05 August 2014

Stuff happens, life goes on. In the mornings I read about Gaza and at work I hold the hands of a furiously crying Palestinian postdoc, her mascara running down her face in black lines. She feels helpless, she tells me. And I want to reply, helpless? Try me. But instead, we sit for a while longer before she tries to make some more calls.

I also read that amazon is starting to send out stuff to people they might want to buy but haven't yet ordered, all based on their preferences and reviews and wish lists and whatnot's. In my case, this could mean a deluge of second-hand books and contact lens cleanser.

Can I write one paragraph about a terrible war and in the next, make fun of one of the myriad trappings of our consumer society?

I don't know. In fact, I mostly feel that I haven't a clue. About most things. How come we do all this? How on earth do we let hurtful things happen? Last week I commented on an article about epigenetics with my usual spiel that guilt is not hereditary but that guilt feelings are and about neuroscience and the unconscious transmission of war trauma and guilt from one generation to the next. But I wonder, it seems so slick. Obviously, I have done a fairly good job shaking off my mother's trauma or else I would drown myself in drink and valium by now the way she did.

And yet, I know, being German and with that grandfather, I better keep my mouth shut when certain issues are discussed because these days, sooner or later, someone will mention the war. I grew up at a time when nobody ever did that, mention the war, well, not in Germany. So imagine my clueless surprise at age 14 when I arrived in a sleepy town on the east coast of England (where I spent three months hating the school uniform and watching telly) and was greeted with the outstretched hand salute and that little gesture with the two fingers under the nose to indicate the moustache. Great fun for some.

The baddies and the goodies, how easy it could be. But remember: this will never work.

Instead, yesterday in London:

source: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/

But most importantly, this: 


  1. Helpless. Yes.
    This planet IS our home. We ARE all one.
    I don't know. I don't know anything except that the ways of war and treating our planet so callously don't work. They never have and they never will and why we continue to go do the paths we do brings nothing but death and despair and destruction.

  2. "We are all co-creators here."

    Oneness. Yes.

  3. It is hard to talk about the war here, too. So many of my friends are Jewish, and the conversation is loaded. We look at each other sadly, and stand in the shallows, feeling helpless on both sides.

  4. You can only live your life according to your own ethical standards and beliefs. If everyone did that ... I know, you little effort feels puny in context. But surely that's better than giving up. Besides, if you're kind to Fred, and Fred is kind to Gladys, and Gladys is kind to Boris, and Boris is kind to ... I know that's naive. But still a maxim worth living by, surely?

  5. there is no two
    no one
    simply what is
    and what is
    is what all of us are