Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Annual Soul Armor Rings



I am wondering whether the armor around ones soul is getting thicker and thicker with every year like the annual rings of a tree.

Maybe it is just the other way round and the soul-bark is being worn down by many touches and as an elderly you have a soul that is shiny, pure and accessible for all your loved ones.

Actually I think the first option is more likely.

What do YOU think?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Hitchhiking Lady / Turangi, New Zealand



This time I want to tell you about a fascinating lady. I got to know her because I asked her to write down her favorite word of the day on my chalk board.

I met her in the small town Turangi on the North Island of New Zealand. She was staying in the same hostel and after having the dinner we prepared in the small kitchen we started talking.

The lady was born in New Zealand and lived there her whole life but she never stopped exploring her country. Her way of discovering the essence of her country was to hitchhike and to soak up the stories of the people that give her a lift.

She showed me a big book with hundreds of hand written pages. Notes she wrote while hitchhiking.

The lady had the gift of making her conversational partner open up within just a few minutes. According to her she asks the drivers whether she might write down some notes.
Surprisingly enough the drives agree almost every time and during long drives the strangers tell her their whole life - and she just listens and write it down.
Amazing, isn't it?

I didn't dare to ask whether I can read some chapters. In the end it wasn't necessary because she told me a few anonymized ones.

Her plan was to publish all the things she learned about her fellow Kiwis in a book and what she showed me was nothing less than the original script.

Imagine a book with the stories of strangers. A book full of ups and downs, full of cheerful moments and grief, stories about husbands and nephews and girlfriends and about the chances and obstacles that life dropped in their way.

I can't tell how inspiring this old lady was to me. Encounters like this one made my trip around the world so very very valuable for me. Actually the people I met were much more impressive that the wonderful landscapes I was lucky to see.

Unfortunately I didn't note her name and I don't know whether she managed to publish her book.

Oh, by the way: The word "Partnership" on the chalk board was the topic of our initial conversation. It was about people acting together instead of competing.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Scaled Up Chalk Boards / Auckland, New Zealand



Click on photo to enlarge

The Youth Hostel in Auckland was a very big one and it wasn't one of my favorites, to be honest. Too big, too much hectic, too much unfriendly Germans.

But there was one thing I liked about the place: In every floor there was a big chalk board mounted to the wall beside the public pay phone.
The purpose of the board wasn't obvious and therefore it was full with scribbled John-loves-Mary kind of statements enriched with different shapes of the male genital. No idea why pubertal boys love to sketch their part-time-brain so much.
Anyway - I like people writing on chalk board - even penis-artists.

That night I was sitting in the public area till late at night checking out my next destinations in New Zealand on my notebook.

On the way back to my room the corridors were abandoned and that gave me the chance to clean the chalk board completely and to replace the scribblings with the sentence "Why was your day worth living it today?". Then I sneaked away.

The next morning the chalk board was still untouched (well at least no more penises) and I doubted that my experiment would work.

But it took only a few more hours to get the people ignited. When I came back to the hostel after a day of sight seeing I saw four entries on the chalk board. Four!

Gosh - I guess my big grin scared the other guests a bit because they had no idea about the reason.

I immediately signed a mental contract in my head to ask strangers this question more often. In the end it is only for egoistic reasons because it makes me a bit more happy.

Size does matter - that might not only be true for parts of the male body but also for the size of chalk boards.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mood Detector



Can you tell the mood of a human being just by looking at him/her?

Sometimes it seems quite obvious how a person feels inside and sometimes your counterpart looks like a complete enigma.
Mastering this discipline would be very helpful for using it on your own character also.

If you are confused by your own thoughts and not able to sort them out you could just look in the mirror. You would simply observe the guy at the other side of the mirror and get a clue what is going on in your own head or soul.

I saw this monkey yesterday in the Nuremberg zoo and kept looking at it for quite a while.
First of all I was impressed about how similar the mimic was compared to us Homo Sapiens.

The animal seemed to be very tired. Maybe tired by life. It reminded me at the kind of tiredness you sometimes feel when you are very sad.
On the other side, the way the monkey held its arms looked kind of peaceful.

The longer I looked the stronger grew the suspect that the monkey isn't sad but just deep in monkey-thoughts. I liked the idea that the animal's mind was strolling back to some bright moments.

Look close - don't you think it is possible that the facial expression is the one of the moment when a loved one strokes over your head.

As always I just don't know and I am damn sure that I am kind of a rooky when it comes to deep down into the mind of friends.

For now a leftover from that monkey observation scene is the question whether the folks around me are able to "read" me. If yes, what would they see?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Leaf Collecting / Nuremberg 2009 and Salvador, Brazil 2008


This photo was shot on October 07th 2009 near the village where I grew up

This posting is a merger of two different leaf-related thoughts.

Last week while doing a wonderful hike in a forest in the region where I grew up I was stunned by the color explosion caused by the autumn around me. I saw a tree with lush green leaves partnering with bright yellow ones. I really had to shoot a photo of it.
Afterwards I was like "Hey, this is a déjà vu. Didn't you shoot the same photo last autumn?"

Indeed, I did.

Almost exactly one year ago on my trip around the world I visited the city of Salvador in Brazil. During my exploration of the city I came up with a photo assignment for me and some fellow travelers. Topic was to create a photo with the Brazilian colors yellow and green without having the Brazilian flag in the photo. Kind of hard, believe me.
Finally I went with some colored leaves and the rotten buildings of the city in the background.

Isn't it strange that I shoot almost the same thing again one year later?
It made me think about how different my life is to the time of autumn 2008 when I was traveling and that some things are still the same.



I shot this photo in Salvador, Brazil on September 30th, 2008


The actual trigger for this posting was an old woman I saw today on the sidewalk while waiting on a red traffic light. The lady was suddenly stop walking and picking up a colored leaf.
She was carefully rubbing off the dust with her fingers. She treated the leaf like a precious thing and not like a piece of rubbish that nature pours over the city in huge numbers.
I guess the leaf was nothing less that the perfect one with exactly the right shape and the ultimate color. After a while she put it in her pocket and walked on.

For some moments she was not an old limping grandmother but a proud queen with a very satisfied look on her face. Great!
First of all I thought whether she was a bit nuts but after a second I was angry with myself for that thought.

I am quite sure that this planet would be a tiny little bit of a better place if all of us would look for perfect leaves from time to time.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dough Scraping


Before

Sometimes it is not about 'how much' but simply about 'how'.
Imagine that you bake a cake and you decide not to put it in the oven but to eat all the raw dough out the bowl. You simply could do that because you are a grown up and nobody would care. It is not likely that you do it, isn't it?

For some magical reason it is far more adventurous and non compliant to bake the cake and to lick the dough scraper after filling the cake pan.
You could also simply put the scraper into the dishwasher after using it - but this would be a complete waste of inobedience, wouldn't it?

Be honest: You already did it and you will do it again and again. Am I right?

Help me understanding why be behave the way we do - or just identify me as the only person who does so.


After

Monday, September 28, 2009

Life in Technicolor

Click on photo to view it in different sizes on my Flickr account

Why am I so damn blind for the beauty at my fingertips? You can find extraordinary things right next to your door if you look closely.

If some entity decided to equip even such little creatures like this bug with Technicolor I should start to look for the beauty within higher creatures as well. According to my current theory Homo Sapiens Sapiens is supposed to be full of it.
My own personality should be a good starting point.
Any hints where to start the search?

By the way: The species of the little guy is Chrysomela varians - the German name is "Veränderlicher Blattkäfer". I like that name - it means 'changeable leaf bug'.

'Changeable', hmm?

The title of this posting is inspired from a song from Coldplay. Listen to it [here...].

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Dazlioism



Usually I try to avoid posting Youtube links but this time I want to share one with you.
If you don't know the movie "Snow Cake" with Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver you should go out and fetch it on DVD.

I saw the film some years ago and just stumbled into my favorite scene. It is about a made-up word called 'Dazlious'.

What would the world be like if every single person has at least one dazlious-moment a day?
I know several people that are able to sense those dazlious moments in their lifes and that they don't take them for granted.
On the other hand I know way more folks that completely ignore all the "dazlioism" that surrounds them because the stressful problems of all-day life seem to be overwhelming.

One dazlious moments on my last weekend was just a dry leaf. It was captured by two almost invisible strings of a spider's web and seemed to hover in mid air. I could make it gently swing by just exhaling. For a second it was pure poetry and absolutely dazlious.
The world can't be much of a bad place if it creates details like that, can it?



If your life lacks dazlious moments these days you can simply slow down for a minute and think about a tiny little moment that made you smile today. I am pretty sure there is at least one.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day Jumping / Auckland, New Zealand



This posting is about November, 15th, 2008 - day 69 of my Round-the-World trip.
The special thing about this day is that it didn't exist for me at all.

It cost me some brain work to figure out the consequences of crossing the international date line backwards. Hawaii is in the time zone GMT -11, New Zealand is GMT +12 - meaning maximal time difference.
When checking my flight details I realized that I board on Friday and deboard the plane on Sunday after a 9 hour flight. I was never good at math but it was obvious that something was missing - in this case the complete Saturday. The plane skipped my complete Saturday. This day never happened in my life. Unbelievable.
I even almost booked a hostel for Saturday in advance - for a day that didnt exist. Funny, isn't it?

During the flight I had a lot of weird thoughts about this day-jumping-thing because it seemed so unreal to skip a complete day in my life.
What would have been happened on that November 15th?
I veered between two oppositional ideas for that day:
What if I missed wonderful moments? What if that day would have been filled up with inspiring people, the most colorful flowers on earth and the scent of fresh chocolate muffins?
Would have been a pity, wouldn't it?

On the other hand it could be that I omitted a dark day with tooth ache, a missed flight and screwed up conversations with important people. In this case it would have been perfectly OK because the crap simply never happened.

In the end I decided to go with the idea that the day is simply postponed. I now have a day in reserve and I can do with it whatever I want.

Oh boy, I can imagine the Grim Reaper looking like a complete idiot when coming for me. I will simply hand over the boarding pass of the long gone November day in 2008 with a big grin and saying 'could you please visit again tomorrow same time? I still have one day left'.

I have no idea what to do with that very last day. In ideal case I will be very satisfied with my life having no need to rush around doing all the things I never did and saying all the sentences I never said. I like the idea of being invisible on that last day and visiting the human beings that gave me intense moments, hours or even years. I could whisper 'thank you' in their ear, reassure them a bit and then slowly stroll away towards my favorite place - no matter if this will be a meadow on a river or a rocky valley in a country far away.

Oh yes, this is what I will do with that November day from 2008.

---

The photos are from my first walk through Auckland. I found a bunch of young guys practicing Parcour. They jumped between stairs and walls and looked quite cool. Funny coincidence that even the day after my big day jump was about jumping, isn't it?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Bard Gathering - Bardentreffen / Nuremberg



LaBrassBanda
(Click on photo to enlarge)

My annual music highlight in Nuremberg: The Bardentreffen (Gathering of the Bards). It is a free 3-day event with open air music all over the city.

This year there was a concert of my current favorite band from Bavaria. They are called LaBrassBanda and the music is a very strange mixture of traditional Bavarian brass folk music combined with gipsy beats, jazz, rock and Mariachi trumpets. Veeeeeery much to my satisfaction.
A funny detail about LaBrassBanda is that they drove from Bavaria to Vienna in Austria in 2008 with some old tractor and mopeds and made a amateur road movie out of it. Their goal was to visit the European Soccer Championship in Vienna. Check out the 5 parts of the video on YouTube.
I love these guys.








LaBrassBanda
(Click on photo to enlarge)



LaBrassBanda
(Click on photo to enlarge)



L'Alba from France
(Click on photo to enlarge)

The girlfriend of a co-worker plays in a guitar duo called 'The Kinky Strings". They used the opportunity of the Bardentreffen to play on the streets in front of a friendly big crowd. Unfortunately I met the guys not until their last song. The great thing was that both of them were still in mood to make music. So we sat at the the riverside in the heart of Nuremberg with some friends and the Kinky Strings played a private concert for us until 2 AM in the morning. Very very relaxed.


The female part of the duo 'Kinky Strings'
(Click on photo to enlarge)



Private Concert after midnight on the Pegnitz river
(Click on photo to enlarge)



Money-fetch-girl
(Click on photo to enlarge)



The male part of the 'Kinky Strings'
(Click on photo to enlarge)

The next day I met the Kinky Strings again for some more street music. This time I used my chalk board to help them to make more money. Well, at least I tried.
My strategy wasn't perfect in the beginning. I placed the chalk board in front of the guitar case they used for collecting money.
I started with the message 'Clapping is free' - no earnings.
My next try was 'Sing along for 1 Euro' - no earnings - damn.
My last try was 'Happy hour - listen to 2 songs, pay only 1' - aaaand: two ladies donated some coins. I was delighted while realizing that marketing actually works. Well, the ladies would have probably donated anyway but I had a good feeling, though.

Thanks to the Kinky Strings for two great days of guitar music but next time I want 'Wish You Were Here' from Pink Floyd as well.


Saturday, August 01, 2009

Grandmother and Journeys to Far Far Away / Auckland, New Zealand



Oh boy, am I far away from home.
Actually it is as far as I can go from Germany.
As a child someone told me that if I would dig a deep deep hole I end up in New Zealand.
Voila, here I am: Auckland on the North Island of New Zealand

There's a conversation I had with my grandmother before almost every vacation in the last decades.
My granny never left the small village she was born in and foreign countries are only a flickering TV image for her. The conversation was always a variation of the following:

Granny: Why do you have to go away again?
Me: I just want to see how it is in XY.
Granny: But they have war and bombs in XY, don't they?
Me: No granny, it is peaceful there and the people are friendly.
Granny: Is XY far away?
Me: No granny, it is not really far away. Just a few hours.
Granny: But you promise to take care?
Me: Of course granny, I am always careful.

This time it is different - for two reasons. First of all I would have to tell my granny that I want to travel to a far far away country.
Second of all my granny wouldn't ask at all because she has no idea that I am traveling. She is 95 years old and forgot almost everything she knew. I decided to tell her nothing about my long trip because she would have been very confused to hear that the journey lasts half a year and I am traveling on my own.

I am sad that my grandmother already started her last journey. It is a journey into forgetting. Although she is in a good physical shape (a very tough old lady) I will never be able to tell her about elephants, waterfalls, smiling kids with dark or yellow skin or mountains that spit fire. It would have been great to share a glimpse of the wonders of the world with her I was lucky to see. Things she was never able to explore but only through my stories.

Tomorrow I will see her because my nephew Noah will have his baptism.
You know what? Probably I will tell her about the elephants and the children with dark skin anyway. She might not get the story but at least she will realize that I am sitting beside her. And maybe she will even hear some hidden words beneath my stories. Words that might sound like 'hey granny, I am back and I am so glad to see you alive'.

Damn, actually the intention for this posting was a cheerful nonsense talk about New Zealand but the posting steered into a completely different direction.

PS: I just re-named this posting. The initial title was 'Day Jumping'. I will tell you about it soon.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Farewell and Aloha to Hawaii


Yes, I have to admit I watched a (free) performance of Hula girls with flower neclaces, leaf skirt and florals in the hair. Cute, isn't she?

Actually I posted far more stuff about Hawaii than I indented to and I could post much more - for example about Joe's Love Chili, about the missed Big Wave Surfing Contest, about the homeless guy, about the ride in the stretch limo I almost got for 5 dollars or about the guys on the photo below.

The first days I almost hated Hawaii because of all the very touristy crap but in the end I loved it because it was easy to escape the hype. I hung out with so many lovely people and I saw so much natural beauty on these islands - enough to preserve a special place in my mind for Hawaii.

To prevent you from getting even more bored from Hawaiian stories I will travel on to New Zealand with the next posting.


I spent my last evening in Honolulu with three funny guys. There's a special story related to the young couple on the photo and my chalk board. I am quite sure I will tell it in a future posting when it comes to chalk board tales in general.

Pimp my Sunset / Big Island, Hawaii



(Click on photo to enlarge)

Probably a good vacation isn't perfect with at least one perfect sunset. I am right, ain't I?
This time I was able to "pimp" an already impressive sunset with a glowing cloud of steam.

There is a big 'river' of glowing lava flowing down the slopes of one of the volcanoes into the sea. It's forbidden to get close to the flow because of the toxic fume and road barriers block you several miles in front of the lava flow.
Some guys in my hostel told me that it is possible to get at least a bit closer by driving on a closed road and walk some distance. It is not as illegal as it might sound but you need the right directions because for obvious reasons there are no signs saying 'Toxic Lava Flow 2 Miles'.

Well, I got my directions, fetched my torch and drove towards the south end of Big Island.
I don't know why but for some situations you just remember the music you listened to. This was one of them and my iPod stumbled into some stuff from the German Punk band 'Vivos o Muertos'.

All of a sudden the road ended because it was covered by lava and a whole army of signs warned me with a lot of variations of 'enter at you own risk'. It was possible to drive on the lava for one more mile - it felt more or less like a bumpy normal road. I ended up in a kind of parking lot and walked the last mile to the shore.

Although I was on my own I was not alone. Some dozens of people also knew the spot for watching the lava flow sunset. I didn't care much for them.

I was sitting on a lava stone right above the shore and the lava flow was approx. one mile away.
The actual lava wasn't visible but the cloud was. Every time a big chunk of glowing stone dropped into the water the cloud glowed red like the gigantic version of these stupid IKEA lamps. Seeing this red cloud in front of the red sky was enough to capture my senses for 2 hours until it was completely dark and almost all the people were gone.
One more time nature managed to impress me with full force.

I hopped back through the darkness using my torch and during my drive back to Hilo I thought about perfect moments and that in some of them it is not necessary to have company - even if it is a kitschy sunset on a tropical island.

PS:
The photo is a HDR image and calculated out of 3 single long exposure shots. You might say the colors look a bit over the top but reality was much more colorful - far beyond the capabilities of any computer graphics card.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bubble Walk / Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawaii



The red thing is no cloud but the Mauna Kea volcano illuminated by the very early morning sun. It looked so out-of-this-world so we had to stop and marvel the colors.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

A German girl named Heike from my hostel in Hilo was desperately looking for a companion for an advanced hike up the Mauna Loa volcano. All guide books stated that one shouldn't do that hike alone under any circumstances. Actually I felt it a bit above my personal limits but I agreed to join her because it was one of the reasons for my visit on Big Island.

We got up at 05:00 AM and drove up the Saddle Road to an Observatory where the track started. It was hard to find the spot because there was not a single sign. One more praise for the Lonely Planet and its descriptions.
Without the guide book we would have been lost.


Heike walking very high above the clouds at roughly 4000m (13100 feet)
(Click on photo to enlarge)


Walking in thin air at 4000m on steep lava slopes isn't a common thing for me. It felt very adventurous and great - although very exhausting. The wind blew very hard up there and it was cold cold cold. Fortunately I wore literally all clothes I had with me - including my scarf from South Africa and my hat from Canada (I am a location-dropping brat, ain't I? ;-)).


Lava Colors. The mountain in the back is the Mauna Kea volcano with the best observatories in the world.
(Click on photo to enlarge)


The landscape was more than unreal. The clouds were deep below us, the sky was very very blue and the ground consisted of many shades of red and grey.


Bubble walk inside the crater on cold lava bubbles that erupted in the 1980s
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Finally we made it to the rim of the crater and climbed down for having lunch sheltered from the wind. The crater erupted in the 1980s and it felt a bit scary to walk on lava bubbles that very liquid stones just some decades ago.


No human beings at all but us and the howling wind as soundtrack
(Click on photo to enlarge)

We saw only one single human being in the distance during the whole day. Complete loneliness at its best.


Heike having lunch inside the crater
(Click on photo to enlarge)



Volcano lunch with Vitamin Water, Toast, Avocado, cheese, tomatoes, onions and cookies. I was very proud about my talents as a chef.
(Click on photo to enlarge)


One of many lava bubbles. Sometimes one could even hear a hollow sound when walking on the lava indicating a lava tunnel below ones feet.
(Click on photo to enlarge)



Heike sending digital chalk board postcards
(Click on photo to enlarge)



Back down into the clouds
(Click on photo to enlarge)



Part Time Lover Lava
(Click on photo to enlarge)

We
arrived back down at our car late at afternoon and I was really done. The perfect final chord of that brilliant day were the very strange glimpse of the hostel guests back in Hilo. First I didn't realize why they stare at us but then I got aware that we still wore scarf, hat and thick jackets. Stuff like that isn't that common in a beach city on Hawaii where the official attire consists of bikinis and Flip Flops.

Hey Heike, if you read this: Thank you for a great day!




Saturday, July 11, 2009

German Samba

Click on photo to view it in different sizes on my Flickr account

In 15 minutes I go to Brazil again. It's time for the annual Samba Festival in the little German city Coburg and I already looked forward to it for several weeks.
It is one of the weekends to realize that even Germans can bubble over with lust for live.

Hey Germany, I really like you!

More Samba impressions to come...

PS: Last time I listened to Samba it was late at night in Sao Paulo in the bunk bed of a small hostel. A Samba school was practising nearby and sleeping wasn't really possible with a battalion of drums as neighbours. I am so damn lucky for getting the chance to hear such noises. Life is good.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Feet

Click on photo to view it in different sizes on my Flickr account

This pile of feet started their journey through life only a few years ago. Isn't it exiting to imagine what paths they will be walking on many decades from now?

As a child I had no idea about the direction my feet are heading to. Actually I still don't know. No idea whether this is good or bad.

How about you? Did your feet already tell you about their way?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Just Because You Close Your Eyes...

Seen on a handrail in San Francisco

Just because you close your eyes
doesn't mean the world disappears.

Is this good or bad?
Do you want the world to disappear or ar you scared that it might go away when you close your eyes?

For me it is both. Sometimes I just want to exist without any trace of world around me. Fortunately this is rare and in general I would really miss the world - my world - if it disappeared.
Hey world - don't dare to disappear!

A song from one of my favorite German bands "Wir sind Helden" explains that you are surrounded by the world - if you like it or not.

Es ist vorbei du bist umstellt
Um dich herum überall Welt
die dich nicht fragt was dir gefällt
die nur sagt: So ist es

Seen on a handrail in San Francisco.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Uuh Uuh" as an Order



Order for now: Listen to the old Blur track called "Song 2" and scream "uuh uuh".
I'm serious - do it -now!
Do it and write in a comment to this posting how it felt.

I just did it and the relieving effect surprises me every time.

PS: "Screaming" means you have to be loud.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Honey Melon Adolf



Every week there are free fruits in the company I work for. Fruits for the employees of a software company? Software developers are supposed to consume only Coke and chips you might plead.
Well, this is only partly true. Usually the free fruits are gone within 1-2 days.

Usually.

This time it was a bit different because I started an experiment. Clandestinely I painted some strokes on a honey melon - just to see what would happen. My office was perfect for observing the situation because it is directly beside the kitchen.

From time to time I heard a voice saying "Oh, we have Hitler in our kitchen" or "I don't want to eat Adolf" or "this is disgusting" or simply "ha ha ha".

Guess what - the melon was still there after more than one week.

Dunno whether none of the guys dared to destroy the work of the unknown artist or whether the appetite for all things connected to the ugly mustache man is quite low in my company.

Finally one of my co-workers said "I am going to kill Hitler now" cut the honey melon into little cubes, put it on a plate and the colleagues made it vanish within one hour.

I hope the Germans can do a similar thing with all the dirty rotten remains of the ideas of this mustache monster that are still wafting around in some simple brains.

PS: Honey melons make my think of faces or heads quite often. Look [here...] for one of my old postings from June 2006.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Community Spirits / Hilo, Hawaii



I grew up in a very small village in Germany. One could think that community spirit was an essential part of the daily life.
Well, it took me some decades more and a city on Hawaii to get a clue about what I never understood as a teenager living on the countryside.

I spent some days in the relatively small town Hilo on Big Island. Hilo was very sleepy compared to the much bigger city Kona on the other side of the island. It was one of the best decisions I made on Hawaii to prefer the sleepy Hilo to the shiny Kona.

Terry, the guy at the reception desk of my hostel reminded me of the monthly street party this night because its stage was directly below the window of my dormitory.
He told me that some time ago some locals organized a party called "The Black & White Night" to raise money for a welfare project.
The guests were requested to appear in a black & white outfit and the party took place in the streets of the small city center.
The inhabitants liked the event so much that they decided to have a Black & White party every month.

Together with a fellow traveller I strolled the streets at night and was stunned. All the shops were open til late and decorated in B&W. Most of the folks were dressed or costumed in B&W too and dozens of local clubs organized some activity.

The atmosphere was very friendly and all the people were constantly greeting each other with hugs and laughter - everyone seemed to know everyone.


This group was on a kind of challenge trying to accomplish fun-tasks from a piece of paper like finding strangers singing a song or 10 people with a name starting with a certain character. We talked and it turned out that their church had a "Bring your neighbor" weekend. They invited me with a lot of very funny statements and laughter to their service on Sunday.
I never saw believers in Germany living their believes in such a positive and open way.


In one of the shops I saw some globes. While I was rotating one of them I realized how far away from home I was.

The kids danced on every junction and there wasn't a real distinction between audience and members of the band regarding enthusiasm.


The big Irish community knew best how to party and Heike and I watched some Irish girls dancing to the sound of a huge band consisting only of a single family. Really a kind of Hawaiian Irish Kelly Family. I loved it.


My evening ended in a fabulous candy shop. It was funny to watch the customers making a big fuzz about their personal selection of sweets.


I visited a street party in the small German town Herzogenaurach last weekend. It was the kind of event I saw a lot of times before in the last decades. Nothing spectacular but cosy and neat. Without the Black & White Night it probably would have been just one more boring countryside celebration. This certain night in Hilo, Hawaii, helped me to re-gain my sense for community spirit and enthusiasm a little bit. I enjoyed all the small activities like fishing for wooden fishes by the local Photo Club, the choir singing traditional German folk songs or even the very horrible band.
Thank you Hilo.





Four impressions from the town party in Herzogenaurach, Germany

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Lot About Falling



Slacklining is a bit about balancing - and a lot about falling.
It is still interesting for me to realize that the falling part is really essential to overcome the fear.

Could it be that it is transferable for challenges in normal life, too? No learning without falling and stuff?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Unüberspürbar

"Nur wenige Menschen sind richtig lebendig
und die, die es es sind,
die sterben nie.
Nur wenige Menschen lieben wirklich,
und die, die es tun, vergisst man nicht."

Beim Abschied ist das Wort "Unüberspürbar" gefallen und ich konnte nur nicken, weil es so gut gepasst hat.

Mach's gut, Du verrücktes Huhn. Deine Energie ist nicht verpufft - ganz im Gegenteil.
Ich glaube zwar nicht, dass Du meinen Blog liest, aber lass Dir trotzdem gesagt sein, dass es sehr inspirierend war, Dich kennen zu dürfen.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Big Blue / Nuremberg



The Emperial Castle was illuminated with invented star constellations.
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Once again it was "Blaue Nacht" (Blue Night) in Nuremberg - an art event in the whole city. More than 130.000 crowded the streets. I read a cite from an artist asking "Is it still art if that many people are coming?". Holy shit, what an idiot.

The topic of this year was "Firmament" - a perfect theme for playing with light and darkness and the barrier in between.

I loved to stroll through the blue streets of the old city center.


I listened to Ulla Konold. The is a wonderful story teller and I met her by chance a few weeks ago while slacklining. She stopped and asked whether she could give it a try. The first person on my slackline wearing a white suit and a very fascinating human being.
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Candles in the Sebaldus Church. I liked the restricted illumination.
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The girl was watching turtles in a shop front window. The white things in her hair were for creating curls the next day because she was about to have a dance performance with some other girls. Her mother refused to go the the Blue Night with her wearing the weird stuff. The little girl's solution was to paint the white things blue. All of a sudden her mother was satisfied and even charmed by the cleverness of her daughter.



The yellow light created an ever changing sea of waves on the walls of the big hall in the Emperial Castle.



The shadow of an outside god.
Sebaldus Church