1.04.2016

Leuven Gallery: At Night


The black and white well suits the windly ghosts wrestling my soul. I can't call them thoughts because they are not reasonable. They are blind desire. 
I walk the night in Leuven looking forward to a new more defined day, surrounded by shadows, more surrendered than affraid. They are my ghosts, I know them: the first one's name is "Nobody Love Me", the second one's is "I Must Be Perfect", then "I don't Care" comes and "I'll do This For You". Just to name a few. 
Tonight they are fat and heavy. My fault: I fed them too much. It's time to skip a sleep and to let them dance. 
.............
Belive me, this was the mood in Leuven. It sounds strange now because it's gone and you can hardly be objective about the way you felt. 
I left Florence in a miserable condition and am back in high spirit. Breathing freedom always heals me. Still in Leuven I was nervous and distressed, expecting too much by myself and by the life. As always! 
Expecting nothing, that should be right, but it's a very hard point to mantain. 
So I was walking in a festive beautiful city seeing nothing but myself when the light and shadow show captured my attention and I went lost with it. 
I knew Leuven for his ancient University, The Catholic, founded in 1425, but the city has got a long history. In 891 a Viking army was defeated by the Frankish king Arnulf of Carinthia in the 'battle of Leuven', and that's the first time its name appeares in a document. But the town of course was already there, rich and industrious. Its cloth manufacture was so popular "that ordinary linen cloth is known in late-14th-century and 15th-century texts as lewyn (other spellings: Leuwyn, Levyne, Lewan(e), Lovanium, Louvain)".
Then Leuven is famous for its beer. "In the 18th century the brewery Den Horen (meaning "the horn") flourished. In 1708 Sebastien Artois became the master brewer at Den Horen, and gave his name to the brewery in 1717." That's what we know as Stella Artois. But in Leuven I prefered to drink a Trappist!
The World Wars didn't spare the city, in 1914 when the German Army entered Leuven, "some German soldiers shot the burgomaster, the university rector and all of the city's police officers. In all, about 300 civilians lost their lives.The university library was also destroyed on 25 August 1914, using petrol and incendiary pastilles. 230,000 volumes were lost in the destruction, including Gothic and Renaissance manuscripts, a collection of 750 medieval manuscripts, and more than 1,000 incunabula (books printed before 1501)." A shocking barbaric crime against humanity and culture we should remember, but we don't.
Rebuilt by Whitney Warren the new Univeristy was opened on 4 July 1928.
In 1940, during World War II the German Army assaulted the Leuven "with heavy air and artillery support. The British withdrew their forces to the River Senne on the night of 16 May and the town was occupied the next day. The new university library building was set on fire by shelling on 16 May and nearly a million books were lost." [Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leuven].
Ghosts, ghosts... not just mine. In the night of Leuven, when in Leuven was the darkest night, only lightened by the University on fire... We should remember and still we don't!

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