On rare occasions in our lives, we become keenly aware of past turning points, or even better, present turning points as we make “the” turn. It seems to me, right now at this moment, every person I speak to has expressed that they/she/he is feeling the shift. So maybe so many months of living under pandemic have finally caught up to crack the code for many of us. Or maybe not. I am not sure.
The act of turning a corner in itself is neither good nor bad. It’s just a simple action. We only add unique meaning to the “turn” later down the road when we find the destination to which the “turn” has taken us. Along the way, some geographical locations, certain inner feelings, artifacts that happen to be in our hands, and the people we encounter become the benchmark and reference points.
Currently, our family is visiting Frido’s family in Hamburg, Germany. After two years, coming back to the same flat to live in has helped me synthesize a connection I never made before. Staying here, a ten minutes bike ride away from Frido’s parents has always created a unique void of time for me as a mom since our girls spend a lot of time visiting their grandparents without me. In the last 11 years of parenthood, I don’t believe I have ever experienced this much open space for myself. On the one hand, I always loved having this time because I spent significantly more time on Baum-kuchen-related projects. One year, I updated the entire BK website while staying in Hamburg. Another year, I did a lot of filming and editing. Creatively, my cup never drained empty. I could always find the next project I wanted to work on. Yet, at the same time, the vacuum of time seemed to trigger so much more in my inner world. It was almost like, in the deepest quietness, someone was constantly whispering in my ears that I needed to face the matter I had avoided for so long. When we were staying in Hamburg last time, I once again tried to avoid hearing those whispers I was never ready to deal with. Until one night, I felt being at rock bottom and texted my dear friend in California and asked for a referral for a therapist. I still vividly remember the darkness of the night and my 3 am text message to my friend. That was my turning point.
Today, I am back in the same spot, and I acknowledge my openness to the same vacuum of time that used to trigger more. I know that the quietness hasn’t changed, but I changed.
In this love letter, I am excited to celebrate the significant turning points of our BK friends. Please join me to celebrate the publication of A.C.’s first graphic novel EIGHTY DAYS. Their story inspires me to write more because they share the vulnerable turning points they experienced during the last seven years of working on this book. Trina shares her family’s incredible milestone as she sends off her first-born son to college to "let him grow". I hope Frido’s story about “Failfast Prototyping” encourages you to make many turning points as you see fit. Don’t be afraid to pivot. Know it’s okay to course-correct as you make your small trial turns. And I wonder if the new BK artifacts “Addition” and “Subtraction” will become visual benchmarks of your turning points on your journal spreads, as Emil’s design story suggests.
At this very moment, I am enjoying a beautiful cup of tea in our flat by myself, a hot water bottle on my lap, watching the changing weather outside of a large window facing tall trees and open space. I notice that my ideas and thoughts during this travel have more inertia than any other projects I worked on during our previous stays here. The last two years have not been without tears, but the turns I made here two years ago have proven to direct me to a path that offers more light and openness in my heart. Maybe “here now” is another turning point I am just about to make.
always a work in progress...
in the misty and green Hamburg, Germany // September 1st, 2021
**This is from our BK Love Letter for September 2021. If you would like to see the entire love letter we sent to our community, you can browse it via this link.