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Der 18. März – March, the 18th

18 Mar

Five years ago, Peter wrote the following blog in German:

https://pethan35.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/sonntag-der-18-marz/

 I copy here parts of the last part of that blog, and further on I’ll try to explain then in English what Peter has been writing about. So, please bear with me:

“Der 18. März ist auch ein historisches Datum, denn 1848, allerdings ein Samstag, kam es in Berlin zu Kämpfen zwischen Preußischen Truppen und revolutionären Untertanen die gerne Bürger sein wollten. Es gab etwa 260 Tote.

Bei dem Luftangriff am 18. März 1945 gab es 336 Tote, 357 Verletzte und 226 Vermisste. 79785 Menschen wurden wohnungslos.

Am Sonntag, den 18. März 1990 gingen die Mensche in der DDR frei wählen.

Am Sonntag, den 18. März 2012 wählte die Bundesversammlung einen neuen Präsidenten, Joachim Gauck. Er ist ein früherer Bürger der DDR. Er ist der oberste Bürger der Bundesrepublik geworden. Vielleicht hat sich der Kreis geschlossen. Er begann seine erste Rede nach seiner Wahl mit den Worten:

„Es ist ein schöner Sonntag!“

Es gab einen Schlager während des Krieges, „Es geht alles vorüber, es geht alles vorbei. Nach einem Dezember folgt wieder ein Mai!“

Peter refers to the March revolution in 1848 which is explained here in Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_revolutions_of_1848%E2%80%9349

260 people died on Saturday, the 18th of March 1848.

On Sunday, the 18th of March 1945, there was one of the most severe air-raids that Berlin suffered during World War Two: 336 people died,  357 were injured, 226 were unaccounted for and 79785 lost there home on that day.

People of the GDR had free elections on Sunday, the 18th of March 1990.

Joachim Gauck, President of Germany (Bundespräsident), assumed office on Sunday, the 18th of March 2012.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joachim_Gauck

His term of office ends today, Saturday, the 18th of March 2017,

Why War and not Peace?

30 Jan

https://rangewriter.wordpress.com/2017/01/28/digging-deep-to-understand-different-viewpoints/#comment-8426

Rangewriter wrote a very interesting blog on the following subject:

“Digging deep to understand different Viewpoints”

I made a comment to it and asked a question about drones. She gave me a very comprehensive answer on her thoughts to the subject of drones and drone warfare. I wanted to make the following comment to what Linda wrote but the comments were not published at the time. Here is what I wanted to send to Rangewriter:

Thanks very much , Linda, for your thoughts on this subject. What you say, are good explanations. It seems to me that Americans (and we, their allies) are in a constant state of war. But why, why, why?
I read in a highly praised book the following:
” . . . greater equality, socialism, participatory democracy and peace are all within our reach, but nuclear war, work camps and slavery are also possibilities . . . ”

“Ich bin hier!”

22 Jan

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Ich bin hier!” – I’m here! – Peter called out. I had just been shooting a few pictures. Camera ready, I took a snapshot of sneaky Peter. He had actually sneaked up on me. I hadn’t noticed at all that he was that close to me!

These pictures were taken during our early walk on Friday, the 20th of January 2017.

Uta’s Diary, 2nd of September 2016

2 Sep

DSCN2120This morning I am trying to read the verses in yesterday’s post: 

Passion(which was the last one in yesterday’s post): Nothing (unfortunately totally blurred)

DSCN2124

Change: Nothing (also very blurred)

 

DSCN2125

“Hope: To hope is to dream of what might or will be
of the possible and the mere possible – hope against hope
To hope is to strive for the best, To build on glimmers of new beginnings
To hope is never to give up. To remain expectant
against hopes dashed, disappointments, falsities.
To hope is to believe there is a way.”

—————————————-
 The following is a reflection by me on that verse about hope:
Do I hope?
What does a woman in her eighties hope for?
Do I dream of what might or will be, of the possible and the mere possible?
I am contemplating for how long I might or will be still alive. Right, it is possible or mere possible that I’m going to live for another twenty years. But I do not think, it is very likely. To expect five to ten more years is probably more likely.
Now, I want to go to the last line of the above verse: “To hope is to believe there is a way.”
Well, I hope there is a way to stay healthy enough so I’ll never need to go into a Nursing Home.
However, no matter how much I’ll try to look after my health to the best of my ability, I do not believe that there is always a way to avoid a Nursing Home.
In case I cannot avoid going into a Nursing Home I do hope that I’ll be able:
” . . . .  to strive for the best, to build on glimmers of new beginnings,
to . . .   never give up. To remain expectant
against hopes dashed, disappointments, falsities . . . “
——————————————-
Now to JOY:
“Joy delight and glee – sheer fun – cheers the heart.

To live fully, we should be free to follow our own ideas of joyful existence.
The simplest pleasures, shared joys or extreme gladness can transport us
into other worlds. There, hearts thump, happiness reigns, ecstasy
is contagious and laughter is free. What a lark!”

DSCN2126

————————————-
Following is my comment!
I agree with everything that is said in this verse about joy. 
I feel blessed for I still have a lot of joy in my life. My joyful  existence
does not include gambling, drinking alcohol to excess, smoking, drug taking,
shopping for things I cannot afford. I feel free to  follow my own ideas of a joyful existence.
I tend to enjoy simple pleasures. When I am in the company of joyful family and friends, ‘my heart thumps’.
The best company is when I can laugh a lot. How  wonderful, that laughter is being had for free!
—————————————–
I was able to retrieve a bit about Loneliness:
 
” , , , You can experience the emptiness of being alone,

sense the vastness of this land, feel the solitude:
Loneliness drives people apart or it draws them together in surprising ways.”

DSCN2127

————————————————–
Devotion, Fear, Thrill and Mystery as well as Eternity,
I’ll come back to these in another post.
I very much like the following words that were printed on a wall in the National Museum:

“The past is never fully gone. It is absorbed into the present and the future. It stays to shape what we are and what we do.”

Charlotte Amalie

7 Feb

THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES BY ALICE HOFFMAN

All the following pieces are copies from various Google articles.
In this book with the title “Marriage of Opposites” Alice Hoffman says in her afterword, that Rachel Pizzarro’s life in her imagined story mirrors the known facts about Rachel as closely as possible.
I reckon it is very rewarding to find out more about the historical background of the book’s characters by googling for some more information. Right in the beginning of Hoffman’s book Rachel says that she rarely did as she was told. Out of all the numerous children that Rachel had, Jacobo Camille, the artist, is by far the most interesting. I would say this novel is extremely well written and that it is based on historical facts makes it all the more interesting.

The story is set on the Island of St. Thomas and in Paris. Charlotte Amalie is the place where Rachel and her family lived. Here are some facts about Charlotte Amalie:

“Charlotte Amalie (/ˈʃɑːrlət əˈmɑːljə/ or /-ˈæməliː/), located on St. Thomas, is the capital and largest city of the U.S. Virgin Islands, founded in 1666 as Taphus (meaning “beer houses” or “beer halls”[1]). In 1691, the town was renamed to Amalienborg (in English Charlotte Amalie) after Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel (1650–1714), queen consort to King Christian V of Denmark. It has a deep-water harbor that was once a haven for pirates and is now one of the busiest ports of call for cruise ships in the Caribbean, with about 1.5 million cruise ship passengers landing there in 2004. Protected by Hassel Island, the harbor has docking and fueling facilities, machine shops, and shipyards and was a U.S. submarine base until 1966. The town has been inhabited for centuries. When Christopher Columbus came here in 1493, the area was inhabited by Island Caribs and Taíno. It is on the southern shore at the head of Saint Thomas Harbor. In 2010 the city had a population of 18,481,[2][3] which makes it the largest city in the Virgin Islands Archipelago. Hundreds of ferries and yachts pass through town each week, and at times the population more than doubles.
The city is known for its Danish colonial architecture, building structure and history, and a dozen streets and places throughout the city have Danish names. Charlotte Amalie has buildings of historical importance including St. Thomas Synagogue, the second-oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere,[4] and the oldest Lutheran church in the Western Hemisphere, the Frederick Lutheran Church. The town has a long history of pirates, especially stories of Bluebeard and Blackbeard (Edward Teach). In the 17th century, the Danes built both Blackbeard’s Castle and Bluebeard’s Castle attributed to the pirates. Blackbeard’s Castle is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Another tourist attraction is Fort Christian, the oldest standing structure in the Virgin Islands Archipelago. A copy of the Liberty Bell is in Emancipation Park, which is a tourist attraction.

The city was named Charlotte Amalie in honor of Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel in 1691”

I also found the following about THE DANISH WEST INDIES:

“The Danish West Indies (Danish: Dansk Vestindien) or Danish Antilles was a Danish colony in the Caribbean, consisting of the islands of Saint Thomas with 43 square miles (110 km2); Saint John with 42 square miles (110 km2); and Saint Croix with 100 square miles (260 km2). The Danish West India Guinea Company annexed the uninhabited island of Saint Thomas in 1672 and St. John in 1675. In 1733, Saint Croix was purchased from the French West India Company. When the Company went bankrupt in 1755, the King of Denmark-Norway assumed direct control of the three islands. The Danish West Indies was occupied by Britain in 1802–1803 and 1807–1815, during the Napoleonic Wars.
The intention of Danish colonization in the West Indies was to exploit the profitable triangular trade, involving the exportation of firearms and other manufactured goods to Africa in exchange for slaves who were then transported to the Caribbean to staff the sugar plantations. The final stage of the triangle was the exportation of cargo of sugar and rum to Denmark. The economy of the Danish West Indies was dependent on slavery. After a rebellion, slavery was officially abolished in 1848, leading to the near economic collapse of the plantations.
In 1852, the sale of the increasingly unprofitable colony was first debated in the Danish parliament. Denmark tried several times to sell or exchange the Danish West Indies in the late 19th and early 19th century, to the United States and the German Empire respectively. The islands were eventually sold for 25 million dollars to the United States, which took over the administration on 31 March 1917, renaming the islands the United States Virgin Islands.”

The Synagogue on the Island of Saint Thomas is mentioned frequently in Hoffman’s novel. Here is some more background about this synagogue:

“Saint Thomas Synagogue was built in 1833, and is the second-oldest synagogue on United States soil (after the 1763 Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island). It also has the longest history of continuous use by a Jewish congregation in the nation. It was built for a congregation founded in 1796 by Sephardic Jews who had come to the Caribbean Basin to finance trade between Europe and the New World.[1]
Features[edit]

The synagogue as a number of distinctive and unique features. Most of the wooden features including the benches, the ark and the bimah are made from mahogany. The menorah dates back to the 11th century and is Spanish in origin. The chandeliers are European and are presumed Dutch. There are four pillars inside representing Sarah, Rachel, Rebecca and Leah, the four matriarchs of the Jewish people. But by far the most unusual feature of the synagogue is the sand floor. There are two theories behind this unusual occurrence. One is to represent the Israelite journey through the desert. Another theory is that it represents the Conversos who were forced to convert to Catholicism. Many continued to observe Judaism, so they usually met in their cellars and would use sand to muffle their prayers.
The congregation is affiliated with the Reform Jewish movement and the rabbi is a graduate of Hebrew Union College.

Here now a synopsis written I think by Tom Morrison:
ALICE HOFFMAN
“The Marriage of Opposites”

“Growing up on the idyllic island of St Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of faraway Paris.
Her mother, a pillar of their tight-knit refugee community of Jews who escaped the European Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for refusing to live by the rules.
But Rachel’s fate is not in her own hands: in order to secure the future of her father’s business, she is married off to a widower with three children.
When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome nephew Frederic arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes control of her life, beginning a passionate love affair that sparks a scandal affecting her entire family, including her favourite son, Camille Pissarro, who will one day become a founder member of the Impressionists and one of history’s greatest artists.

Set in a world of lush, exquisite beauty, THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES shows Alive Hoffman at the height of her considerable powers. The marriage of Rachel and Frederic is an unforgettable story of an extraordinary women and her forbidden love, from the internationally bestselling author of THE DOVEKEEPERS.”

Beautiful, harrowing . . .
A major contribution to twenty-first-century literature’
Tom Morrison, for The Dovekeepers

Jodi Picoult says: “Hoffman reminds us with every sentence that words have the power to transport us to alternate worlds, to heal a broken heart, and to tie us irrevocably to the people we love.”

Synopsis

Alice Hoffman’s compelling tale of the artist Camille Pissarro and his mother

By Wendy Smith August 4, 2015

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/alice-hoffmans-compelling-tale-of-the-artist-camille-pissarro-and-his-mother/2015/08/04/86534d92-37fa-11e5-9739-170df8af8eb9_story.html

TV Program: Kitchen Cabinet

12 Nov

I like watching Kitchen Cabinet with Annabel Crabb. To find out more about Annabel Crabb I looked up what was published in The Conversation in November 2014:

 

https://theconversation.com/i-want-a-wife-the-wife-drought-1970s-feminism-still-rings-true-34246

I Want a Wife, The Wife Drought – 1970s feminism still rings true

November 17, 2014 1.04am GMT

 

Three years ago Annabel Crabb argued on ABC’s The Drum that a lack of wives is what really holds back women in the Australian workforce. She jokingly suggested that what was needed was a “wife quota”.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/programs/kitchen-cabinet/

 

I am glad that a new series of Kitchen Cabinet is to be seen now. Now, what does Annabel’s joke about a “wife quota” actually mean? She is a woman with three children and has come up with lots of difficulties to juggle work and motherhood. Most men do have a wife at home to look after things when they have to work. Most women do not have a “wife” and find it difficult to find necessary help at all times. Does anyone have an idea how a professional woman can combine work and motherhood successfully?

 

Remembering a Friend

9 Jun

My blogger friend Debra from ‘Breathelighter’ published a blog after the funeral of a dear friend. Here is an excerpt of this blog:

. . . The family chose a scripture reading I’ve heard dozens of times before, but today the words gained life as they described a special, very kind man. The challenges are simple and clear; not so easy perhaps to live.

“Let love by genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Romans 12:9-18

This reading fits the life our friend will be remembered for. I don’t see a lot of ego in this brief passage–perhaps these calming words are worth contemplating in a world that likes to stir up conflict. Peace.