City Life

Cite Life

Noisy nights, deep yellow lights
tint the streets, hint at outcasts
that did outlast the grim cold winters of the past;
splinters in society.
Meanwhile, the crowd does join the Christmas fair –
snow in the air – to buy cheap wine,
to dine, to whine about the great decline
of their homeland that is quite fine.
And they move on and buy their beer
at Assal's shop, shoes from Amir,
on which they stumble home each year
to disappear, to leave the fear
beneath the starlit sky behind.

On Time

On Time

When catching the train you expect it to be on time. Like, exactly on schedule, precise to the minute. For yourself to be on time, you probably want to arrive five minutes early at the platform though. When meeting friends there is more leeway: You might be a little early or a little late, it will count as on time, no worries. For some friends don’t be too late though. When photographing the sunrise, as early as possible is on time. There is always a lot to explore and setting up compositions requires care. When approaching a job interview, being on time is being late. You need to be there five to ten minutes earlier than the appointment. But don’t be too early either. Being on time is difficult. So, when is ‘on time’ for a four year project? An hour before deadline? A week? A month?

Hidden Gems

Hidden Gems

The internet is large and most content is shallow. Navigating clickbait, fake news, and social media is exhausting. But sometimes, it also yields something precious, something that is a worthwhile the investment of time, or something that evokes true emotion.

For me, this is mostly the case when someone has mastered his or her art and excels in what they do, such as these three hidden gems I found recently:

Photo Post: P25

Photo Post: P25

Record temperature highs all around, forest fires all over Europe, and an advancing drought that threatens food and energy production – only a small glimpse of what will come.

So, instead of exposing ourselves to the constant stream of news, we enjoyed some of the beautiful nature nearby by hiking the P25 trail near Kleinalmerode. It’s one of the newest premium trails in Hesse and the closest one to our home. Normally, Kleinalmerode is known for its cherry blossom in late spring; but during this time of year we strolled through barley fields, found lots of insects scaling cornflowers, and observed bumblebees exploring the landscape of flowers. It also revived my passion for macro-photography and hopefully I’ll manage to use some more of these long Summer days to pursue photography.

Photo Post: Pause

Photo Post: Pause

A small selection of pictures taken on our way to and on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Dramatic weather made for some interesting skies during the middle of the day, but (near) constant rain spoiled the hiking and photography fun. Skye is beautiful; but so is the mainland. However, unlike the mainland Skye is flooded with tourists. So we agreed that this single visit is enough for us for now.

A Short Reading List

A Short Reading List

A brief list of some of the books I read during the last year, thanks to Fräulein Klitzeklein. The first draft of this post is already from last Winter but only now I came around to finishing it. It is mainly intended for myself: to remember which books I read, what they taught me and how they affected me, as well as what I wanted to take away.


Der Buchspazierer, by Carsten Henn

The mundane, the monotonous, the every day rhythm. This book is about those things. And how they are among the ones that matter most in life. It matters what you make out of it. It matters with whom you persevere through it. It’s the daily interactions with people around, however small they might be, that make it worth it. An easy-going story, yet scratching to the bones, about passion to detail, about finding unexpected friends, and about loyalty.


Der Gesang der Flusskrebse / Where the crawdads sing, by Delia Owens

This one invigorated my passion for nature and science as it elegantly intertwines both within a complicated story of a complicated life. It features a deep appreciation for the nature and its inhabitants. Never give up, stand up for yourself, and life can be unfair. I finished the second half in a single day, something that hasn’t happened for quite a while.


Die Bücherdiebin / The book thief, by Markus Zusak

I never would have picked this one up myself. All the more, I am fortunate that it got forced upon me: Probably the most impactful read for me so far. Deeply moving, cleverly narrated, a story of genuine humanity. Where heroes are inconspicuous, but never have been more important. Where the profound joy and all inexpressible horror of life cling to each other like there is no tomorrow. Where the smallest childhood memories become something larger than themselves. A story of innocence and trust, of apples and daunting terror, of the power of words and how they shape our world.


Zugvögel / Migrations, by Charlotte McConaghy

Nobody is flawless: There is always good and bad, even though it can be difficult to perceive it. Do not judge others, especially if you cannot relate to their experiences. Sometimes they are more similar to you as you might think. Attaining redemption is a journey, as our life, without goals other than the ones we define ourselves. And no one is prepared for the abruptness of the end as it might arrive every second of your life.


Das Flüstern der Bäume / Greenwood, by Michael Christie

An entertaining novel narrated cleverly to blend a multitude of time frames to illustrate the larger picture of our society, our history, and our planet. Has a bit of everything, and thus, a bit of nothing.


Der Circle / The Circle, by Dave Eggers

Exhausting read and quite demanding. Balances on the uncomfortable gap between surreal fiction and actual reality that keeps bouncing in your head for quite a while after. A constant warning of where humanity currently is and which direction we might be heading in a digitized world, paired with deep-reaching questions about our individual purpose of life. About the phenomenal benefit and destructive power of data, as well as societies inability to grasp the impact of what they create.


Was man von hier aus sehen kann / What You Can See from Here, by Mariana Leky

A wonderful story of love, life, death, family, and nature from the eyes of a growing human. It charms with wonderful characters that are narrated so well that you’re sure you’ve met them in real life. And even after closing the book, they occupy your mind and keep lingering there with their struggles, their joy, and their words of wisdom. This book shows how to embrace triviality, how to cope with setbacks, and how a village community manages to navigate life.


Looking for Alaska, by John Green

Several of my friends read John Greens books during high school. I never did. Maybe I am pleased with this fact. It’s like listening to good music for the first time: It’s something special; you should find the right time and place and embrace it because it’s your only chance to experience it in this way. This book has power, no matter your age. It leaves marks.


The Fault in our Stars, by John Green

An absolute masterpiece. Utterly moving. Possibly life changing. Who would’ve thought that a romantic journey of high school students can be told with such intensity. An honest, melancholic, and moving experience. See also That which remains.


Umwege des Lebens / The Book of Two Ways, by Jodi Picoult

My first one from Jodi Picoult and presumably not the last one (and I am told there are way better ones). A potpourri of topics mingled into a love story in our contemporary world. By this, it aims to please many, which comes at the cost of some tiring sections. Besides exploring complicated relationships and lifelong dreams, it focuses around the process of dying.

Cairngorms

Cairngorms

The vastness of the Cairngorms was especially appealing to me. With 1107 square kilometres, the Cairngorms are Scotlands largest national park – perfect for getting lost in nature and a paradise for hiking. Apparently, it’s also a paradise for capercaillies as we noticed pretty quickly: They were quite abundant and apparently the courtship was in full swing. They didn’t display for the camera though, in contrast to Stonechats and Wrens. Especially for the latter one, it was a treat to see it so close in the late evening hours. Besides, the Cairngorms host 5 of the 10 highest mountains of Scotland – watch out for one of the next posts which will be all about the Munro mountains.