Who is the Plumber?

We are storytellers. Not just we, the writers, but we, the humans. We put a story on and around everything and believe it to an astonishing degree. Stories also serve to simplify and understand a situation. It is overwhelming how different people would experience the same situation differently.

Often, people would have a distinct story ready for various listeners: One for the husband, one for the lover, and one for the stranger we want to impress. Like the Brussels plumber, he has a story of his life adapted to each client. Veronika will tell us, soon, about him.

There is also a time to go beyond any story. Continue reading

Posted in Katarina, Observing Brussels, The Plumber, Wings of Desire | Leave a comment

The Three Swans of 2022

Grateful to Silvia for inspiration and for the picture.

At the primary school, we learnt to write the number 2 visualizing the shape of a swan. I do not know why. To make the tedious repetitive task more appealing? A row of swans in my lined notebook, each one slightly different from another. The year 2022 has three swans in it. Swans are both graceful and menacing creatures; you do not want to swim too close to them. Even our Brittany Spaniard Maggie dog knew that, and she was an excellent swimmer and a water bird hunter by genes and reputation.

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Posted in Afraid no longer, Katarina, Life is simple | Leave a comment

Ma chambre bleue

Plongée dans une douce pénombre
Ma chambre prend une couleur bleue
toute seule, je n’ai pas peur des ombres
même s’il fait sombre quand il pleut



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Turn the Oven Off

Story inspired by Tami Afta’s picture shown here

Outtake from the series “The Dog’s in the Car”, 2019
© British Journal of Photography

Pam had been married to Roger for over 25 years now and they had become what is mostly known as a typical old couple. They knew each other so well that they were usually able to guess what the other one was thinking before he or she even uttered the first word. This resulted in them actually no longer talking, as there was no more surprise or use to communicating really; everything had been said. Continue reading

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Les trois inséparables

Au fond de mon tiroir se cache une photo de trois dames d’un certain âge souriant à un bébé. Je scrute leurs visages, sans les reconnaître d’abord. Finalement, un vieux souvenir remonte à la surface de ma mémoire. Évidemment, ce sont les amies bruxelloises de ma grand-mère ! Les trois inséparables, comme on les appelait. Tellement inséparables qu’elles partagèrent le même homme dans leur vie. Une histoire incroyable. Son nom à lui ne me revient pas mais je vais l’appeler Roger. C’est un nom tout à fait convenable pour un jeune homme appelé à combattre dans les rangs de l’armée belge en 1914.

À l’époque, les trois amies ­ Édith, Germaine et Marguerite ­ avaient 18 ans et étaient fraîchement fiancées. Il faut dire que l’arrivée de la guerre précipita bon nombre de fiançailles, sans doute pour donner aux futurs soldats une lueur d’espoir, la promesse étincelante d’une vie meilleure avant d’être envoyés à la mort. Et une raison pour revenir des champs de bataille. Continue reading

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