It’s my Day of Letters, apparently. There will be another making its way around the world today – to Christchurch in New Zealand. The adress on the letter is:
c/o Christchurch Letter Writers Society
PO Box 33036
Barrington Box Lobby
Neuseeland/ New Zealand
It’s a letter written by a Christian woman who lives in South-Western Germany and expresses her condolences to the Muslim Community in Christchurch after the massacre on 15th March 2019. With the letter, there is a postcard with the psalm 133,1 in Arabic letters: How good and pleasant it is when Sisters and Brothers dwell in unity.
Will there be unity when we define sisterhood and brotherhood according to blood, nations and religions and not according to being humans suffering from hate?
6th April 2019
Dear John (no worries, letting ‘Mr. Siddique’ out doesn’t mean this letter is from one of these female admirers asking you to marry them; nor is the choice of letter paper showing any romantical desire/feelings) – I’m writing this letter (that most probably will never get in your hands), to say “Thank You” for writing the poem “Elder Moon” like 10 years ago (I would be interested to know why and where and how you wrote it but no worries again, that’s no letter of a “wannabe”-writer either, so I’m asking no questions on that field) – I came across your poem about 9 years ago; it needed to compete with other poems from your book “Recital” at the beginning – like “The Other” – and it grew to me step by step; I sat in the tram and somewhere else “eating” the words; trying to write a story on my own about that “butterfly waking” others (in my case, a couple; don’t ask – I think I throw away that short-story lately); but then it’s in last December, shortly before Christmas break; when I sit down and READ your words and they read ME when I understand what/who is my red admiral and why I should let it go and of course it takes another time for me what I decided in last December – to let “my” red admiral fly and let it escape from my house which I dow now by writing you this letter. Do whatever you want to do with this letter (or your agent or whoever is going to read it; when it even reaches London … whoever cares if it reaches London anyway; it counts that it leaves my house/my heart).
So John, THANK YOU for your words; for “Elder Moon” and all the other poems.
P.S. maybe this card reminds you (or your agent/whoever) in some years of this crazy letter from Germany that nobody could read; for me, it’s my personal vow; always bond to that invisible red admiral flying somewhere NOW.
No, I don’t get paid for praising this great writer called John (Siddique) – promised!
Nachdem ich an ihm vorbeigelaufen bin und meine vier Euro in seinen Korb geworfen habe, hat der Mann nicht wirklich mehr als zehn Euro, grob geschätzt beim Vorbeihetzen. Er sitzt an der dümmsten, weil kältesten Ecke der Abendakademie, nur eine dünne Decke um die kargen Schultern. Ein paar Meter weiter sitzt ein jüngerer Mann, der – im Gegensatz zum Älteren – noch zu kämpfen scheint. Er hatte mich um Geld gefragt, als ich ein paar Minuten vorher an den Beiden vorgelaufen war. Nun schaut er mir hinterher. Wieso hat er Geld bekommen und nicht ich? Diese Frage hängt ungefragt in der kalten Luft an diesem Samstagmorgen.
Es ist kurz vor 12. Gegen 5 Grad. Die Leute rauschen zum Wochenmarkt, zum dm, zu C+A, zu Engelhorn, in den Kaufhorn, zu Saturn, zu … Du kannst eigentlich leichter die Menschen zählen, die keine Blumen oder Einkaufstaschen mit Essen, Klamotten oder ersten Weihnachtsgeschenken tragen. Es ist der Samstag nach Black Friday. Bei Saturn treten sie sich die Beine in den Bauch und warten darauf, ihre “Schnäppchen” bezahlen zu dürfen. Am Ausgang fragt mich ein Mann, ob ich auch etwas ergattert habe. “Ja”, sage ich knapp. “Und jetzt wieder raus an die frische Luft”, murmele ich noch, so irgendwas in der Art. Ich habe “nur” ein Anti-Viren-Programm gekauft (und ja, ich gebe es zu, eine DVD…)… eigentlich passend: vorher vier Euro gespendet, sozusagen als Absolution, und jetzt den Schutz vor den Viren und lauter anderem Problemen der Welt da draußen.
Als ich angefangen habe, diese Worte zu tippen, lief “Last Christmas” im Radio. Ach, Weihnachten, da war doch was …mit Nächstenliebe und so….
It’s the first time that I sit in a cinema and take notes. So my recent flowish-flowery-mind won’t forget these important words over these beautiful images.
It’s Thursday, November 15th 2018, first day of the International Film Festival Mannheim/Heidelberg, Stadthaus N1 in Mannheim, 17:00. Thirty minutes ago, I sat in the office, editing your monthly magazine, calming down my temper since the layouter didn’t make (again) the corrections the way he should have done.
I’m afraid not to believe.
Afraid of Death.
I watch When Arab danced. See people who speak out. So I and others can pretend that our flow-yoga-bubble is perfect in its imperfection.
Afraid to remain silent.
F U C K
cut yourself in
cut yourself out
from the world outside
from those shouting “A* is great”
from those shouting “M* muss weg”
enwrap yourself in flowery-letterpaper
dunk yourself in tamerind-bodylotion
wrap your arms around trees
get into the flow
towards role-model 4.0
towards a life
#consume less (aka #consume the right things)
#getting into the flow without any aim
#who will you rescue
This week, I got a penpaling-postcard from a Mexican woman living in the U.S., with two questions for me to answer. One was: “Tell me about the these small joys there are if you are German.” Small joys of being German? Are there some? It was one of these questions that I seriously had to think about. I ended up neglecting “joys” but speaking of “advantages”, about having (in comparison to other countries) a high-living standard, about the absense of poverty, about the feeling of safety…
There are people who will disagree with me. People who live on the streets. Children who never have been on vacation because their parents do not have enough money. The young woman who was raped by 12 to 15 men in Freiburg about two weeks ago (yes, most of them apparently non-German men). Other victims of violence (both by non-German AND German people).
There are scratches in these “small German joys” but let’s face the truth: We have good lives, to some extent very good lives. One hundred years ago, I wouldn’t have had the chance to go to school for 13 years, getting two university-degrees, living on my own, earning my own money, to spend it the way I want. My brother would have been in the trenches for four years, if he had survive any of the battles in the West and in the East. My sister-in-law could have died in childbed. Would my parents still be alive?
This was life in Germany 100 years ago. How is life in other parts of the world today? What are these people’s “small joys”?
Later, many years later, when this story was told so many times, when many laughters were shared among the two, family and friends (and sometimes strangers), this evening was a happy one. When it happened, it wasn’t. (However, maybe she should have listened more carefully. On the phone, he had said “Wir gehen ins Scala”, not “Wir gehen in die Scala”. Always these small differences in German language, he said later with a big smile. Do you teach German or do I? She stayed silent. And tried to stay cool when people around her in the small cinema – all dressed in petticots and jeans, in the style of the late 50ies – looked at her because she was dressed for the opera, and not for the latest James Dean-movie.)
No, he didn’t want to take her to THE Scala (in Milano, by the way, several 1.000 kilometres away) but the Scala, their favourite movie-theatre.
This was in 1958. They have never been to Milano but visit the Scala in Ludwigsburg at least twice a month. (Kissing is a way more interesting in the small independet Scala).
the tram stopped. last station on the line. the tram constructur asked her to leave the tram. it wasn’t night. but she felt lost. felt blind. felt as if she couldn’t see the light.
in far distance, there was a tower. vaguely, she remembered its name. “fernmeldeturm”. something with “melden”. get in contact with. she needed contact. with whom she didn’t know. the word ‘contact’ was all she needed to know. to walk. to arrive. somewhere.
the strange images on the wall caught her eye. a fox. a boy. a girl. a wolf. human beings as her. she felt connected. wanted to settle down. didn’t care her new home was in the middle of nowhere. in the back yard of normal life.
she didn’t know normal life. a wolf in children’ clothing was normal for her. there are times when she’s the same. when being a child isn’t allowed. when they send her on the street to beg. to steal. to do other things. that she doesn’t want to remember. but that her body remembers.
born in another country. in another time. in another family. and she could be the teenanger with the orange rucksack full of things for a funny sunday among friends. and not the small girl. who doesn’t know her age. who hasn’t any rucksack. only a full bag. in her head. on her body. of dirty memories.
You know when I left my flat in the morning to take some pictures for this blog entry, I was like writing a f* off-entry. To shout at these idiots who marched on the streets of Chemnitz the last days, screaming “Wir sind das Volk” to demonstrate that their “Volk” was violated by Merkel & Co. but actually showing how just f* empty their brains are (if they even some). But then we I returned, I decide to leave it like that; only posting pictures to show not what they do but what will happen if we don’t stop them and what happened because others weren’t stopped. No coincidence, that yesterday, in 1939 World War Two started.
And regarding younger German history a.k.a. younger German shame: If you have the chance, then watch “Wir sind jung. Wir sind stark” by Burhan Qurbani (2014).
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Tagged Auschwitz, Überfall auf Polen, Birkenwald, Chemnitz, Dachau, Deuschland deine Zukunft, Holocaust, Mannheim, Neuengamme, Rostock-Lichtenhagen, World War Two, Zweiter Weltkrieg