Goodbye 2017

It is the last day of the year 2017. I am thinking of the 365 days past. I am contemplating what the New Year may bring. I have no crystal ball. Nobody has an answer. If we are a few billion people with a brain on this planet, every single one has different hopes, wishes, and beliefs. I am trying to write a blog that means something, possibly something that touches a nerve in everyone. Everyone? Who am I kidding! I can but try. And try I will.

New Year’s Eve: We celebrate and make a lot of noise. We make New Year’s Resolutions, resolutions that will be broken within the next few weeks or even days because ‘life happens.’ Something always gets into our way to do what we set out to do, want to do or planned to do. We woke up with a thought to write a fantastic blog – someone asked to do something else, and everything changes. The mood, sometimes even the energy is gone. What we really wanted to say changed. The moment, that magic moment, when you felt just right to do this one thing, is gone.

Looking back on 2017, it was a troubled year. Worldwide, politically and for me, even personally. But what is my personal pain compared to the pain of thousands of people fleeing their homes with just the cloth on their back, children starving, soldiers raping helpless women, beheading or killing well-meaning men? The worst is that all of this is done in the name of religion. Did anybody choose to born a Muslim, a Christian or a Jew? Or belonging to any of the many other denominations? How many Gods are there? I always thought there was but ONE, and he is a loving God, not one who spews hate and fire at one particular group that tries to kill another group. Who’s side is HE one when soldiers in war pray for victory? I’m reminded of a little story:

A zebra goes to see God. He asks ‘Lord, am I white with black stripes or am I black with white stripes?’

God looks at the zebra and says: ‘That depends entirely on how you see yourself.’

I like to see it not just depending on color but ‘how we see ourselves.’ Has HE given humanity ‘free choice’? A choice to do what is right? HE doesn’t get involved in humanity’s foolishness. Someone on Facebook asked ‘How can God let this happen?’ and another answered that HE may have turned his back on us because we don’t allow HIS name in schools, and we try to banish him from our lives. It’s troublesome to think about all this. And, maybe it is better not even to write about it. I stepped into a wasp’s nest once when I wrote an article for a newspaper questioning different parts of the bible and mentioned Emmanuel Kant’s Philosophy. It was also a New Year’s write-up, and boy, did I touch many nerves! The Newspaper had a hay-day with all the pro- and contra letters for weeks!

What do I look back to, personally? Problems with my health, physical problems that affected me mentally. I got depressed but tried hard to pretend all was alright. I had a terrible time getting to work on my sequel to my memoir “We Don’t Talk About That.” In that book, I was honest and told how it was, and I couldn’t find a way to tell what happened to me and my life after those first thirty years. I thought of all the things I still had to do, wanted to do and never got around to do. I went through all my files, sorted, destroyed and found papers I didn’t want to go into the wastebasket after I’m gone. I found poems I had written over many years, mostly funny ones, many with double meanings, my goodness, actually a history of human life during the years starting around 1960! Reading these gave me hope and smiles back, and a will to do something with them. My little book “Ein Mensch von Gestern – Heute” was born. It’s in my first language, German, but there are still a lot of people who do speak it. The title means “A Human from Yesterday – Today.” The story of how we people from yesterday cope with life as it has changed since yesteryear. Hahaha, and now we are back to today, the last day of 2017.

Did I have moments when I thought of stopping the time from flying? Yes, there were some. But how do you stop time? With a stopwatch? Heh, buddy, it doesn’t work that way.  Every breath you take is part of a second that moves time forward. Did you ever read Goethe’s ‘Faust’? The first two lines inspired me this morning to write about it. Here is part of Dr. Faustus’ conversation with Mephisto about time:

“If to the moment, I shall ever say
‘Oh, linger on, thou art so fair!’
Then may you fetters on me lay.
Then I will perish, then and there!
Then may the death-bell toll recalling,
Then from your service you are free;
The clock may stop, the pointer falling,
And time itself be past for me!”

The answer of the devil, Mephisto, was a warning. Faustus should not be hasty with his wish, but if so, he wanted it in writing, signed with blood. Maybe here we find a base for what we often say nowadays: ‘Be careful what you wish for, you may get it!’

       Happy New Year to all of you! I love you, my readers! I love people!
A big hug for all!

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Imaginary Friends To Talk To

image1 Some people write letters to a friend but never mail them. Some others write in a diary or address it with “Dear Diary”! Still others have an imaginary friend they talk to or they talk to themselves. I have done that. Mumble is more like it. Does that make us crazy? Some so-called ‘normal’ people might think that or even say to us with a straight face: “You are crazy!” I have had some unexplained experiences which frightened me and I talked to God and asked to take this ‘curse’ away from me. I know for sure: There is more between heaven and earth than meets the eye. Even Albert Einstein stated that. Let’s ask ourselves: What is ‘normal’? Is normal only the one who wants or needs to know that which can be scientifically explained? And the more he knows the more he wants to know and the only thing he knows for sure is that he can’t know it all, there is always MORE to discover.

ScanWe attended the play “Harvey” by Mary Chase in the charming Chemainus Theatre today. Full house, too! I had a chance to read the explanatory notes in the programme before the show and was surprised to learn that it was written over two years and opened in November 1944 and was, at that time, a smash hit and ran for 4 ½ years with 1775 acclaimed performances on Broadway. It was even adapted to film and made friends across the continents. What is it about? “Harvey” – naturally! But who was Harvey? Harvey was the imaginary trusted friend of ‘Elwood’ who never went anywhere without him. Harvey was a huge 6 ½ feet tall mystical rabbit, a ‘Pooka’ – just like ‘Puck’ was Shakespeare’s ‘Pooka’. Most children have imaginary friends with names and parents would be well advised to take those ‘friends’ seriously to keep the trust of their offspring.

In this play, Elwood takes Harvey with him at all times. He takes him to concerts, bars, and parties and ‘introduces’ him to the guests. He would book two places and to ‘normal’ people they see an empty chair next to him.  He always checks with Harvey if something is good, alright or if he agrees in conservations. Harvey soon became such an annoyance to Elwood’s sister that she wanted to book her brother into a sanatorium. Explaining this giant rabbit and claiming she has even seen him at the dinner table the psychiatrist decides that she is the crazy one. When Elwood comes along and in a logical, quiet voice and with his own brand of humour talks to the doctors they are puzzled. What is ‘normal’, what or who is crazy? Elwood is such a friendly fellow and invites everyone he meets to come for dinner or at least to a drink and promises they would meet his wonderful friend. After a night of drinking with the psychiatrist, this man is so disoriented that he reveals to Elwood that he has one place where he can relax: His cottage. There, a young woman would be present who doesn’t talk. He would drink cold beer and more cold beer, and he showed Elwood how he would take the hand of the young woman and with it stroke his cheek and his old head. He would talk to her, tell her everything – but no, he doesn’t want her to talk at all. So there – for the audience and all to see – even this man, knowing of human frailties has his imaginary friend. But, in the end, when his sister talks Elwood into letting the doctor give him an injection,  the taxi driver who had been left waiting comes to request his money. She has none and had to call on her brother. The taxi driver explains to her how those who get the needle change from friendly people who see sunsets, even when it’s raining and give big tips to bullying, screaming people who never tip and just become so normal that he rather have nothing to do with them. That changes the sister’s mind and, finding her coin purse in her handbag where there was no money before knows it was thanks to Harvey. Elwood is rescued before he gets the injection and the sister decides that they can all live happily ever after – with Harvey.

It’s a weird and wonderful play. It makes you think. We are not as perfect as we think we are. Some can accept the things beyond reality and the senses while others are ‘normal’. In my mind, I have turned the story over and over again. I dare say there is even more to it. We all talk to someone unseen by our eyes, be it a ‘Harvey’, ourselves, a dearly departed aunt or – even God. Think about it. How often have you thought: Oh my God. – Oh, dear God, why do you let this happen. –  Oh God, help me. – You might even have discussions with Him in order to make up your mind about something. When we can’t talk to ‘normal’ people we do need a “Harvey” by any name.greetings-from-the-white-rabbit