According to an old nordic belief, the wolves swallowed the sun on the longest night of the year. And even though when it comes to politics (and wolves), one should refrain from metaphor, it does feel these days as if the wolves are howling at our collective doors. The keepers of the light are people like Burkhardt Jung, mayor of Leipzig, Jean Claude Distel, mayor of Thal-Marmoutier in Alsace, France, Nicole Froelich, of the Green Party in Darmstadt, Pierre Serne, a local politician in Paris, and of course the Hesse politician Walter Lübcke, murdered by a Neo-Nazi earlier this year. All of them, and many more like them, stand for human rights despite threats and attacks from right-wing extremists. Their courage lights up this Modranecht, as this night was called in Old High German, the Mothernight that marks the return of the sun.
Lately I've begun to teach myself lullabies from around the world, and the tragic worldview many of them seem to espouse is a reminder that they often are conversations adults--mostly mothers--have with themselves as they sing their child to sleep. Here's the Yiddish song "Schlof main fegele", "Sleep my little bird", in which the mother begs the child to be healthy and have sweet dreams. Now that the child is young, she says, it's still possible to sleep easy and to laugh at the world. Click on the button if you want to hear my very simple rendition of this beautiful song.
A little about myself:
Hello there and thank you for visiting my website! I have lived in Spain, Mexico, France and the United States, but now make my home in Germany. I have a Ph.D. in Literary Studies and a Master's in TESOL, and have published several books for children, among them El Loro Tico Tango and El Fandango de Lola, a 2012 Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book. As a writer and an artist I'm in constant conversation with my own anxious mind even as I celebrate the joyful possibilities of our crazy, incomprehensible world.