We are bound together

After volunteering at the asylum center now for nearly two years, the repertoire of songs has grown tremendously. Periodically, I spend about a day going through photos and voice recordings. I try to keep everything organized by putting all of the photos and song files for each song in its own folder. This way, I…

The meaning of life

So far as I can tell from my 37 years on this planet, the purpose of my life seems to revolve around creating empathy and understanding. Since I was a child, I wanted to care for beings who needed love and shelter. My parents allowed me to adopt animals whose owners had abandoned them. I…

Ride the creative wave

I recently wrote a song from my friend Mohammed’s story. The song was derived from a very small portion of the much longer story. We filled several large sheets of paper before beginning to work on the chorus, and it was only a few phrases that made it from the story to the finished song….

Natareya

Something I love about songwriting is that each experience brings a new song into the world that didn’t exist before. During the summer, I do not generally go to the refugee center. My volunteer partner returns to her homeland of Scotland for a long visit, and it is a time to rejuvenate and refill my…

There is a day

A visit to Petit-Château is a kind of analogy for the creative process. I really never know what will happen on any given visit, and each afternoon reveals a unique experience. Sarah and I talk about this often, as we sit on the bench against the brick wall and wonder if today anyone will join…

Don’t wait, Create!

A cold snap has fallen over Brussels once again. After experiencing a mere 10.5 hours of sunlight in the month of December, I was quite ready for spring, but it seems that spring may be a ways away yet.   Every Monday afternoon, Sarah and I set up for poetry and songwriting along the outdoor,…

Karma career

Since leaving my job as a park ranger to move to Arizona for love at the tail end of 2014, I have been reworking and imagining anew the possibilities for my role in the world and how to blend my passions and skills with the need for financial remuneration.   This is no easy feat….

The domes of Damascus

Yesterday, we stood beneath one of the archways, basking in the rays of the sunshine. It was bitterly cold but bearable in the heat from the sun. It has been very quiet at the center these past few weeks with not many people outside. I imagine it is due to the cold, but we continue…

Remember Rose

It has been bitterly cold in Brussels. Having lived in Alaska and New England, I know how to endure winter. Inclement weather does not typically keep me indoors. However, when my husband and I moved to Belgium, I left behind my lined winter boots. Along with most of my other belongings, they are packed snuggly…

If I could be a word

I headed to the refugee asylum center yesterday afternoon sans chien (without dog). I had left our new wolfie dog in his plastic crate for the first time, and I was nervous at the state my husband might find him in. we texted back and forth, me from bus 17 on my way out of…