Allgemein

One step in the right direction

My one year adventure in Berlin arouses a lot of doubts which I never expected. When I was young I thought to be a calm and wise person in the age of 70. No doubts, no problems any more. Instead knowing what you want, having a clear and steady perception of the world and other people. 

But now I learn that I am a person with stop and go, stop and go. How can I explain it? 

My husband and I thought it would be a good idea (and maybe a little bit of an adventure) when we – each of us – in our age (70+) have more time for ourselves. The promise was to live more in the own rhythm. For example: I love to go to movies, but with him on my side I often do not realize my plans. Instead we are sitting together at home, watching tv. He loves documentary, especially about historical themes. I join him in this interest, but it was not what I originally planned to do. The difficulty for me is that the list with not-realizing-wishful-events becomes longer and longer. And as I have a good memory I do not forget this list. 

As we are now living most of the week separated I do not feel prevented from my interests any more. These are the good news. But! I now have to struggle with the huge amount of possibilities here in Berlin. The Berlinale (one of the most popular filmfestivals in the world) starts on tuesday. A handful of interesting lectures in the IPU (International Psychoanalytical University)  are in these days. A friend of mine from Jerusalem is coming for three days. I have to make a contact with a support-number for my computer. This is a great pressure, really. I hate to be dependant from these people who will help me with my problem. And I have a pressure to work on a project: I will discuss the film  „People on Sunday“ in my cinema at home next autumn. (Billy Wilder´s debut as screenwriter, from 1930, one of the last silent movie). There is nothing spectacular in it, so it is a real challenge to write a good paper. 

When I see what I have just written, it seems to me complaining on a high level. And I do not really understand which problem I have! Such a thick bunch of interesting possibilities!

And I have to add another project. I started to get a contact with students who work here in Berlin with refugees. I am choosen as a supervisor for their work. In the moment it is difficult to get the little group together and find an appropriate frame for the work.

I want to thank the bloggers who showed interest in my posts. Young people with a fresh spirit. I am in raptures  (I have this expression from the dictionary, it sounds strange for my german ears.) about their attitude in writing. 

And especially a big thank you to DaisyWillows who asked directly: is everything okay with you? I hope to be back really now, and that is your merit. 

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Allgemein

my Berlin Beat, part two

an uncontrolled gesture with my hand – and the last post disappeared into the public. 

I have to add, that it is an interesting idea, to choose an event in the past which I would like to take part in as an observer. I will suggest it for the daily post.

To finish this „berlin beat“ post, I will only name some other events in this week: a visit in the „Tierpark“, (that is the old zoo in former east germany), to watch the newborn  rhinoceros unicornis, … what is the word in english? It is in the house where the elephants live. A two-day seminar in the jewish museum about Hanna Ahrendt. A visit in the bakery of Jo, who is one of the men with whom I was hiking last april in the occupied territories in Israel. 

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Allgemein

My Berlin beat

One of the challenges waiting for me during my 1-year-time in Berlin is how do I come along with all the seductions, interests, possibilities and  „duties“ (self chosen). My plans are to take care of my 10 year old granddaughter from time  to time. The  other thing is that I  want to write – biographical stories, short stories. Then I have to think how and when I will move and train my body, my legs, my  breath, in short: how to live healthy. And than,  only for pleasure with no demand  I want to go to the cinema as  often as possible. As I write this I have the impression of a huge programm in Berlin. The circumstances are not so good, because I have a strong tendency to be a couch-potatoe. I would love to lay on the sofa and read or watching tv.  I do not have a sofa in my small appartment in Berlin and I decided not to buy one because of the small space I live in and because the integration of a sofa, which would be possible, would change the aesthetic in the room. I am  not ready for this, now.

My plans and my character – how does this fit together? Listen, I will tell you in short about one week. First of all, instead of picking up Claire, my 10-year-old granddaughter from  school , I went to the  Gendarmenmarkt in midth of Berlin and there into the Concert Hall where she and her chorus had the full rehearsel for the christmas concert. I managed to go in, although only people from the  staff were aloud and listened to the music and the singing. Wonderful, simply  wonderful  to see the kids on the stage with this inspiring and motivating conductor, who successfully tried to bring out the best of the singers. After two hours we went to the christmasmarket  around the corner , watching,  eating, drinking and speaking of wishes we have for christmas. Then I brought her home. This was not so nice, her father was in stress, because there were       a lot of  things „to do“: practising, mathematics for school, training cello for her concert next week. „Why do I have to learn mathematics, it is boring and I want to be an actress or a singer when I am older. I do not need mathematics“.   I am occupied with this problem the evening and even next morning thinking about a possibility to bring her in contact with mathematics.

I am reading a book „The street“  from McCormack and I am fascinated. I see in the newspaper that in a cinema I do not know yet a movie is running, only one night, about which I heard as a masterpiece from A. German a russian filmdirector. „It is difficult to be a god“. Why not? The dystopie of the book might fit to the dystopie of the film, but it runs three hours, in russian with undertitles. It is dark when I go out, not so pleasant in this big city and the aerea of the cinema is dark, too. A little bit away from main streets, I do not  feel very  comfortable.

The three hours were an impressive event: pure middle age, raw and full of violence,  with no culture. The idea of the film is brilliant in my eyes: A handful scientists travel to another planet, where people live still in the middle-age. They have the task to observe how the „Renaissance“ emerge from this old-fashioned society. (This could be the task for the daily post to

Back home the  finishing of the book is an impressive event, too. No middle age, but a world after a total catastrophe.

 

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Allgemein

Now in Berlin

Hello again after weeks of silence. I was very occupied with two things: living my normal life with my husband, my patients and courses in my institute, and on the other hand I had to organize my move to Berlin. I want to stay here for one year and travel to my home near Mannheim once a week for one day. It takes 5 hours with the train – if it is in time, and that is not so sure as I experienced yesterday when I came to Berlin with 40 minutes delay.

Is this the best time to realize my plans? The newspapers are full with news and comments about the refugees and since some weeks about the terror and the consequences in Paris. In times of great distress and insecurity would it be not the better way to reduce moving and stay at home in a comfortable and well-known surrounding? 

I decided to move and take it as a challenge. Let´s see what I can make out of it 

 : top or flop. I only have lived in big cities (Hamburg and Munich) during my studies in my early twenties. Now I will find out more than fourty years later what it means to live in one of the most attractive cities in the world.  
A new experience for me is the constructing and decorating of a „Knusperhaus“. An old habit in Germany before christmas. And once you have managed it you will „crunch“ from the house now and then.  

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big changes experimental life

Help – I am drowning‘

One hour ago I wrote a similar post on „my website blogging 101 the commons“ . I fear this was not the right place, it disappeared.

I was telling in this „ghost“-post how earnest I take the daily assignements, and that I want to be clever and active, tough and always „au jour“. This is a task which I cannot fulfil, because there are a lot of seductions on my way, I think of other posts and other bloggers which cross my reading. How interesting are the different topics, how moving are the variety of matters and how touching is the overall wish to „reach out“ and join the community!

Then I had a kind of panic in thinking of spending every day three or more hours to read all the interesting „neighbours“ and therefore I made a decision: I have neighbours near by whom I see often, other neighbours are living at the end of the street or in other areas, and some friends are far away. The distance will decide how often I will meet them.

But now I will take my bicycle and go from one area in Berlin (Friedrichshain) through the whole city to another area (Charlottenburg) to buy the best „Sauerteigbrot“ (= bread of leaven) in town. We call these different areas „Kiez“.

Did I mention already that I take my blog as a kind of „verbal selfie“ and that I plan to move to Berlin in autumn for at least one year? I will write about this year, because it is a kind of experiment in self-knowlegde how it feels to live in a big city at the age of 70+,  how it will be to meet my husband only two days a week (my home is 5 ½ hours away to drive with the train) and how I will manage to create a small pool of interesting people with whom I can spend some free time and share interests.

Do you think my plans are crazy?

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Allgemein

who I am and why I am here 

it is my second blogging university and I am thrilled again by these inspiring ideas, fresh thoughts and challenging assignments. As I started long ago to write down my thoughts and what happened to me in my daily life I am used to express myself.  My blog is one year old, it is a little like a car with a stuttering motor. I start and stop, and start again and stop again. I hope to bring real good flow into my blog by attending this blogging 101.

My wish is to get connected with other people with similar ideas or even the contrary. Some connections to other bloggers are from my last participation in July and I have to say, that I love the first comments, that I am excited if other bloggers like some posts. People I do not know, people who live thousands of miles away from me, people who get a face by expressing themselves to my themes. (Only a very small number till now).

I will write about „growing old around the globe“, I am 70+, living in Germany in the area of Mannheim (for my foreign readers: 80 kilometres in the south of Frankfurt). In autumn I will move to Berlin for at least for one year. I like to write about films I saw. I am not a filmcritic and I do not want to enter into competition with them, but I have a special look onto movies and I want to share it. There are plenty possibilities for me besides the normal cinema: The International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg, this year the 64. edition (www.iffmh.de). The Festival of the German Film in Ludwigshafen, next summer is the 12. edition. And the most prominent one is the Berlinale, I think february 2016.

I like to write about my experiences with people in Israel and Palestine. You may have a look to some older posts, where I describe a walking tour in the westbank this April for 14 days with a palestinian guide and with bed and food in palestinian families. My jewish friends in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem envied me for this experience because as Israelis they are not aloud to enter the westbank. I am not political, I like to meet people and learn from them and their view.

Anything else will develop hopefully with „the little help of a friend“ .

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Reisen

wake up, little Susi

I am still occupied with writing about my walking tour in Israel in the occupied territories, although it is four months ago. I was astonished about reactions of friends and collegues when they heard about walking along the Abraham-path: Is it dangeroues to go there? They mix the westbank with the Gaza-strip. To remind my readers:I was walking in the westbank not in the Gaza-strip. The walking was on the socalled Abraham-path, in April 2015, togther with local guides who brought our little group from Jenin in the north to Hebron in the south. What was special for me was that it is not common in my age (70 plus) to walk such a long tour (about 170 kms) in a territory which is in general known as a topic in political discussions in Israel. We in the western world  know about it and we blame the official politics in Israel about the occupancy of Palestine and the bad treating of the palestinians. When I decided last summer to spend two months in Israel it was clear to me that I would go into the westbank and learn about the area, the landscape and the people by walking a long distance through the country. Was it dangerous? We had a good feeling with all our guides who know the hot places like the market in Hebron and know the atmosphere of the hour. They never would have brought us into a difficult situation, I am sure.

I already have written about the shepard with the Lady Bird. We were often invited on our way to drink a coffee or tea by normal people. At the edge of a field, on a dusty street, from another shepard in the wilderness of a stony hill. We were impressed by this spontanous warmhearted hospitality of the people. They want to know from where we come and where to go. Mentioning „Alimanya“ several people remind german words, a lot of them have worked in Germany…Stuttgart…Mercedes. Some of them have still relatives in Germany.

These simple touching gestures are in strong contrast to the reports our guide delivers about the reality of the occupancy. We learn how the settlers build their settlements: On top of a hill – from one day of the other – they put one or two caravans. Settlers who claim this place. Then comes the military to protect them. And then more settlers are coming and more military and the place grows to a village, then to a town and grows more and more. And some miles away happens the same play. And then the two settlements have to be connected by a street, naturally, and have to be protected, naturally, by military, by a fence, by a wall. The streets are forbidden for palestinians (on their own land). And the consequences for the palestinians are that their land is ongoing split up. They have to make detours to come to their villages, they are not allowed to use the streets of the settlers.

Muhammed speaks about it without a sign of discernible anger or wrath, objective, quiet. Instead we visitors get a shadow on our minds every time we hear a new variation of the reality of occupancy.

When we sit in the place Sebastiya in front of roman ruins and listen to the interesting explanations of our guide to the old history (he has studied Archaology), in this moment comes a bus with jewish guests to the parking place, accompanied by two military cars. Settlers, says Muhammed, and his voice becomes soft and quiet. We are sitting there, be silent, watching and feel apprehensive.

Later we pass a bus stop where three israeli soldiers are standing around, one has his gun ready for shooting in his hand, that means half high targeting into the blue. This exposure of power from very young looking soldiers seems to me obscene. And we ask ourselves whether they would be able in case of a critical situation to act considered.

„Little Susie“ is writing again. Despite the very hot temperatures in the moment in Berlin where I spend my holidays. More about this walking tour in the next days.

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