22 December 2014


For a long time I thought that 1993 was my bad year, the year the carpet was pulled from under my feet. And in so many ways it was just that, the year of loss and picking up the pieces. That gigantic chaotic mix of juggling too many things, finding my bearings in a country I had never wanted to return to, my child silent and shy, my man working long days, the waves of hatred and xenophobia after the end of the cold war, the year my workplace was attacked, burnt down by racist thugs, cleaning up the smoldering mess and ending up in hospital, nothing too serious but if you want another child, maybe better to go for this surgery. Walking into it like a fool and waking up barren. Sorry, mixed messages, oh shit, you never signed for this one. Checking out, barely able to walk, on christmas eve, while the river burst its banks. Flood of the century, they called it on tv. Devastating, the reports read, massive damage claims expected.

Sometimes, I think it was really nothing compared to so much that has happened since, that it was in fact a lesson that has helped me cope and be grown up about life and all that stuff about getting the wind knocked out of your sails and the crack appearing - for the light to get in.

Memory is a wicked thing. There are days when I play my memory games that I am almost blinded by the golden light of how wonderful we were, the three of us forever walking into warm oceans, glorious sunsets,  magical fortress gates, all the warm kitchens we sat in and laughed and cried and talked and comforted each other as a family, as a couple. Oh, all that love and trust and how we seemingly take it for granted to be there for each other - always.

But looking back over my adult life as a woman, a mother, a wife, there are so many scars and some of them have been itching and oozing for so many years that most of the time now, I barely take notice.

We get knocked about, all of us, and not just by life itself but at times we do it to each other, we lash out, we hurt, we blame and we betray. The things we want from life, the things we feel we deserve, we need, we desire. Sometimes a compromise is just not good enough when we want something, when we think we need something so badly, so urgently. After all, we also know how to forgive. We lick our wounds and anyway, in the end things have always worked out well, eventually, haven't they?

We don't grow up and put away childish things. It is far more complicated. We each read a different instruction manual.


Ms. Moon said...

You are such an amazing writer.
Thank you for putting words down for us to find and read and take in.
You speak a lot of truth. For all of us.

37paddington said...

This is profound and strangely hopeful, though I am not sure this is what you were feeling as you wrote. But you make me feel less alone with my gloomy thoughts as I read this, and you also make me feel that no matter what comes, no matter what manual we read, we will survive it. What choice do we have, really. You are so loved.

Fire Bird said...


Rouchswalwe said...

Oh Sabine ... the truths you present give me food for thought. Und ich danke Dir herzlich!

L."Wren" Vandever said...

In 1993 I, too, had just returned to a country I hadn't wanted to come back to, and I was also trying desperately to find my place in it again. Over time, I did--at least, on the outside. But inside myself, there is still a large part of me that resides in the old world, clinging there, not wanting to let it go, ever.

Life deals us wild cards. I believe they're the only things that keep us questing and fresh, preventing us from falling forever into the mundane ruts we find so comfortable--until they're not, and we're stuck.

As ever, you provoke thought, Sabine. Danke.