Monday, 21 October 2013

change and time share the same bed

When the season’s change it is often the impulse for us to reflect and think upon that which we ourselves go continuously through in life –change.  A word, which can be both uplifting and terrifying, at the same moment all depending on our reaction to that which is given out by us, to the change occurring.

For the idea of change makes many feel the pressure of time. The fact that it doesn’t stand still or runs away from us. The noting of a set of predetermined sequences that will follow a pattern that is centuries old.  We can try to bind or hold it to a set timetable but it still moves forwards. Or does it? Can time run? Have you physically seen it do this?

When the moment comes where we look into the mirror and see the laughter lines have taken on a permanent marker to the corners of our lips is perhaps the period of time you realize it can “show itself”. When you find the minutes flying by as you sit stuck, in a traffic jam, then perhaps you can see time running past you when you should be already in the office.

These are really only though, our own feelings or views on time passing, moving or going forwards which we document by checking the time on a watch, in the mirror or on a calendar.

Time and change can literally share the same bed for they reflect our need to control and catalogue that which we wish to process. Yet is never attainable; this desired state. For time slips through our hands as we change our clothes, jobs or relationships. It passes by us without even a backward glance. The change of your inner attitude though is the only key to opening a time door, into a world that can allow you to stand still - to be within the moment.

Often we feel this most strongly when we celebrate our Birth Day/Date. If you feel only that the recording of your birth is but a ticking off of another earth year, the deteriorating of your body and the closure of your possibilities due to a slowing down, then it will be. If on the other hand you see the change of your outer shell being a better version of the vehicle in which to go forwards, to attaining a depth in that which you already know or develop that which you have not yet had the chance to learn, then it will be so. Your attitude to change will effect how you view time.

There are those whom embrace the birth date as a chance to reflect on what was achieved with the attitude there is so much time available now for continuing to expand who they are. There are others who have already ordered in their minds the coffin nails and are ready to bang them in, suffocating any chance of expanding on the time they have.

You can influence how time treats you. See within yourself the hands of time as a weaving silk band that flatters forward or hangs still upon a moment. Hear the sound of the time passing as a tune to be danced to. Change your thoughts to those of time being but a slow waltz that allows you to embrace the moments you create. You can have all the time in the world – be it but for one hour before your departure from this world or the start of a new century if you only understand it requires your presence in the now. 

Being awake to this period of time now, seeing the changes move about me and taking them as guide posts for creating room for new times is what is meant by changing with the times.

Your Korus 


changes in the seasons 
from green, to orange and brown 
are just changes in the weather
from windy bursts, to clouds and rain
which take on changes in my diet
as soups, curries and scones 
take over the change in my calendar 
to a time of covering myself into
a change of clothing
in the form of pullovers, thick socks and boots

changes in the seasons
are just a way of making place
for me to see things from another stand
and take on perhaps a new view
as changes move about me
creating room for the new

Your Korus

Thursday, 10 October 2013

What´s the time alligator?

Calendars, dates, appointments, schedules, timetables and celebrations of events –what do these things all have in common with our thought process and how do we handle them?  They are all ways of measuring and recording our need to document time. To have a sense of being able to control or place time into segmented blocks of specific predetermined categories. Our thought process thinks if we are able to block time into definite periods, then we have a rational view of its flow.  The month of your birthday, the week of your final exams or the hour in which you have your job interview are all moments when we condense time down to being a single item, occurring within a specific unit of time.

This is seen for example very clearly in a marathon event in which a defined time is set for the completion of running 42,195 km. We then take it one step further and stand “pacers for times” with shields for various race completion times, ready for you to run after. For if running under three, four or five hours is the desired finishing time and you follow them they will bring you “in on time”.  The “time invested” before the event is considered time well spent or time that helps you to reach your “hidden” goal such as strive for something out of the box. For many it is suddenly the confrontation with the fact they have to run “on time” every kilometer to make “a time” which is then seen as you having “a great time”.

Do we become fixed or caught up by what time stands for? Are we bound to what it promises? I believe we are taught to be captured; by the hands of passing time. We like to keep ourselves in a set time span of planning, preparing and allotting our time for specific events. It begins even before we are born. Our parents take on what we later will inherit, by checking at regular intervals once they know of our existence, our arrival through a set of medical examinations and probing, planning and celebrating all that we are wished to be or achieve. If we do not hold to the given date of arrival there is either panic, if an early appearance is made or frustration at having to wait if the birth is late. Once born then we are made aware immediately of how to know when we are allowed to eat, when we should sleep and how to behave at appropriate times through words, body language and a series of outside influences that go from bells ringing to announce the end of a period of play time, to lights being turned off to create darkness to tell us it is bedtime.

Do the celebrations of events have us living for now or running after another time period placed in a distance future? Perhaps in the middle of October this question is rolling around in our heads as the count down to Halloween, Guy Fawkes Night, Thanks giving and the Advent season begin to appear in our daily lives. Not to be forgotten as well is the emphasis on the end of the year departure and welcoming ceremony in one, the time of New Years Eve.

We begin to realize all the times during the past year when we have not kept our word to visit Auntie Pauline or finally clear out the attic or learn the basic musical notes for the guitar. Time wasted. Time lost. Our guilt at not keeping our promise to utilize our time in a profitable way catches up with us as the years end draws near. We begin then to wish the time would fly faster. That time would hurry up and get itself over with, more along.

What have you been doing today? Was it worth your while? Did you feel as if it gave you a valuable input into expanding who you are or what you want to move towards being? Or have you let the minutes turn into hours without holding each one as a precious unit of time, given to you to create and mold into a reality you want to live within now. 

We have so much time on our hands to be used and yet often we do not even realize it. Instead we complain that time is flying by, we have not enough hours in the day or time wont stand still. We push the one item in life which is human defined into being a commodity that should be able to be brought and sold yet we truly have no way of putting it under lock and key.

Maybe it is us who needs to review our relationship to time and how we can flow with the times passing, not against its moving forward. Time is a gift given to us from the moment we take our first breath until the last gasp is released. It can be used by all and has no preference whether you have social status, struggle with a disease or have a moderate amount of money. It is there for all of us to use with each breath we take, as we see fit. 

The molding of our thought process over life can influence how we view time. The manner in which we see our lives situation can influence how we feel we are losing time. Yet time itself can be expanded to seem like an eternity within only a five-minute period of intense drama. Suddenly giving you a clarity and depth of understanding you would never have achieved if you had never lived this situation. Time can allow you to see clearly. It can make you live intensely. It can allow you to be compassionate. It all depends if you are prepared to except the time you are given now at this very precious, present moment as being the only time that counts.

Wishing your time away for only a reason of your not having completed an affirmation or promise to your self or a new years resolution is just plain wishing your life away. It is wasting your own time. It is the one thing, which only you can appreciate within this moment. Waste it not, for you will never, have this moment in time, ever again.

Let time be your friend to living who you are now in this period of time, not yesterday nor tomorrow for one has past and the other may never come. Become aware that your time is now. There is honestly no better time to realize, that this is, the best time of your life!

Your Korus 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Learning starts with ABC: Part two

I am a good swimmer and when I was thrown in the deep end here in Germany, there was no way I was going to sink. Hence began the process of stepping out of my comfort zone, to become something more than I am. A bilingual expert or at least I could give it my best shot right? Acting was something I loved at school and learning a new language needs you to often improvise and interpret in various theatrical ways what you are saying. Does help immensely though if you are saying it right. 
I have had enormous support from family, friends and acquaintances over the years in helping me to understand what I am doing wrong. They gladly inform me of the mispronunciation, the wrong usage of words by stating “you can’t say that here” or “it is not possible in German to bring it across like you do in English" or just plain "heavens above, don’t try.” This is very confidence boosting. 

Makes you desperately want to rip your hair out. Perhaps wearing a mask would solve the apparent eye rolling I do when I yet again get given another helping hand comment. But my train of thought has been interrupted and often you feel so stupid inside, like a small child whom gets a spanking on the hand for being rude, you forget totally what you wanted to say. Though here I am, an adult having a rather decent grasp on my marbles, feeling slightly as if they are beginning to roll right out of the bag, due to a tear on the side.

Are you wondering how on earth I have survived twenty-six years living in Germany? Is being cynical one way? Maybe but I prefer simply to remember all I have learnt or taught myself about adjustment and survival over the years as leverage to moving forwards. I want to experience new adventures, meet new people and converse with them about our lives, dreams and hopes. To do this I need to communicate. If perhaps you feel the need to help me by correcting me, I will try to remember to be gracious about that. If you state I should "give up trying" well that term is unknown to me and so I will rethink how to go about phrasing my thoughts in a new way, so you better understand my needs. If you praise my efforts and help where you can I will embrace the light within you. If you take me as I am with hicks and dents then by George we can really be friends. 

I have had so many wonderful connections to people here who have and still do support me in reaching out in new vocabulary to relish the one object we are all living – life. They see me. They know my limits and their own. They are amazed a twenty-one year old would leave everything behind her: homeland, family and heritage to step into unknown waters of opening a restaurant in a land that speaks another language than her own. Wanting to have and raise a family with her husband in an environment totally foreign to. Then see her turn around to them twenty-six years down the track and call now where she is “home”.

One quote from Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian and Sufi mystics is my favourite for dealing with living here and thinking before speaking out: 

“Raise your words not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”

So it is that I think first weaving together my thoughts into words of whispers for growth into a more harmonious environment in which I want to exist. May perhaps you to, desire to step into this world with me, so we may live in harmony.

Your Korus

Monday, 7 October 2013

be careful

Be careful what you say,
It could come back to you 
one day.

You never know 
which part of you it is;
Who is out and about
telling you shit.

Looking at what you mumble
could be just another way, 
to hurt 
another part of you.

In a form
You had no intention;
For it to play out 
that way.

Your Korus

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Learning starts with ABC: Part one

So if two and two makes four what happens when misunderstanding comes knocking at my door? Do I try to retell the story with a new set of words? Or should I begin again along the same path, talking slower and raising my eyebrows for emphasis, hoping this time for a hit not a miss? It can be quite a headache to know what to do so I do not offend you.

Living in a foreign land does not seem to be problematic until you realize they speak another language, which entails not only words but facial expressions and body movements too.  All of a sudden what you thought you had grasped with five years of age – the basic “bless you” and “how do you do”; is not worth ten cents or a fathom here. A language is not only the accumulation of the average 1700 -2000 words (for a child it is 1500) that is the roughly given estimate of an adults vocabulary scope.  It is being able to place these together for communication and the acquiring of knowledge.  To do this I need a face to look at when speaking so as to judge if I am being understood. This is where the tricky part begins when you take on a second language or third or heavens above maybe a fourth.  Not always are you in a direct one to one contact being able to rely on expressions of the person in front of you, such as when one talks on the phone. For there everybody always speaks to fast anyway.

In the small area of land I live German is officially spoken with French and English being regularly verbally exchanged as well. There comes then on top Spanish, Italian, Turkish, Allemannisch, Swiss dialect and all the various local German versions of slang. It was strongly suggested when I first arrived that I should learn High German which is the equal to British English. High German is spoken in the schools and to be read on official documents here.  Not necessarily in daily life. I had walked into a village where the regional dialects have definitely an upper hand.  It would be like the Celtic or Welch English – it all stems from the one root but is Chinese to me. On top of that I live in an area known, as the “Three corners” where France, Switzerland and Germany meet in a panicle. So what I thought was High German, could actually be Swiss dialect or vice versa.

Then comes the alphabet. It has the ABCs; so we are talking 26 ISO basic Latin alphabet cardinal letters here like mine. It also has three diphthong vowel letters – “ä, ö, ü” - to which signs come over them creating a change in tone or sound when spoken. We have very few of these but an example would be “The first Noël” (Christmas carol) from the British English. Then add to that a double or sharp “ss” = “ß”.  The pronunciation of all these letters does not exist in the English language! The “W” in German sounds like “V” in English. The “V” in German sounds like “F” in English. Oh let’s not stop there as the vowels are said back to front compared to the English pronunciation. So whenever I see a written “e” I have to think to pronounce it as if it was an “a”; my brain honestly has still massive problems with this. Also there are long and short pronunciation variations depending if they precede multiple consonants. What is most scary here is the vowel length can actually make a difference in the word meaning!  Did I also say that the “S” in German sounds like a “Z” n English when placed at the beginning of a word, followed by a vowel? Still feel like learning a new language and expanding your horizons or are you already washed out from all this new information for embracing your long lost ancestral roots?

Believe me I screamed out often in frustration when I finally felt confident speaking out only to be given the cold shoulder or raised eye brow action for I was totally off the track with my words. Do not think just because English is spoken in my region it must not have really been that bad. I am exaggerating right? The English learnt here is a poor sacrifice for the eloquent formulation of words to seduce your opponent. It is taken from the hit charts and television shows that rely on more a shock/punch combination than tact. Take the word “horny” that was doing the rounds here as my daughter was in her teenage years singing to this new hit in 1998. Used by the young Germans to state they felt great or cool I often expanded my eyes wide when it came out in combinations that seemed just vulgar without her even knowing it, until I explained the English meaning. Actually then it had even more an enticing flavor to be “mouthed”!

I try not to always just see the one spot in front of me. There is a wide expanse of area to view in life. Look at the magnificent panorama that surrounds you for inspiration on the unlimited possibilities out there. Living in a foreign land is one way to stretch it in all directions. Expand your view - expand your life!

So where on earth do I go from here?

Your Korus 

Friday, 4 October 2013

a thought

If I have a thought
should I …

1. Share it

2. Act upon it

3.Do it

4. Live it

5. Tell you it

6. Forget it

Or handle it with care and
see where it takes me.

Your Korus 

my pathway

I am me
you are you
we can be there for one another
yet the steps I take
are only in my shoes

It is what you must realize
when I say we walk our own pathway
taking the turns that come
stumbling over the stones
or sticks alone 
no one pushes us
to get quickly by

cause it is our road alone
perhaps I could ask you
to step along it with me
then we can walk together
how would that be?

could you still be true to yourself
hold my hand only
not pull me along
could we have two lanes and
still not step upon 
one anothers toes?

I am me
you are you
walking together on parallel pathways
would be rather cool


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A thought turns into a word waiting to be heard

We have all heard so often said “think before you speak” or “be careful what you say for it bite come back to bite you one day” but do we actually take the advice of these colloquialisms when opening our mouth to exercise our vocal chords? We live in a form of emotional kindergarten here on earth, stumbling around giving punches and pulls to all we met, in the way of tit and tat. What we think needs not to be spat out straight away but rather acknowledged and thought over before allowing it to rule our day! Watch out what words you let out as air through your lips, they could slap you in the face if you do not take care. I learnt this the hard way.

As I was small I remember adults telling me how to speak in the manner they seemed to be always going on about as the appropriate way.  What I could not say, should not say but giving very little explanations on the reasons why. Even though I would ask over and over again they gave off a sharp “because that is just how it is” answer. This brought up the reaction within me of not needing to take notice, if they could not verify why. So I continued to land myself in the hot frying pan by stating how I saw the world in often rather blunt terms. I found no need to honey coat the facts as I saw them.  No one was doing that for me either.

In my early religious lessons, as I was told the story of Adam and Eve, I remember clearly stating that she was probably starving and needed the sugar from the apple to help her keep running around the garden of Eden to find something good to eat.  I did not see her as being naughty. I was told not to be blasphemous.  I was seven. I thought she was hungry and needed some food that was all.

I told often my parents friends when they visited and complained of life’s injustices that I agreed with them for “it is a shit” and could never understand why my mother said she would wash my mouth out with soap if I said the “s” word once again. I got even a worse reaction when I stated but you are all saying it stinks all the time so it must be shit. I lost my privilege of having the radio to myself on Sunday morning, to listen to the children’s story time. I was nine. I thought this was a term for having a stroke of bad luck that was all.

When I was an exchange student my girlfriends where discussing their brothers antics of tricking their parents into thinking he was home by curfew.  I stated he must have something “lushly growing on the side” for the need to be so dishonest. They thought I was referring to his in some way handling drugs because of his once smoking hash.  They felt highly offended that I would think he could be growing the stuff. I was sixteen. I thought he was just into sexual experimentation that was all.

Youthful examples of misunderstandings because of terms used, which were received in another context than given. I thought one thing and those hearing understood it to be another. This has continued also into my adult life but at least through trail and error I began to see a way of packaging what I thought into a softer version of my truth.

I need not tell you that you look gorgeous if your new hairdo would fit perfectly for the part of the wicked witch of the west. Yet I could perhaps state that you have been a game devil going for such a new style. You would then have the chance to tell me; “heavens above the hairdresser got totally the wrong end of the handle in understanding what I meant by a change!” My words have paved the way for me to be empathetic with you. I am forty-seven and slowly but surely learning to speak!

What happens though when I have a passion for a cause and it is opposing your opinion? Do I bite my tongue, swallow my words or just keep my lips shut tight? Or am I able from my life experience to find the means to show you my view, by giving you a platform to retain your integrity and still know my stand. If I am able to do this I help lay the ground for a new course of action, that could be taken by both parties, to forming a deeper connection to achieving a productive outcome.

That is what I feel is the magical essence of words used in the art of constructive placement. It is like weaving a tale or painting a picture that allows the listener or viewer to still feel I am honouring the true essence of the person residing within them. I may not find them right, polite, compassionate or even pleasant yet I have been brought into contact with this person for a reason. It would be a shame to misuse this opportunity, by myself being cruel or unkind with my statements. I might never get the chance again to express my true feelings in such a way that could cause a profound chance for just one human being let alone maybe more.

Though I will not back down from my sense of right or wrong. I will share with you my truth, which could be off the mark to yours. I will formulate and place my words loving together honouring my traditions, those of the land I live in and how I see the story to be told. For in telling you my view I am obliged to hear yours. You to will have the chance to formulate your words. I will listen too.

In speaking two languages in my daily life I have continuously the opportunity for a lot of “slip ups” as the usage of the English terms and those of the Germanic grammar is bound, as is with any language, to their own individual history, culture and humour.  These are oceans apart. Misunderstands can become commonplace if you refuse to place yourself in the others shoes and walk several miles in them. I have found that when I am taken out of context, the best reaction is immediate recertification otherwise the repercussions can be never ending. Better to clear the ground before continuing to sink more and more into the mud as my words create a continuous suction downwards.

Often I think if I could just bloody well say my mind and not give a fig what you thought and still get out of bed the next morning and greet you with a half lop sided smile and you would hug me back because you understood me to the tee then life would be grand indeed! I would thank god I am not the only weirdo on this planet cause at least I would be accepted for the person I am – me. Reality is different. One person’s sense of fun is another’s horror. One term that seems so harmless is for another profanity. Therefore I may still slip up at times by just saying it is so yet I intend no offence, I just wanted you to know it is how I see it while sitting up here on my fence.

Your Korus 

The Listener

The listener doesn’t need to hear For his soul is already attuned; To the sounds that encase him Like a blanket that fits, Snuggly over ...