#oslove

I will tell your story if you die. I will tell your story and keep you alive.

Some die old. Some die young. Some die for their beliefs. Some die for their country. All death is meaningless.
Thus it becomes our job, as survivors, to give meaning to death. To look for a purpose or a consequence to this endless void.

One year ago we decided to love each other again, to remember what we built our society on and that we are together in this world. One year ago.
One week ago, I saw poeple wanting to kick foreigners out of our country on the gneral basis that “their kind” are nothing but thiefs and beggars. One week ago, I saw mothers and fathers yelling at each other, one word stronger than the other. One week ago I saw 15 common people suddenly fill their whole with hate. One week ago.
One day ago, I saw the same people remember one year ago.

I hope that tomorrow, they still do.

We survived. We have to tell their stories. We have to give meaning to the pointless. We have to remember what they believed in, and to keep struggling for that belief that we are all here in this world together. If one man can show so much hate, imagine how much love we can show.

We survived. We have to remember and find meaning.
Some die yoUng. Some die old.

Yes… but

You see, actually I wanted to write about something completely different today. Something that I have been thinking about lately – especially since the time we all were together in Norway for Hans and Signhild’s wedding. But I shall write about it next time. It simply isn’t the right answer for what Eyal wrote.

The past days of riots in London and also Liverpool started quite a few discussions amongst colleagues and friends about why this is happening in England. People that know me will know, that I might not always paint the brightest picture of the country. That is simply what happens when you live somewhere foreign for a longer period of time than just for holidays: You make your own picture of the place. You gain an insight into how the system works. And that ultimately leads to a decision about whether you like the place or not. So my opinion is that there is a lot of positive things, especially when it comes to people, in England. But the system in general failed long ago and it seems that nobody ever realized the days of the Empire are over.

But now: the generation of people that get left behind. This is our generation ladies and gentlemen. And everyone following up on us! When did that happen? And why?

It was very late a few years ago even, when I did my apprenticeship in Munich. I came home after one of those usual jobs. Very late, very tired but couldn’t sleep right away (as always after work late at night). I switched on the TV and there was a documentary on about unemployed young people. All the kids there quit school. No degree, not even finished school. My parents – as Eyal mentioned – would not have allowed for that to happen. (We think – coming back to that point). So there is this guy who get’s a chance to get work at a local place that does removals and furniture transportation. Obviously this is physically heavy work and you don’t have to be very bright to do it. Therefore the pay is not great – but it is payed work. This guy gets offered to work there and if he doesn’t do too bad, may become a full time position. But for now, he only has to come with them for half a day, 6 hours in total.
When he comes back, he says this work would be absolutely stupid, everyone could do it, it would be too hard and would not pay enough. And that he would not go there again. Asked what he would expect from a job, he says that is has to pay well. He wishes to have a house, garden, car, pool and so on. He would need about 3000 Euros a month to even feel he has a quality life.
So I sat there, after 16 hours of work, that payed me around 500 Euros a month and thought – what the fuck?
(I had to check again, but that really was the salary… 😉 )

Another story: In the gymnastics class I used to coach, there was a really talented you boy. When he came to our club, it became quite clear after no time, that we were not the right place for him. He was too talented not to make something out of that talent. We wanted to send him to the Olympics team that trains in Augsburg. And they wanted to work with him – but he didn’t want to. He wanted to stay. So he did. He was about 9 years or so (cannot remember) and his parents used to bring him to training as they lived several towns away. They cared for him, where always there, went with us to competitions and events and so further. I watched him grow up and he was a nice guy and remained the best one of the group.
During my time in Liverpool I was home for the summer and on a train from Augsburg back home. A guy that somehow looks familiar comes in the train and passes me. He was a punk, with all the usual accessories, like the spiky collar, run down clothes, coloured hair – the whole enchilada. Somewhere in my head, this little man was saying: You know this guy. But I could not work out where from.
A few days later I meet a friend from my time at the gymnastics club. She is a social worker now and told me the story that this guy I once knew has basically abandoned his family. No contact what so every. Lives on the street and became a punk. So what happened with this guy? He was the one on the train. At some point in our lives, our paths crossed and there was a chance to possibly change his life. To divert it into a different direction. His parents did everything they thought was good for him. They cared and they were strict. And now?

You see, the thing with the blaming is really difficult. I agree with Eyal, completely. The parents are to blame. But, it isn’t that easy. A lot of the kids of the lost generation have really young parents. Especially in England there is a trend to become a Mom at a very young age. To gain some perspective in life again. As everything else is useless. No job, no money, no perspective. Why not have a baby. Thinking does not always go much further as the next few weeks. And the fact that having a child means lifetime commitment is not the first thought that comes to mind.
So now, kids having kids is a problem. Kids with no perspective in life, no money, no job, no education having kids themselves… who do you blame now? When does the chain start? Where in the line is the one person that we could blame? The one that had a proper job, was clever, raised a family and made it through? There must be someone to blame..?

I know this is a very provocative line of argumentation. But it is what I spotted a while ago. And since then, I keep wondering all the time how to solve that riddle.

To be fair, you know how my thinking is. I might be too idealistic and have a very pragmatic view on things. But I do honestly ask the question: How do we want to go on as a society? We cut down jobs in constant strive for more money, the better paid job. We cut down the money for anything that is not related to economy and its constant growth. Did anybody ever think about, that constant growth is something unnatural? And that within our physical restrains infinite growth will never happen – no matter what we are looking at. But we built our society on the basis of constant economic growth… That is odd.
So, what do we do with all the kids that have no perspective in their lives? Do we go to them and tell them: Learn something, you will find a job and be happy? Well, there won’t be any job. We all know how hard it can be to find A job. But everyone strives for THE job, the one that makes you happy, pays well and has short working hours…

I honestly am furious about rioters like the one we have seen in England lately. There is no excuse for this.
But there is the unsolved question of whom to blame. I don’t know. But I feel it is time that people – young people in particular start to become more present in the minds of the people that do leave them behind. We have the right to speak freely what we think. We can demonstrate for the good cause. So, why not organise some useful things with a Blackberry and march for a good thing. To really change something…?

It is only us, human beings, that are able to change the way our world goes. At the moment, we are heading for the ice-berg, straight ahead and with full speed.

Maybe we should go and slow down a bit.

the people of today

I wonder what the people of tomorrow will think about the people of today. Will they read about us in history and think in awe about the great things we accomplished. Will they read about the ones who conquered all plagues, erradicated war and brought humanity into a new era of compassion and peace. Or will they read about the generations that destroyed our homeworld, that spent all the resources and ruined international relations for all forseeable time.

Will they look at our technological revolution as the beginning of the end, or as the beginning of the new world? For this is where we have come now. We are at a point in our evolution, technological progress and interhuman relations where we, and I mean we; the whole of humanity, must make a choice. Do we stand back and watch, let the chaos and carnage happen? Do we let the world fall to the problems of our fathers? … or do we act now, do we let our anger and rage change the world forever?

I’m 25 years old. I don’t know what I’ll be doing in 12 months time. But I will do it with all my passion and energy. I did not create the problems of today, but they are my problems, and I have to solve them. I didn’t bring the world to this state of terror, but it is my world, and I have to live in it. I will do it with all my passion and energy because this is the only way it will ever work. We all have to do what we do, as good as we can, as persistent as our will lets us, and as arrogant as our courage tells us.

I see people my age everywhere, dreaming great dreams and willing something with their life. Don’t you see, we are a genetation of dreamers, visionaries and we will change the world. We have started to fix all that is wrong, all the things you did before we came, we will fix it. Just give us some time. And don’t try to stop us.
I did not create the problems. But they are my problems. And I will fix them.

I wonder what the people of yesterday would think of the people of today.

for yesterday and all tomorrows, we dance the best we know.

tHe Problem?

I know when it was…

There were two of them.

– the first, in retrospect, quite obvious; we were in the PMA, watching a really badly lit dance piece, it was our first week together, and Eyal, sitting next to Katrin, turns to me and says – I really want to be a lighting designer!

– the second, more subtle, yet still defining for us as what we want to be – in the PC suite on 5th floor, Didrik and I were having a conversation about Mac’s versus Vari-Lite. Didrik exclaims – Mac (…) they’re the greatest… upon which I reply – they’re good, but Vari-Lite still has the edge. At this point Georg chips in with what, which in retrospect I’m sure he regret ever saying – Hans is right, (…) I think the VL’s are better.

Inconsequential conversations one might say. But truly, life defining moments they turned out to be. For what would any one of us be without the other?

notHing without Passion

the defining moment

I started today early, not too early, about half past 6, and I didn’t stop moving till about 1:20.

After the basics, waking up, waking Kat up, taking a shower, waking Kat up again (this time with coffee) etc, I went to visit my sister and spoke about my father, and brother and then mother.

My mother had a day that for anyone else would be quite large, but for my mother is just another day.

I went to my grandparents and locked myself in one of the upstairs bedrooms, (the one with the best phone signal). I laid out my CV, about 25 photos a lot of maps of London, opened up my computer, took out my phone and waited. I was completely still, completely quiet.

It was in that moment that I realised that any second, I could be experiencing a defining moment .

In truth it could easily not have been, it could easily have been an phone call just like every other one, an interview like any other for a job like any other. The truth is that I won’t know for years to come, but the importance was that I took a moment to allow this moment to be significant.

Lately the blog has been an interesting place, a place that I (and I feel both of you as well) check every chance I get to see if something else has been written, something to erase the words of the past. More, to carry the mistakes of the past into the reality of the future. By this I hope you don’t think that I am talking about the post’s themselves as the mistakes, but the actions outlined in them.

I, forever cursed to a non confrontational attitude, agree with you Georg, along with Hans, ashamed to be guilty of the thing I hated the most, arrogance, the very thing I arrogantly accused others of.

It has taken a long time for me to read, accept, an muster the courage to respond truthfully, and ashamed again that it was difficult.

This is going to be another poetic post…

When I auditioned for Columbia (when two certain people replaced the wheels under my chair with bricks!) I was required to memorise a poem by Fernando Pessoa called the Tobacco shop.

Pessoa was a very disturbed man and in some of my darker moments lately I have been reciting the beginning of this poem which goes;

“I am nothing, I shall never be anything, I cannot wish to be anything, but aside from that I have within me all the dreams of the world”

I don’t know whether it was meant as a comfort or not but it is a habit I have discontinued, today I read further into the poem and rediscovered a passage that I prefer;

“But the Tobacco Shop owner has come to the door and is standing there.
I look at him with the discomfort of an half-turned head
Compounded by the discomfort of an half-grasping soul.
He shall die and I shall die.
He shall leave his signboard and I shall leave my poems.
His sign will also eventually die, and so will my poems.
Eventually the street where the sign was will die,
And so will the language in which the poems were written.
Then the whirling planet where all of this happened will die.
On other satellites of other systems some semblance of people
Will go on making things like poems and living under things like signs,
Always one thing facing the other,
Always one thing as useless as the other,
Always the impossible as stupid as reality,
Always the mystery of the bottom as true as the shadow of mystery of the top.
Always this thing or always some other, or neither one nor the other.

But a man has entered the Tobacco Shop (to buy tobacco?),
And plausible reality suddenly hits me.
I half rise to my feet -energetic, sure of myself, human-
And I will try to write these verses in which I say the opposite.”

This may seem a bit left field, but I can say that, for myself at least, existentialism is the cause and effect of my feelings flight and of fall. I thought that if there is a greater meaning to life then I must be a key player, and then I felt as I had not only let myself down but that my ideals had shattered as well.

Is there a meaning to life? I don’t know, Rudyard Kipling may have gotten it right;

“If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

Yours is the Earth, and everything that’s in it”
Life isn’t about what you have achieved, or who’ve you’d had to beat to get there.

The Earth doesn’t belong to those who wish to possess it.

Truly great people do not seek greatness.

Later in life, a now very sick and even more disturbed Pessoa wrote;

“Should I drink something or should I commit suicide?
No;  I am going to exist.  Dammit! I am going to exist.
To ex-ist…
To ex-ist…
Give me something to drink, for I am not thirsty!”

Today’s defining moment may well have been a defining moment for me, and nothing to others , my mother’s may have been nothing to her, and the world to others.

But yesterday’s mistakes realised remain in yesterday, and the future is opened up for a whole new variety of mistakes to be made.

The internet may break, the post destroyed, the memories of those who read it die, the language that I have written this post in be lost, and yet it has been written. And if it is read then it was worth the effort.

YEsterday’s defining moment is obliterated by today’s, but that didn’t make it any less signifIcant.

A toast.

A toast to my friend. A toast to a good man. A toast to a warrior of light. A toast to all of you who venture to live your dreams. It seems today is that day. I am so happy right now, because you still walk among us, the few. I am so happy right now, because this means you still follow your heart!

follow your Heart and all will unfold Perfectly