Wanderjahre (Journeyman years) – Lion Hearts IX

Studio Portrait by Mayumi Acosta Photography

* Wanderjahre: Journeyman years, after successfully completing the training, a time to go out into the world and gain life experience. Then follows the Master test.


Lion 10!
Aviator in town,
A tribute to the Night Witches, “Unknown Soldier” and to Darkwood:
Family, mother
Miracles and other wonders
Gallery continued


It has been seven years since the day of Rob Nanninga’s passing. Extremely good, transformative Lion Hearts times followed, and my another-Davis-relationship with Rob Nanninga still burns unabated.

Living without roommates since the start of the pandemic, I remained in one of the two small rooms until the small space started to creep up on me and in March 2021, I moved into the large Master bedroom with a new bed and more space … for a tenth inner crew Rob Nanninga lion!

Lion 10

The magical number 10 arrived on March 30, 2021.

“Number” 10 has a very well-filled, soothing, treasure-like chest. The random picker’s choice from preselected names was immediately okayed by the Cosmos with another magic somersault in complete synchronicity:

Aviator in town! Darkwood and Henryk Vogel

Darkwood came highly recommended to me by Rob Nanninga, and Rob even suggested to start a German Darkwood Wikipedia sub, because he knew I am a Germanist. I felt too insecure at the time, so I didn’t. I did start the Darkwood Twitter account Notwendfeuer in February 2021. Vogel knows about it, I am not sure Henryk does though ( just kidding).

Some very striking events occurred from November 2020 up till now. At the end of November 2020, I sent Henryk of Darkwood an email again for the first time since 2014.
In 2014, I had this brief, warm email exchange with Henryk Vogel of Darkwood about the lyrics of “Fliegergedicht” because they were wanted for Rob Nanninga’s In Memoriam booklet. After that, events surrounding Rob’s passing completely absorbed me and culminated in the divorce of my now ex. A strange, almost Goethesk, Wanderweg (winding road) began.

Not all who wander are lost

Omitting all the details, I thought I had made contact with Henryk Vogel of Darkwood through LinkedIn too, and a considerable misunderstanding rolled out thereof from December 2020 to February 2021. The wandering astray in a true dark wood can in my opinion be linked to the fact that creative minds like mine have a tendency to exaltation and strong susceptibility to cosmic interventions creating deep, entangled-souls, events.

The Henryk Vogel of Dresden I was talking to, via LinkedIn at first, was not the Henryk Vogel of Darkwood, also living in Dresden! This very witty, talented, civilized, warm-hearted other Henryk Vogel is about the same age as Henryk of Darkwood, and in my opinion could be his twin brother.
The other Henryk Vogel and I had and still have a very agreeable, far-distance communication, but in February 2021 things to me felt increasingly tense, because I didn’t know if he was indeed Henryk of Darkwood and I didn’t dare ask him for a while. That was surely a lesson to be learned!

The case for afterlife gained momentum when Rob Nanninga alerted me about the mixup. A lamp bulb on a long wire in my night cabinet, nowhere within my arm’s reach, crashed out of the blue at a crucial communication point with the other Henryk Vogel, shattering on the ground with the loud bang of many glass shards. I always felt that Darkwood’s song “Dream of Flowers” describes Rob’s passing. The song mentions “broken glass“. Rob was trying to get my attention: “This is not Darkwood’s Henryk Vogel!” I believe Rob and I are on the same page about Henryk Vogel of Darkwood being our soulmate. But there is much more, I believe, to the other Henryk Vogel too!

Commemorative plaque at the birthplace of Melli Beese in Dresden-Laubegast. The inscription reads “Birthplace of the first German female airplane pilot.” (Text Wikipedia)

When I finally dared to ask: “Are you Henryk of Darkwood?”, I already feared what the answer would be. Consequently, I again turned to Henryk of Darkwood in February 2021, because I still felt I needed to reach out to Rob’s and my soulmate.

The Neofolk Darkwood band often sings about War and Peace, about aviators and soldiers, and the album “Schicksalsfahrt” proudly sings the historic aviator theme. Aviator signs were already silently entering Lion Hearts, long before I reconnected with Henryk Vogel of Darkwood. Whiskers, Lion, created by the Leonard Cheshire Cornwall Foundation, after the famous British, Second World War aviator and bomber pilot Leonard Cheshire. had already, by mystical, kindred souls gathering, entered the Rob Nanninga Lions Pride in 2016.

More related tweets:

As I grew even more inspired by the atmospheric Darkwood Lagerfeuer-songs,

Where it all started

I ordered their pilot shirt and army bag, and the idea of a Darkwood-themed photoshoot sparked to life. Out of the blue, I thought: I will be a female, Russian, Second World War bomber pilot, not realizing those, female Russian bomber pilots, actually existed and even were exclusively Russian. Nazi Germans for example were against any female involvement in the war, as they thought of women only as upgraded incubators.
Having read many books about the Second Word War already, I can’t remember coming across the Russian Nachthexen. I occasionally get the question if I am Russian, hence the idea of “Russian”. I started reading books about British and Russian WWII bomber pilots and became intrigued.
The Nachthexen, mostly still girls and young women (aged 17-22), flying PO2s, old training Polikarpov Po-2 biplanes, with navigation tools both in the front and in the back of the airplane, were looked upon with fear by Nazi-Germans because they, against all odds in a male dominated society, became crucial Soviet assets to winning World War Two. With the Messerschmitts, the Germans had superior Krieg (war) utilities, so the Russians had to become creative.

Messerschmitt Bf 109

The PO2s were used at night, with rather primitively attached bombs, no more than two bombs for each flight, so the Night Witches had to return base many times every night to reload. In this way, the daring women were disturbing and harassing the Nazis in their much needed night rest.

They flew at very low heights, almost touching the German barracks with their wingtips, sometimes even with the engines switched off for the surprise effect, and, as thieves in the night, dropping bombs on the unsuspecting Germans.

The WWII female Russian bomber pilot shoot flame was also kindled by Rob Nanninga’s love for roleplaying, which I had discovered after his passing in the “astral realms”. A lifelong seasoned “astral” traveler myself, I feel I have both overlapping Night Witches character traits ánd nightly experiences.

Slightly related, nice

A tribute to the Night Witches, “Unknown Soldier” and to Darkwood

Click and swipe:

Family, mother

My sister Francine will be publishing a book this Fall about my mother Marie Thérèse (6-6-1931 – 7-8-2014) in and after the Second World War.

My mother Marie Thérèse Postmes and my father Joris Oomen in the post-war years

Thus opens another pathway to the Second World War! Always so very close to my mom, I realized something was off that day that I had been talking to her. One day, she burst into tears, talking to me about her brothers and the catholic church in the Second World War. She lived in Maastricht in that time. While crying bitter tears, she managed to bring out, “They bullied me, Stan. They treated me badly. I’ve had a bad life.” I tried to wring out more, to no avail, she shut down, to never open up again. My mother Thérèse, the living and breathing conscienceless of social desirability, chose to keep all her demons, of which we knew nothing, to herself. Consequently, I applaud any factual based effort that will expose my mother’s demons and tormentors.

Miracles and other wonders

Since March 1, 2020, I lost about 50 lbs (about 22 kilos) caused by the use of Cannabinoid’s thc / cbs / cbd. My appetite fell back greatly. I stopped taking the pain killer Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) on a daily basis since February 2021. It was one of the good suggestions of Henryk Vogel not of Darkwood. My lungs have been extremely peaceful ever since, my heart and stomach seem less calm.

As mentioned earlier on, that it would take a financial miracle to keep me afloat, some small miracles did already happen. I was entitled to this small pension part of my ex, that I, after the divorce in April 2018, had successfully pursued for over a year of dragging-along, official paper milling with UC Davis (ex’s employer), and when I finally got it, I bought some BTC (bitcoin), right before the bitcoin boom in 2020. A friend gave me some more in 2021. In this way, I am still able to afford the house, but I’d rather not think about the huge sums of money evaporating every month. The future remains uncertain.

Gallery continued

And here some more, some a bit older photos of the year past.

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