Tag Archives: german

an international Thanksgiving

On Saturday evening, a group of friends gathered in my home for a Thanksgiving celebration, to reflect on the last year, give thanks together, and indulge in one fantastic meal.

The menu: pumpkin soup, mushroom bruschetta, roasted root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, black salsify, and leek), dried fig, cranberry, and walnut stuffing, onion, celery, and dried tomato stuffing, mashed potatoes, lamb stew, pumpkin mousse, and pear, ricotta, and honey tart.

Being the only American at the table, amongst a mix of Germans and Dutch, I gave a short history of the holiday and its roots. Inspired by our common residence of the Netherlands, I also told about some of the history of the pilgrims’ travels through Leiden and their Dutch neighbors that founded a colony at Manhattan. Celebrating away from home has never been sweeter.


dreaming auf Deutsch

Lately, bits of German have begun to peek through my dreams. After several years of studying the language, to have a phrase, sentence, even a conversation appear in my dreams feels like I have passed a sacred milestone. Looking a bit more into the link between language learning and dreams, I found this New York Times article, which reads:

“…dreamtime fluency is a metaphor for becoming an insider, someone for whom the language isn’t foreign and whose own nativeness is neither feat nor achievement; it just is, as natural as breathing.”

I wish I could say German is no longer foreign, but that probably won’t be the case for many years. One curious thing, until the last six months I have never thought about language consciously while dreaming – in what I assume was English, my native language. Something about the appearance of German in my dreams causes me to actually register the change. It’s an “Aha, this is something different, but I know it” moment. Strange, isn’t it? Do you speak any other languages? Have they ever appeared in your dreams? (image via)

Weekend Links #23

Weekend Links is a collection of the interesting bits and pieces that I’ve come across on the streets and online. The weekly post is my chance to share with you a few things from the week, in a list compiled during the weekend. I hope you enjoy them as well.

A few things I enjoyed last week:
1. Spotting these beautiful, curious etchings by Il Lee (via but does it float)
2. Attending the opening of photographer Anne Schwalbe‘s Blindschleiche und Riesenblatt exhibition at Foam
3. Reading this great post about life in a foreign country and the support of love. A familiar feeling
4. Watching the documentary Inside Job and the great editing of its familiar, but still sobering message
5. Starting to read Herr Lehmann, my first book in German

The demands of the mind

Weltschmerz is a German word meaning world-weariness and denotes the feeling by someone who understands that the physical world can never meet the demands of the mind. (via constant wanderlust)

After three years of studying German, I’m beginning to think it might just be one of the most poetic languages out there.

At The End

While browsing the lovely work on Derik’s blog, I was amused with the image that came at the end of each page: Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei (everything has an end, only the sausage has two).

Best ending ever.

Art in Motion

Smart Project Space has teamed up with Goethe Institut Amsterdam for a film series dedicated to German experimental film.

3 March
Bauhaus films experimented with color, shapes and music and were the result of a creative dialogue between the influential art movement and the new medium represented by cinema. Works by Werner Graeff, Heinrich Brocksieper, Kurt Kranz, Viking Eggeling, Hans Richter and Kurt Schwerdtfeger.

17 March
Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt (Berlin: Symphony of a Great City) & Melodie der Welt (Melody of the World)
Two films by Walter Ruttman, pioneer of modern multimedia art.

31 March
Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday)
A semi-documentary film by Robert Siodmak aims to experiment and thrive off of momentary improvisation.