Binging on Burgers

What?! Gigi?! You had a burger and fries? How long has it been?! Are you crazy?!

So,

A few days ago I was seriously craving some good ole’ American food (ok..kind of..not really..just Gigi style American food)

Since starting this adventure a lot of people have given me this weird pitying look and said something along the lines of “do you ever just miss good food?”

I just giggle and wonder what they think I’m eating all day long..rocks?20140911_154125It started like this.

Don’t you just love Benen’s face? That’s the face I make when people assume I’m depriving myself.

I’d just been to the local store stuck in the produce section *** (TIP: Start your grocery shopping experience dive bombing the produce section. It actually can be super fun picking out veggies and fruits and thinking of all the possibilities, get your smart phone out and look up “paleo eggplant” or “healthy things to use squash for” and it becomes a scavenger hunt. But seriously. When you start in this section it’s way easier to avoid grabbing packaged and preserved food that in the end you really don’t want) *** and I went a little crazy…as always…glad I got those tips over the weekend!

20140911_154134We chopped off the stems, scooped out the gills, and brushed these big portobello mushrooms with some ghee (clarified butter) then stuck them in the oven at 400 for 10 minutes face down to start getting the moisture out.

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Obviously you can’t have a burger without fries.

So while the bello’s were in the oven I chopped up some baby carrots (we didn’t have any regular otherwise I would have preferred those) drizzled them with some coconut oil, seasoned with salt, pepper, and plenty of paprika (mmmmmm) and then popped those in as well.

Waiting issss…not fun.

But it’s worth it most of the time.

20140911_163953Oh

yasss

Just stuck a grilled salmon burger in the middle, some avocado, tomato, and cud’s, and then for the fries mashed some dijon mustard with the extra avocado and taaadaaa!

It was totally messy, totally good, and totally TOTALLY whole, delicious, healthy food.

20140911_164418Look how totally American I am? Awesome.

Photo credits to Ianthe who was soooo mad at me for not sharing the “fries” after letting her try one. For you parent’s out there she is 6 and can be extremely picky and she loved these. There are so many options out there for kids, teens, and adults alike to discover new ways of enjoying food.

Make it awesome and now you know, when you want em, fries are just a few chops away!

~Gigi

Changing the Mindset + Scrumptiousness

Hi beauties, I’m sitting here with a scarf wrapped snug around my neck, just finished a cup of almond/cinnamon tea, and looking forward to creating a savory dinner tonight.

I’ve got a few videos for you today plus a wonderful new dish I made over the weekend. I promise full recipe’s are coming soon, but I, like my mother, rarely measure anything  and it’s going to take some effort on my part to figure out how to give you fabulousness without just saying “and then add some of this with a bit of that and hope for the best”. So let’s start at the important stage…Mindset and Inspiration…Enjoy…

The workout was wonderful and just the right amount, I managed to fit in a deep stretch before heading to replenish and shed some light on some of my favorite products…

But…let’s be real here…that stuff is just the prep for the best part, which is food, right? As you will begin to see here I am obsessed with food. A lot of people think I eat the way I do or live this lifestyle simply to have a trim figure or for dance.

WRONG.

Everything I create I love. I eat fish because it’s delicious and I literally can’t live without it. Yesss I am aware of what enters my body and I do live every day with the intention to fuel system correctly with whole foods. Your bodies a temple right? So start worshipping. But that doesn’t mean I’m miserable, far from it, just take a look and tell me you wouldn’t love digging into these cups of yolkiness…


and how they looked going in..pardon my clumsy camera handling..

Ok so I am guilty of having not videotaped the finished product as the minute this pair came out of the oven I just sat down and dug in. It was so unbelievably hard not to gobble them down but I tried my best and the result was a longer lasting state of paradise accompanied by the first Harry Potter book (this will be my 4th or 5th time reading it…don’t look at me like that..it is simply perfection)

20140912_151203But don’t worry! If your mouth is watering like mine was you don’t have to wait.

Grab some tomatoes (firm is best)

Scoop them out gently

Pre-heat oven to 425

As you saw in the videos I filled mine with pre-sauteed shallots, garlic, and mushrooms along with some tin smoked trout.

I realize however not everyone in the entire universe loves fish as much as me and I guess that’s sort of OKAY…the beauty of these babies is you can do whatever you want! Be creative and share with us what you did, I’d love to tweak it around as well. But whatever you do just enjoy it as much as possible!

Make your day glamorous and if that’s not as easy as it sounds create a wonderful meal and go from there,

See you soon!

~Gigi

 

Feature: Rachelle Lo on Finding Your Deserve


While in the midst of creating my lifestyle I have been repeatedly referencing my moms journals and asking her advice. Because she’s just fabulous, honestly. I wanted to take something I recently discovered and share this treat with you…

We all know that sometimes it feels like too much and it’s time to quit because our bodies are tired or maybe we are simply frustrated…

And some of us know that our minds create a lot of the stress and doubts around us

So how do we find a way to channel our thoughts into a positive side that can benefit us fully and actually result in physical and spiritual changes?

Take three minutes to enjoy the advice of Rachelle Lo on Finding Your Deserve..and meanwhile check out some of her yummy recipes in her other videos!

This video will be permanently posted on our “Begin” page for any of those days you need to see a beautiful meal, and hear the many different ways you are in control of your life.

Find your Glamm and your Deserve

~Gigi

Stepping into Beauty

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It was like a revelation as I stepped into the water, swim cap and goggles, high expectations, and high apprehension.

On a Monday I decided to find beauty, after a frustrating weekend, in Lake Michigan, over the hill from our house and to the right.

I’m going to be upfront with you that despite living so close to this paradise I’ve taken little advantage of it this summer. It’s strange to me because I remember being small and wanting nothing else but to get in the water and never ever get out.

A rather distinct memory is one where I floated on my belly, inches from the shore, and watched my whole family pack up for the day and refusing to budge even as my parents threatened to leave.

But why, out of nowhere, did I all of a sudden decide swimming was the workout for me? And the water I have completely avoided all summer suddenly turned into a blissful place to release all my pent up tension and anger?

I was inspired by my mom.

Two years ago, as some of you know, she trained and ate like a champion for two triathlon’s. I remember watching her walk in the door beaming every morning from either swimming, biking, running or all three. I didn’t recognize the amazing lifestyle she’d created for herself at the time but as I have entered into my own journey I remain with my jaw on the floor, in awe. And now, remembering how happy and alive she was, I’m on my way to discovering what made it so beautiful for her and how I can create my own such champion lifestyle.

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So tossing my over-analyzation to the wind I grabbed her suit, a bottle of coconut water, and took off to the beach.

The water had been choppy the past few days and I simply hoped it would be perfectly smooth just for today. With my toes at the tip of these stairs (sometimes I think stairs might actually be the end of me) I held my breath and ran down to see.

And the water was perfection.

So again without thinking I simply chucked my stuff on the sand and ran in, where I proceeded to start “really” swimming.

I almost quit after two seconds.

If you didn’t know this already…

Swimming is HARD.

But the water was warmer than it’s been all year, the sun was out, and there was no one else on the beach.

I kept going.

And I’ll never go back. Now I know why my mom radiated joy. Now I know how to find my center and feel bigger than the simple human body my spirit inhabits. I could try to describe the experience, but you won’t know exactly till you try. So here is a bit of  the elation I felt…
Check out my Channel!

I hope you can find something like this because there is nothing else in the world that will expand you so much and leave you feeling so powerful and confidant.

I practically ran home (towards the 40 stairs that lead up to our house…yeesh!..) so excited to share with my mom.

I was a wild ball of energy, my hands were tingling, my stomach was rumbling. I gushed to my mom and it was like we were the same person.

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I know a German swimmer and I’ve always teased him about his ginormous hunger. Seriously. He eats everything.

Well…

I won’t be teasing him anymore.

I replenished with a delicious, crisp apple, and a light Protein Boost – my favorite in the world – thinking it would be a good snack to hold me over till lunch.

It didn’t even come close.

The rest of the day I was so hungry 

Now I understand why my mom preached eating small meals nearly every 45 minutes during her training.

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This is a snippet of her triathlon journal, the one I have cherished and looked over countless times. She lists what she drank, her training, affirmations, and goals. A way to connect to herself and to tangibly hold her progress. When I found it it was exciting, reading each page to see what she’d thought up next.

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The rest of the day was a bit of a trial in terms of food, simply because I don’t think I’ve ever been that hungry, but as always I enjoyed everything I ate and learned how to do it better the next time.

Which I think is the most important, correct?

I can easily admit I am a perfectionist.

But I’m learning to let go of perfection and instead strive for a perfect effort – in reference to The Game Stands Tall, which we just saw last night – and excellence.

I stepped into change in January and I still have not stopped learning and growing, making mistakes and picking myself up.

But that is what is exciting, that is what makes this a journey not to a destination…but an amazing life.

I had a goal of swimming one more time this week after the first try.

Instead I did twice! And each time farther and faster and the second time I was able to fuel my body with a scrumptious “crunch” bar (teasing I know, recipe to come) and refuel soon after so the monstrous hunger stayed at bay.

Like I said…live and learn.

It may not be swimming for you, or even a form of excercise – though I highly recommend trying some out -…however I do encourage you to find something that can lift you up out of the ordinary to a place where you are bigger than the world around you. And that is why I am here, so we can find these moments together, support each other in change and transformation.

I’m excited to share my journey with you…

Did you find your Glamm today?

I did

And if not, just remember, there is always another day…so make it beautiful.

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A Sister Tale

I found one of my favorite spots in Paris in the last thirty minutes of our day.
Typical.

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Le Centre Pompidou.

We actually didn’t even go inside so I have no idea if I like the huge building or not. But it was the atmosphere that surrounded the area. A man lay sprawled across the cobblestones with a guitar atop his stomach, strumming idly. Two steps further were drums and people chanting and singing. And my personal favorite was the man in the very center of everything, balancing on his head, and doing a full yoga/meditation. I bet he thought he was so cool.
Ok
He kind of was.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.

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We started the day off here, Emmie and I. The marble (or whatever) was slippery and the wind was whipping our hair every which way. But we didn’t mind as the past few days had been so hot we’d ended up with sunburns in weird places (ick) so we embraced the wind, even as it got Emmie’s hair stuck every few minutes in my lipgloss.

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We’d packed our lunch. Emmie with one of the loves of her life – french baguette – and I, typically, with fish (mmmmmm).

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Of course, as an awesome German I know would say, have to make time for selfies.

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We decided, in a split second sort of way, that we would climb the Eiffel Tower. It hadn’t been in our plans but in the moment, looking up at it with stomachs happy and possibilities endless…we just had to.
But the best part (ok not the best but close) was as we stood in line and a security guard vehemently insisted that we cut to the front when he saw Emmie was blind. Everyone else looked like they hated us and Emmie and I felt so cool.
Likes movie stars!
Honestly it was a little ridiculous how much we enjoyed our little moment.

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Though my phone really is fabulous (suck it Apple lovers) zoom isn’t incredible. But it was surreal to look a bit to my left and see Sacre Coeur rising in the distance, but right at our level. We were breathless and I kept tripping on my dress, and there were so many little kids running and screaming I wanted to do some of my own tantrum throwing. But it was worth it.
And you should really see my calves.

What came next, however, was traumatic. Literally. As we hadn’t been planning to go up the Eiffel Tower we had seen no problem in bringing a lunch bag. But with the knives and forks it wasn’t permitted in the Tower. So brilliant I thought just to stuff it in a bush and hope for the best.
Hmmm.
We came back and of course..it had vanished.
Emmie almost cried when she realized her spinach and goat cheese quiche was lost, which I actually understand. And I felt like a total blonde.
It just sucked.

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So even as we walked towards a bridge so beautiful it hurts…we were a bit down. After all those steps and lack of water (with toilettes few and far between hydrating is nerve racking) and realizing I hadn’t eaten quite enough that day – leaving my head hurting and stomach aching – I almost thought to just throw my hands up and go back to the house. After all my phone kept telling me to go one way that I knew was NOT right (ahem…it ended up being right) and the length of the walk was 35 mins.

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But we were on a mission!

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After making it to the Opera twice and not getting inside – the first time some event was going on and the second we’d missed the time slot by half an hour – we just had to strive forward.
We let the idea of Starbucks afterwards and our raw Emmy’s treats (yes it sounds funny when I ask Emmie for and Emmy) fuel our weary bodies.

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And we did it!….barely. We shuffled our way through the magnificence and I oood and awed half heartedly.

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But it was worth it.

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And then we went to go into the auditorium. ..and it was dark for technical reasons.
GAH!

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There’s those moments one thinks the world is against them. So while I looked up at this “sky” with Emmie almost falling over beside me…I just took a deep breath…and stayed really annoyed.

And then the elevator didn’t work and took us back to the auditorium instead of up….

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And the lights had come on! Oh lala! I should really work on my patience and such.
And then as I looked up at this ceiling I wondered just what it would be like to dance here. I nearly threw my shoes of and leaped to the stage….but that would have required moving at more then a crawl and so I changed my mind.

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And then the moment came. So big. So wonderful.

We got our Starbucks.

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And we bit into our Emmy’s and sighed with joy.

Yes.

We were in Paris surrounded by cafes and we had found ecstasy in two big, piping hot tea’s from Starbucks. Earl Grey and English Breakfast. They sung to our hearts.

I’ve never been high but I’m pretty sure tea is a drug. We walked out of that green and white building in Cloud Nine ready to take on the world. And the next 35 minute walk to a place I would find absolutely perfect in an imperfect way. Off we charged!
Or
Meandered while I turned in circles from the robotic voice echoing out of my phone.

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We arrived (on the way was wonderful also. We made a game of counting the Asian restaurants. 10 total, if you’re wondering, on one street) and it really was perfect.

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For the past days of our stay we’d been desperately searching for a place where no cars could drive. We all – Emmie, Pascal, and I – were in agreement that sometimes one just needs to feel that they won’t be run over by a crazy Parisian driver. And here it was.

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We slipped down to our butts on a toasty metal bench surrounding the fountains. A French boy came up to me and politely asked the time, finding no problem with the fact that I was American (as has been the case frequently) but simply smiling in a dazzling way, switching easily to English.

Emmie and I were giddy as we took out our books. Her fingers started flying across her braille display and I just wanted to cuddle my big fat novel.

However I didn’t focus much as I was constantly looking up and around me like a little kid, excited to see every new shiny thing that came into view. I was ready to meet people, be crazy, wild. I was totally and completely me, the best part of me.

We had only a little time so I dragged Emmie away from the nice bench to the slopping hill where all the cool people were (at least they looked cool) our skirts kept blowing up and the stones dug into our legs, but the music was beating in my chest and looking around I saw no tourists (I know I am a tourist but sometimes I could just strangle some of the fools I see walking around) just genuine people having a swell time.

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We pushed it to the very last minutes before rushing to find the metro and though I said goodbye to the area sadly the rest of the evening only pushed me higher into the sky. I worked out at our hosts fitness studio and stretched like I hadn’t in days.
Then it was home to sit around a table and eat and sip and laugh.

Today I am on my way to a contemporary class at Studio Harmonic. I admit I’m slightly terrified, but with the prospect of returning to Le Centre Pompidou I think I’ll be ok.

I think I’ll be fabulous.

And you should be too!

See you soon my friends!

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Three Musketeers in Paris

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And that’s just what we were, swords poised for adventure – hypothetically of course – and a crazy, fabulous time. And of course we had bags packed tight with Paris worthy clothes and shoes, shoes, shoes (ok well…Emmie and I. Pascal didn’t find us worthy enough to break out his stilettos) and we were on our way. Finally.

Our hearts were pounding still from the breakneck journey to the train. We’d pushed it to the limit, the car was at “zero fuel” for the last fifteen kilometers, and even once we’d filled it – thinking of course then we’d be fine – we hit what seemed like the longest line of traffic. Five minutes we had till departure.
Scheiße.
Was the word uttered every few seconds from all of us, the German equivalent to sh*t. Under any other situation it’s a fun word to say. The way you can just pop out with it jumping off your tongue. Foreign swear words are normally fun. Not so then.

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But we made it.
And even though our immediate welcome (or lack thereof by a very..uh..grumpy Metro ticket man) was less then sweet. I was determined to make the next ten days some of the best in our lives
Begin the adventure!

We were victorious in figuring out the Metro (totally feel like a professional by now) and when we came out of the ground into the warm sunlight we had another kind of welcome, the best kind, from our host Louise.

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And it was with kiss kisses’s on every cheek that introduced us to the family on their balcony. And then into their beautiful home.

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Isn’t it beautiful?
Haha
Oh lala in our dreams.
This is the Chateau just across the street where one night people dressed all in white spilled out onto the lawn and strings played music that drifted sweetly to our ears. Except the picture was somewhat ruined by the two people who were wearing not really white but only almost white.
Pfft.

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But before our explorations could begin…first always must come…
Food.
Being gluten free isn’t hard for me. I don’t miss bread, I love the food I create.
But as Louise returned from popping over to the bakery with a fresh baguette in her hand…I admit I felt a little stir of jealousy as Pascal and Emmie bit into the crunchy, golden goodness. My sisters sigh of ecstasy was enough to prove the truth that French bread is the best.

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And I don’t really care if either of them hates me for these pictures. They make me smile. So there.

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And then this.
And this…

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Fred and Louise dropped us off on the Champs-Élysées and off we set with three hours at our disposal
To walk by places only before seen in movies.
And of course take selfies along the Seine.

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We ended the day here, with knees a bit achy and tummies rumbling. And so it was with sighs of joy that we sat down on the marble bench along the Arc de Triomphe in the very center of the crazy lights and noise, we found a little bit of peace.

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Craning our necks we talked of random things (what? Us? Random? Never!). Pascal couldn’t take his eyes of the flag, as if hypnotized, we laughed at him but it was true. The way the huge piece of fabric danced across the old structure, mesmerizing.

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The next morning this was my playground

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I got a crazy face from Manoa – the fifteen year old who’s just awesome – when I said I was eating mackerel for breakfast
But please
Don’t they look scrumptious?

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And then it was Fred, Pascal, and I off to one of my favorite places. The market.

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This stand in particular will leave you swearing off fruit in any other place. The people are kind, cutting up pieces with easy smiles and handing them over. Pascals eyes met mine and all we could do was sigh. Sighing. Happens a lot in correlation to food in France.

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And the cheese…oh sweet lord let me live here forever. We are all now ruined for fruit, cheese, and I assume bread for the others. How could anything else compare?

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Sacre Coeur was where we started of our first full day. And oh…the workout we got hiking up the billion steps. But upon turning around and seeing the view that stretched for miles it became entirely worth it
So of course Emmie and I posed like any normal siblings in such a picturesque place

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Aren’t they adorable? The best friends a girl could have. Really. I only pulled Emmie’s hair once.

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And of course then to Montmartre. I confess it’s charm was lessened considerably by the swarms of tourists.

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But one can still be wooed by the artists whose hands are stained black, and the small streets that wind the surrounding area. We left smiling….
Especially since we were walking downhill.

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Then on the steps of the Opera we bit into fruit and sat, listening to the brass group who seemed to breathe energy and joy into everyone around.

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Germans are just such good photographers. Where would we be without him?
And now here we are.

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Completely by accident is how we stumbled here.

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As we were walking in search of the most amazing ice cream in the world (really) the shop appeared and I squealed just a bit. Managing to stay upright as I dragged Emmie behind me. I promise I’ve only ran her into a few things…and people.

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Emmie played beautifully and those around watched in awe. And Passi explored like a little boy. This picture makes me smile…but then again…they all do.

And then for me.

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I can buy shoes in the United States (if I tried to buy them here we wouldn’t eat) I have been “buying” amazing experiences.

But I wanted something special. Something I would keep forever.
And here it was.
The perfect present to myself. Jane Eyre – a novel I will read over and over – from the small, old section of classics in Shakespeare and Co. I think the women – who’s British accent Emmie and I were obsessed with – thought me a little silly when I told her she’d made my dreams come true.

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And then we were off in search of the ice cream so talked about by Fred – our host – and remembered deliciously by me. After six months of none I was starting to get a little giddy.

Ice cream drunkenness was on its way!

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Past Notre Dame and the famous “love bridge”. And no we didn’t lock our hearts there…the appeal has worn off. Who wants to lock their heart away?

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Cinnamon, pistachio, and dark chocolate. I couldn’t eat ice cream anywhere else after this anyway so why not? Although I thoroughly annoyed the lady behind me after I asked which flavor was what for the billionth time. Pfft. She just doesn’t even understand.

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I think this is the first silly face I’ve gotten out of him in a picture. It’s the ice cream, like magic, it brings out the crazy in us already crazy cats. And oh was it the most amazing, mouth watering treat.

So now skip ahead a bit (We.Walked.So.Much.) After all the thousand million steps we’d taken doing all the typical tourist things but then making them more fabulous. After packing our first few days full… it was time for another treat.

But a German one

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In thanks for his stay Passi decided to bake. It was probably one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. Ohlala.

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Well bake and eat. And eat. And eat. I swear all the flour would have been gone if I put a stop to this. Yay me!

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Technically this could be considered helping. Sort of.

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While we waited for something to be ready (the milk to boil? Pudding? I don’t remember) I dragged him into silly dancing in the small kitchen, accompanied by the Amelie soundtrack playing on my phone. I think the ice cream was still in my system, because I couldn’t have been happier.

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While the Apple Crumble Pudding was in the oven the piano was seriously put to use and dinner was served.

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One of my favorite times in both Germany and Paris is the meal times all together. We’ve lost some of this in the States and I’m determined to bring it back. The way everyone sits and engages, and no one rushes up when finished, instead we sit, speak, and enjoy as long as we won’t.

Oh I love it so. Each day was a surprise, with us wondering what heavenly smells we would find as we came through the door.

And speaking of delicious smells…I kept running into the kitchen simply inhale the fumes twisting from the oven (so…um…the next morning the first thing I did was open the cake tin and smell…and smell…and then a little more…don’t tell anyone!)

It must have been nearly midnight by the time it was done (I’ve actually gotten used to this eating late thing…There’s something a bit badass about it. Makes me feel edgy…or maybe that’s just me falling asleep at the table)

A job well done. And yes there was more sighing, more ooing, and definitely gross amounts of awwwing.

Then our Chef was back at the piano (because his life goal is now to be a pianist…he’s now giving Emmie a run for her money) and candles were lit and it was like being in a five star hotel in a sweat pants and lazy sort of way. And yes I did bring sweats to Paris, I’m sorry but I find silky, pretty pajamas to be one of the worst forms of torture ever created

He was frantic. Literally. It was Passi’s last night in Paris, we had packed a cheesy dinner to take to the bottom of the Eiffel Tower, the day had been long and a little frustrating (who knew if you want to have a nice picture painted for your mom -Pascals- in Montmartre it can cost up to €120) and we were running late. For what exaclty? Fußeball. Football. Soccer. The silly boy didn’t exactly express to me just how important it was for him to see Germany vs. Ghana (I’m getting really really good at all this football stuff!) but I probably could have used my spectacular intellect to have figured it out. So we get to the Tower (it’s already an hour into the game) and we can’t find the public viewing anywhere (no not a funeral, this is what they call watching a football game in public) he’s looking a bit frantic (ok more than a bit) and we were basically running around likes chickens with our heads cut off. Up and down streets we ran finding no TV’s anywhere, which was ironic as everywhere else we had been in Paris had them in every single restaurant.

But finally, finally we found one. I remember pointing and exclaiming as if I’d found a superstar. It was worth it to see Pascal’s face after the first German scored (cause let’s face it, Germans are the best – Ahh Fred don’t hurt me for saying it!- really)

So we sat in a crowded little pub, surrounded by loud, happy people, listening to music from a live band, and cheering on the team no one wanted to win. We’re so cool.

It was simply fabulous…after five minutes of feeling a bit annoyed though, of course.

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And then…

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It really was perfect.

We sat under the Eiffel Tower, nibbling on cheese and fruit (and mackerel cakes for me…they are really so amazing…I mean really thank you mommy for awesome recipes) staring up, a little bit dumbstruck, I turned to him to say something amazing and fitting the moment…

…and was interrupted by a man shoving a rose in my face and a bottle of wine in Pascal’s insisting we buy.

So romantic, I think I could have cried.

But after the initial shock of being so accosted we were left in peace and a bit of tranquility and ease began to sink in. Then of course I asked him of his thoughts…and he responded “I’m wondering how those elevator thingys work”….Typical.

I laughed and he laughed and we waited till midnight to see the magnificent structure light up like a billion faeries, dancing in the sky.

A part of me feels like it was a dream and it feels so good to know it was real.

That night at the same time Emmie was singing in a bar surrounded by Parisians, her first European/impromptu gig.

Who knew that we would all be in this city of light, at our ages? Not I.

But this is only the beginning. So much more is on the way!

Started with a kidnapping

We were captured by “falafel man”.

Isabel and I – our German momma – were walking a little ways behind two boys clothed in bright red t-shirts and lugging big bags with the symbol of the Mainz football team. The practice stadium soared high to our right and to the left was a short pathway and then the distant glimpse of green fields marked with white lines. We were just about to continue our way when a shout came from behind us and I turned to see a familiar face. In my previous trip I met this man as he was picking up his son – the most adorable little boy, with doe-like brown eyes and curls that made my heart melt. I dubbed him falafel man as the first thing I heard from his mouth was about his falafel and how amazing it was. He pulled out his iPhone, almost dropping it in excitement, to show us pictures of racks and racks of the small balls.  At a later point I had the chance to try one and I will admit they were delicious, especially after the seventh. But having fled the war in Iraq around the age of sixteen his heavy Arabic accent was hard to understand in German, let alone his English, yet he was the kind of man who’s soul you could feel felt nothing but kindness for others. He was so expressive, every inch of his body was thrust into his words. Passionate. That’s it. And so as he came running about to us, or more bouncing, I still couldn’t understand him but I could only smile as he practically dragged us in the opposite direction of where we had intended to go with the suggestion of some coffee. And so we were thus kidnapped. But I personally was in need of endless amounts of caffeine as it was still the day of arrival and I didn’t mind. We entered a small bistro and he said hello to everyone. He quickly proceeded to purchase both our drinks and set them before us, went to sit, then saw another person he knew and dashed off to say hello. This continued to be the way the conversation was interrupted for the rest of our abduction. Isabel would speak, or sometimes only begin to open her mouth, and in would come another person he knew or perhaps didn’t but greeted anyway. This is a hint of Germany, this is kindness, and maybe he’s tad bit insane, but it is sweet, and it brings a smile to my face even now. I asked Isabel to remind me of his name but it slipped away the second she said it, foreign as it was, so now I shall keep my amusing memories simply titled “falafel man”.

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How old do these boys look? Well I’ll tell you that they are indeed around the age of ten, and perhaps you might have guessed correctly if I let you.

But if you’d been here you would have seen them play

And you would not have guessed right.

They walk to the field laughing and shoving at each other like any boys would and then the moment the whistle blows or the trainer assigns a task a look of intensity descends upon all of their faces. They practice with the discipline and rigor of professionals, and indeed I’m pretty sure they are mini professionals in the making. Then the little boy with curls – who hasn’t grown an inch since I was last here – attempts what looks to me like a ridiculously difficult shot…and he misses…then a smile blooms across his face and he’s a little boy again. They may be on their way to professionals, but they are also simply a joy to watch. These boys who love this game so much.

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Despite the puffy swell under my eyes and the way the world tilts around me I feel a sense of calm looking out from the deck. The wood beneath my fingers is hot to the touch, my eyes squint and beads of sweat start to creep along my hairline. The sky is so blue. I’m pretty sure it’s not any different than the one at home, but somehow I can’t believe its the same either. Even the clouds seem larger, whiter, as they drift lazily up up and away. Here is where I spent the majority of my second morning in Germany. With my scottie sweat pants tugged up around my thighs – me being too lazy to leave the sun and find some shorts, the result was an interesting tan line – and spread around me a novel, a laptop, and a worn out journal. I keep using my thumb to push the pen in and out, in and out. An unceasing clicking in rhythm with the timing of my haphazard thoughts. Stop. I was hemming and hawing. Write poetry? Blog? Read? Scream? I am aching to create something. 

Poetry.

The page before me is completely blank, not even lines interrupt the stark canvas. It’s a little daunting, and the glare of the sun makes my eyes hurt. I nearly push the paper away. Maybe I’ll write later.

Wait.

Stop.

I realize then haven’t written a poem in six months, since I came home from Germany.

I click the pen one more time, push against the seemingly endless white, and then I begin to write.
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And how could I not create something surrounded by places such as these? Whether the world is shadows and the bruised color of a haunting sky, or enormous bubbles that threaten to swallow us as we walk through the cobbled streets of Mainz. Along the Rhine – even while my feet were crying for mercy from big nasty blisters – following behind two boys in white, or tiptoeing as quietly as possible (not so quiet from Emmie since she was wearing flip flops…the noise was a comical contrast to the majestic structure) through the Dome.

Oh the Dome.

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The doors swell before us and I wonder how many walked this threshold before I. Behind us is the market. A woman stands to the side tooting – tooting? that sounds bad…- upon a recorder which suddenly makes me feel like I’ve been time warped into someplace where knights charge on great destriers and women sashay in the same place as I do now,  but bedecked in long, embroidered skirts.

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The candles. Bright, but small. The clink of coin as a euro falls into the box beside the light and a woman moves to ignite a candle for her son. For luck, a prayer. The old couple I see explores the church with excitement that almost reminds me of children, they point and incline their heads towards each other, hands interlaced, and I wonder at such beauty they share. Surely they have spent many a decade at each others side, but the way the man looks at her is as if it was the day they first met. Entranced, besotted, and this brings a wry smile to my lips, a shake of the head and hope…hope for someday the same.

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I remember the first time I entered this place. It was cold, my hands were freezing, and I was hoping the “small stop inside” suggested by my friends would really be just that. But the moment my booted feet entered the magnificent church an enormous feeling descended upon me and I could barely speak. I looked up to ceilings high and far away, brushed with the colors that depicted the journey of Jesus. I felt his despair in the statue that suddenly rose in front of me. I looked behind to find a hundred candles lit in prayer and an alter that took my breath away. I did not feel peace…I felt something…huge (oh look at my fabulous choice of vocabulary right there folks) that threatened to overwhelm me. It was so quiet, but I wished for it to be even more so, for my thoughts to find ease and time to process the place I had entered. The statues that surrounded us, the history that was written in every faded painting, or broken limb from a statue so intricate I found it impossible. The faith. The feeling.

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And as I returned for a second time (the first time I didn’t even pause to pull out my camera) I did feel peace. In a way that swelled inside of me while I looked upon the statue of Mary, her son swaddled in her arms, and as I walked through the pews, brushing my hand over wood that was worn from a thousand, a million hands.

I am not a preacher.

I am not a perfect Christian.

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But to deny that something bigger enfolds us after seeing a place like the Dome seems near impossible to me. Faith is not simple or clear, but neither are the dreams and wishes of human beings. Were we to dissect and analyze every feeling or desire that entered our hearts we would find ourselves trying to understand them and then losing them in the process. I think that one can spend all their life asking question after question and never finding the answer that curbs the hunger. But when does a person turn to the answers that hide in the open sky?

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But the sky is endless and the questions too. And as I bring this to a close (but never an end because I will always, ALWAYS have something more to say…duh) there is the smell of fresh crepes twisting through the air. A mother slaps her enormous son’s hand away as he reaches to snatch a bite, a smaller boy dances around the table singing loudly and badly, but sweet all the same. The minute the towering plate touches the table both boys hands reach at the same time, their smiles and quick mutters of thanks are muffled the moment they begin stuffing their faces. And questions of faith and what is right or wrong disappear in the warm blanket of this scene, where children are happy and I can try to create a picture with words, to capture a moment that is already slipping away. These moments are so precious.

I hope you have enjoyed all the ones I have stolen and put here to share.

 

Until next time!

 

Introduction Unexpected

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We’re above the clouds, banking right then left, leaving my stomach to turn in a way that I can’t tell if I might throw up or jump up with joy. Or maybe that’s the two cups of coffee I chugged on an empty stomach. Anyway. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to fly? I mean really fly. Like an angel (I’m typing and all I see is my twelve year old brother cupping a hand over his mouth and muttering a “dramatic much Gigi?” followed quickly by a high pitched “oo buurrrnnnn”) or maybe one of those super techy James Pattison bird kids (…um yeah don’t judge me. I was totally team Fang all the way. Then I realized the books were basically going to go on forever and I gave up. Sorry bird boy) who like, totally kick butt all the time and never die and are like SUPER cool.

Right

But back to flying. The superheroes and the characters of books take to it with ease, obviously, but I’ve always wondered if it might not be a completely and totally terrifying experience. Maybe that’s why humans don’t have wings, what if our bodies or minds just couldn’t handle the experience? The expanding experience of flight might just force an average human to combust. Or maybe we would just walk around with the wings poking from our clothes and never take the risk of actually using them.

It may not be wings that are the focus, but somehow I see humanity doing this more often than not. Chances and opportunities so big it makes ones head start to reel….but then they are left to tumble into that big chasm we call “maybe later”.

It makes me so angry.

I see all these young people-but whether old or young I think maybe everyone is guilty of this- around me denying themselves the chance for expansion, for mind blowing perspective and opportunities that could open doors for the next chapter in their lives. Opportunities that could (insert crazy, red haired Merida’s Scottish accent from the movie Brave right here) change their fate. And I get so frustrated that they don’t see it themselves. That they are completely and totally alright with staying the same as they have been and assuming life will continue on that way. They start by putting their heads down like bulls then ending up as a cow. Moo.

So as you might be able to see I have little tolerance for this. Actually I have little tolerance for a lot of things, though I’m working on it…sort of.

Looking out of a plane window, seeing first the picturesque countryside of green hills and tiny red shingled roofs, then soon after skyscrapers beneath, feeling the turbulence jolting us this way and that I realize I’m really, really wanting to toss some things into that “maybe later” trash can.

Whut?

Not I who am so totally open to expansion and change.

Not I who have been gushing ridiculously with love-sick puppy yapping about this experience for weeks.

Psshh

And it wasn’t till about 12ish hours later (after realizing I had been up for over twenty hours and then some I stopped counting) while I was lying in bed, so wired on kaffee (oo look at how good my German is) and beyond the point where I was aware of the exhaustion that had turned me into a zombie…did I realize I was completely unprepared for the way I felt about Europe Take Two…

But let me explain, and I promise all the talk of flying and whining about people is relevant. Well mostly. Perhaps the first post on my blog should be a warning in big red (because I love red) letters saying “hello, this girl likes to go off on tangents that she mostly wraps up in a neat little bow but will seem at first completely crazy and random. Then again she might just be, crazy and random” – ja, nein?

You see Narnia is one of my favorite series, partly because it is, indeed, an amazing work of literature, but mostly because it is an integral part of my childhood. I am ashamed to say I can’t recall if this scene was actually in the book or just plastered into the movie, but if you’ve seen Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes is beautiful, when I was however old I was at the time the movie came out I was literally set on marrying him and then cried when Susan and him could not be together. It was traumatizing. Couldn’t watch it again for days) there is a scene in which Lucy, our sweet believer, lays with her arm draped across the mane of Aslan, the great lion. This is the first time they have met again since Lucy has returned to Narnia, along with her three siblings. It is hundreds of years later, and everything has changed. As they sit they speak of times gone past and Lucy asks, in the innocent way she has, why Aslan didn’t come roaring into the battle like the time before and save everyone? He responds calmly – “Things never happen the same way twice.”

It’s so simple.

You see I had an amazing experience during my last visit to Europe, naturally there were a few occurrences of grumpiness and maybe once (maybe) that I missed my big family, but in the larger scope it was one of the top experiences in my life. I mean…its Europe. I should have been off the wall (or…window? Wing?) jumping up and down with excitement and this mind blowing opportunity. And yes of course I was excited, but it was under a layer of doubts and fear. But not till my caffeine crashing moment, despite all my talk of being open to experiences and change, did I realize I had nearly reached the point where I didn’t even want to step off the plane.

Crazy?

Yes.

But you see I’ve changed so much since the last time I was here. I think I was afraid that I would step off the plane and forget the strong person that I have now become. I was afraid of losing myself and handing my emotions over to the people around me. There were relationships and possibilities that I was unsure of and would not be able to control. In short I was terrified. And it is easy to admit that almost all of it was compacted into my own mind. As usual.

I started this post in those moments of terror and exhaustion and I’ve been beating myself up a little having been in Germany almost a week without having posted anything. I lost those moments of emotion that started this page, at first I was angry but now I’m glad. The first day I arrived was a mixture of misery and beauty, the second exhausted me further though I did quite enjoy myself, and it wasn’t till I sat in a car, talking to my amazing sister and on the way to a lake, driving through vineyards draped in roses that I realized I had entirely given away my power and allowed the very things I was worried about to take control over me. Like the people who irritate me so, like the possibility of keepings ones feet on the ground when gifted with wings, I had sunk into a place of pushing opportunities away and playing the victim. It wasn’t for long, not at all, but it was a glimpse of a different choice, a different path that I could have fallen down. The product of this would have been an amazing trip lost and a girl who forgot what she came here for.

In the five months after I returned to America I had slowly began to find a center, a place of peace and joy but also passion and fire that was mine and mine alone. In eating healthy, writing, reading, creating, and taking care of my body did I find a happiness I have never known before, and it was mine to give unto myself, not needing the influence of others or any one person to hand it to me. I almost lost it a few days ago.

You see I’ve been spiraling all over the board here, but what I am trying to pull together is that we all make choices in regards to our own happiness, and it is up to us to make the right ones and to hold on to our own strength. I left Germany in December with the determination to only let it expand me and push me into going places I had never dared step before. And it worked I grew and changed in ways I never could have imagined. So naturally I thought I was totally and completely prepared for this “growing and changing” thing the second time around.

But if I had been ready…would it really have been what I needed?

I don’t think so.

It’s been a wonderful almost-week. I’ve turned about five shades darker from the blazing sun (when they were complaining about the heat at 30 degrees I was so confused…until I realized they meant Celsius) I felt the beat of drums in my chest and was crushed by bodies at festival plopped atop a hill, lit by lights strung up in the sky, I’ve laughed so hard I had to fall on the ground and gasp for air, and I have let go of the bird (insider here, you’ll have to guess) I held tight to for so long. We all think we know what we want, but I find that most of the time we have no idea what we need. And I’m still not sure, today has been one of the best and yet most emotional of the trip so far. It’s funny how that happens, isn’t it? The stark contrast between the things that make us happy and the things that force us to change. But I am making the choice to find happiness in this beautiful place.

My sister, despite being diagnosed as a total blonde, wisely said to me that someone could be in the best and most amazing place in the world but still be miserable because of the choices they made and the mindset they could set themselves in. Emmie and I are still learning, we are still growing, and sometimes we are not open to it. I don’t know about her but sometimes I want to scream and throw things till the world gives me what I want. Unfortunately it usually doesn’t work. But we are here together, surrounded by some of the kindest people in the world and learning alongside of each other, which in itself is a huge blessing.

This introduction to my trip was not the one even I expected, I thought it would be all butterflies and rainbows as that is typically how I feel about Europe. But it is real, a part of me that I am choosing to share with you. I could post fluff, butterflies, and rainbows, but that is not what I’m here to do. There are a million blogs about how beautiful Europe is, and a million and one about how fabulous one feels. I believe in those things, but I also want to be me and find out even more of myself along with you. I’m sixteen going on seventeen and I have so much to discover. Unfortunately because of my fears and doubts I missed out on a few things the first two days here, so I will make up for it with living the next few weeks bigger and better than ever before. Will you join me a second time? Coming up next is info on what Germans think of gluten free (ohaa) and exactly how many times me and my sister screamed at each other while playing cards, as well as events we are looking forward to such as visiting the Dome in Mainz and a Circus…and then…of course, the love of my life, Paris.

But as Aslan said…nothing does happen the same way twice. The world changes as do people and to experience the same place in the same exact way would be impossible. One evening I sat on the porch, under German stars, and asked a boy what his three wishes would be if he was given a golden lamp like Aladdin. After asking him I realized I myself would not want such wishes for I believe there is a greater plan out there for me and to wish for something would be too much in my own control. But if I did have just one it would be that every year continues to grow better, every day is fresh, and every visit to Europe brings me more joy and laughter then the one before.

So lets pretend we have wings now and lets fly, forgetting our fears and reaching always for the best that is yet to come. Tschüss!  (YES I am wearing scottie puppy pants and NO I will not be taking them to Paris)

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Germany….Finally

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Germany.
I laughed, I cried, I danced (ok it was more like jumping up and down) and I lived.
Look at the light, look how it shines. Take moment. Smile.
I remember this night like it was yesterday, walking through cobblestone streets, our voices echoing off stone walls. Fingers interlaced.
In the corner sat a man, strumming his guitar (which I have no idea how he did this, my hands were freezing and I was doing nothing so productive) the tune one I don’t remember and probably never will, but in that moment it was a masterpiece to my ears.
The five of us spread out across the walkway in Mainz, different conversations, but we were all together, making our way towards this light. And oh how it dazzled my heart. Paris is fabulous, but Germany warms my soul. I swear I heard a bell tinkle as we walked into the Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) where ornaments sparkled and hot wine steamed off the tongues of the people surrounding us. It’s not just what you see though, no, it’s the feeling that arises from being surrounded by wonderful people in such a beautiful place.

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Germans are cold. Germans are stoic. Germans don’t have a sense of humor. Do Germans shower?

I am sad to say these are all stereotypes I have heard sliding off the tongue of one oblivious person or other. Now of course all countries -or pretty much everything I guess- have their stereotypes. The ones others prod at and poke at, joking on one hand when actually feeling totally solid in their justification (even though they could never back up an argument)
Reality check.
I can pretty much guarantee that if you’ve ever heard any such things…The person you were listening to has never left their own country, or branched out of one mindset.
But that’s not important here.
I’m going to tell you what I found. Here, in this beautiful town, plopped right into a valley, carefully watched by sprawling vineyards and awe inspiring windmills…(which I actually didn’t realize were there until a good several days after I arrived…a blonde moment for me, I feel like someone should have poked me and said “Hey gigi..theirs a big fan up their you seemed to have overlooked”…I’m actually still kind of irritated with this. I mean seriously? They’re huge)
Even amid the small truth that, yes, most Europeans are not so superficially friendly as many Americans, I have never felt so welcomed into a home that was not my own. I remember the nerves tickling my insides, I remember seriously considering just sitting in the car and not walking up to the front door – I’m now happy to say…that I’m really glad I did- and we weren’t even a foot through that door when I was dwarfed by warm arms and given the biggest hug I’ve ever experienced. Isabel, the mamma of this fabulous family, immediately filled my ears with words of warm welcome and I swear I’ve never seen such a happy glow or a big smile displayed all at once. In the first minute she glanced at my barely covered feet (I have a habit of packing everything I need…then forgetting things like good socks) and immediately asked my shoe size, then bustled off, as only she can do, soon to return with a pair of slippers. I was officially welcomed. After saying hello to a boy not much taller than my side (I later became best of friends with, teasing and prodding each other like real siblings) who was so polite and quiet as he solemnly shook my hand (this did not take long to change…’firecracker’ is the word that pops into my mind when I think of Luis) and after hugging his sister who I’d been lucky enough to bike, laugh, and eat muffins with during her stay in the U.S. After meeting a boy who was supposed to be fourteen but who I had to tilt my head to look at (during my whole stay we made the craziest faces at each other…I’m pretty sure some aren’t even legal) And of course…meeting Dziwi (a friend that I’m pretty sure lives with this family half his time) someone who I will never be able to think of without smiling. After all of this and so much more I realized, in just about an hour, that this was a place I would never ever want to forget. And so the fun began.
So much fun that, as my Uncle kindly reminded me after my return, I totally and completely neglected to post anything. Sorry darlings.

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Ok so..I do have to admit that some minor stereotypes, to my dismay, ended up with some justification. By the end of this soccer game (or fußeball if I’m being cool) After bouncing up and down to keep warm (it wasn’t even that cold, but somehow all the chill in the stadium managed to get into my fingers and toes) and singing, or mumbling, chants that were really truly exciting but I had no idea what they meant….this game ended with a grand finale of zero to zero.
Oh.my.gosh.
That was exciting.
I’m going back to Germany just to make sure I see a professional soccer game where someone scores.
You have to hand it to these players though…they have really good fans.
I don’t think I have ever seen anyone so excited or passionate about a sport quite like the Germans can be.
And it’s totally awesome.
I might have been a little bit infected myself.
Every time I see soccer on TV now I have the most overwhelming urge to jump up and down and start yelling “FSV!” to a tune that, my friend recently pointed out, sounds a lot like “She’ll be comin’ round the mountain.”
I’d look ridiculous…but it would take me back to a tournament where people were flushed with anticipation, the lights were bright, my head was light, and I watched my favorite German team (ok I’m a little biased. ..) fight to a shocking and wonderful win.
Yup.
I have been converted to a soccer lover…at the utter horror of my mother, I might add.

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It was a Sunday. The sun was blazing (ok…no that’s not true it was certainly not, but I like that word right there. It adds flare and drama. And I’m a convicted felon of using flowery, passionate words when there is no need…so..there!) we were off on an adventure, and I was fabulously crazy. It’s something about cars I think….Being cooped up makes me deliciously ridiculous. Or at least I think it’s delicious. Ask the people confined with me and maybe they’ll use a different word.
After falling in love with the Weihnachtsmarkt in Mainz we were on our way to another, through a walkway of trees, down multiple hills, sun shining in our eyes, across a ferry…The start of the town came into view…
and I took only one picture before forgetting my camera in the car….
Typical me.
I was angry.
But the sun really was bright – even if it wasn’t blazing – and there was food and people and so many opportunities for laughter. So I let it go.
And luckily Germans have phones too (WHAT? Shocking) And my guide kindly offered to snap a few for me.
So for what is not here…I guess you’ll just have to come see the rest for yourself.

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Pommes. Mm mmm mmm. Nom nom nom. So yummy. And otherwise known as French Fries to Americans, yet I like them much better in Germany (I still remember saying something about a French kiss and being asked “why do you call it French?”…and I really had no answer. Do you? Because, really, it’s not very nice to segregate something as delectable as kissing only to the French…they may be swell at it, but I don’t think they can take full responsibility for inventing it..) After squeezing our way inch by inch through the huge swath of people the Pommes stand came into view..and I’m so glad it did. They were huge! The distinct seasoning I still taste in my mouth, the slightest edge of spice, subtle but wonderful.
We walked, or shuffled, to find a place to enjoy…ketchup and mayonnaise ending up more on my fingers than anywhere and the delighted feeling of becoming increasingly full standing next to someone who was indulging, sinfully, in exactly the same way.

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Whether I was drunk off ice cream, twirling in circles and laughing at the moon, “playing” chess (more like flopping on the table and whining at my severe lack of comprehension) flipping through recipes to bake goofy, delicious cakes for a birthday party, or speaking Gerglish (any German words I knew smashed up with English) with an eager class of kids I will never ever forget, sprinkling decorations on Christmas cookies, meeting new people while laughing and waiting in anticipation for crêpes made by careful hands….
..or Christmas…ahhh now every Christmas I will look back on memories almost too delightful to hold. Dinners where we all bent over double, clutching our stomachs and asking “Why oh why did we eat so much?” and then tucking our legs beneath us and quietly and steadily nibbling on chocolates while watching wrapping paper tumble to the ground, smiles beaming across every face in the room.
The food, the experiences, the joy, the laughter, and the…well..the total awesomeness…All bundled itself up in moments such as these above. I wish I could spend hours writing every such small detail, every secret smile, every yummy morsel….but sadly I couldn’t remember every one if I tried, yet they are there, all of them, even if some have become fuzzy over the last few weeks.
And, well, some of these memories are mine and mine alone, ones so dazzling I couldn’t put into words for fear of doing little justice…but I hope you’ve seen a Glimpse of the Glamor I found in Germany. Doesn’t it make you smile? Does your face hurt like mine from all the bundles of happiness? Maybe not quite…but that’s how I feel when I write these words.
And now here are some that aren’t mine but have given me hope all the same…

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

Amen Dr. Seuss. Hallelujah. You read me inside and out.
Funny story, looking for this quote.
I typed in “quotes” in Google (yes…I did it…judge me) my fingers hurt, I was tired, and I wanted to write about Germany so badly but I couldn’t find the will to write about happy memories while wishing they hadn’t swept by so fast. And here they were. Words that lifted my frown, widened my eyes, and reminded me exactly of every beautiful experience.
And so it is more than a month later, I’ve laughed, I’ve played games, eaten wonderful food, and been welcomed home by an amazing family and fabulous friends. I’ve danced and my dancing has changed…I feel bigger, better, I hear the music in ways I never did before.
I might have left a little bit of myself in Europe.
But I brought so much more back with me.
And I cannot wait for next time.
Merci
Dankeshön
Au revoir
Bis nächstes Mal! (I hope google translate worked..)
There is memory music in my head now (mostly electro and Bob Marley), my eyes are drooping shut, and my heart is full.
Tomorrow is a new day.
Thank you for getting this far, you’re a trooper. Come with me next time. There is so much to see, everywhere, and not enough time to see it. So let’s make some time.
Spain, Austria, Rome, Prague, Switzerland, Ireland, England….
And that’s only Europe!
Look out world, I’m on my way.
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Another Home

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Take me to a place where the sun shines.
Breathe into me life
Sky never stop
My sweethearts Blue
You’re beautiful and daring
You take away the pain
“The hills are alive…With the…”
On the tip of my tongue
Twirling in mud
Smell of horses so déja vu
Oh how a love seeing you
With brown eyes
Secrets between us
Still untold

Take me to my other home
Wash my shoes
Peel away the dirt
On my heart and in my mind
Tickle me silly
Laughing I say “stop!”

The endless nights, eyes so wide
“When Berlin was like New York…”
Stuck on repeat
Takes me back to my other home
A scene I’ll never forget
Where someone leans in
Tossing me lyrics
They feel familiar
Like words I’ve heard or tried to write
A song written by a stranger
Given to me by someone
I’m hoping to say
I know so well

It’s so hard to go in blind
Like living in a snowstorm
Everything to be seen
Dazzled in furious white
I’m not lying, no I can’t tell
What’s ahead
And I dare say that’s
Fine
For I don’t want to know
No please!
Don’t tell me

So instead sing me a song
A voice untrained
But beautiful all the same
And dance with me
Till the sun comes
Accompanied by that
Sweet old tune
When which I hear
Everything is
You

I’m twelve inches deep in snow
It’s home
But now not my only one
I’m not lost this time, or grieving so long
I’m twirling
Such delight
For looking back is bliss
The only pain a teaspoon size
I’ve been there, I’ve done that
It happened
It can

And hope is a
Word
Still a bit tender to the touch
My head doesn’t want it
My heart always will
For whom I was sure
Not so now

The secret was mine

Now I’ve given it away
And like with a bird
I’ve no way of knowing
If freeing it was me
Doing right
Or simply hoping the legend
Of loving and letting go
Was all I had in mind
As I said goodbye

So it is no longer mine
Perhaps it never was
Words hard to relinquish
But when done
Everything
Is white light
And that brings me to another scene
And I can’t help but smile
In memory
Shifting the doubt
Shoveling the whispered
Unkind words away
I’m letting go to find
Everything is hope
Everything is on the way