We want to live in peace

There are themes that seem to resurface time again in the time I have spent, volunteering at the refugee asylum center. When I worked with a woman from Macedonia on her song, I asked her to tell me her greatest desire. She responded, I want a peaceful life for my children. In several songs, people…

Singing in the new year

I have not written about Monday songwriting in a few weeks. It is ongoing, though there have been a few times I have not been able to join. The center itself has been in a state of transition since this past December, when the rules regarding the asylum process for Belgium were drastically changed and…

Treasure the moment

At the refugee center, Sarah and I greet each other with joyful smiles and warm embrace. In all weather, we meet each other in the spot along the covered corridor by the wooden door. We have found that the tape sticks easier to the wood than the brick wall. We never know if we will…

Embrace the positive

I got home late last night and tossed and turned for hours, reflecting on a difficult experience with a friend I had traveled with to a yoga retreat in the UK over the weekend. Somehow, her interpretation of my actions and a misunderstanding of something she thought I had done but hadn’t actually done had…

All we have is this moment

I am often alarmed at the violent nature of enmity with which people respond to other beings. I recently posted a photograph of an enormous spider, which had bitten me when I had put my arm into my jacket sleeve, where it had been quietly minding its own business. At shaken as I was by…

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,…

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…

The best is yet to come

In January 2016, I began volunteering at a refugee asylum center near the center of Brussels. I did a lot of research and contacted many places and organizations before happening upon one that gave a positive response to my request to offer songwriting from stories. When I participated in an entrepreneur accelerator program in Lowell,…