I don’t see myself as a victim, Meinrad. Nor you as the culprit. But even without victims and culprits, there are things that aren’t right. Things we have to put right. That we can put right.
If you’ve always been a follower and not a leader. If you’ve always found yourself standing in a shadow. What in God’s name are you worth. In God’s name, yes. That isn’t a slip of the tongue. I had a God also. Even if I didn’t call him father. And me son.
A moment comes when the force necessary to stop a moving object is many times greater than the force needed to keep it in motion. And you have to make use of this moment. If you can’t make use of it. Then you should fear it. As you should fear the snowball that rolls down the mountain. Its direction fixed and its power only increasing. Until the moment comes when you can no longer change a thing. The avalanche has engulfed you You’ve lost your momentum.
My daughter has a daughter too. Angie. I’ve only seen the pictures. Adorable. She can just walk.With those crooked fat little legs. That’s how I picture it. I don’t know. In the pictures I can only see her head.
My oldest brother was a mailman.
Delivered all kinds of things around. Letters. Packages.
Other things, too. Turned out later.
Your lot doesn’t know what work is any more, says my father. Your lot. That really pisses me off. Your lot this, your lot that.
No one is waiting for you
Recently, someone asked me the question, “If you could retroactively change something, what would you change?” Oh…. so much. I’ve done so much wrong.
We’re … a man and a woman. Who’ve lost a child. Who first lost a child. And then… each other. Or perhaps I should say: Who first lost a child, then themselves and then each other .
So often have I cursed those borders. Because there is how it started. That’s how I see it. Actually, there is how it started. You know what it is with a border? When you live far away from it, that border seems very clear. But when you’re right next to it. Or on it. Like us. Then it’s a whole different story.
Do you know what I find strange? That things only happen when it doesn’t matter anymore. When you don’t really need it any more.
Do you know why I don’t like coming here? It’s not because of your idiotic ideas. Or because you hate my husband. You hate that I married him. You hate that I fell for him and not one of the approved sons of your circle. But that’s not why I avoid this place. It’s because, every time I come here I’m reminded that I’m from here. That you’re not just some racist self-righteous asshole I can ignore. But my father. That you are my father. Which most likely means that you were happy when I was born. That you held me. That you were proud of me. That you encouraged me. Comforted me. Taught me how to ride a bike. All those things, all those things you did for me. That is, unbearable.
If we have to save the world with things that are allowed, we are hopelessly lost.
Look, I could paint a pretty picture of this. About the law of duality. About there being no light without shade. No plus without minus. No Jesus without… me. No truth without lies. No peace without war. And on and on we’d go. And it’s not that I don’t want to do that. Or that I couldn’t believe in that. But the question is: what use is it to me? Does it save me from the pictures that are burned into my retinas. His expression when my lips touched his cheek. His silence. His immense silence?
No one is waiting for you
I heard a former minister say the other day. He was on TV. He said: We built the welfare state, but we destroyed the earth with it. I know how many plant and animal species exterminated. And then that plastic soup. And that the earth is as much as 5 degrees warmer than before. He said, that former minister, he said that progress threatens to take away our future. The future of our children. I was watching it. When he said that. On the TV. The tears sprang to his eyes. And I thought: Why do only former ministers say such things? Former politicians. Who suddenly know exactly what is wrong. And not that I disagree. But things went wrong when they were at the helm.
I went to put my arm around him. I’d never done that before. Like this. Like I was going to do that now. Because he was crying. I was going to comfort him. Together we were going to leave. Becoming happy. That’s how it was.
Is there anyone here who would dare to say: He died for me. He died for my sins. And who would dare to say without batting an eye. Or even worse: try to defend it. Who? Who? Well. I can tell you one thing: He didn’t die for your sins. Get real Get real, yes. He didn’t die for your sins. If anyone died for your sins it was me. ME, yes.
I’m just trying to tell you my side of the story. The whole story. Not what’s left after a hundred years. Or a thousand years. A footnote in a book. Ismene, colon: Daughter of. Sister of. That’s all that remains of me. A name with no substance. A name that exists only in relation to. In relation to my family. That’s how I live on in posterity. As the grey-mouse sister. The sister that committed no deeds.
You want humans to be idealistic beings, but they’re not. We’re all selfish, above all we want things to be better for ourselves and our loved ones. It’s all about protecting our own community; humans do want to connect, that’s true, but not with everyone. As I said, pretending we’re all one big happy family is not only naive but also dangerous.
No Dad, shutting yourself off from your fellow man because he does not belong to your own circle, your own group, that is dangerous. Teaching people that they don’t belong to you, that they are less …
I’m not talking about less. I’m talking about different.
And you mean less. ‘Different’ is just your so-called neat way of saying Less. It’s the way you divide and rule so as not to sacrifice anything. And it’s how you perpetuate the gap every day.
The Icefields Parkway winded through the green landscape like a grey giant snake. An ancient landscape that had renewed itself countless times. Where no tree was the same as a few hundred years ago, where grasses grew that would be gone after one winter, where forest fires had destroyed whole swathes of nature that had given way to young plants and new species. Everything was constantly changing and yet time seemed to have no hold over it. You couldn’t say that about humans. Every day, more of his cells died off than were added. He realised all too well that in decades to come there would be nothing left of him.
No one is waiting for you
I once heard my brother say that reading a sentence in a book had shifted his magnetic north. I doubt that. I mean: magnetic north. You don’t just get that out of position. That seems pretty firmly anchored in our globe. You don’t just slide that out of place. Seems to me. So I think my brother actually meant that by reading that sentence in that book he had found magnetic north. And that’s what attracts me. Finding magnetic north. Because surely there must be something that essentially binds us. Beyond anything that sets us apart. Makes us different. Disparate. Surely there must be something. One little thing. That unites us. One little thing we can rely on. That we can build on. Some kind of foundation. A foundation. I want that. I want that so badly.