It is astounding and moving, the work of photographer Richard Renaldi. One of his projects is titled "touching strangers". He would set up his camera on the street and ask random passers-by wether they would be wiiling to pose for a picture - with a total stranger. The resulting images have - for me - an eerie quality in three regards: (1) They are of striking beauty in colour, light, and composition, (2) it is impossible to crop them without destroying them, and (3) the men and women are captured on the threshold between distance and intimacy. They appear out of their familiar comfort zone, but upon entering a new one they did not until now know existed.
Für eine Macherin, die hin und wieder an die Grenzen des Machbaren stößt und dann gerne eine Kreissäge, eine Flex, eine Standbohrmaschine oder ähnlich schweres Gerät zur Verfügung hätte, war die Entdeckung der FabLabs ein echter "Ja, will ich!" Moment. Zwar gibt es in Münster derzeit noch keines, aber vielleicht findet sich da ja auch noch eine Gruppe von Machern, die so etwas hier aufbauen will. Wer ein Bisschen schnuppern will, der kann das zum Beispiel auf den Seiten der Ding Fabrik in Köln tun.
Enter those words in youtube. Go ahead. It will probably make your day.
It may even make you change your view on things. I admit that sometimes when life has been especially challenging and people have been unkind, I get myself fixed again by watching such videos. Two men who rescue a drowning sheep. A little boy who lays himself down across a gap as a bridge for his little friend. The random people on a beach who drag a group of beached dolphins back into deeper water. The russian driver who stops his car to help an old lady across the road. Boy scout things, you say? Well, maybe they really were on to something with their motto. An Egyptian Imam who joins the neighbours' church for christmas mass. The woman passing by on a bridge from which a young man is about to jump and kissing and thus stopping him. I could go on and on about this - it is beautiful.
Some days ago my youngest son - he is 5 now - picked herbs on our balcony, coming back inside, he declared he would now make us some tea, and proceeded to do so - using his little watering can. Peppermint tea, he explained. (I didn't tell him he had gotten thyme.) "It just needs to steep a few minutes, mama."
Well, and then we both forgot all about our tea - until today.
Evviva la vitalità!
A dear friend of mine made my day today by showing up on my doorstep with a record player he had gotten for me, knowing how much I wanted one to be able to play my parents' old records. Now I am just sitting here, delighted beyond reasonable measure, listening to '74ish motown, my pet asleep on my lap. You might argue that today's eye-opener is really an ear-opener. You would be right. So keep an eye out for vinyl, allow it to bring back memories you didn't even know were still there.
That's the way it is with true eye-openers: I cannot "produce" one without diluting my idea of them being truly spectecular. Sorry, nothing for July!
Shaun Tan presented me with a gift when I came across his picture book "The Lost Thing" in our local library. The gift is twofold: First of all, he writes and illustrates picture books that are not stricktly for children, but for - well - people with a certain set of mind across ages. Secondly, he opens up a new way of looking at things. In this case: lost things, that just don't seem to belong. For me, this has not so much to do with reflecting upon wether I am such a thing that does not belong, but it is a lot like my own way of looking at trash and seeing its potential of becoming something new, strange, beautiful, different. You need to take your time with his books, though. Look at them, and then again, and once more.
Yesterday I found a book in our local Give-Box, and it made me go very still in amazement. Not because it is an outstandingly good or important book. I would not even recommend that you should absolutely read it. That is not the point. The book is a childrens' adventure story from the late 50s about "Grischka and his bear", and I read it as a child.
And read it again today. And some of the hazy thoughts, notions, memories or moral assumption that always float around and utter themselves in my mind I could identify as coming from this book. I would read certain terms or names and remember instantly how I felt and was when I first read it. I learned something about why I am today the way I am by re-reading this book. It is not an eye-opener, but a mind-opener, really.
Seit meinem Urban Knitting Projekt in Münster bin ich mehrfach gefragt worden, ob Stricken eigentlich ein Frauending sei. Darauf hatte ich selber keine ganz klare Antwort. Die vergangene Woche habe ich in London verbracht, und der dortige Eyeopener war das Fashion and Textile Museum in der Bermondsey Street, Southwark. Von März bis Juni 2013 war dort eine Ausstellung der Arbeiten von Kaffe Fassett "A life in colour" zu sehen. Dieser Mann ist nach Jahren der Malerei eines Tages in einen Wolladen geraten, und war von den Farben der verschiedenen Garne so überwältigt, dass er sich auf der Stelle eben jene Garne und Stricknadeln gekauft hat. Auf der Rückfahrt im Zug hat er eine strickende Mitreisende angesprochen und gebeten, ihm Stricken beizubringen - und seitdem strickt er. Sein Zugang zu Farben, wie sie zusammen wirken, und was sich damit ausdrücken lässt, ist ehrfurchteinflößend. Ich möchte daher behaupten, dass Stricken kein reines "Frauending" ist, sondern eine Zweckform wie auch eine Kunstform, mittels derer sowohl Männer wie auch Frauen sich auszudrücken vermögen.
Shel Silverstein is one of my favourite artists. He wrote "A boy named Sue" for Johnny Cash. He drew cartoons for Playboy. And most important of all, as Uncle Shelby he created wonderful and weird children's books full of lovably strange characters. You should know about the giraffe and a half. Reading about the nighttime whatifs will feel familiar to you. You might want to be alone while reading about the giving tree. Shel Silverstein's world seems to begin just where the sidewalk ends. And as I did not want to post one of his poems here, and risk a copyright infringement lawsuit, I wrote one myself.
But just as an apetizer. You should read his, really.