Nyt on yö. Minä kuljen yksin tyhjiä katuja. En tiedä, mihin olen menossa, hyvä kun tiedän mistä olen tulossa, ja ruumiissani soi tuhat kaunista ja voimakasta sävelmää, minun koko menneisyyteni, ja silmissäni loistavat tuhannen ihmisen silmät, silmien takana tuntemattomuus, tätä naista ei tunne kukaan, se ei ole vielä täysin syntynytkään, ei kukaan tiedä mitä se on tulevaisuudessa.
- Mirka Lattunen
El a întins spre mine o frunză ca o mână cu degete. Eu am întins spre el o mână ca o frunză cu dinţi. El a întins spre mine o ramură ca un braţ. Eu am întins spre el braţul ca o ramură. El schi-a înclinat spre mine trunchiul ca un umăr. Eu mi-am înclinat spre el umărul ca un trunchi noduros. Auzeam cum se încetineşte sângele meu suind ca seva. Eu am trecut prin el. El a trecut prin mine. Eu am rămas un pom singur. El un om singur
- Nichita Stănescu
Kunst ist nicht ein Spiegel, den man der Wirklichkeit vorhält, sondern ein Hammer, mit dem man sie gestaltet.
- Karl Marx
The Hermit’s Song
A hiding tuft, a green-barked yew tree Is my roof, While nearby a great oak tree keeps me Tempest-proof.
I can pick my fruit from an apple Like an Inn, Or can fill my fist where hazels Shut me in.
A clear well beside me offers Best of drink, And there glows a bed of cresses Near its brink.
Pigs and Goats, the friendliest neighbours, Nestle near, Wild swine come, or broods of badgers, Grazing deer.
All the gentry of the county Come to call! And the foxes come behind them, Best of all.
To what meals the woods invite me All about! There are water, herbs and cresses, Salmon, trout.
A clutch of eggs, sweet mast and honey Are my meat, Heathberries and Whortleberries For a sweet.
All that one could ask for comfort Round me grows, There are hips and haws and strawberries, Nuts and sloes.
And when summer spreads its mantle What a sight! Marjoram and leeks and pignuts, Juicy, bright.
Dainty redbreasts briskly forage Every bush Round and round my hut there flutter Shallow, thrush.
Bees and beetles, music-makers, Croon and strum; Geese pass over, duck in autumn, Dark streams hum.
Angry wren, officious linnet And black-cap, All industrious, and the woodpecker’s Sturdy tap.
From the sea the gulls and herons Flutter in, While in upland heather rises The grey hen.
In the year’s most brilliant weather Heifers low Through green fields, not driven nor beaten, Tranquil, slow.
In wreathed boughs the wind is whispering, Skies are blue, Swans call, river water falling Is calling too.
Rules: Open the folder "My Pictures". Then open the sixth folder inside that folder. Then grab the sixth image in that folder and post it on your blog.
Okay, the sixth folder in my "My Pictures" folder is called "Gulleryssland" ('cutie-Russia'). This is the sixth image in there:
I don't remember which city this is from. Could be Petersburg. And stupidly I didn't even take a note of the photographer, although I usually do when I save photos off the internet. But in any case I want to live in that tower!
Rules: 1. Do not leave your room or use any requisites that are not your personal possessions. 2. Hold the camera in your right hand. 3. Look into the camera.
I kind of tried to convey what these colours symbolise to me. Black is honesty, life, suffering, resignation, truth. Red is blood, flesh, passion, wrath, love, revenge, hate, rebellion. Blue is responsibility, boldness, reliability, openness, calm, bluntness, hope. White is happiness, acceptance, death, purity.
I took more than 500 photos to get
these four. Funny enough, the moment I
saw each of these four after
transferring the lot to my computer, I
knew that they were The One. I considered photoshopping away the camera strap from the red picture, but it adds to the composition ...
Recently I've noticed that I've started to look less hideous without makeup. Probably because I'm getting old and losing facial fat or something ... (Yay, less facial fat means that my 'Tatar lines' will be more visible!) Or it could be because I've been germanified? German women very often don't wear any makeup, and sometimes I've actually felt like I send "wrong" messages by wearing strong eye makeup like I usually do.
This picture is fun because the colourless birthmark I have in my forehead is so prominent.
My old keffiyeh has lately come very close to a state of disintegration - I bought it in 2001 and have been wearing it pretty much every day since then. So I was happy when I found this new, good quality keffiyeh in the second hand store.
It appears to be made in Japan, though. o_O The keffiyeh is worn and locally produced all over the Middle East, but cheap production in the Far East is threatening some of the "original" Middle Eastern scarf factories. In Palestine, there is only one small factory, owned by Yasser al-Hirbawi, that still makes them, because also Palestinians prefer to buy the cheaper Asian scarves. I'd like to get a scarf from his factory, if I could find a way.
I wear my keffiyehs for political reasons, but of course also because they are very comfortable, nice-looking and versatile pieces of clothing. Lately the keffiyeh has become quite fashionable (again), but I think new keffiyeh owners could at least inform themselves about its history. Here is a good place to start ...
By the way, there are people, especially in the US, who think any keffiyehs are by nature anti-Semitist or something or other like that. But they obviously don't realise that it is a traditional piece of clothing also among Israeli Jews. All the kibbutzniks wore them. The Israeli keffiyehs were usually plain white before 1967. However, with the occupation of the Palestinian territories, Israelis embraced many Arabic designs and products and started wearing checkered keffiyehs, as well.
(Thanks to Miriam Katin for the kibbutznik insider information. :o)
Anyway, Ainur suggested that she, mum and I start a fashion blog about the outfits we wear. So, here goes ... Scarf: Humana/Berlin Dress: Murgrönan/Lund Boots: eBay Hair: Henna from North Hairytown*
-------------------------------- * i.e. Wedding. South Hairytown = Kreuzberg/Neukölln, and West Hairytown = Tiergarten.
During the European Heritage Days, 13th-14th of September, you can go on free guided tours to some interesting buildings in Berlin.
I went to check out the Alte Königstadt brewery and also the public bath house on Baerwaldstraße.
The Alte Königstadt brewery is right here in my neighbourhood. There are in fact a dozen or so former breweries within this area. That's because it is located on a hill, and the breweries needed decent cellars for the beer.
This is the building from which you can enter the beer cellars.
The old beer cellars are nowadays used as a parking garage and for some video installations. The complex was built in the mid-19th century, and the guide described the fascinating technology they used for cooling the facilities back when you still had to rely on ice, which was "harvested" during the winters.
Ever since the brewery was shut down around the time of the German reunification, stalactites have been forming in the cellars. All of the complex is now in use for other things, like offices, shops, galleries and studios.
The Baerwaldbad is a public bath house in Kreuzberg. It was built around 1900, when the city realised that public bathing facilities might be a good idea. Before that, there had been public baths in the river, but they had gotten a bad reputation by this time. There are several public bath houses in Berlin from this era. A couple of them are still in use, like the Baerwaldbad (currently under renovation, but open to swimmers), and also the public bath house in Neukölln, which is said to be really beautiful.
Anyway, the street where this bath house was built was named after some guy called Baerwald, but in the design of the bath house they still liked the idea of the "bear woods".
The exhaust pipe from the bath's heating system.
A still unrenovated part of the bath house. Here there used to be facilities with bathtubs in separate booths.
The old pool from 1901. The changing booths are being renovated at the moment. The other one of the two pools in the bath house is Bauhaus style, since that part of the baths was rebuilt after being destroyed during the war.
Read more about the renovation at xenobau-baerwaldbad.de (in German and Turkish). The project is not only about renovating the bath house, but also about intercultural education. It's an "integrated qualification project", where young unemployed people from the neighbourhood are renovating the building and participating in workshops about prejudice, communication and roots. Working with the renovation of a local old structure helps build a stronger identification with your neighbourhood. It's a really interesting project!
The shelter is built in an interesting futuristic style, and it has even been used as a location for some films. I met a lot of doggies, among them a big bulldog mix, or maybe American Bulldog, who begged me to scratch him through the bars. When I tried to get up to say bye, he gave paw and gripped the bars with his toes and groaned for more ... I couldn't help but stay with him until he was satisfied and went to play with his blanket instead. Phew.
There is also a minipiggy called Eddy staying at the shelter.
I didn't adopt any doggie, piggy or kittie yesterday, but today I did ...
I went to a used clothes store to find a cheap skirt or something with nice fabric that I could use for a jacket sewing project. On the way out of the store I passed by a basket with stuffed toys. Something in it called me ... I couldn't help but go dig in the basket ... And so, I found Serdar.
Even though I've got a pro account for Flickr now, I try to limit the photos I post there to the better ones and the ones with at least a story or an interesting subject.
Still, here are some photos I opted to not post back when I had a free account and a 200 photo limitation, but which I posted now ...
I bought a used phone from a very nice couple who live in this building in a "whiter" concrete highrise suburb of Berlin. Germans generally have very funny names, and this was a good example.
It was the evening of the great Turkey vs. Germany football game. While walking around in the area I encountered stupid German kids chanting "Turkey boo, eat my shoe", but I also encountered a valiant older teen Turkish boy who was wearing a Turkish flag bandanna, a Turkish flag T-Shirt, white pants and a humongous Turkish flag over his shoulder. WHY DID I NOT ASK HIM TO POSE FOR A PHOTO????
From the S-Bahn station Wedding I spotted this. But it isn't very representative - on this day there were pretty Turkish flags everywhere! Big and small, tiny and really huge! Oh yeah, and some German flags, too, I guess. :op
In the end, Turkey lost, but they gave ONE HELL OF A FIGHT.
I went to buy batteries for the phone at a mall on Alexanderplatz, and the evening sky was nice and kitschy.
Over to Mollösund, Orust:
The people who own this fisherman's hut must have found this piece of a shipwrecked sailing ship in the sea. Kick ass!
In other news, I'm working intensively on the map overlay of Stockholm and Auschwitz, and it has given me repeated nightmares about endless concentration camps where I have to trace the outlines of all the structures.
So, apparently there was a period when my dad suspected I was a lesbian.
I don't have any contact at all with my dad. Ainur does, and so, recently he revealed to her that there was a period when he suspected that I was lesbian. As Ainur has witnessed, dad actually has problems with accepting lesbian women: he feels offended if he sees two women kissing in the street, etc. So this was kind of funny.
That period was before I started having confirmed male love interests a while after moving away from home. When they started to appear, dad was relieved that his suspicions had been unfounded.
But now that I think about it, in that period I was less of a closet lesbian and more of a "sworn virgin".
In Albania, there is an ancient tradition where the eldest daughter takes on the role of a "man" if all males in the family have died, and dresses in men's clothes and handles men's responsibilities. The gender segregation in the traditional Albanian society makes this quite reasonable. There are still some sworn virgins in remote parts of the country.
When my parents divorced, when I was 16 or so, I was very disappointed in them - especially my dad - and how they to me appeared to be self-absorbed, overly emotional slaves to their feelings and passions. I instead tried to mold myself into how I thought a father/parent figure should be. Responsible, always ready to help, calm and patient and a hard worker who puts the family first. Of course, I was just a teenager, so it didn't always work out, but that was what I aspired to. And I still try my best to be that way today.
Running after boys was not really something that interested me back then. Due to those pubertal hormone surges I had crushes on guys, but I never acted upon them. A while ago I was telling my boss and his girlfriend C. about sharing my bed with my son/pig Sergei when I was 17-18, and C. giggled that that was indeed the age for having a pig in your bed. I was a bit confused until I remembered that "normal" people have boyfriends and stuff when they are teenagers.
My sexual awakening came much later, on a fateful trip to Israel, when I would be scarred for life with a fetish for dark and hairy men. :op
That fetish for very manly men would seem to refute any suspicions of lesbian tendencies in me. But in fact I am open to bisexuality - it's just that I've never had the fortune of experiencing mutual attraction with a woman. Maybe because it's so common to assume that everyone is hetero, so spontaneous flirting usually happens with the opposite sex.
Ilan pointed out that I have this slightly "butch" way about me that could raise questions. But at the same time there are obviously tons of guys who are attracted to me, butch or not. I mean, all I have to do is walk out the door and there are guys all over me. V`(oo)´V