Mondays On the Move: Let me be free

It’s Monday and time for another “Mondays On the Move!” This week, Sarah and I quite literally on the move in different corners of the same country. Sarah is on holiday in the south of France with her family. I have been driving around the northern Nord-Pas-de-Calais region with my husband and our big white…

Mondays On the Move: I am the change

For our fourth installment of our new “Mondays On the Move” project to promote freedom of movement for all people, Sarah and I share a song we wrote with an asylum seeker from Gaza, who we met at the Fedasil Arrival Centre in 2017. With him, we wrote many songs. This song is called “I…

Pandemic Publishing

The last time I shared an update on all things songwriting in my life was January 23, 2020. At the time, I had no idea the larger world and my own circle within it would literally come to a halt in the middle of March.   At the start of 2020, I was feeling inspired…

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…

Magic carpet of music

Sarah and I spent two hours yesterday afternoon at the Fedasil Arrival Centre in Brussels, taping together page after page of poetry and songs into an enormous magic carpet of hope. Upon these pages were words from the hearts and minds of people from many places, all having traveled to Belgium with the hope of…

Welcome

A few weeks ago, on a particularly gloomy and frigid Monday afternoon, Sarah and I began writing words on a blank page we had posted on the wall at Petit-Château. Our “wall” is really two large wooden doors, but we have found that the packaging tape we use attaches far better onto the door than…

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…

She will walk again

  With the recent very cold front that has swept over my little corner of Belgium, it’s difficult to imagine the warmth and sunshine that illuminated my November 25 Monday visit to Petit-Château was warm and sunny. As I sit and write from my kitchen table, a cup of coffee and big, white husky at…

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.  …