Posts tagged ‘People’

Größe Angst!

Just spent last weekend with lovely seven-year-old Nathalie, who draws dozens of booklets and sculpts ceramic dragons with an easiness that would embarass many young post-modern artists hiding behind their Calvin Klein glasses and stylish clothes, their learned-by-heart speeches and their Japanese cameras!

I specially liked „Größe Angst“, where a small curled dinosaur bitting his own tail can be seen because, Nathalie explains to me, he is very very afraid! What a tremendous metaphor.
What I enjoy about her drawings is exactly that there is no fear of failing whatsoever.

July 30, 2008 at 2:56 am Leave a comment

Make my heart stop…

I wake up from a nightmare; I am in an elevator going up and as the door is just about to close I see you. Without thinking about everything that has gone wrong I lift my hand to salute you with the same honest heart and good faith as always but you don´t see me. You are carrying someone else´s luggage and I see you embrace this someone in your arms with the same open smile you once devoted me, just before the elevator doors shut and I go up despite of me…

As I rush and try to start the day with a clear head and shake off my nightmare, as I am just about to close the front door, I must go back to check if the oven is turned off and then a second time again because I have a bad conscience regarding the plants which are not even mine but are looking very yellow and dry! – And the last thing I need on top of it all is that the goddamn plants go dying on me…- I think to myself. As I am about to leave I read the post it on the door which someone else wrote: “Alles was wird tun wird gut werden”. I take a deep breath.

The trash has been collected from the streets, an Arab mother outside a school yard watches her child on the playground with obvious pride, probably counting the hours until they hold each other again.

I apply my energy day long solving other people´s problems hoping that this will maybe be sufficient to solve my own. Everything is connected in some weird way and I run, I think, I make an effort and I am creative in finding ways to make things work… I leave my sense of schizophrenia behind and do my best. In the night I meet up with a friend just before he takes a flight to another continent.
I am living in between, in the fold, where everything is so quick yet much more intensive…

I am waiting for the last train, hopping that it will go the right way and get me safely home for I forgot my city guide. I´ve got my silver princess high heels on and I am waiting for the very last train while looking to my red toe nails… I find happiness in the silliest of things…
I see “MTV teens” going out to party, people trying to get back home after a 16 hour workday, and we are all part of this pulsing system… I see a rat running around the corner in the subway and an old lady collecting bottles for the refund money… I feel like holding her in my arms. NO ONE should be collecting bottles in subway stations for the deposit! And NO ONE CARES! But I do! I feel like shouting the top of my lungs! And the rat moves quickly again, this time in another direction and no one seems to see it except for me. And I get into the train and cross all the unknown stations ending in -heim and -weg trusting that I will somehow get home and not lost in all the madness I witness everyday!

June 7, 2008 at 2:34 am Leave a comment

Andre

I´ve just witnessed Andre – German, thin, rectilinear nose and strait blond, the embodiment of what a German male “should” look like to foreign eyes – being spit directly in the face by another man. Andre is the boyfriend of a girl I´ve just recently met, and the three of us happened to go out to a secretive chill-out-party, to which one was invited on a mouth-to-mouth basis for it wasn´t advertised anywhere. It was a great party except for the scary part which took place, short before midnight by the Strassenbahn stop as we were returning home.

While I was busy buying cigarettes at the closest gas station, both Andre and Susanna were being nagged by a stranger which kept staring at Susanna and insulting Andre for apparently being “too German”. As soon as joined them the guy immediately turned his attention on me, which truth be said is no surprise since I do have a talent to act as a magnet for crazy people. I offered him a cigarette as a way to calm him down and kept talking with him, looking him in the eye with the most confident look I could manage, to show him that we were really all on the same boat, just trying to coupe with life and that I understood a bit about his frustration. This seemed to work, though he came too close to me and demanded five cigarettes instead of one. As he approached my face I though: this is it! This is the night when I will probably get hurt, when I will have to defend myself with my teeth the best way I can! I was very calm and yet scared and alert at the same time. I thought if I break now and give him five cigarettes he will have the feeling he is in control and that I am a victim, if I don´t accept his terms I will only infuriate him… And there I was, before a typical dilemma when someone with physical or other kid of superiority faces you with profound hate in the eye! I tried to hold my ground and told him that it was not possible, I would give him a second cigarette and that was it. He accepted it and turned to Andre to spit right in his face and in his shoe, cursing how much he hated him! Andre didn´t move a millimeter, didn´t say anything, just remained where he was.

Things were definitely out of control, we were beyond the point of rationality, we were on unknown ground and anything could happen. I evaluated my chances, me with my 57 kilos against a taller, stronger black man. I thought of all the great African athletes I know, their physical unbelievable skills, I thought of the marathon star in my country and how I should have taken self-defense classes at some point… If he wanted he could crash me just like that, but I wouldn´t go down without a fight if it would come to that…
Between Andre´s passive but stoic attitude, my sympathetic and “cool” response and Susanna´s rational argumentative talk – she kept saying: But you don´t know him! How can you hate him? – we somehow intuitively managed the situation and to step into the next Straßenbahn without getting ourselves hurt nor into a fight.
But the question remains: what to do when someone looks you in the eye – without really seeing you – with profound hate?

June 1, 2008 at 2:28 am Leave a comment

Egen

Sitting next to me is Egen, who is also skyping. He is filling his two day gap between the end of a visit to his girlfriend in Europe and his return to Iraq where he works as a prisoner guard, he tells me. Egen is twenty two years old but nevertheless one of his tasks is to prevent Iraqis from committing suicide in prison. He tells me how one must watch over suicidal prisoners in their solitary confinement cells every ten minutes and not the usual half an hour.
I look into his naive eyes, and my political opinion regarding war in Iraq becomes less urgent before the real person and his history sitting and addressing me in a very quiet and kind way.
He is telling me how he interrupted his studies in a normal college to take on this job, against his parents´ advice, and how this will allow him to pay for the rest of college and concentrate on studying without having to work aside. I ask him if he wants to pursue a career in the Military once he goes back home, he says he just wants to go back to being a civilian, finish his studies and get a degree.
In some sort of very weird way we´re close in the sense that we´re both trying to survive and yet so apart for our choices to accomplish just that are radically different. I try not judge him tonight.

May 21, 2008 at 1:35 am Leave a comment

Claudia

I was alone and having some sort of dinner in a foreign city when Claudia came in. She wanted to use the toilette and to have a vodka. She was thrown out of the bar by a stupid German waiter only because she was foreign and worse, a woman looking for a drink! In what is supposed to be one of the finest and prime cities of modern developed Germany, she was shoved out of the bar by two idiot fat waiters for absolutely no reason, except she was a woman asking for a drink in English. I saw her trying to explain rationally and show that she had the money to pay for a stupid drink, but she was simply pushed away by the waiters and forced out in the most primeval way.
I could not believe my eyes, and I rose in protest paid to leave and never to return again.
I´ve followed her and we came into conversation. She was crying, and I told her that stupid people are to be found everywhere, though she couldn´t understand how such a thing could ever take place in Europe.
I asked her if she wanted to have a drink with me somewhere, and we´ve just spend the last four hours together, talking openly as perfect strangers that will probably never meet again usually do. Claudia has proven me that my heart is still in the right place, that I can recognize a fighter, an equal, from distance.
What an horrible situation yet a lovely coincidence that brought us together. It turns out that we have a lot, a real lot in common. In between countries, just leaving something behind for a new and saner start, having to work our way through by ourselves without the usual typical support.

We laid our cards on the table and realized how much alike we are, even in making the same mistakes or in looking into things the same way, and that´s probably why I was drawn to speak to her in the first place. Claudia just got a job in Bangladesh working for a German/ American organization that fights for human rights and works in order to diminish poverty in undeveloped countries. She has spend her last 18 years in America though she is Latin American, studying and working. She did her Post-doc in Washington D.C. She is a extreme intelligent mature good looking woman and tonight she was simply looking to have a drink.

I am so proud of these encounters, these moments of passage, when you recognize nomads just like yourself, when people treat you back as you always treat them, with no fear, trusting… In these moments a miracle happens: you see your uncertainty turn into relief and your doubt become your own believe, you feel how great the love you have in you is.
It may be that you´ve been hurt, it may be that you´ve even made a fool of yourself but, you survived and you are here to tell the story, more alive than anyone else simply because you´ve always stayed truthful to yourself.

May 16, 2008 at 12:16 am Leave a comment

Matthias Weischer

Last 3rd of April the Zeit Magazine featured a photo of Matthias Weischer in his atelier. This photo was taken by Ben Rinner. And what a great photo it was! It has been on my mind ever since… I might have come across the physical Weischer somewhere in the Spinnerei but didn´t pay so much attention.
Now, he has entered my universe, in this very strange way, through a picture filled with promises of fiction. In it, he is crouching and clamming to the window´s grid like a watching or a falling bird, trapped in and looking in the direction of the light coming from the outside. Maybe he is waiting for the very last ray of light to fly away.
One wall shows one of his paintings and another a floating buoy which, one reads, he brought back with him from Italy, where he has spent the last months painting.
Looking at the picture I cannot decide if he will take off soon or, if he is waiting to be saved!

Matthias Weischer, the human bird, quietly observing something we cannot see ourselves… is he trying to break free of his cage or, is he paralyzed by his own sense of “madness” or, too overwhelmed by what he has discovered that he cannot even move? Will he grab for his safety buoy or just simply take the plunge?

April 21, 2008 at 8:16 pm Leave a comment

The Nomadic Condition

Clara Luzia – Morninglight

I sometimes wonder about what is it that keeps you moving… maybe one keeps searching for a long lost place which doesn´t really exist, except in your own head, though you can´t prevent yourself from having the feeling that there is more out there for you than this, this actual this, which is so little compared to what you dreamed or what you imagined for yourself. And you just keep the search going… And you just realize along the way, how much you´ve learned and grew. Though sometimes you also doubt. Is one just looking for a place to belong? Will one really find it?
Tom York says “I´m all the days you choose to ignore. I´m in the middle of your picture. You´re all that I need!” I lived the feeling that I belonged somewhere but I was wrong because I was alone in this feeling, left unchanged before change. I am like Holy Golightly, the time to start buying some furniture still hasn´t come… And I am looking forward to all the surprises and new starts that figure ahead!
And I thank you for this sweet and exciting feeling of leaning against the back of my seat in a plain just before take off (even if you don´t get me and I wish you did)!

April 17, 2008 at 12:32 pm Leave a comment

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