Heidi Trautmann

Heidi Trautmann Column 21 - Let’s talk about culture and…let’s celebrate everyday life


Artist friend Ruzen Atakan once said to me: it is not enough to make art, you must live art; and by the author Ernst Fischer there is a similar quote: I don’t want life to imitate art but I want life to be art.

It is a life style, has nothing to do with a sophisticated or fine life style and cannot be acquired with money, it is rather a philosophy, an attitude. You can be very happy in a small hut and very unhappy in a luxury villa, it all depends on your own attitude. It is not the surrounding that makes us happy or unhappy, it is how comfortable we make the small room our soul and our feelings live in that decides our everyday life.

We must live as if each day would bring something exciting, we must always be alert and ready to recognize it. I love getting up very early before daylight, have a hot shower and a rub down with a rough glove to make my blood circulate, then choose the colour I am going to wear, brush my teeth and only then I look into the mirror to have a friendly face opposite me and to offer to my husband. I enjoy the early morning hour to do some work on the computer, with a good cup of coffee until the sun sends its first light onto the world just outside my window. It is so quiet and peaceful around me and inside myself.

A little later I prepare breakfast and decorate the table nicely, get some flowers and fruit from the garden, put on some music and ring the bell. If it is a rainy day, I light some candles and select a more cheerful music. This procedure of the early morning is very important, especially for people who live alone, because the coincidental reflection of your face in the window glass or a mirror might cause you to smile in response, because you like yourself. Just imagine you feel lousy and grouchy, wrapped in an old morning gown around your shoulders with old slippers on your feet and you go and feed yourself from the fridge, you will not like yourself when you look into the mirror. What you want is a nice base for your day to start from. Your position in front of problems will be healthy and calm, and people you have to deal with will open their minds and hearts more easily to you or the project ahead.

Ruzen Atakan, the artist I mentioned before, is an art teacher appreciated by her students:  she not only teaches them art but to read the right books, she awakens their interest for refined language, to wear the right colours, she recommends good films and good music.

I think that teaching children consciousness of the body and its language will help them later in life; also to teach them the proper use of their senses. I will never forget the story, a photographer told me how he taught his students photography. He gave them an orange to photograph; the students said: so what, it is an orange. The teacher took the orange and said: you must first squeeze it, smell it and then photograph it.

That tells us something. We have been given senses to fully use them when going through our daily life, to discover the smell of a flower, to admire the structure of a tree, the song of a bird, the beauty of a spider net, or the concert of crickets or frogs in summer, or even the dingaling invitation of the ice cream man passing by in his car. All these things create an atmosphere for us, prepare the stage of our everyday life, we are not lonely, and we can build up a treasure we can live from when we are in need.

Then, when shopping for our dinner, we select the details carefully, not using deep frozen finished or canned food but fresh; it does take so little to prepare a good simple meal and make it taste delicious with a little care. While you prepare the dinner, put on some nice music and lay the table nicely again, and whoever joins you for dinner will feel like an honoured guest. It is nice to change for the evening, something to feel comfortable in but still nice looking, for example a kaftan, don’t sit down with the sweatshirt on you did your garden work in. Don’t sit down to dinner with your head full of problems, think of something nice to go over or discuss with your partner, make it a discipline. After dinner you could look at old photo albums or slides, just to make you laugh together instead of switching the TV set on; or you have a look at the evening sky and polish up your knowledge of star signs.

Try to be aware of things and people when you go through your daily routine. Listen to the music around you, the wind, the small noises, listen to people what they have to say and try to understand, you will learn of a new universe. The better we can receive the better we can give. That is best quality of everyday life which we should celebrate.


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