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.

Friday, April 1, 2011

1:30 am thoughts

It is past midnight here and I am sitting in the dark with my little computer trying to convince myself that I need to stop worrying. I am the worrying type, the nervous nelly that worries and imagines how everything and anything could go wrong. And living in a foreign country this has become more of a problem since now not only do I have to worry about what I always worry about (burglers, murders, accidents, natural disasters, war, diseases, my son getting lost or hurt, etc. etc. etc.) but I also have to worry about people understnading me, using the right grammar, if they are going to make fun of me, how to run away the fastest if I make a mistake.....
I sound pretty crazy.
I know.
I am.

And to tell you the truth, for some reason I feel as if I need to worry in order to prevent horrible things from happening. Yes, I realize that I am inching myself closer and closer towards the textbook defninition of insanity. I remember many times when flying, sitting in my seat, obsessively looking out the window and repeating hte same prayer over and over again. I have no idea how I became this way, but it is so tiring.

Why am I thinking about all of this at close to 2 in the morning? Well, I realized how happy I am and just by merely realizing how happy I am I thought that soon there had to be something that would end my happiness.....isn´t that terrible? I have ruined many moments or created chaos just by being this way, and not to mention all the stress that it brings along. I can feel it coursing through my body.

The first time I realized how much constant stress I was under, was when I tried to meditate. I began to focus on my scale and slowly tried to relax every inch of my body. As I reached my neck I could feel how hard it was and how much effort it took to just go limp. The same thing happened with my shoulders, hands, legs, and mouth. Amazing.

So as the new life in hte new house os approaching I am determined to stop this nonesense and enjoy, relax and live.

To the end of un-needed worrying.