"Blogging isn't journalism, it's graffiti with punctuation."

>photo blog #6: berlin


july 23-26, 2006

brandenburg tor, one of the ancient gates to the city.

now home to streetwalkers, and michael jacksons who like to dangle their babies from nearby hotel windows.

look beyond the graffitti. see the bullet holes, the gouges from shells, the war time destruction.
as i walked through the streets of berlin, i realized that not too long ago, this was the lion’s den.

don’t worry, i will one day.

most of the berlin wall was torn down after they broke though it in 1989. only this small section of oppression and death still stands…ironically, behind a fence.

in 1989, when easterners first stepped into the west, they were asked by reporters what the experience felt like. they responded, “it feels like madness.”

don’t know what this graffitti means, i just thought it looked cool.

bears are the mascots of berlin, and in a main square, there were artist’s bears representing each country on the planet. this was Serbia’s bear… bullet-ridden.

a memorial to all the people who lost their children in wwii, this is a mother cradling her fallen son. the sunlight travels across the back wall of this temple.

i want to die in someone’s arms.

oh those crazy germans, how they love their einstein.

walking outside of the berlin museum, i stopped to watch the pigeons nestling into the dirt and gravel.

all the greatest german authors and writers and thinkers. my favourite would be second from the bottom, bertold brecht.
“make the familiar strange” was his theatrical philosophy. and mine.

back to the bears…this one is canada’s. tea cups crushed and reassembled as an hommage to canadian mothers.

iiiiiiii don’t get it.

this plaque marks the spot where the nazi book burning took place in 1933. the right-side German inscription translates as, “In the middle of this square on May 10, 1933 National Socialist [Nazi] students burned the works of hundreds of free-lance writers, journalists, philosophers and scientists.” it also has a quote from Heinrich Heine (whose books were ironically burned on that day), who eerily predicted decades earlier in the 1880s, “This was only the prologue. Where they burn books, they will also burn people.”

the jewish outdoor memorial near brandenburg tor . . . it’s a series of graves, some elevated to create high shadows, some sunken into the ground. they create eerie halls. running through the halls, the sun hits your face sporadically . . . like if you were on the inside of a cattle train car.

i sat there for hours as the sun set.

light up, light up.

as if you have a choice.

even if you cannot hear my voice.

i’ll be right beside you, dear.

stop crying. stop crying.

that was stupid.

in the berlin museum, the infamous bust of nefertiti, thousands of years old, still rich with luscious colour.

stare into the eyes of the queen who ruled over egypt. the most beautiful woman of her era.

her neck like a swan.

when you were mummified, they painted your portrait and laid it over your mummy, over the dressings that took you to the afterlife. you were beautiful for all time, forever a rosy face, alive.

this church was bombed out during wwii, and they never rebuilt it.

some things deserve to remain destroyed.

5 responses

  1. Pingback: Ich bin ein Berliner | The Spadina Monologues

  2. Pingback: Just another brick in the Berlin Wall | The Spadina Monologues

  3. Pingback: Critical Mass at the Brandenburg Gate | The Spadina Monologues

  4. Pingback: Berlin light, colour, and stone | The Spadina Monologues

  5. Pingback: 2014: The Year That Taught Me Exactly What I’m Made Of | The Spadina Monologues

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