Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Change of Perspective

©Brigitta Huegel

Sometimes you get stuck in a rut. (Or I, to be more precise).
Miss the forest for the trees.
After an exhibition on "Harry Graf Kessler - Flaneur through Modern Era" we needed a coffee. Harry was such a restless Dandy, knowing so many  people - Isadora Duncan, Josephine Baker, Henry van der Velde, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Nietzsche, to name just a few. He connected people. Diaries of 10.000 pages - a man full of seemingly contradictions, political and cultural,
So we sat in front of Starbucks with full view of the Brandenburger Tor (between the columns tarpaulins - behind them the fan park for the European Football Championship) and the sun was shining like mad. No shade, no parasols.
But I wanted a coffee (so much that I even accepted Starbucks').
And so I changed perspective.
I had an umbrella in my handbag - and used it the Japanese way: saved!
I'd never expected that at this stage of my life I would often have to say: "...for the first time in my life!" Surprise! (though the whole last year sometimes teeth-gnashingly, wiping away a tear).
Voluntarily or not: after doing it I suddenly feel - vulnerable in a pleasant way, alive.
Side benefit: I see solutions. So I say:
"If you brexit, my friends - I'll change perspective. You leave - so I will come. In August."
Looking forward! Westward Ho!  


Friday, 24 June 2016

Solace

©Brigitta Huegel


"for the young at heart". Everytime I think about age and growing older, I know where to go to when it really frightens me: I walk off those disagreable feelings by going for a stroll through the beautiful park of Schloss Charlottenburg.
And nature teaches me that everything is relative, and depends utterly on your point of view.
Here you see a Bald cypress in the middle of the photo.
And the very consoling text on a chart about it starts with the words:

"Despite its youthful age of only 225 years, ..."  

Ha, ain't that good news??




Sunday, 12 June 2016

Countenance


©Brigitta Huegel

Dear You, 
Can you see it?
At least in the shop windows of Germany there are more and more mannequins standing slumped (I can hear my late mother's voice: "Stand tall!" Not easy when you are 14 and 1.78m tall).
By now I know that standing tall is a wonderful way to look ten years younger - but the puppets don't need that, because then they would have to sit in a pram...
No, really: they crouch! I "collect" with my camera window mannequins for decades. And think about them.
For example: You have every reason on earth to be VERY worried if they change their expression from normal "haughty" ("Don't dare to enter this shop, you louse!")

©Brigitta Huegel

to "smiling".
If they smile, economics will be very, very bad.
And now there are those sapless stooping ones.
The only interpretation I can think of:
most people nowadays walk and stare into their smartphone at the same time - "BUMP!!!" "Oh, sorry!" --- they bend their heads, even when standing somewhere (they might miss one of those ingenious super-special breathtaking news that drop in every second :-)
And the window puppets are always a mirror, mirror on the wall.








Friday, 10 June 2016

I can't control myself...



Susan Flett-Swiderski made me think of the Troggs (just can't control myself :-):
Happy week-end to all of you!


No Comment Moderation

©Brigitta Huegel

Dear You , 
You might have noticed that I - quite unusual for my blog - had installed "comment moderation" for two days.
No - no vicious comments had come in - the only reason was that on my blog www.burstingwithhappiness.blogspot.com I had overlooked a helpful comment by Mr. Sackerson for quite a while - so sorry! And I thought that with comment moderation on I might be reminded of a new answer.
But I find it too inconvenient - so: everybody is free to say what he/she wants.
Without comment moderation -
and, as I know you all quite well: moderation will not be an issue :-)


Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Urban Sketchers

©Brigitta Huegel

Dear You
A few weeks ago I bought an interesting book about Urban Sketchers.
Since then you find in my bag not only lipstick, handkerchief and comb, but also a little sketchbook and at least one pencil. I enjoy sitting on a bench and drawing what I see: it forces me to look more precise, and is a bit like meditation.
I draw the line with sketching people: I don't. Can't. Won't. (They tell you to do it when you sit in the underground - hahaha: I think you won't sit there unmolested very long. I wouldn't want to be sketched by other people either).
Same as with photographs: I often visit photo exhibitions, and of course I look interested at photos of people - often in black-and-white. But I wouldn't do it.
I see a lot of situations that would make good snap-shots. BUT I think it is impolite.
One has to respect everybody's private sphere, I think. And I mean everybody's.
I observed a tourist who went to the big fountain on the Wittenbergplatz where a young man sat hunched in an unnatural pose. Sunken, in a way. The tourist took out his smartphone, took a photo - and went away! I was shocked. Neared tentatively - I'm not a fool, I am urban-wise - but this young man might be sick - and was quite relieved that a heavily built Turk neared too. He touched the young man kindly, spoke two or three words with him - and then we looked at each other, relieved: the youngster only had drunk a bit too much.
I think that it is important to look at 'things' not only through a photolense - that reminds me of Andersen's fairy-tale about the snow queen who had that icy splinter in her heart/eye - but with compassion.
That puts everything into the right perspective, I think.
For drawing I just practise that: perspective.



Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The scent of Linden makes the bees pot-headed...

©Brigitta Huegel

Dear You, 
first week of June over - and no entry here!
If you come to Berlin: this would be a perfect time. The Linden (lime) are openening their millions of little flowers, soak the warm (well: at the moment: very hot) air, make your head giddy, make your soul sing with joy, your whole being can bathe in it - gorgeous!
(You see: it really gets me too :-)
And for a day that might not be filled with that natural drug, yesterday I bought a reminder in a bottle: at "Frau Toni's" near Checkpoint Charly they produce a room-perfume "Linde". Normally I abstain from all these scented things for the house - but this is simply great.
(A month ago I found there a real perfume - for me to wear - which contains a lot of "violet". It was the favourite perfume of Marlene Dietrich. Violet is very difficult to get in Germany - I told you that I found a sufficiently nice whiff in my preferred perfume 'Balenciaga - Paris". And now I found out, that Serge Lutens, who works for Shiseido and on his own, has created a very deep violet perfume, too - but: he only (!!!) sells it in Paris, in his own shop.
So:
one good reason more to go to Paris.
On the other hand: I would feel becoming dangerously near to an excentric man, whom I truly and deeply despised when I was young: an arrogant dilettante cook, Wolfram Siebeck. In the early Eighties he wrote that he 'always hopped on a plane to Paris' - every time he needed the little "haricots verts" (those very slim beans, almost as slim as knitting needles) - not available in Germany then.
At that time, hearing it I thought furiously about lamp posts and 'cake for hungry people'-quotes, and revolution, (later my mother's blue blood diluted all that and made me more gentle).
I hope that there are thousands of other good reasons to go to Paris - as many and as intoxicating as the scent of lime-flowers.