A brief look at Brussels~ 

One of the perks of Living in Europe is the proximity of major cities and the ease of traveling  around the culturally rich continent. Breakfast in xanten, Germany and lunch in Brussels, Belgium is a stress free affair! 

Our family is looking forward to moving to Germany this coming summer after 11 years in Shanghai, China. I am interested in how the move will color my photography and art. 

Warm Wishes to you all Along the Way

We are a few hours away from the onset of the New Year here in Germany. It has been a testing year, a learning experience and a good platform for what is to come next. I feel a strong sense of hope thinking of 2016 and a renewed feeling of inspiration. Thank you for having been there, my family, my friends, my fellow photographers, my much admired artist community, and everyone who has taken part in this journey here with me. You make my world brighter!

A lot of exciting things planned for 2016 artistically. More soon…

call of the wild~ Germany

Call to the wild~ Germany

travelers~ Germany

Travelers~ Germany

the magician~ Germany

The magician~ Germany

to touch a star~ Germany

The magic of Christmas~ Germany

German understatedness~_

German delicate gradation

byblos lights~ Lebanon

A few steps away~ Byblos

To Long For Belonging

She longs for the place~ Germany

She longs for Germany

a walk in the forest~ Germany

A walk in the forest with cousins

Land has this mysterious way of pulling at your soul, of beckoning you home, and for our young daughter, this land is Germany.

The longer we expatriate in China, the mightier that tug. She dreams of the family, the colors, the fresh air, the sounds and smells of a land she feels a strong belonging to despite the fact that she only lived there the first 2 years of her life. But our planet is strange that way, isn’t it?

Her dream will come true, at least for a few weeks starting tomorrow as we head west and our lungs rejoice!

Slowing Down Time with Crafts

in the joy of doing

in the joy of doing

In a world of texting, emailing, and ‘elf yourself’ video cards sent around for Christmas, it is so amazingly soothing to go back to basic crafts and to spend hours cutting, coloring, gluing and handwriting Christmas cards for loved ones. I suspect that as we speed into the future, taking the time to be invested in hand-made craft projects will be a thing of the past, when most things as we know them would be mass-produced and the charm of uniqueness lost forever. The last two days, we took the time, we played Christmas songs, created cards, ate cookies and had lovely long conversations. Another memory for the treasure box.

as it should be~ New Zealand

where beauty gives you wings

where beauty gives you wings

redefining magic

redefining magic

Being in New Zealand feels as close as I can imagine a healthy planet to be. I visited and was enchanted with this beach at Karekare about 20 years ago and coming back to it now, it still is as clean, as unpolluted and as undeveloped as it was back then. What a stark contrast to the pollution we live through in a city like Shanghai, and how refreshing it is to find ourselves under big blue skies.

Merry Christmas to you all from warm and fresh New Zealand. Kiaora!

 

 

 

Day Three Hundred Forty Seven, January 4, 2012

magic*

The one theme throughout Lea’s letter to Santa this year centered around magic. She asked to become a “Hexe” (German for witch), to have a “Hexenbuch”, “Hexenkraft”, “Hexenbesen”, fairy dust, the ability to fly, … you get the idea. From all of this list, she received a book and some crystals from her cousins and since then she holds this book and carries it around everywhere writing spells and practicing while innocently hoping and praying that her wishes will come true. She asked for my help (thinking I must be some kind of witch 🙂 ) and after long thought, I explained to her that nature is her best bet. If she can understand the laws of nature and how they work, then maybe she can come closer to understanding what she is asking for. So the book is getting filled with examples of the first natural law, the law of 2, of apparent opposites. She has collected already 3 pages full of examples with complete determination and zeal.

I love and value so much the gift of being a parent and witnessing magic through the passion of children.

 

Day Three Hundred Thirty Seven, December 25, 2011

is it the vanishing point?

Christmas day always seems to point to the next highlight or important event, the arrival of the new year in only a week’s time. This new year has been heralded all over the place as a possible end, a new beginning, a major year of unusual events according to the Mayan prophecy of the shifting ages. But come to think of it, haven’t things already started happening? 2011 was a year filled with upheavals, on natural, human, social, religious, governmental, and personal levels of all kinds. So what awaits us in 2012 really? Do you ever wonder?

 

Day Three Hundred Thirty Six, December 24, 2011

cousins

For Lea, Christmas is all about cousins. The highlight of her whole holiday time away from China is spending time with her cousins (and she has quite a few!). It is about being silly, naughty, conspiring, playing games, sleepovers, trips to the forest, eating chocolate and simply enjoying every second of that time. It is delightful to watch this state of overwhelming joy take over her little world, and to realize that happiness is so simple to attain when all what you want is as simple as being in the proximity of loved ones.

Day Three Hundred Twenty Nine, December 17, 2011

heading west

Today, was a day of preparation to head west for a few weeks. No matter how long an expatriate lives in and makes China their home, the sense of belonging somewhere else is always prominent. Tomorrow my little family crosses a large part of the planet’s surface to get a dose of Western tradition for the holidays. And even though the city of Shanghai is bedecked from top to bottom with Christmas decoration to the degree of absurd, the essence of this specific holiday resides elsewhere and we are off to soak in it 🙂