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…

It’s a long story

Sarah and I are very excited that our project, “On the Move: Poems and Songs of Migration” has been chosen as one of five finalists for the 2021 Amateo Award for arts participation projects across Europe. Even with the added stress of travel during the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, we are planning (in shallah) to travel…

Mondays On the Move: Laugh at life

I met Sarah at our poetry wall at Petit-Château this morning. We had not been to the center or seen our wall since the beginning of the lockdown in the middle of March. I was filled with such hope and joy, seeing the center again. Together, we posted the new poems, which Sarah had printed…

Mondays On the Move: Hakuna matata

It’s time for another “Mondays On the Move!” This Monday, Sarah and I had planned to meet along the Belgium-France border but if this year (and life) have taught me anything it is not to get too attached to plans. Sarah was feeling under the weather so we decided to postpone to next Monday. Since…

A wild idea

This past Monday at the refugee center was cold and gray, but at least it wasn’t raining. We take what we can get with the weather in January in Belgium. The previous week, we had spread out dozens of sheets of paper with poems and songs from the previous two years and taped them all…

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…

You are always here with me

This Monday the weather was grey and cool, and it was quiet at Petit-Château. Sarah and I arrived and had a friend already waiting to visit with us. We posted printouts of refugee songs on our poetry wall and then posted the song from the previous week with the intention of singing it together.  …

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…

Jingle all the way

I believe that every person is an artist and a musician. I have witnessed people subconsciously tapping their foot along to a song after insisting they had no sense of rhythm or musical ability. I think responding to music is a natural part of what it means to be human on this earth. Melodies and…