A Short Vacation

Do you ever get the feeling that you are right where you belong? Of course you do, otherwise I’d feel sad for you. πŸ˜›

”I’d love to go on vacation now before work starts again.”
”Me too! Let’s go together!”
”Yes! The day after tomorrow?”
”Sure!”

I found the perfect travelling partner, after several months of planning and cancellings, just one week before I’d start working again. After some considering we did blind booking, meaning we had a list of some cities and only knew where we’d go after we had booked. And the destination was… Zurich! The least anticipated and most expensive city on the list, only for one and a half days, but hey, a new environment, new experiences – let’s go!

And when we arrived, we were stunned by the beauty and grandeur of Zurich. We didn’t think of any special places, but our hostel manager was eager to show us her favourite places on the map.P1160017

That same night we met some guys on the balcony, we started smoking, drinking wine and whiskey, and talking about ourselves. A playboy photographer from Saint Tropez, a Dutch gay couple with a spiritual twist, two Dutch young guys travelling around Europe. ”If you don’t travel, you will never expand your horizon,” was one of the sentences most heard.

11825656_701997623268491_2363267003755159224_n

When we were sent away from the balcony, we kept drinking and talking in front of the hostel for a long time, where a South Korean and a Texan architect joined us. We exchanged facebook contacts, laughter and stories. I sang the anthem of New Zealand and learned some Dutch curses. At some point there were six languages spoken in.

Refreshed by the new connections, we left early the other morning and strolled around the city and to the lake. We went to the Chinese garden, saw Chagall’s church windows, had some deep conversations by the river and lastly in an expensive restaurant. After those few hours we felt at home in Zurich already. Even later we caught up on the balcony again, where we also met a native Peruvian who gave me a beautiful bracelet and more.IMG_3596

Early in the morning and, of course, late and stressed out, we said goodbye to the gorgeous city and flew back home again. And the morals of the story? No matter your budget, no matter for how long, if you can travel, do it. The new faces, new stories, new impressions, are always worth it. It helped that we had beautiful weather and a strong feeling that it was our destiny to spend these days in Zurich. Go where your heart leads you to!

Advertisements

Queerness etc.

Now, after a long silence, I’m finally back for more posts and galleries, since I haven’t been idle at all!P1150887

As for my news today, it took me a long time to create this post. I’ve been to my second Christopher-Street-Day this year! This time not in Cologne, but Essen, which is, as far as I understood, the general CSD for the whole Ruhr area (although there is another one in Dortmund this month). I went with one of my best friends to celebrate our orientation and identity, as everybody else’s. And as last time, I took quite some time to get ready, listening to some of my favourite gay pride hymns. πŸ˜€

The hair colours I put on represent the pansexuality flag, pink and blue for female and male, and yellow for everything in between. (In case you don’t know, pansexuality is about seeing gender as a scale, not binary. After all, there’s intersex, asexuality, genderfluidity etc., and pansexuals are potentially attracted to all of them.)

P1150953Which brings me to my issue of today: CSD, as far as I know it is about visibility and acceptance. Then how come that I felt like an intruder amidst all the gays, lesbians, and trans people? As somebody in between, I felt fake, like I was pretending to be lesbian. It’s probably because we were regarded as such, people gave us (my friend and me) flyers for lesbian groups etc. Probably only a small fraction knew what my hair colours meant. There was nothing addressing pansexuality at all, or queerness in general, except for one stall of the local university’s queer group (not gay-and-lesbian group).

And that, to me, is a problem. Everybody knows about homosexuality. Where is the visibility of everything else? We need more visibility, so that everybody can just be comfortable with their own sexuality without thinking you had to choose a label. It’s pretty much the same for bisexuals, as far as I know – they often don’t feel excepted by neither the LGBT nor the heterossexuals.

P1150899The community is all about feeling connected and together, yet I feel that once you identify as gay or lesbian, there are so many connections, support groups, education – a room. Whereas as queer person there’s no community, no special room. Now don’t get me wrong – there are many happy queer youtubers and stuff like that. It’s just the local area that’s bothering me. Even in my local youth support organisation it’s all about gays or lesbians – nothing for ”queers”. I’d feel uncomfortable for being attracted to guys there, because I’d feel fake again.

But P1150914nevertheless was this CSD a beautiful event! It filled me with pride to walk through the city, grinning at people watching us bunch of unusual, glittering, gorgeous humans. We’re out and we’re pround, indeed! There was happiness all around, the sun was shining and everything felt beautiful. I liked it even more than the one in Cologne, more intimate and real, in a way. I’m sure to be back next year – maybe with a little alliance of pansexuals. πŸ˜‰

Dreamers

The new page showing off my newest jewelry babies, is online, awaiting your eager eyes! I’m not yet sure about how big this collection is going to be, but I’ve finished one more earring already and am working on no. 6. My plan is do to 10-15 single earrings for the daring daily or annual festival-time wear. Until then, enjoy the ones who are already online and for sale!

Dreamers, or: A New Earring Collection.

collHello lovely people, just a quick update: I’m currently working on a new jewelry collection! During the next week I shall create a new page for the (actually not so) little beauties. As a teaser, enjoy this picture.

Since I’ve been asked about them on the street already, just a reminder/confirmer: Yes, I love doing customised work. I love happy people, so that one comes naturally. Just drop me an e-mail if you’re interested in my stuff or would like something specific. I’m sure we will figure something out.

Philosophy of Joy

I’ve read a book yesterday, by Epikur, who is an old Greek philosopher. I got this book years ago, in school, when our philosophy teacher was clearing out the library and brought free books for us to have. He laughed out loud when I took this book, “Philosophy of Joy” – probably because it was so obvious that if anybody from the class would take it, it would be me. πŸ˜‰

We also briefly talked about Epikur in religious education as well, and – surprise, surprise – he got completely dismissed as a hedonist, who seeks happiness through the fulfillment of lust. Epikur got misunderstood all the time, even when he was still alive, and adressed this misconception all the time. It’s kind of frustrating that even these days my class didn’t get it. Personally I think it’s rather obvious that there’s a difference between lust and joy. But yeah. Note: If you get very aggressive and insulted by somebody’s philosophy, A) you should question if you really understood it right and B) you should ask yourself what that tells you about yourself.

So, what does Epikur say? Let me quote some of his aphorisms and propositions.

“One cannot live in Joy without living reasonably, nobly, and justly, but conversely cannot lead a reasonable, noble, and just life without living in Joy, either. One cannot when these premises are missing.”

This sentence alone should explain very well how he cannot be a hedonist at all. It reminds me of Schiller (okay okay, every philosophy makes me think of Schiller), because he is indicating a certain balance of lust and reason. Why reason?

“Some of the desires are natural and necessary, some are natural, but not necessary, and some are neither natural nor necessary, but spring from empty delusion.” “All desires that do not evoke pain when they are unsatisfied, don’t belong to the absolute necessary ones. The craving that acts within them will evaporate quickly; as soon as it’s obvious that they are unrealisable or even cause harm.”

Therefore you can’t just go after whatever comes to your mind, you have to be considerate and use your reason. You might imagine now, how Epikur was really a rather humble human.
P1030253 (2)

“No Joy in itself is an evil, but that, which produces this or that joy, can trouble them in various ways.”

This last sentence is something I shall quote next time I’m confronted with somebody who tells me that a certain joy is sinful. Like, sex is shameful and sex before marriage is evil and sex between same-sex partners is a sin, just as an example. No, it’s not. It just is. The circumstances, however, can make sex shameful and hurtful (like, when one of the partners isn’t ready), whether it’s within a relationship or marriage or without one, or between two men or two women or twenty people all at once.

Sex, by the way, might not be the best example, since Epikur himself didn’t regard sex as a necessary joy. “For the enjoyment of love brings no benefits; one can even be glad if it harms not.” But he also states: “Follow it as you like, but take care that you don’t perpetrate, hurt no decency, affront no dear one, don’t shatter your health and don’t waste your wealth.” So basically the good old And it harm none, do as ye will.

Not only is he humble, but even considerate and open-minded. Personally I imagine him as a kind of Greek Buddha, surrounded by his students who were also his friends. For friendship “dances around the globe, proclaming to us all that we shall arise to happiness.” “Nature has created us to live in community,” and friendship is utterly important to him.

Some more quotes that I like:

“The most beautiful fruit of self-sufficiency is freedom.”
“The most beautiful fruit of justice is peace of mind.”
“Death, to us, is nothing, for that which is dissoluted, has no more perception. And that which has no perception doesn’t worry us.”
“Whoever spreads fear is themselves not without fear.”
“It is senseless to ask of the Gods what you can accomplish yourself.”

On Difference

I want (and have wanted for quite some time now) to present to you some of my main thoughts on ethics and arts. Because this is basically how I approach life, and maybe, maybe this interests you as well… πŸ˜‰

I believe that difference has an intrinsic worth on its own. Why? Every differentness questions the existing normality.

Questioning is painful, but neccessary. Only through questioning can we improve, and recondition old, obsolete systems (e.g. political systems or laws, but even moral conventions). Even “good” systems can’t stay good forever, because everything is always in movement and nothing ever stays the same. As they say, change is the only existing constant.

There can also be too much questioning, which can be unhealthy for the person doing so. However, in general I find that people tend to get lazy and to never question more than neccessary – except for maybe those of us who question too much..? Even there you can find a balance, and our task is to accept the counterpart as part of that balance. We need both forces: The one that pushes us out of our comfort zones and explores new land, and the one that calms us down and brings us back to our safe roots. If you like this thought, I recommend to you German philosopher J.G. Fichte, who examined this topic very well, and who founded (amongst others) the German idealism of the late 18th century.

Questioning is also the reason why we need minorities. They are marginal groups, they exist on the outer borders (or even on the outside) of what the majority finds good/normal/… and therefore they question what the majority thinks. And by questioning we can grow, and thus become more open, with more rounded opinions. I think openness, having an open, loving heart, is one of the main virtues that I pursue.

If you freak out when you see a cross dresser or trans person on mainstream TV, becauseΒ hell is it a he or a she? What is this all about, can’t they just live as what they were born as, wear their clothes accordingly, and spare us their craziness?Β (Yes, I’ve heard people freak out like this) – THIS reaction tells you something about yourself, and not much about the person you’re confronted with. It tells that you’re scared of somebody who is different, because you have your opinions and views that you’re happy with – maybe too happy, because obviously this little questioning is very uncomfortable for you, as if you’re not used to questioning anymore…

By the way, fear (as evolutionary neccessary as it is) is what makes people violent.

Now, shall we bridge to the theory of art? This is what I told my boyfriend when we were talking about the value and meaning of some modern art.

Because of the questioning and pushing our boundaries, “new”/”different” art, is important. Art always evolves embedded into the cultural, political, philosophical, and psychological circumstances of the time – no matter if intended or not. Therefore it is reaction and mirror. And therefore it provides impulses and questioning. This is where, in my opinion, much of the value of art is hidden: Even if you stand in front of a blue canvas and wonder what the hell it means, this tells something about you as the viewer, having a certain mindset, a certain experience of art, certain expectations – that are being questioned that moment. That’s my advice for people who feel they can’t do anything with a certain artwork (or art epoche or whatever) – ask yourself what that can tell you about yourself. Personally I think this can be very rewarding, even if you don’t really like the art.

Wow, this has become quite an essay, now! I’m curious about your thoughts on it, so have fun commenting!

The first Month

I seriously cannot believe I’ve been here for one whole month. It feels like ages, but in a good way – like I’m just supposed to be here.

After getting getting my room nice and cosy, I now work on our balcony. I made plans with my room mate including LED chains of light, maybe even some who can change colours, as my boyfriend has. But for now I’ve been tidying up and cleaning the balcony and planting crops: gerania, hyacinths, oregano, and basil.

Oh, the joy of spotting the first green sprouts!

Oh, the joy of spotting the first green sprouts!

 

Now, what’s way more interesting: In the midst of march I went to a workshop from the SAE Institue (which I got to know in 2010 in NZ), introducing us to digital filming. It was a lovely experience and definitely made me fall in love more with the production process. You know, most people probably would be totally smashed after several hours of professional filming in the bright sun. I just wanted more. πŸ˜€

Two weeks later I had my job interview for an internship at the Rottstr 5 theatre and ever since I’ve spent my days there, helping where I can, getting to know everyone and everything that’s part of the theatre life. And gosh, how I love it! Two days ago my first assistance started, for the production of “Waiting for Godot”. It’s bloody exhausting, but at the same time exhilarating to watch the director help the actors breathe life into the words. It’s magic to watch him say exactly the right thing to make them act their best..!

I love the people of the Rottstr already, and they’ve been unbelieveably welcoming and warm, from the very first second. πŸ™‚