:PHOTO: Aug. 14, 2021 Earthquake in Haiti. Injured man being treated by HERO Emergency Responders (AP Photo. Duples Plymouth) Port-au-Prince, August 19, 2021: It was a sunny Saturday morning. Perfect time for a relaxed breakfast. My granddaughter rushed into the kitchen, "Oma, did you notice the shaking too?" I hadn't noticed anything, but almost everyone … Continue reading Haiti – Between a trembling earth and tropical storm Grace
A TRIBUTE What's in a name? Mother. So rich, so much meaning. So filled with love and compassion. So warm, so embracing, so still. Mom. Mom, carrying me in her womb. Mom, hugging me as a little child. Mom, making Arme Ritter for breakfast or lunch. Mom, faithful and protective when facing my teenage pregnancy. … Continue reading Mother. Mom. Mami.
I often have this phantasy of burning all my notes to free myself from the urge to write. Slowly, I approach the grey mound. A few ambers are still flying. Bending down I let my fingers run over the heap of ashes, still warm, still suggesting life. I pick up some, at the outer side … Continue reading Beauty from ashes
LETTERS TO MARIE My beloved Marie, Today, I want to tell you about my daddy, your great-grandpa. There are so many stories, happy ones and sad ones, but I’d love to share this one with you, when I asked him to help me hang up my huge mirror: I hear my parent’s car and see … Continue reading The Mirror
Tad (6) and Elo (5) are playing. They are coming to my room and ask me not to look at them, “You don’t know we are here, and you know why? It's because we are invisible.” “Okay.” I try to ignore them. Tad, “We are on a mission.” “Okay.” I am informed they need to … Continue reading Power to the little ones
Her Royal Highness, Taino Princess Elo, rises from her comfy bed with a grumpy face. From the height of her four-year-old regal self she orders her siblings out of bed at 6:30 am and declares that pancakes are to be the royal dish on this morning’s breakfast table. En route to the stairs, she makes … Continue reading The Carnival Princess
It’s time to get back in the saddle… I’ve not written any story since a very long time. Call it writer’s block. Or, too many things going on in my life. My journal grew by some lines but remained quite meager in all of 2019 despite experiencing so many horrid events that I could have … Continue reading It’s time.
Lent 2019. I am reflecting on my life's journey. More than twenty years have passed since… We step out of Kingston’s Stella Maris church when Valerie, my parish friend, approaches me, “Want to go to Holy Land with the Bishops of the Antilles Episcopal Conference in January ‘99?” It’s 1998. A few months ago, the … Continue reading God’s Pencil
I was not even ten when my parents sent me to a 6-weeks cure for children to Norderney, one of the islands that stretch like a string of pearls in Germany’s North Sea. I was a tiny, underweight child and they hoped that some healthy sea air would strengthen my appetite and foster my growth. … Continue reading The Sea
A bag full of tapes. The leather bag was heavy. It was a gorgeous, hand-made Haitian bag made from stiff, golden-brown leather. Some 35 years ago, I saw it in a shop and fell in love with its stylish appearance, ideal for traveling. I was so proud of my beautiful piece of luggage and so … Continue reading The old stuff, and what’s attached to it.
Good morning, Lord. Today is Palm Sunday. Here I am…sitting at my window, foot on a chair, unable to go to Palm Sunday Mass. My thoughts are twirling. I am wondering why this, just right now as I am preparing to go to Germany and Austria… Flashback to last Friday. A beautiful morning. The kids … Continue reading Palm Sunday
The taste of German bread...
Once upon a time there was a little fairy dancing in a meadow. No one could see her but a young boy. Everyday, he hid behind a fallen tree trunk and watched the little fairy dancing to a music that chimed as airy and light as her delicate dress swaying with every turn of her … Continue reading Fairy tale
What is your haven and how do you show up for it? This morning, I am humbled and proud to find my response to the above question published on Laura Munson's HAVEN site. Laura's HAVEN writing retreat in Montana gave me the boost to follow my calling, to keep on writing, and to muster the … Continue reading What is your haven and how do you show up for it?
Tragedy of an earthquake. Surviving the loss of those we love.
Sharing Mom's old bike...
It's just after four o'clock and already dark outside. Helga and I are tapping our feet at the threshold, freeing boots and pant bottoms from snow before opening our entrance door. I inhale deeply. She looks at me, nodding, and we giggle in anticipation. A wonderful whiff of baked apples, cinnamon and caramel sugar greets … Continue reading Memories of Advent
Grandma Ida’s house was not really that large. But too big for a widow living by herself, decided the mayor. “Sorry, Madam, but you must take some of them.” “How many?” she asked, fully knowing there’s nothing much she could do. The ending war just swept a wave of refugees from the East into the … Continue reading A woman from the East
Haiti. The '70s. "The grass will only grow…" “…if we water it. We need lots of water. And lots of black dirt,” he says. “If we use our cistern water, we’ll have to stop bathing as of right now. It’s not enough. Either bath or grass,” I declare, standing beside him on our terrace, hands … Continue reading Dèyè mòn gen mòn.
"You are dreaming again," shaking her head, Charlotte darts a disapproving look my way, blue-checkered kitchen towel in hand. I am watching the bird fight in the bird house outside our window, hoping my math problem is solving itself. Some redstarts are fiercely defending their lunch, fighting off an audacious sparrow. Birdseed flying all over … Continue reading Math problem solved