a pet American?!

(last weekend)

When Valére mentioned locking me in the cellar I knew it was really time to leave!
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We spent a couple of hours walking through the Middelheim Sculpture Park, talking mostly about history. In Europe, this involves talking about (and sometimes re-living) elements, aspects, fallout, and memories of war. The abstract violence that I had some dim … Read more...

Happy Obama Year!


Smog threatened to conceal our twelfth floor view of fireworks. Missing the bitter cold wind of winter was not something I expected to feel! I have toughened up a bit by now – thankfully – just in time for real winter. I’m able to be outside for brief periods without wrapping myself like a mummy in seventeen layers. (Emphasis … Read more...

lessons in patience (“so many kinds of mirrors”)

Soul Inn
Delft, Holland

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It occurs to me that I have an occasionally-troubled relationship with time. The patience of the Dutch impresses me: the decades and generations, for instance, of carefully reclaiming land from the sea. The paintings of Johannes Vermeer and the woodcuts and lithographs by M.C. Escher, bespeak a lifetime of deeply-responsive and engaged living. Vermeer, we … Read more...

Winterzonnewende: great and peaceful


Reflexivity got scooped! Alyssa describes her experience of last night’s Winter Solstice event:

“every ethnomusicological molecule in my body was buzzing.”

My molecules are still buzzing today. ­čÖé Talk about an infusion of goodwill and high spirits to draw back the sun! Mahtab expresses exactly how I feel:

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Alyssa’s summary is terrific – read hers first (why not?!); she … Read more...

Het verbazen!

“Mahmoud is een wonder!” Anne teased him at the moment when comprehension dawned: the lightbulb went off and Mahmoud got it: heel goed! I can tell you that I need a few more miracles if I am going to pass de examen in Januari.
I agree with Amin, who said “remembering” when we were discussing our various challenges with … Read more...

“it must be unforgettable!”

on the train from Luxembourg-Brussels
9 December 2008

Fog shrouded my arrival in Luxembourg, persisting through the first day. The second morning dawned grey but sparkling.

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What a treat to listen through headphones to an interpretation into English of Professor Joanna Nowicki‘s talk on intercultural communication, or – as she prefers to label it – intercultural mediation. Her critique … Read more...

Hoe spel je dat?

During our third Flemish class, Marsi found out how old I am. “My mother is one year younger than you,” she told me. “Next year – funeral or what?” she continued. “What kind of flowers do you like?” Possibly all of the women in class besides me are here because they are married or engaged to a Belgian. Today there … Read more...

a chance for change


23:30 pm, November 4: My colleagues (ahem) made up in a single evening, all the time that I’ve been late to events so far this year. It was nice that most of them eventually did arrive! ­čśë Volunteering at the American Club‘s election eve event was the way to go; at least we were guaranteed entrance! … Read more...

expressing the inexpressible

Trevize is grumpy as hell that he’s chosen Gaia – a superorganism – instead of either the technologically-superior First Foundation or the “mentalic” (psychosocial scientifically advanced) Second Foundation as the future of humankind.

The moment of coincidence took my breath away. I opened Isaac Asimov’s fifth book in The Foundation Series, thinking I would start to read it for a … Read more...

transdisciplinary micro-macrology

The Fulbright Commission celebrated sixty years in Belgium and Luxembourg with a prestigious academic panel at the Palais de Academie in Bruxelles. I got to tag along with the more recent Schumann-Fulbright program that sponsors study of European Union institutions.
Professor Francis Balace complemented the education I gleaned a few days earlier at the Atomium’s fiftieth anniversary exhibition by describing … Read more...