everyday life

A Jackpot for the 68. Berlinale 15.2. – 25.2.2018

In some years before I have visited the Berlinale in Berlin, which is known as the greatest filmfestival for the public. It was not easy to get tickets, waiting for hours at some counters in the city or buying them online. This makes problems, too.

Four weeks ago I read in the digital edition of the newspaper Berliner Morgenpost about the socalled Leserjury. They were asking for applications from the readers to join the jury for the public prize. I applied and two weeks later – I was just going out of my car – I got a telephonecall from the MoPo.: congratulations. You are invited to our jury. Our first meeting will be 10th february at ten o’clock in the Zoopalast.

Wow, it took me several days to realize my fortune. As part of the jury everybody can see as much films as she/he wants, especially the films in the competition. No standing in line to get a ticket. No frustration if one is late and the films you want to see are soldout. A jackpot!

This morning the berlinale started for us at the office where we 12 jury members got our badges. Then we went to the first screening of the opening film – for the press. The cinema was crowded, already half an hour before. And I learned: In this situation you cannot be shy and cautious and wait. You have to go straight forward, facing the goal – a free seat – and then take it.

We saw from Wes Anderson “Isle of Dogs”. It was for the first time that the Berlinale opened with an animation film. I liked it, the story can be seen as a metaphor for present political situations with exclusions of unwanted living creatures. In a fiction of a japanese town the mighty mayor decides to deport all dogs who seem to have dangerous diseases. (In my opinion these are projections of bad charactertraits).

In the meeting of the press afterwards they all were there: the director Wes Anderson, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Liev Schreiber, Greta Gerwig, Jeff Goldblum. It was so exciting. To see the stars a few meter away from me whom I know only from movies.

The stars were asked how often they have been at the Berlinale. Several times, said Bill Murray, but this is the big one. This is the one which really counts. It is huge.

Tomorrow we will see 3 movies (that is the duty), and I do a fourth one (only for pleasure, it is a film from the Weimar Cinema, from 1928. 

Allgemein, everyday life, living with old age

All dress in black, he won’t be coming back


This is the third line of „Fool, if you think it’s over “ interpreted by Elkie Brooks.

The line in the song is my worst scenary. I fear most that my husband may die before me. He had a heart-attack, now 13 years ago. I got the message by phone. He was 300 km away on a congress. In this moment I wished I could fly, the train was too slow, the traffic too high, it took me more than 5 hours to reach him. But then I could sit at his bedside. We both were so relieved that he has survived.

It took some time for recovery and he started to walk in the forest near of our house, nearly every day, to strengthen his heart. He is in a very good shape, and as often as I can, I accompany him to improve my health. We both are on a good way, but still this  event has a traumatic quality for me and gives me from time to time bad feelings and thoughts.

This is not the only thing when grief and sorrow come to me. Friends have died, parents have died, my cats, one after the other. And I cannot get used to these sad feelings. Life is not over after a loss, but it is burden with these feelings for a longer time. When time goes by,

This post is old. I found it yesterday after I returned from a visit to a neighbour, who has lost her husband in january.  For 7 years she had to take care of him more and more and she did it with sympathy and love and sometimes with shouting when she had the impression that he totally drew back inside. She wanted so much that the communication between them would last. A reaction from him. She spoke about one scene: He was listening to his beloved music and deeply absorbed more than ever – in what? She shouted at him: speak to me, sing the music for me (that was s.th. what he did from time to time: singing). Middle in the night she wakes up by the voice of her husband. He started to sing a song for her, it was the music he has heard in the afternoon.

How could this happen? It is a miracle to her.

everyday life

earthquake – backquake

„Oh, today it’s your birthday“, said the doctor. „Congratulation“

I am not kidding: after several attempts of celebrating my birthday in an unforgettable manner since I became 69 (I wrote about it before), my birthday this time is the first one which fitted in the overall situation and athmosphere in the world around me: fragile, partly broken, dystopic. I do not only refer to the terroristic attack in Berlin shortly before christmas. I mean the gush in of disturbing events which were so near to me in space, time and emotion that I could not turn away. 

Midst August, my husband and me went to Italy, to a nice place at Laggo Maggiore, to celebrate a birthday of a friend and collegues who invited a lot of people from our common past. We met a couple again who were beloved friends and we had nice hours in a wonderful weather with good food and excellent wine. Hours before the programm started with an evening-concert in a church – all around Händel – I felt a heavy pain in my back. No doubt: it was a damaged disc! I was full of  anger and frustration because I could not take part in the programm and the wonderful excursion with the boat next day to the isle of Borromei and the expected excellent lunch. Instead I was occupied in thoughts how I could go on  with my husband to our destination in the south of Italy, an area in the Marken, where we were supposed to meet friends who are living there several times in a year. I could not walk , not a single step, but I could sit.  Next day, it was a sunday, we went to the emergency unit in the local hospital and after an exploration by the doctor and a first injection we decided to go on and drive several hundreds of kilometres to meet our friends. How lucky I was in my bad luck that my husband is a doctor who could give me the other 5 injections to heal my pain. It was due to this treatment that I had no longer pain in sitting and sleeping, but I could not walk more than 10 steps, later 15 and than 20, till the pain came back and forced me to sit down immediately. With these conditions in mind,  we four: Anne and Chris, Otto and me,   had a wonderful week. It was the most inspiring and wonderful  time we had together, ever.  Our meals took place outside the house with a wonderful view to the mountains. We sat under a tree overloaden with figs which were riping while we were there. My friend Anne cooked phantastic meals, Chris offered self bakened bread and wine. And til late in the night we sat under a  growing moon and were discussing and exploring a lot of themes, especially personal ones like being creative in our age or how to deal with the fear of and the abhorrence at death. No thought was unspoken. 

One day before the first earthquake in the night 23./24.8.2016 Otto and me had to go home, and next day we heard at a telephonecall from our friends about the damages of the earthquake. The house was nearly rotten, but the final blow came weeks later in the second period of earthquakes. Since then the house is no longer a place to live in, to repair it would cost an amount more than 100000 Euro. And our friends decided to give it up. 

Meanwhile, there are other thoughts. Beause the area is so beautiful, so quiet and their friends in the near-by village are so familiar, there is a new plan, that their son Nick is building a wooden house on the ruins of the old ones after the final demolition. A wooden house is supposed to stand against earthquakes. We will see, but something is clear: This project will be the project of the next generation. I have to repeat it: Projects of the next generation. We old ones are out. There is only limited time left for smaller projects. And what is interesting enought to start with and take the effort and trouble of a beginning? My former chief in the psychosomatic hospital in Heidelberg started to learn surfing after his 60th birthday. I try with over 70 to learn the baroque-flute. And I know that this will not lead to a kind of mastership. 

What can help to explore and learn new things in old age? How it is possible to be curious of the world and other people even there is a lot of dark and insecure atmosphere and political and social scenery around us?

I will mention two people: The journalist and writer Roger Willemsen who died this summer with 60 years was a person who was committed to several social and political activities. He love to interfere in different things. I think he loved to interfere in the structure of the world. I miss his voice to the ongoing madness.

Timothy Snyder in Lettre International (issue 115, winter 2016), read by Arno Widman and mentioned in the Berliner Zeitung 7./8. january 2017: twenty proposals to keep the freedom in the deprivation of freedom. Proposal nr. 10 says: Try yourself in new body-politics. Power will like to see how your body become soft in your easy-chair and how your emotions will fall flat ineffectively on the television screen. Go out of the house. Abandon your body to unfamiliar locations and unfamiliar people. 

It is that why I am here in Berlin?

everyday life

beaten by my time in berlin?

The post, I wrote three hours before, ended up in a nowhere, I couldn’t find it anymore.

I wrote about the exciting experience I had till now in Berlin, including some ups and downs. I wrote about the difficulties which broke out in my marriage. We had discussions about old themes which were very harsh, next day we were one heart/one soul. In my lost post I assumed that the distance by living apart most of the week led to a lack of flexibility and elasticity.

Analyzing happened and followed psychoanalytical standards. But it did not help.

In the moment we have the following agreement: wrong choice of the partner. We try to go away from thinking in „WE“, instead we want to find out our individual wishes, longings, attitudes, our personal handwriting and script.

I will finish now because of the unreliability of my ipad in the moment.

everyday life

How to live in these days – that’s the question

when I decided to go to Berlin for one year it was clear to me that besides my personal pleasure ( my 10year old granddaughter, going to movies, listening to lectures from psychoanalysts and other scientists, visiting exhibitions, writing), I wanted to do some work in the social field. When there was a question from the IPU (International Psychoanalytic University) for supervison in a student´s project I immediately answered.

In this project students in psychology look after refugees in different settings. My first group worked in a refugee-camp near the mainstation in Berlin. It is a socalled emergency accomodation, that means refugees are here only for a certain time til there is another place for them to be. Up to 300 persons can live here in two huge halls, one for the women and the social places, the other for the men. The halls are subdivided  into smaller „open cages“ for sleeping. The refugees are not locked in, but I found this expression suitable for these places which are open to the ceiling of the hall. They give place for 4 beds, one above another so that 8 people can sleep here and be here during the daytime if they wish.

My students were lucky because one of them came from Iran and spoke farsi, the language wich is also understood in Afghanistan. It was clear that she was frequently asked for a talk, for an advice, for a listening to the stories of some refugees, and it was clear, too, that this was an overwhelming experience and a huge burdening. One of the refugees showed a picture in his handy, laughing, do you want to see my friend? It was a picture of his friend, dead.

The trauma of difficult and often horrible flights cannot be contained in the moment. We do not have enough psychotherapists in Berlin or elsewhere who are competent in this field. My students do there best, but psychotherapy with refugees is not their job. They can help to make their everyday life a little better: to help them with bureaucracy (very important!!!), to find addresses and accompany them to clinics and physicians, to explain to them differences in cultural attitudes. I found one event very helpful and inspiring: my farsi-speaking student organized a cooking-event with a dozen of refugees. They had a lot of fun, the people were active and enjoyed the coming together.

everyday life

Daily prompt: Island

It was a sensation this triumph over England in the now running Championship of European Soccer. It happened on monday the 27. of June in Nizza, France that a country unknown for playing soccer in a bigger standard defeated this glorious nation. Another aspect of the „Brexit“. 

In my newspaper appeared on monday the 3rd of july one side with facts about Island, called „Niceland“: This small island, but what it achieved against England  was absolutely great. This remark was followed by ten things which one should know about Island (like Björk, the unbelievable singer, or that Island has the oldest existing parliament in the world since 930). But what struck me most was the hint that the Icelander are people of books. They have an ancestor – the poet and historian Snorri Sturluson, 1178-1241 – who gave in his „Snorra Edda“ instructions how to write nordic heroic stories. Now I cite out of the article: „Even til today the Icelander read and write with enthusiasm. Iceland has no army of its own but a writer´s association“. 

This evening we will see who wins the play France against Island and who will be our opponent in the match on thursday the 7. of July. I wish a „Halbfinale“ with the Icelanders.