letters & documents.interviews &
photo.pflug 1936-1972.
berlin, 1936-40.kitzbuhel,, 1954-56 berlin 1956-56.tunis 1956-59.downsview 1959-60. yonge st 1960-64.woodlawn ave 1967-72.birch ave 1967-72.

related to: Downsview, 1959-60
An Autobiographical Statement, 1967

"I flew to Canada alone, with the two small children. I lived in the suburbs..." more

Christiane Pflug: Interview with Avrom Isaccs, 1964

"when I came here I had to stay with my parents and my sister..." more

LETTERS & RECOLLECTION: Downsview 1959-60

Christiane Pflug to Michael Pflug, Downsview, 11 March 1959

Today is Friday, the weather is always very nice, clear and around noon quite warm. The children are well, Ursula is beautifully even tempered and friendly, she crawls around on her yellow blanket and laughs so happily in the morning and is glad when one comes. Miezchen is becoming more and more skillful and does a lot of things that she shouldn't do. One has to watch a lot and often around noon I am quite exhausted.
I have read a good book by Francis Jammes, unfortunately in German, but it is very beautiful anyway. There are three stories, Klara, the story of a young girl of the old time and two others. Everything is so marvelous, the old estate houses with parks and long alleys, the small chapels, the women with their broad-rimmed hats. In the first story Guadeloupe is mentioned, how Klara imagines it and how it is shown on old engravings, and that overlaps curiously with the Southern French landscape. Now it is finished, I haven't started anything new for the time being, but last night I dreamt. We went in the carriage through Paris, but it was full of green large trees, on some spots one could even see the sea. Behind the trees were old grey houses and the branches waved in the wind, and then it was evening and the sky pale blue with a crescent of the moon. We passed an old corner house and saw Vieira, who had just lit a lamp in the upper storey and stood behind her easel. I woke up, outside is snow, afterwards I will go with her into the woods, to the fallen tree trunk, we will sit on it and play with my shawl. Behind the trees is a clearing which always reminds me of Ronsdorf and in the little valley is a stream.

Christiane Pflug to Michael Pflug, Downsview, 3 November 1959

In the morning I always go to the door and hope to see the mailman, and then I look over to the neighbor's house, whether he has been there already and then I say to myself, "Instead of running around here you should rather clean up, wash up and prepare the children for the garden and think, what to prepare for lunch", and then I am standing again at the door. Sometimes he does come then and brings only a few printed things and bills, but at least then I know that for today there won't be anything more. This morning it was just like that, and suddenly he knocked and brought your registered little parcel with the white shirt, the letter for Miezchen and me and the beautiful necklace, Ursula lets it glide slowly through her tiny fingers and thoughtfully looks at the smooth balls turn, the silver capsules, and the chain links made of silver wire. Miezchen has put it around her neck, it hangs down over her belly, later it will suit her very beautifully I am sure and until then I will wear it. When I wanted to put the shirt away I found the ring. I first thought it was a cuff link, it is also very beautiful and it fits and now I really have to make myself a dress. I was so glad and so happy as I hadn't been for a long time, it is also not so much that there is too much work, I slept every afternoon, but the total lack of any change, sometimes I think that I am terribly superficial, but your Mother has said once, that it was not always easy for her, but sometimes she also was very angry, when I said I was happier when I was still able to paint. ---
xxxWhen Miezchen woke up this afternoon I showed her the clock, (I would like to have one like that one day) she said right away "clock", and then "tic tac" and then she said "the clock has ears" and then "moon" and she showed me the ball on the little gable. I will paste it on and put it up in her room, with the cat I did that too and she says "cat in the house", Aca. About the clock she also said "the clock is sitting there" and she must have thought of all the other clocks and she said many clocks. When she talks I like to listen to her, but now we have to go for a walk, otherwise it will be too cold, the letter with the mouse we will read tonight.

Christiane Pflug to Michael Pflug, Downsview, 26 February 1960

Fortunately two letters arrived from you yesterday. In the meantime it has snowed so heavily, that my Mother took four hours to get home and today she could not go to work, probably there will be interruptions and delays with the mail too. I walked outside for an hour with the children. It was warm and the snow fell in soft, large flakes. Only the moist air from the snow makes us very tired and we were quite exhausted and I am still. I have sewn doll’s dresses for Miezchen’s birthday, for the doll from aunt Maxa, which we took along from Munich, and which she is to get now with a little bed for her birthday. It is a solid celluloid doll. Perhaps later we can get one of the really good ones. - I am not yet quite finished either, everything takes so long if one wants to do it well.
xxxI was happy, that you went to see Vieira right away, only I was a little sad that Arpad said "il faut la créer, l’ambiance", I would like to know what a woman on her own with two small children could be able to create, while I can hardly get through with the necessary work. Nobody and absolutely nobody is able to understand that, outside of my Mother. Gradually I understand too why so many women, when the children have grown up, do not know anymore what to do with themselves, one has to give up everything else, one thing after the other and should not expect to keep anything for oneself. I do love the children much more that I had expected, but it would not hurt any of us, if I would not have to worry about every button and every shoelace myself. I could have gone on forever as in Tunis with Miezchen, even without the bathroom, which you, I don’t know why, mention so often, as if I had complained even once, when I lived at the Mistaouis. Besides that one can’t really say that here there is nothing but a "chewing gum and TV Schlamassel", anything that one can buy anywhere else, books, furniture, movies to see, one can find here too. Lorely always has beautiful things. One only needs time, a car to get downtown and some money. Besides that I do not like it here particularly: the other day I found an old letter in a book which said "You do not want to go to Canada, you want to paint...". O weh, O weh, O weh!!! St. Joseph’s Hospital has called and they have told me that your signature has arrived. They must have liked the letter which I wrote them, with the help of Roland’s good English. They thanked me especially for it. That has reassured me. I hope it is not too cold in your room.. You don’t write about Silvia and Ariane, what does she look like? I guess one will never get a photograph, as I haven’t even received a letter. Sometimes I want to throw everything against the wall, really, always one must hold still and carry on bravely. Outside it isn’t snowing anymore. I will go to bed, the few hours in the evening are always so short and the morning is back so soon. And now I will really finish.

Michael Pflug to Christiane Pflug, Paris, 1960

Dearest Beinchen,
xxx... I just was with Jaques in Rue d'Arsonval - we looked at your paintings, he was incredibly enthusiastic, he said they were at the same level as the greatest painters, which I knew already. There is really a big difference between the things from Tunis and the old ones, though we loved those too. But what good is it, we did know that too, and it will be very difficult for a period, as it was with everybody! ...

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