This weekend, during a short roadtrip to the Swabian Jura. I not only marveled once more at how the bleeding heart, originating in China and brought to Europe by “my” botanist Robert Fortune around the middle of the nineteenth century, has become so typical for German cottage gardens.

I also thought about how this flower with its tiny tongues or flames (therefore sometimes also called flaming heart in German) corresponds with the spirit of Pentecost, for me the feast of inspiration and creativity, of a fresh wind and new beginnings. Especially this year, on the first pages of the next novel while brooding over new projects.

The power of creation, in every sense.


Book Nostalgia

Over the years, I’ve read several novels by Herman Wouk, but this one holds a special place in my heart.

Back when I was a teen, it was a favorite of both my mother’s and mine, countless times we used to borrow this 1983 edition from our local library. Mostly in summer, as it seems in hindsight. Endless and hot summers, at least that’s how I remember them, and sometimes we discussed Marjorie Morningstar well into the night. Without ever reaching common ground, we were like fire and water.

When I was eighteen, my mother died. Not long afterwards, I managed to get hold of this – our – copy at the local library’s sale.

I haven’t read it ever since. But it still is one of my most precious treasures.