Mother Courage

ptreyes_selects-1311-e1526289062249.jpg

Photo credit: Alvin Lumanlan

The German word for mother is “Mutter” and the first 3 letters “Mut” mean courage. German can be such a detailed language and in this case it is so true and precise. Courage is the word which describes motherhood the most. It already takes courage to be pregnant and to give birth, but the ultimate courage that surpasses each and every idea I had about being a mother is motherhood. I see pregnancy and birth as a start and preparation for motherhood that often exceed words and understanding at first. In any scenario, birthing a child is raw and stirs up a lot of things in hidden places – Oh yes, pregnancy can do that! (cut the crap). Continue reading

Advertisements

We are not sharing Nova!

IMG_4550

It is kind of mind boggling how much a 3 years old is trying to understand. Sequoia is working so hard to make sense of the world around him. As his ability to speak grows daily, I can be included more in his thinking process and his emotional states. To say the least – it is a wild ride being (with) a 3 year old! Continue reading

Ab jetzt unspektakulär?

B970664A-0764-457E-9AB1-99F3BA291C05Ich glaube das war der unspektakulärste Geburtstag meines Lebens. Es dreht sich nicht mehr um mich. Das Leben hat sich gewendet, gedreht, umfokussiert. Mein Mann versucht mir einen schönen Tag zu bescheren, fährt ganz früh mit beiden Kids in unsere Lieblingsbäckerei und bringt die besten Croissants der East Bay nach Hause, kauft mir Blumen und lässt mich bis kurz vor 9 Uhr schlafen. Sie singen Happy Birthday und ich bekomme einen frisch aufgebrühten Kaffee mit sage und schreibe nicht pasteurisierter Sahne. Dennoch, sogar mit den Blumen in der einen und dem Kaffee in der anderen Hand, sind meine Gedanken schon bei unserer nächsten Morgenaktivität. Continue reading

The sunshine fell off the deck

unnamed-7This is a blogpost for all of you who realized a dream. The dream of a home. I am longing for a deliberate decision about where and how to live. A place to grow and to create. We are at a point where (almost) everything is possible but nothing seems to take us any further. What helped/motivated you to make the move, the jump, the dive, the shift? Tell me, I am curious! Our apartment is too small, the Bay Area so expensive, my job situation is all up in the air and Raj is mainly frustrated and wants to simplify. Continue reading

Cut the crap

IMG_2948A long period of silence. People ask me: what is going on on planetcarmen? Honestly, most of the time, I was wondering that myself. After the cloudjam in Münsingen, I found out that I was pregnant and that was a very, very big surprise. I had only begun to kindle idea of having a second child, but it was enough for a spark to become real – to fly right into my womb, nest and grow. On one hand, I experienced a loss of control and on the other, it felt reaffirming to help this little spark grow as it seemed to know exactly where it was supposed to be. I just didn’t know, where I wanted to be. I felt conflicted, tired, annoyed, confused and most of all overwhelmed. Continue reading

Mean parents exist

copy

Picture by Robert Gomez Hernandez

I am still shaken by my experience at the playground today. I feel totally flooded and numb by another mother’s anger executed and poured on me (and my son). I still can’t believe anyone honestly thinks and behaves the way this woman did. I have no acceptance, no tolerance and no understanding for what has happened.

Sequoia found a bucket and a shuffle laying in the sand and started to calmly play with it. A few minutes later an approximately 5 years old girl approached him and wanted the toys. Sequoia certainly did not just give her what she wanted. He is 2. The girl left and shortly after her mother approached me, saying: “I want you to give my daughter her toys back.” Knowing that Sequoia will be understandably upset by her demand, I suggested that we wait a few minutes until he is done with his explorations and she can have her toys. The mother looked at me as if I am crazy and aggressively countered:”Not later, now! These are her toys. If your child wants to play with toys, bring your own!” Continue reading

Fahrvergnügen and me

16203248080_630d1cca3f_o

Since we are back from Germany, we have been talking about buying a new car. For everyone that knows our present car, an old purplish Saturn, you know why we need a new one :). We decided on a VW Golf Diesel and if possible with manual transmission. I love driving manuals and with all the advantages automatics might have, I still think the Fahrvergnügen is kind of lousy. We talked with car dealers, test drove one car and finally had a very good offer on a brand new Golf. We had scheduled a last appointment to test drive ‘our’ car and then intended to sign the papers. The appointment was on Saturday afternoon. Around noon we got a call from VW Oakland dealership informing us that all sales on diesel cars have been stopped until further notice. How curious!

Now we know that VW fucked up! To update you on the facts: The German car giant has admitted cheating emissions tests in the US! According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some cars being sold in America had devices in diesel engines that could detect when they were being tested, changing the performance accordingly to improve results. It is unbelievable, but what does that mean to me; being German living in the United States?   Continue reading

Sometimes life is sweet

Sommer in Deutschland

I am surrounded by sweetness and exhaustion. I decided that this blog post will be a little compilation of some precious moments during my time in Germany. I won’t write about being worn out by the quantity of things I thought I had to do; like renovating my apartment, working with asylum seekers, organizing a festival, tutoring English, teaching German, being part of the Freiburg CI festival and all that with a little one year old on the side. This article will be about 5 times sweetness!

Sweet #1
This morning little Sequoia walked (yes, he walks!) to my side of the bed and said his first word:”Hi!” I think this was one of the most heart warming experiences I’ve ever had.

Sweet #2
One evening at the cloudjam, I was sitting in one corner of the room, observing dancing people and holding my son. I saw and felt how everything in the room became alive and present. The dance, the violin and the focus was flowing easeful together. I was quiet, content and at the right place. I was touched by the reason why I organized this little sparkly festival. I understood that my motivation was to bring all my homes together: Münsingen, the town where I grew up, the Rhineland, where I lived for almost 10 years and the Bay Area, the place where I am living now. All 3 homes were united through my 4th home –  the dance. Just writing this gives me goose bumps. All homes were represented by dear friends, old and new and it made me so tremendously happy that my brother was part of it by cooking deliciously for the whole dance crowd!
An article was written about our Jam by the local newspaper! : http://www.swp.de/muensingen/lokales/muensingen/Persoenlicher-Augenblick;art5701,3357339

All pictures courtesy of Norbert Mörchen.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Continue reading

Being a mother

Elephant_with_Baby_on_Ground_30_8_1024x1024photo: Nick Brandt

Being a mother means being bit in the toes,
Being a mother means dancing for hours and crying for minutes,
Being a mother means being in LOVE,
Being a mother means watching your child climbing in a cardboard box,
Being a mother means watching your baby for hours,
Being a mother means meaning.

Being a mother means being tired, means being tired.

Being a mother means dressing him in pink,
Being a mother means establishing a different relationship to feet,
Being a mother means watching my son fall asleep every day,
Being a mother means scraping off some dried up banana from his chin,
Being a mother means getting caressed in the purest ways,
Being a mother means drumming on the toilet lid.

Being a mother means being tired, means being tired. Continue reading

Wer hätte das gedacht?

Es ist ruhig. Das Baby schläft. Ich bin allein. Trinke deutsches Bier. Und schreibe. Seit langem finde ich Zeit und Geduld einfach nur für mich zu schreiben (und für Euch natürlich, liebe Leser). Was ich aber tun sollte ist schlafen. In meinem Blogpost Sleepless Humor fing die Schlaflosigkeit an und seither hat sich mein Schlafentzug nur vergrößert. Ich habe alles mögliche probiert, damit Sequoia nicht so oft aufwacht, aber bis jetzt funktioniert keine meiner ach so cleveren Strategien. Wenig Schlaf, das bedeutet in meinem Fall, nicht mehr als 2-3 Stunden am Stück, wenn ich Pech habe nicht einmal das. Der Schlafentzug wirkt sich auf meinen Körper so aus, dass meine Raumwahrnehmung langsam verschwindet und sich meine propriozeptive Wahrnehmung bald in Luft auflösen wird. Das ist eine komplett neue Körper/Lebenserfahrung und schaffe ich es nicht in der Welt der temporären Erfahrung zu bleiben, ziemlich frustrierend. Beim Tanzen kann ich fast nichts mehr anderes machen, als mich auf dem Boden rollen, da alles andere mich sofort desorientiert. Ich brauche nur die Augen zu schließen und die Welt dreht sich.  Continue reading