Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud

We sang my mother-in-law’s favorite song at her funeral: Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud, with a text by Paul Gerhardt (1656) and music by August Harder (1813). Her heaven is full of birds and flowers. Who needs angels when you have nightingales? RIP dear Heidi. Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud 1. […]

Kleiner, uralter Gott – Ancient little god

In a week we’ll be burying my mother’s ashes on Drummond. We’ve decided to read some of her poems, with a translation into English. She published a volume of them in the Wilhelm Andermann Verlag in Vienna in 1944 when she was 21; a miracle, since paper was so rare towards the end of the […]

My dad

My dad died 15 years ago yesterday. He came down with Parkinson and diabetes just as I was finishing school in 1981. That very long summer, from May to September, I got a job at the company he’d begun working for a few years earlier, a big computer consultancy, and had the fun of commuting […]

Question: What role do elderly parents play in your life? Play in new window | DownloadMy mother died last week, and I’m mourning and thinking back. When I decided to stay here in Germany, an ocean away, I automatically decided against sharing her day-to-day life and being there to help her with her big and small needs. Not being there has felt morally wrong, […]


Gertrud Berninger (written ca. 1943-5) Das Kinderzimmer gelb und blau, der Mann im Mond, die Nebelfrau und rosenrote Tapeten; zubettegehn beim Angelus den jeder Christ beten muß, den frühen und den späten. Den frühen und den späten: er ruft nicht einen Jeden, das haben wir gelernt. Die Nacht war mit Kometen, mit Glanz und Glück […]