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Unthinkable – rethinkable by Misha Lyuve

Jul 10, 2011

My trip to Germany started in Heidenberg. I chose it for a stopover on a trip between Frankfurt airport and Gernsbach (where the wedding would take place) because the guide said that it was one of a few larger inner cities that wasn’t destroyed during World War 2 allied bombing: the war which is far enough in the past to be called history, and close enough to still be fresh for many.  

Heidelberg, the view from the castle

Heidelberg, the view from the castle

Cozy old streets, manicured buildings and friendly locals – it is hard to imagine that less than 70 years ago a generation of a nation here was participating in atrocities. It doesn’t take much to judge the past, but all I hope is that if I were born at that time and place, and breathed the air they breathed, I wouldn’t have done any of the horrible things – but how would I know?  

…The Jewish bride and the German groom signed their marriage contract in the old building of Gernsbach city hall. And all the guests threw rice and rose petals at the newlywed couple as they arrived to Schloß Eberstein castle, where the rest of the party took place. And according to a Jewsish tradition, the broom broke a glass, this time against XIII century cobblestones, and the guests yelled mazel tov. And then we ate, drank and danced, and fraulines mixed in with aunts from Israel and lehaims with prosts.  


And I thought of the places in the world that bleed nowadays and might seem without hope. And how what was unthinkable not that long ago, right now is taken for granted. And what an effort for us to see what’s possible in an unthinkable now.

Absorbing kiwi beauty by Misha Lyuve

Mar 7, 2011

If one is looking for beauty, nature could be a shortcut. And New Zealand, where I am traveling now, is really one big nature park with few people living there.

Abel Tasman park combines two of my favorite things, mountains and the beaches: as you climb up the hill, there are magnificent views of a bay or two with misty mountains merging with the clouds in the background, and as you go down there are golden sand beaches, sea shells and tidal lakes and rivers.

And there also is sky, very different from my side of the world with big shiny stars and little ones that look like spilled sugar; and then the clouds, and the birds, and the flowers — and I am trying to sink all this beauty in and make an imprint on my consciousness as hard as I can, so that I could hold on to this feeling of beauty and freedom when I am back in New York city, that is still recovering from the winter.

The year of dancing monks by Misha Lyuve

Jan 2, 2011

I know how to start a new year setting up goals and building out plans; and those quickly lead to a busy life with lots to do and likely many accomplishments.

A few months back traveling in Bhutan, I got to witness and even a little taste of a different kind of life. Bhutan is considered one of the least developed countries in the world, but don’t be fooled: those people are incredible advanced. You can see it in how they design their homes and villages; and a very low crime rate; and no beggars (mind it is just an hour flight from Delhi); but there are hospitals and schools in every urban center we passed (I even got a treatment for my back and at no charge).

And there are endless mountain peaks, and a very windy road (for the most part one-lane, but with very very gracious drivers), and little children running around till late (with no concern for safety), and our guide’s passion for his country and orchids, and very old and very new buddhist monasteries sometimes off the beaten track. And there are dancing monks…

And there was a moment during the trip when I knew harmony in a new way. Harmony as a value of life; a value that precedes goals, plans and accomplishments.

Hello 2011: the year of dancing monks.