#writerswednesday: Happy New Year! 2020

© Thorsten Marquardt, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019 – full text at end of post –

My dears,

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

A new decade is lying ahead
and I hope we use it to spread
ideas and inspiration
reflection and some contemplation
breathe it in and smile some more
set the sails and move from shore
into the great wide sea
to grow, become and be
what and who we are meant to be.

It’s exactly collaborations like these that make my heart jump and be even more passionate about art.
There are these moments where you’re having a really nice and interesting conversation and then, when continuing the exchange via email, something great is forming itself.
Thanks to Thorsten Marquardt, who sent me this picture, which gave me – in connection to our conversation – the inspiration for this poem and thanks to his efforts it now looks the way it does, as he put the text around the picture.
I truly appreciate the exchange with others, as I always say
Inspiration through Communication
And this is proof that it works.

Thanks to everyone who worked with me in 2019, who gave me insights, impulses, feedback.
Nothing of it goes unnoticed.

I thank all the people I was allowed to meet on my way and to collaborate with from the depth of my heart.
2019 taught me a lot. About goodbyes and hellos, about exchange, about nurturing, needs vs wants, about people, life and art. And so much more.
Not only do I thank all the people, who made the year so insightful and meaningful as it was, but I also thank the year itself for having been such a good teacher.

To all of you reading this: I wish you all the best for the new year, the new decade, I hope you had time to reflect on the past, be in and enjoy the present and look into the future with a hopeful heart and determined mind.

The sails are set
and I bet
the wind is soon to come
to move ahead and move along
into a wider space
from place to place
and home once more
into the water and back to shore
ever moving
ever growing
as life itself
a water flowing

© Gina Laventura, 2019

© Thorsten Marquardt, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

poetry, passion and perseverance
let us endure the loss of what once
was our home, our harbour, we were safe
the slight remembrance
and subtle memory, we take to our grave
written in our bones, our chest, our breath,
the idea of paradise after death,
the holy land
after the end,
giving hope, but causing pain,
so we write and love again and again,
to go back
but we lose track
and for the apple we reach
although they teach
us to withstand temptation
but in secret contemplation
we are all half sinners, half saints
and the idea of paradise
faints
and lives only in hopes and dreams and memory
and in art we see
what once
was our home, our harbour, we were safe.
persevered through poetry, passion and prose
and from the grave
they rose
into the holy land.
a longing, a dream, a missing
that will barely end.

© Gina Laventura, 2019

In Memoriam

Dieser Beitrag ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar

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translated from the German original

Since death has taken you away from me
I learned how fragile life can be.
Life’s journey we all share
but seldom there are hands that care.
Now we think it’s broken, the bond
that once was so strong,
but no one can ever break this bond,
neither devil nor death are that strong,
because it defeats the storms and rises up above
and teaches us the true power of love!
This bond connects us all,
stays with us when we rise and fall,
yet it is not always perceived.
During all the things that are still to be achieved,
we carry it with us
in the depths of our hearts.
We overcome the pain and defeat the harder part
because deep down inside
we feel the caring hand at our side.
The bond did exist once and will never vanish
because it will never be banished
and continues to live within us.
With every pound our hearts are giving
the memory does carry on living
in love itself.
With every breath we take
and every move we make
we carry them with us
the loved ones,
the lost ones.
In memoriam.

Gina Laventura © 2015

#sundaystory: Einsamkeit

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The information given was:
a) English
b) Einsamkeit
c) death, music, dance
d) sarcastic

dedicated to Benjamin

Ein-sam-keit. German for Lone-li-ness.
Did you ever feel lonely? By all respect, I don’t mean alone, I said lonely.
You ask where the difference is?
Ok, let me try to explain. Alone is when you feel a lack of company, when you wish being surrounded by people. No, no, when you wish for a particular person to stick around, that is called missing. That’s not the same! Lonely is when you even feel alone, lost, misunderstood or not understood amongst a mass of people, say, you dance and swing and sway to the music in a club, surrounded by all your friends, but somehow there is still this hollow place inside your chest and you feel a lack of something, but you can’t really define it. That comes closer to feeling lonely, yeah.
Okay, now that we have discussed the formalities, I ask you again: Have you ever felt lonely? Alone? Ever missed someone?
‘Yes’ you say? Good.
‘No’, you say? Well, I’ve met people like you before. People who didn’t know loneliness, who never felt alone, who never knew missing. Let me tell you, I taught them missing of the worst kind. I taught them loneliness of the bitterest kind. They were never more alone than at that moment I came around.
Whether I felt sorry for that? Hell, no! Why should I? That’s my job! Plus, call me mean or nasty or unfair, but, it’s not my decision you know?! That is something that you have to understand. I’m not the one writing the book, I’m not the one setting the time and once the timer rings it’s over. I’m just there when the timer rings. I’m there when it’s over. And looking back over my shoulder I see the pain start for those who remain. But if you ask me whether I feel sorry for it, no, really, I don’t. Why should I? I’m as old as time and it has always been that way.
See, now you call me nasty and cold hearted. (Funny enough my friends, who ever said I had a heart, huh?)
But in fact it’s you who are so nasty and egocentric. You ask the wrong questions. You ask whether I feel sorry for it and I answer honestly, honestly no. And you condemn me. But you never ask whether I feel happy about it or whether I feel joy. Because, guess what, the answer is also no. No, I neither feel sorry, nor do I feel joy.
Okay, okay, I have to admit, sometimes I feel a little satisfied. Especially when meeting people who never knew missing, who never knew loneliness. Because, I think it’s unfair, you know. No one ever asked me whether I felt lonely. I mean, yes it is my job, and I do not complain, and it’s been like that since forever, basically. But guess what, walking the streets and wandering the paths until another timer goes off, rings, and I know another job’s awaiting me, can become quite a lonely journey. And then, when it’s over and the ones who remain are taught the lesson of loneliness and missing, at that very moment, we share something. And you know what? That makes me feel less lonely.
So, now you start calling me an egotistic and nasty bastard, you see, there we are again. It’s always me. I’m always the bad guy.
But you failed to ask the right questions!
I do not particularly enjoy it and I’m not sadistic, I just say, sometimes, rarely ever but sometimes it gives me a little satisfaction. But more often than not, it’s just a job.
And sometimes, when meeting those cocky, stupid numpties who don’t know shit about missing and loneliness, I teach a lesson. That’s also part of my job.
On the other hand, let me be clear about one thing.. If you belong to those who say they knew missing and loneliness.. we have to have a word or two as well…
What you call missing or loneliness sometimes, my friends, is purely ridiculous! I mean, hello-ho, you miss someone? Don’t you all have those cute little or big devices for communicating? Tell them. Meet them. Oh, oh, yeah, I see, not possible, yeah, sure. Screw it! The only thing not possible here, is you getting over your close minded assumptions of what is possible and what is not! I never thought it would be possible to hold someone in my hands and suddenly they would slide away and vanish from my fingers, where they had been lingering a minute before, but hey, it happened! Yeah, okay, okay, you do not miss a particular person, but you miss “the old times”, got it. Well, erm, how do I put it nicely… get over it!
I urge you, don’t wait for me to come around to teach you the true and honest meaning of missing and loneliness. It’s harder to get over that one, believe me!
You know, you call me egotistic and nasty, but actually, I’m more generous than you are. I embrace you all, the cocky numpties and the ones who exaggerate and complain a lot, the ones who fight me (by the way, sometimes I even like it when they win, keeps me in shape), the ones who wave ‘hello’ to me, the ones who jump into my arms, the kind ones, the nasty ones. You are all the same in front of me. When you meet me, there is no difference. And I embrace you all. See, I’m generous. Why can’t you embrace me as a matter of fact? Why can’t you embrace the fact that I will be there when your timer rings? We could listen to some sweet music, maybe I’d even let you choose the tune, and we could dance together. Both not lonely for the short rush of a moment that we share.
But yeah, I think, this gap is not so easy to be bridged and I will always be on the darker end of the scale. I mean, I’m competing with bright life, huh. That’s a tough competitor. On the other hand, sometimes some of you don’t appreciate my competitor as much as he deserves, really, I mean it. I know a good man when I see one! And I know a good competitor. You guys really should love him a little more. He gives a whole lot to you, offers you so many possibilities. In comparison to what he offers, what do I have to offer?
Open arms for you and a lesson about missing and loneliness for those who remain.
Your choice, my friends. I will be waiting, anyway.

Gina Laventura © 2015

(inspired by and in honour of Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, whose approach towards narration through Death’s perspective was an extraordinary piece of art to work with.)