Eirys X Files #1 – July Children

After sending out the first issue of my new email newsletter, the Eirys X Files, I realised that it won’t be likely for any new subscribers to find me if I don’t put the content out in public, at least at the beginning, as long as things don’t get too personal.

So, without further ado…

Hello World (again)!

It’s been a while that I sent out something into the wider world. But I had missed it; and I don’t like the idea of the daily grind taking over my whole life.

The same is true for summer – it’s July now, the month of my birthday, the midst of summer and usually my favourite time of year.

I used to live for summer. I still do, but somehow each summer seems to rush by nowadays. Where has the magic gone? And no, it’s not because I live in a rooftop flat that tends to get a bit too toasty whenever the temperature rises. The magic somehow got swallowed up by a mundane life that doesn’t know a true summer break anymore, only to-do lists.

My favourite poem is called Julikinder (July Children) and it’s by Hermann Hesse, published in 1911. I don’t just love it because, like Hesse, I’m a Julikind myself, but because it tells me: Live your life like a hot, exuberant, never-ending summer night. (Preferably with poppies in your hands.)

Here’s the poem and my try at a translation (sadly, the rhymes got lost on their way):


Wir Kinder im Juli geboren
Lieben den Duft des weißen Jasmin,
Wir wandern an blühenden Gärten hin
Still und in schwere Träume verloren.

Unser Bruder ist der scharlachne Mohn,
Der brennt in flackernden, roten Schauern
Im Ährenfeld und auf den heißen Mauern,
Dann treibt seine Blätter der Wind davon.

Wie ein Julinacht will unser Leben
Traumbeladen seinen Reigen vollenden,
Träumen und heißen Erntefesten ergeben,
Kränze von Ähren und rotem Mohn in den Händen.

July Children

We children born in July
Love the scent of white jasmine,
We wander by blossoming gardens,
Silent and lost in deep dreams.

Our brothers are the scarlet poppies,
That burn in flickering red showers
In cornfields and on hot stonewalls,
Then the wind blows their petals away.

Like a night in July our life wants to
Complete its dance laden with dreams,
Surrendered to dreams and hot harvest feasts,
Wreaths of ears and red poppies in its hands.

It’s a much-needed reminder for me. Maybe for you, too?

(And I’ve just remembered that my all-time favourite German film happens to be ‘In July’ – a magical road trip story about coming out of your shell, going for what you want and living your life with passion, as well as probably the most beautiful declaration of love in cinematic history! Hmmm…)

Tidbits of Magic

Some things I’ve come across last month…

July is astrological Cancer season, and in a similar vein as Hesse’s poem above, it’s all about our “secret emotional treasures at violet-colored midnight hour” (love the catwalk looks, too).

My favourite Instagram picture of June was a cinemagraph by Jamie Beck called Afternoon with Goldfishpart of her #provencecinemagraphs series.

I’m hoping to make it to Arles, Provence before the end of September for the Rencontres de la photographie festival, as I’d really love to see Audrey Tautou’s work there.

Lucy Sparrow, someone I was already aware of as an artist, did it again and opened a ‘Convenience Store’ where literally everything was made of felt. You really need to see the pictures. This most recent exhibition is closed now, but I can’t wait to see what she’ll come up with next. (And I had no idea that a while back there even was a felt sex shop!)

Not from last month, but something I’ve come across again and just had to include: To Scale: The Solar System is a short film about a group of friends that build a scale model of the solar system in a Nevada lakebed, calling it “a true illustration of our place in the universe”.

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