Dear conscience

My conscience and I need to have a little talk. I’ve had it up to here with being told what an exceptionally bad person I am for the following (interchangeable) reasons:

– sleeping in

– choosing play over work

– spending money on things I don’t need-need

– spending time away from home

– putting my son in early childcare

– not keeping in touch properly with friends and family

– being outspoken, aka: making other people unhappy by telling the truth

– …

Obviously, this list is far from complete.

Dear conscience,

I appreciate your concern, and I assure you, your message has come through.

REALLY.

However, I now want you to stop telling me these things. I can take care of myself now, I’m old enough. If I have any questions, I will come back to you. Until then, please refrain from any further meddling.

Regards

CJF

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Pondering Death

Sinister, that headline, right? Well, yes, it is. But there’s light, too. Let me explain.

A good friend of my mum’s died this week. She was a woman whom I have always admired for her strength, her outspokenness, her uncompromising free spirit. She always did what she thought was right, and she followed her heart, however painful it may have been at times. 

Her death was not sudden, since she’d been suffering from breast cancer for some years. But then, it also was, since her amazing spirit had carried her onwards as if not even this draining, terrible, hopeless disease could make her falter. I have never seen anyone meeting it head-on like she did.

But she is gone now. It pains me to think of her daughter and grand-daughter, who are mourning their great loss. I think of them every hour, every day, trying to send them rays of hope and strength. 

I am mourning, too. But more than that, I am grateful. Grateful that I had the chance to write her a letter before she died, confessing my decades-long admiration and wishing her well. Grateful that I knew her, and that she let me take part, however small, in her fascinating, powerful life. Her life was full to the brim with beauty, magic and laughter. 

The traces she left in my heart shall not fade away.

 

Fountain in Split, Croatia

Fountain in Split, Croatia

Another quick sketch of a reminder of good times. Croatia is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve been to, and I’d love to go back some time. I’ve never seen such clear water since…

Triggers

Just a quick note to say I’m still here, but the nights have been busy, so there wasn’t much going on in terms of the Portfolio Project. There are a couple of things I’d like to share though, like this picture, taken by my (15 months old) son Jakob.

pic_0092

Self-portrait, January 2009

Or like that moment today when I heard someone speak Hebrew right next to me, and I was catapulted back to Jerusalem, the sun, the history, the people. These moments are so rare, and so precious, especially in Germany.

Or like that little meeting I went to tonight to plan a movie screening on water and a little talk by me on water conflicts. If you happen to be in Hamburg on February 10, come and join us at the B-Movie.

Or the times when Jakob curls up in my arms and holds me tight, and I feel so much love I worry my heart will explode.