#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

One night in February


Photo & Editing: artaquis

#tbt: Once night in February

One night in February, after I had followed my never resting thoughts for way too long, I decided to do what I had been wanting to do for days, no, for weeks, and prepared to take a walk. I promised myself to only take paths that were illuminated by lamps. For safety reasons. And safety gives freedom for creativity.
So I was walking down the street, passing the houses that I pass nearly every day when driving the car, passing the lamps. At the end of the road I turned left and passed houses that I normally don’t pass that often. Past one of the big paddocks, past the farm that sells firewood and during advent season Christmas trees. Here I made a halt and wondered whether I should walk on or turn around and go back. Because the dead end before me attracted me somehow and because I realized that I have never walked it until the end, I decided to follow this feeling and to walk the path between the riding stable and the paddocks. While I was walking and dwelling on thoughts, the typical scent of horses came into my nose. I turned my head to the right and let my glance wander over the paddocks and behind them I saw the houses that I pass every morning by bus. How peacefully they were lying there, those houses with their warm lights. After having passed the extensive buildings of the riding stable, my glance fell upon an old wall and trees covering a house that stood behind. Shortly afterwards I came across the illuminated driveway to that house and that was exactly the moment where I stopped and wondered “Isn’t that what everybody is wishing for? A house in a country side like area but still not too far away from the city? A little house in an area that resembles the landscape in ‘Midsomer Murders’ and when you lift your glance a bit you can see the distant city lights? Wouldn’t this be the perfect location to live in? Finding contemplation in your little house, lying quiet beside a paddock and green fields, calmness in its pure variation and when you feel the need to get in touch with people, feel that hectic life in a city where you sometimes seem to be anonymous and sometimes just too well known by the people you meet, you just walk some minutes, take the next bus and there you are, in that beautiful, dirty, loud, pretty, familiar city of mixed odours, mixed impressions, mixed audiences, mixed shops, mixed feelings and mixed thoughts. How come that I never realized the beauty of this area so much? How come that there are paths directly beside me and still I’ve never walked them before? How can I pass all this beauty and tranquillity without even really perceiving it? Did the hectic of the city dull me so much that I had become unaware of what was going on right next to me? Does it really matter? Now I am here and this moment is just here to be enjoyed, the air is just here to be inhaled and this feeling is just here to help me find contemplation and get my restless mind sorted again.“
I walked further on, letting my glance wander around the paddocks, the green fields, the quiet houses with their illuminated windows until I finally came to the end of the dead end. Here I turned around and stood there for a while, letting all these odours, the fresh breeze, the picture of the sky with stars and everything that I perceived in that moment enter my soul. Then I slowly made my way back the road that had led me to the dead end. Past the illuminated driveway of the house that lies behind an old wall and trees, past the riding stable, past the farm that sells firewood, past the paddocks. After thinking about taking a different way back home, I decided to walk back on my own trail, a bit like a dog. Well, it wasn’t a real decision, but I just did what my inner feeling told me. So I walked past the houses that I normally don’t pass that often, looking around the green meadows and the houses and the small street with parked cars on it. As I walked further on, I watched my own feet making one step after the other, I examined the pavement as I walked on it further and further on. Shortly before the junction where I had turned left before, my look fell upon a small ball lying on the pavement. A small pink and green ball.
As I lifted my head again after having stared on that ball for minutes, my eyes were filled with tears. And out of a sudden a thought entered my mind. “You are not dead! How could you be dead when I still carry you with me in my heart in every step I take, in every decision I make, in everything I do, in everything I am? You are not dead! How could you? How could somebody dare to tell me you are dead when I feel you with me every day? When I can see you in my dreams? When I’m talking to you right now? How could you be dead then? That is ridiculous! You. Are. Not. Dead.!
How could somebody ever tell that somebody is dead? Nobody is ever really dead as long as there are people remembering this person. As long as there are memories, as long as there are photographs, as long as there are texts, diary entries, poems, stories, little notes and emotions that trace back the existence of that person, this person can’t be dead! As long as there are memories shared at a table, as long as there are conversations about that passed away person, as long as the texts are read and the photographs are watched, as long as the memorizing heart is beating and the missing tears are flooding, you can’t be dead! Isn’t that an amazing idea? How about building a house and making a room for everyone you love, designed with all the things this person is attached to? A room for mother, filled with books and green plants, with mild music and everything she loves. But wait, no, just one room for one person wouldn’t really fit to the existence of that person. This room has to be linked to another room, to the room of somebody this first person is attached to. And how you build this house doesn’t matter, whether it is done in texts or photographs, in paintings, in thoughts, in memories or really built as a small model of a big life. As long as there is a trace of your existence, you can’t be dead! Shakespeare isn’t dead, Wilde isn’t dead, Woolf and Austen are not dead because their works are still read, their biographies are still discussed, their works are still analysed, still read and people talk about them, have discussions, fall in love with them and become fans. How can Shakespeare, Wilde and Woolf be dead when the trace of their existence is still so present and vivid today? Isn’t that what every author is wishing for? Immortality.”

Gina Laventura © 2012

Sneak Peek into Labelled Love: Kiss me, Jonny!

This story was written before I had collected all the stories for my book, even before I started structuring and writing the book. But the moment it was ready I knew it had to become part of it. And so it is now a chapter that you can find in Labelled Love. You can still enter the competition and win a paperback copy of the book here.
Diese Geschichte hab ich geschrieben bevor ich anfing die Geschichten für mein Buch zu sammeln und zusammenzustellen, aber von dem Moment an da sie fertig war, wusste ich, dass sie ein Teil des Buches werden muss. Und so ist sie nun in Labelled Love zu finden. Ihr könnt immer noch am Gewinnspiel teilnehmen und eine Taschenbuchausgabe des Buches gewinnen.



dedicated to Jonny

“I miss him.” Rosie said.
“Well, that’s not very like you.” Poppy replied.
“Yeah, I know. Normally, I rarely miss anyone. Not because they don’t mean anything to me, don’t get me wrong, but I never actually felt the need to miss them, you know. I carry them with me in my heart anyway and I think of them and keep in contact with them. I could go away for weeks without missing anyone, you see. I mean, I am happy to meet them again and looking forward to meeting them again and sometimes can’t wait to see them again, but that is something different. And when talking about missing, I don’t mean this search for company that grows on everybody from time to time, as this kind of wanting company is not individual enough to call it missing. And I’m not talking about the way of missing that is based on physical or even sexual needs, you know. Neither am I talking about this kind of romantic thought of missing someone, where you tear yourself apart and can’t think of anything else than the person you miss, you see.”
Poppy looked up from her steaming cup of tea and shook her head. “Nah, that wouldn’t be much like you, either.”
“When I say I miss him, I’m talking about something different. Not about missing company in general or missing the bodily aspect of it all. I’m talking about the silent presence of his next to mine, this comforting atmosphere that spreads around and within me when he’s there. And I’m not depicting some kind of these moving cinema scenes where people haven’t seen each other for a while and run towards each other and embrace heartily with all the passion a person can possess. No, the scene I’m picturing is different. We would meet and say ‘Hi’, talk about the weather and how things went. We would stand next to each other, waiting for the next tube. And eventually his warm hand would slide between my cold fingers, giving my veins this impulse that would go straight through every fibre of my body and warm my heart again. I would smile at that and stretch myself, stand on my tiptoes to reach his ear and whisper ‘Kiss me, Jonny!’. And suddenly the world would be complete again.”

Gina Laventura © 2013