This year Easter happens to be on my birthday.
Two more details can be added to the unusual circumstances of my birth on Easter Sunday April 16, 1933, at 9am. The church bells were ringing. It was also my father’s birthday. This year is only the second time that I can celebrate my birthday on Easter. Pope Benedict’s birthday is also on Easter and he says it best in his Urbi et Orbi: You can’t keep joy for yourself; you have to pass it on.
Lets go back about 100 years. In 1900 the Kaiser government decided to keep spelling and pronunciation better in line. My father was born on April 16, 1901. His name was entered in the church records as Heinrich Clusener. Two years later his brother’s name was entered as Karl Klusener.
I started School in 1939 learning the German or Gothic alphabet. In 1941 the Latin alphabet became standard. Long s, round s and z were reconfigured to a s and s/z. In addition Hitler’s government wanted people to prove their Arian ancestry. Church records were consulted and my parents switched back to the original spelling.
Approaching the year 2000 the German government felt another reform was due, but this time the Germans balked. In America a greater need for such a reform exists, but one can say with Goethe:
Amerika, du hast es besser (America, you have it better)
“Amerika, du hast es besser
Als unser Kontinent, der alte,
Hast keine verfallen Schlösser
Und keine Basalte.
Dich stört nicht im Innern
Zu lebendiger Zeit
Und vergeblicher Streit.”
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
What would Goethe have said had he experienced the artist Christo’s “The Gates” in New York’s Central Park? The happening coincided with my venturing into trying to get a handle on Pop Art.
I spend my entire carrier with measurements in thermal physical properties. Entropy is a term used in thermodynamics. Lately the term is also applied in other fields such as art.
One knows already early in life which art has appeal for you, but the information content of art as one sees it expands steadily over a lifetime and it is limitless. The beauty of the entropy concept is that it frames art by 0 and 1, order and disorder, banal and chaos or originality and it sharpens awareness.
They said you have to walk through this art, and that is what we did on three separate weekends and shared the joy with people from all over the world.
This concludes my thoughts from New York.
We hope this letter reaches you in good spirits.
The Star Magnolia Tree was a present for my 50th Birthday. It has been blooming on my birthday every year.