Music is the way forward

It’s been almost a year since my husband and I moved from France back to the small town in central Arizona where we had been living before moving to Belgium five years earlier. Sound confusing? Welcome to my life. I have been moving every two months to two years since I left my parents’ house…

I am a story

Two years into the Covid pandemic, it is difficult to imagine a time before when Sarah and I could visit the Fedasil Arrival Centre each Monday and interact with people from all over the world. I met Sarah on my very first visit to the center in January 2017, and we met on Mondays until…

Mondays On the Move: I could be you

It’s the third week of our new “Mondays On the Move” series to promote freedom of movement for all people. Sarah and I have been choosing a different spot around Brussels, Belgium each Monday, where we share one of our migration songs with you.   The first Monday, we talked about the project and sang…

From Africa it’s a long story

The sun shone over Brussels yesterday afternoon, and I experienced the rare occurrence of being too warm for my jacket, scarf, and hat at the tail end of December. I set them on the bench by our open “office” space at a corner of the covered corridor at the refugee asylum center known as Petit-Château…

Life is long

This Monday at Petit-Chateau was grey, rainy, dark, and dismal. The previous Friday evening, I had visited the center for the volunteer appreciation dinner and joined staff and volunteers on a tour of the arrival portion of the center. We walked from one station to the next, learning about the process whereby those seeking asylum…

Before the music

This Monday at Petit-Château was about as dismal at a November afternoon in Brussels can be. A friend came with me who had wanted to experience our poetry and songwriting for a long time. I am always nervous on these occasions because I want them to have a positive experience. My first snafu was nearly…

Free like a smile

Every Monday I visit the Fedasil Petit-Château Klein Kasteeljte is an opportunity to capture a moment in time in both poetry and song. My co-volunteer Sarah and I often take a bit of a pause in the summer months. It has been increasingly hot in Brussels, and it is important to allow for some downtime…

Open the Borders

Without fail, this week’s visit to the refugee center was one, which offered an opportunity for the exchange of culture, experience, and language, as well as the creation of something beautiful.   Sarah and I arrived at the entrance to the center at the same moment, so we entered together and went to sit on…

This magic moment

Sarah and I often talk about how we really never know what will happen on each Monday visit to the refugee center. There are times where we sit and chat on the bench by our worksite, with only each other and the pigeons in the courtyard for company.   We decided long ago that even…

I want to live

This past Monday, we met several residents at the center. Since we have found that beginning by playing music can help to draw people in, Sarah posted the song we wrote the previous week, The hand that hurts can also heal.   As people came to join us, Sarah brought a blank piece of paper…