Tag Archives: dust

… musings of a neglected teddy bear …

She brought me down from the attic this morning and gave me a good bashing and brushing at the back door, where the wind scattered my accumulated dust. She had no idea why she suddenly wanted me, the transitional object, around. But I know.

I make her smile – something to do with face muscles relaxing. And she needs a perk. Glued to the news, she’s expecting a revelation of meaning from the madness around the globe. She tells herself to ignore the surreal headlines that flit across her laptop screen, to no avail. As if that was not enough, her intense curiosity in AI and its implications on society, can take up her mornings. It may be because a new, man-made race is the theme of ‘Shapers,’ the sequel to ‘Course of Mirrors.’

And I used to think teddy bears were the pinnacle of man-made intelligence.

Though she can’t remember, she valued me time ago, to be held by her therapy clients in need of hugging. How cool is that? Then, one day, I was unceremoniously replaced by a trickster rag-doll, apparently more successful in bringing up suppressed psychic material – alarmingly uncool.

For now I’m redeemed. Everyone knows that teddies are brilliant listeners. I nod and never talk back, avoiding all misunderstandings.

Her son used to benefit from an associate of mine. Such shame he was a rare antique, and had to be sold.

Not that my presence fools her. She may be a good listener to her clients, but not to her own heart in these bewildering times, which is why she brought me down from the attic. I listen and open spaces for self-reflection. Just think of the waste of all the other teddies dusting away in attics.

She learned that to really understand how another person feels, their experience has to be felt in her own heart. There is nothing to be done. She’s a crushed angel and needs to feel her own bewilderment deeply to be of use to anyone.

That said – I’m happy to be here, in this warm space of reflection.

She says hello to all crushed angels. There must be many of you out there, given the consistent visits to a post of this poem by Hafiz from May 2015.



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… answers to questions we dare not ask …

Could it be that we frequently get answers to questions we dare not ask, allowing us to ignore certain messages? When do we challenge an issue and when do we keep silent and move on? Maybe I’m naive, but given my peculiar tolerance for uncertainty, I tend to trust in the random timing of guardian angels.

In der Eng 1954Last night, in a dream, I jumped from the ground onto a flat roof by sheer determination. Then someone asked me to repeat the feat, in the manner of a scientific trial. A ridiculous request – nothing is ever repeated under the same circumstances, try as you might. It’s as far as I got with this dream. I’ve no idea what the flat roof represents, apart from maybe having my first novel aired, which has been waiting to be launched with my small publisher since 2013.

Yes, I’m frustrated, and tempted to self-publish, instead, it looks as if I need to secure money for my father’s care and funeral. He decided not to die and plans to reach a hundred. While he requires support with basic daily tasks, he is comfortably secure in the care department of the place where he had rented a flat, which I must dissolve within the next few weeks. I arranged for him to keep items he holds important, his paintings, books, art materials, easel … in his present care-abode.

The process of letting go of things and projections was distressing but worthwhile on both sides. After endless paperwork, bureaucratic complexities, sorting stuff, and living with ancient dust and revelations, I felt totally exhausted, and decided to recover for a few days with friends, and then take a break, once more, back in the UK, choosing a 12 hour train journey because of possible strike actions at Munich airport.

I was not cheered by a financial cover-up that, in retrospect, may (or not) have saved my marriage at a time when I felt trapped with my creative longing sans resources, all based on sad misapprehensions my father had of me over time, including blaming me for my mother’s early death. Nor was I cheered sorting through over 30 photo albums covering 16 years of Luxury Ocean cruises my father undertook with his second partner, touristy snapshots that did no credit to his past photographic excellence, earlier works of which I’ll post more in time, and which, I hope, my son will archive.

In der Eng 1953 - crossing the stream - smallerIn der Eng 1954 - crossing the stream - smallerStill, there were tender moments and highlights during this recent testing odyssey … my dad’s new appreciation of my existence, which warms the heart, and the finding of precious images from my childhood, like where I brave icy mountain streams, or cross them with my mother – memories of intensely happy times that restored my spirit.




Worth reflecting on, BBC4 broadcasted a prospect of old age that seems kind of scary in its social implications …

Should we retire the concept of aging?


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… my father …

My father, a painter, photographer, recorder of village life, and dedicated outsider, has finally, at 94, surrendered a big chunk of his independence and moved into a smaller, protected environment, at the foot of his beloved Alps, of which he knows the name of every peak. He now lives in a small apartment, crowded by furniture and his memorabilia.

He never showed much interest in me. I should have been a boy, and I’m still trying to let go of this traditionally embedded rejection.

Due to my dad’s poor communication, the past returned like a big wave that threatened to drown me, because, whether we like it or not, we all emulate qualities of our parents. His image here is interesting as emblematic turning point. Unbeknownst to my dad, his skying skills were exploited. He was groomed by the army for Russia. While on a special training he saved the life of a girl, which is why he did not end up in the nightmarish march to Russia and instead worked as an engineer testing aeroplanes.

Thanks to a remarkable woman in the village (thank you Micha) who supported my dad with the logistics of the move during the last few weeks, all went smoothly.

Together with my son and his partner (without them I would have faltered) we sorted the chaos left behind, enduring a few days in the stirred up dust of my dad’s two relationships, the one with my mother, who died much too early, in 1987, and that with another woman, who my dad also lost to illness.

Thanks to marvellous hot sunshine, which allowed us to swim in the lakes and ponds of Bavaria, and thanks to the help of some wonderful friends in Munich and Aalen, the task was made lighter. A leaf I found (below) sums up my sentiments.










*     *     *


The leaf, like my life

Grows from green-sprung verve

Towards brittle glowing gold

Weathered into definition

By burning days

And moist nights

Worn veins gnarl back

To imagined beginnings

While futures curl forward

To the ever-expanding

Where every ending appears

As a glitch in time …


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