Llovía. No había clase. Como cada sábado por la mañana, ella estaba detrás del mostrador de cristal donde se exponían panecillos, pasteles y otros productos de panadería y de pastelería para la venta. A través del escaparate veía como el viento barría las hojas de los arboles revoloteándolas por la calle.
Delante de la tienda una mujer luchó con su paraguas. Encima, en el escaparate, había una inscripción con letras gruesas que decía: “Panadería Müller”, en escritura invertida, desde luego, para alguien que lo leyese desde adentro. Cuando ella estaba sola y no tenía que atender a clientes, le gustaba imaginarse que este escaparate fuera una pantalla de cine y que lo que veía detrás de él fuera solo una película.
En su fantasía entonces cambiaba la escena. Los coches se volvían en carruajes, las hojas en pájaros y, por ejemplo, esta mujer con el paraguas se convertía en su madre luchando contra un dragón furioso. Especialmente esta imagen le divertía mucho. Su madre, que lo entendía todo mal, que malinterpretaba sus palabras, que sabía convertir lo bueno en malo y lo malo en bueno, probablemente también hubiera podido superar un combate contra un dragón furioso o por lo menos hubiera conseguido un empate. Hasta el próximo combate.
La mujer con el paraguas había desaparecido hace tiempo. Ahora ella se imaginaba, pues, qué le gustaría escribir en el escaparate en lugar de la palabra aburrida: “Panadería Müller”. ¿Qué tal si fuera “eres importante para mí”, “de todas formas te quiero” o “me enojo contigo porque te quiero”? O quizás también: “Te enojo …”. Sonreía un poco pensando en esto. Se figuró el efecto que tuviera esta inscripción en la gran luna del escaparate. Toda la gente que pasara por la panadería podría leerla, también su madre. Ella se figuraba entonces la inscripción: “Eres importante para mí”. ¿Podría su madre finalmente entenderla entonces a ella? Se la imaginó parada delante del escaparate, frunciendo y meneando la cabeza. Entonces se le ocurrió la idea: “Tienes que colocar tus palabras en escritura invertida.”
This is a little case example on what you can experience after a stroke… someone told it to me as an experience he made. The details are changed, but the core is true.
“After my stroke” he said, “people knew me that I no longer knew. ‘I am Peter’, one said. ‘Which Peter?’ I asked. ‘Don’t you remember? I went to school with you, we did an apprenticeship together and we have stood side by side at the workbench… ‘ ‘No Idea. I can’t remember’, I said. ‘We’ve been on holiday together’ he continued, ‘and you gave my daughter Julia that funny teapot as a present.’ ‘Are you Julia’s father then?’ I asked. His name was Peter and he went to school with me. And you are him?’ “
In a land in our time there lived a man, who read a book and found lots of wonderful stories therein. There were true and invented stories, experienced and pensive, enjoyable and painful stories. There were stories which contained stories, and such which were actually not stories. For every story he read, there occurred to him nearly five which he had either experienced or thought up himself. So the thought came to him, that a lot in the world was a story which could be healing for himself and others; he only needed to absorb the healing stories well and to forget the terrible ones immediately. Then he would learn which story he had used when and for what. So he organised his own stories which he knew, and which had become a help to himself and others, or could become so. Sometimes he noted it down when a new story came to his ears and sometimes when a helpful story occurred to him, he memorised it.
Then he saw before him in a picture the storystories of this life arranged in long shelves, as in a large pharmacy. And behind the counter there sat a man who had learnt to listen to himself and others. He was a master of his subjectspecialty. His talent was that he understood how to tell the right thing at the right time to himself and to those who visited him.
A fairy tale! The children’s eyes lit up. The tale explainer began: “Once upon a time, there was a mother goat. She had seven little kids. As this prototypical introduction shows, this is obviously a fairy tale. In this kind of literature the number seven is the number of completion. Later on it will become important that not all of the little kids are eaten, but instead that all will be saved. We do not know why the father of the goats is not mentioned. The subsequent eating of the little kids can be understood as a violent or sexual act. When you later divide the story into five main paragraphs, you will confirm that the tale follows a graded pattern…” And the lights in the children’s eyes went out.
I went into an inn. It was somewhere in the Scottish highlands. “Greetings! Do you serve warm porridge for breakfast?” The woman behind the counter told me the right Scottish expression: “You mean: crowdie?” “Yes …” – “No.”
“… one does not need even words to make oneself understood, or indeed misunderstood…”
When the king had spoken, everyone went home. “What did the king talk about?” asked the soldier’s wife. “About the strength of our country”, he answered. “What did the king talk about?” asked the salesman’s wife. “About the wealth of our country”, he answered. “What did the king talk about?” asked the poet’s wife. “About the beauty of our country”, he said. “What did the king talk about?”, asked the farmer’s wife. “About the fertility of our country”, he answered. “What did you talk about then?” asked the king’s wife. “About the diversity of our country”, he said.
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