs to the second floor.

Man: but I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to remain in that moment. I felt angry for her not letting me enjoy the kiss, the fire, life.

Woman: the bathroom.

Man: I was blinded by the white tiles, the white walls, the white tub, the white shower curtain, but then from the white her black hair emerged. She was wearing a white robe. And underneath it I could see her silhouette. Her belly was round. I came around and embraced her. I could feel the warmth of the life inside her. She stared back at me a mouthed “a girl” in the reflection. I knew it all along, and so did she. And all of a sudden a mixture of pain and happiness overcame me. I now had a family, but I knew of her fate.

Man: she pulled my arm and I was back in the hallway I looked down at her belly, but there was nothing there. She had resumed her former self; skinny, in a black dress.
Woman: the bedroom.

Man: it was a simple room. In the center of it was a metal framed bed, two nightstands stood at each side. I could tell my side would have been the left. There was a wallet, my watch and a lamp. The other one was decorated with a lavender plant and nothing else. I felt the rough crochet decorated quilt on my bare skin as I lay on the bed. A small hand grabbed at my hair. A faint squeaky voice said “baba” in my ear. Caring eyes welcomed my stare. A child, my child, our child, and she looked just like her mother.

The church bells are faintly heard in the background.

Man: as the bells rang I knew our time was almost over. My eyes were submerged in tears. “Is this it?” I asked. “Is this the end of us?”

Woman: Now it is time to see the garden.

Man: I held on to her hand as we went down the stairs. I could see her face grow paler with each step down. Her hands shook as she pushed the white wooden door to the garden. The cold autumn night had turned into a warm spring day. The sun greeted us with comforting warmth. The scent, her scent, of a fresh garden was everywhere, and to my surprise there were flowers everywhere. However, there was a sense of doom.

Woman: thank you for being here.

Man: don’t say that. I don’t want to say goodbye. I can’t .

Man: I pulled her towards me and kissed her the same way we had kissed on the sofa. We kissed each other as if we had kissed a thousand times. She pulled my hair and pushed her lips in deeper into mine. Our arms wrapped around our bodies like ivy vines on a brick wall.

Woman: I need to be buried here, with my relatives.

Man: please not yet.

Woman: thank you for letting me love you.

Man: Right next to our feet there was an empty grave. The warm spring day slowly faded into the cold autumn night. Her heartbeat resonated in my body as I embraced her. Her warmth was no longer noticeable. Her arms started to fall from their strong grip and finally fell next to her cold body. I looked at her face and all that was left was a paler version of the woman that I had fallen in love with. Ice cold drops of rain fell upon our heads as I lowered her into the grave. My tears fell alongside the raindrops as I just stared at her body. With anger and pain I dug my hands deep into the cold moist soil. I screamed as I threw dirt down upon her. I had never felt so much pain. I had gained and lost everything within an hour. I had been fooled to think I could have love, a family, warmth, everything anyone wanted, but instead I was left alone once again in the rain. I stood up and walked onto the street and now I am sitting here. I don’t know if it was all a delusional though, a vivid daydream, or a haunting desire. I just had to tell someone. So thanks for listening.

The man gets up and places some money on the table. He leaves the bar and walks towards the house as if to see if it actually exists. The house looks the same as he had thought. He walks through the gate to the backyard and searches for the freshly made grave. However, all he sees are golden leaves scattered around the yard and a young girl kneeling next to a tree. He walks towards her and immediately recognizes her smell.

Girl: Papa, is it true you wouldn’t want to do it all over?

That man is sobbing as he embraces the young girl. As he gasps for breathe, he says…

Man: I would feel the pain again of losing her just to hold you in my arms.

Copyright 2009 Christine Niemann

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Things existing

Before the belly was too pronounced and before the winter had left us.

A left over heart that needed a home.

Its interlaced center

My little boy enjoying the sun.

Conversing with his father

Our new home town.

and my musical composition...a dedication to the beauty that is Claire de Lune.