Schrijver, vertaler en redacteur Carolina Pihelgas uit UNESCO City of Literature Tartu, Estland is een maand als writer-in-residence in Leeuwarden. Lees hier wat ze in onze stad meemaakt.

Easter, and what’s inside

On Easter Sunday it was not just roosters crowing, but also to kind of fun fair sounds that reached across the canal in the morning: merry laughing, and hollering. We went with my daughter to Kinderbrouwerij to look for Easter eggs. There was a crowd of people: parents running after their children, children running after each other in their rubber boots, and chicken trying to escape all the madness. Two easter bunnies let us in to the chicken yard to look for a chocolate egg, whilst a teenager was trying to do his best to hide the colourful treasures in the relatively empty space. He was doing well: children were chasing him. Looking at the bright blue chocolate egg, my daughter asked: What’s inside there?

The day continued with spoken word and music in The Markies. The afternoon sun was warm, and everyone seemed relaxed, having drinks on the terrace. Inside there were pink lights, Mees was reading poems and dj-s playing queer country music. I met up with Anna, an Estonian writer who has been living in Leeuwarden for one and half years and is writing a book about work. We were discussing the dynamics of work, the meaning to it, why we work, what’s inside of the concept of work.

I’d recently just happened also to visit an exhibition by Estonian artist Katja Novitskova in the Fries Museum. She is also residing in the Netherlands, and her work revolves around ecology and technology. The exhibition, which is hidden on the upmost floor, explores microorganisms and stills from wildlife cameras, databases and clay tablets, the installations prompting to ask what’s inside of datasets, of algorithms – could there be poetry as well?

But the city in the evening of Easter Monday is so quiet. Hardly any people about. The rain glistens shyly on the pavement and only a few lights are lit in the apartments. I’m thinking of Obe Postma’s poem about looking at a house (“Did I ever stare so steadily at a farm”), and wondering, what kind of stories are billowing in here. I’m not quite sure what the answer is, but it could be very well a subject of a poem.