Midsummer Night’s Dream

Another beautiful story by Katharina Lamprecht

One day, it was Midsummer and the Swedish days where as long as the dinner table for the king’s birthday. A wise old moose on his evening stroll met a young boy, sitting on a moss covered tree trunk, sobbing deeply. The old moose stopped and looked at the boy who did not notice him because of all his despair. Not until the moose nudged him with his soft muzzle did the boy raise his eyes. And just in front of him he saw the big brown eyes of the moose. He saw in those eyes all the stars in the heavens that he could not see before on this Midsummer night. So big, so deep and so endless the eyes seemed to be that he got the feeling he could just take a walk right into them. The stars where so beautiful, like jewels, iridescent and glittering in all colors he could imagine, scattered like the crumbles on grandma’s apple-pie, big ones and small ones, thick and thin ones, each of them meaningful and unique. At the sight of all those treasures the boy got the feeling he was surrounded by good friends, who bestowed upon him potency and love.

So they stood for a long time and looked at each other, the young boy and the old moose. Then the moose blew his warm and soft breath through the boy’s hair, turned around and faded into the forest. The boy looked after him for a long time, as if in trance, and only after a while did he discover that his infinite sadness had transformed. It was still there but all of a sudden there was also a happiness and cheerfulness. And he somehow felt that this had something to do with the stars he had seen in the fathomless eyes of the old moose.

He turned around and walked back home. And whistling happily away he kicked at the stones that laid on his way.

El lobo de mar y el lobo de madriguera

Antaño el lobo de mar recibió visita del lobo de madriguera. Ambos se conocían ya de la escuela de lobos. Después de terminar la escuela el lobo de mar había salido para recorrer medio mundo, había superado muchas aventuras y al final había regresado rico de tesoros y de vivencias.
El lobo de madriguera se había quedado en su propia cueva. Había encontrado a una loba de madriguera y habían tenido pequeños lobos de madriguera. Mientras tanto tenían muchos nietos y bisnietos de lobo y todos se habían hecho verdaderos, buenos lobos de madriguera.
“A veces deseo poder recomenzar mi vida”, dijo el lobo de madriguera al lobo de mar.
“A mí me pasa lo mismo”, contestó este.
“Haría de otra manera muchas cosas”, dijo el lobo de madriguera.
“Sí, yo también”, contestó el lobo de mar.
“Sería marino”, soñó el lobo de madriguera.
“Yo me casaría”, suspiró el lobo de mar.
“Superaría aventuras”, declaró el lobo de madriguera.
“Engendraría hijos de lobo”, constató el lobo de mar.
“Yo sería un lobo rico. Habría hecho experiencias malas y lindas de las que podría contar”, se apasionó el lobo de madriguera.
“Tendría nietos y bisnietos que me quisieran y que cuidaran de mi cuando me pusiera viejo y enfermo”, sostuvo el lobo de mar.
“Y ahora estaría sentado contigo en esta guarida de lobo de mar”, continuó el lobo de madriguera.
“… y yo contigo …”, le interrumpió el lobo de mar.
El lobo de madriguera confirmó: ”Y entonces me dirías ahora: ’A veces desearía que pudiera volver a vivir otra vez.’ Y yo contestaría: ‘Sí, a mi me pasa lo mismo’.”

(Por Stefan Hammel, traducción: Bettina Betz)

The Crooked Bird

Another contribution by Katharina Lamprecht who will also be at the Festival in October

Sometimes there is a little sparrow sitting on the clothesline in front of my kitchen window. I like to observe him, he is quite funny and quite different than the other birds. Somehow he always looks as if he was a little tipsy. He dithers a bit on the line and you can see that it takes an effort to keep his balance because he sticks out one leg and flaps his wings. He generally makes the impression of being quite dizzy. But it doesn’t seem to bother him at all, on the contrary, I get the feeling that he enjoys his slanting position very much.

A friend of mine, who is an ornithologist, said that this phenomenon goes by the name of “crooked bird”, common knowledge amongst experts. He explained, that there are indeed many birds, who love to frolic through storms and high winds. Back and forth, up and down, left and right they let themselves dash around by the wind until they don´t know anymore where they are, don´t know up from down or back from forth. And it is obvious that they have so much fun with it, that they keep the dizziness even when there is no wind at all. Just like the sparrow on my clothesline.

Scientists suspect that these crooked birds have a kind of inner anchor. Somewhere in their bodies has to be a place that gives them the needed security to be able to always find their way and relate to a stable, secure, safe and unshakeable point, no matter what. In this way they can relax, be calm and at ease, at least internally. They can feel straight and upright even if they have no orientation in the outer world. The scientists cannot determine where this inner anchor is but they are quite sure, it´s there. Perhaps one can compare it to the radar that bats use. This we can´t see either but there is no doubt it´s there.

“We don´t really know how all of this functions, but it has to be somehow like that”, my friend said and grinned. To be honest, I´m not quite sure if I can believe his story or if he wanted to pull my leg. But watching my little sparrow, reeling and rocking with obvious delight on my clothesline, I keep thinking that he surely must have such an inner anchor. Even if he has not the slightest idea, where it is or that it even exists. But it´s got to be in there somewhere, an area within him that gives him the absolute certainty to be safe and sound in all of these dizzying situations. An anchor that keeps him upright and gives him balance.

So seeing him on the line, I imagine that, the more he careens, the bigger and stronger the anchor in him gets and he is even more centered. With stormy winds outside and the feeling of security and safety inside, the little sparrow can enjoy his crookedness as much as he likes. And I wonder, where my inner anchor might be…

Le village de montagne

J’ai demandé à un client : « Si vous voulez, imaginez-vous une fois votre vie comme un village de montagne, dans lequel le fleuve a débordé et a amené beaucoup de boue et d’éboulis. Après ce malheur le conseil municipal se réunit avec les villageois, les pompiers et la protection civile et ils discutent de ce qui est à faire. Il arrive tout d’abord des gens avec des pelleteuses, des bulldozers et des camions pour enlever le plus gros des éboulis. Pouvez-vous vous imaginer cela ? » « Oui. » « Vous pouvez voir comment ils déblaient tout ça. Après l’équipe de rangement il arrive des gens avec des tuyaux et des balais. Ils enlèvent toute la boue et le sable du village, toute cette saleté qui est venue de l’arrière-pays. Vous pouvez voir comment ils font tout couler vers le bas dans la vallée. Vient ensuite l’équipe des artisans. Il y a des maçons, des plâtriers, des peintres, peut-être aussi des électriciens, des installateurs, des stucateurs, des restaurateurs. « Que font-ils d’après vous ? » « Ils peuvent plafonner ou cloisonner. » « Exact. Quoi d’autre ? » « Poser une moquette. Câbler. Placer des tringles à rideau. » « Exact. Après les artisans arrivent les jardiniers. Ils aménagent de nouveau les parcs et les jardins. On rajoute peut-être un puits au village ou un tilleul au village pour améliorer encore plus le village, pour qu’il soit mieux qu’avant. Et un monument commémoratif. Peut-on imaginer cela ? » « Pas très bien. » « Eh bien, vous n’avez pas besoin de vous imaginer tout ça. Dites bonjour à votre âme, pour qu’elle fasse ça pour vous, comme ça vous n’avez pas à vous en occuper. Après il y a des personnes très importantes qui arrivent. C’est l’équipe de prévention. Ce sont eux qui veillent à ce que cela n’arrive plus. Ils peuvent planter la pente au-dessus du village par exemple, pour que les racines des arbres fixent la terre. Ils peuvent construire des murs et des grillages dans le style d’un paravalanche. Ils peuvent creuser un lit plus profond pour le ruisseau, peuvent construire des marches de barrage et des bassins de retenue ou même une déviation pour l’eau du ruisseau qui est de trop. »

El aroma del pan

“Mujer“, dijo el panadero, “me vuelvo más viejo y mis fuerzas están disminuyendo. Durante toda mi vida he hecho el pan para el pueblo. La gente venía aun de lejos para comprar mis panecillos. ¿Y cuando llegue el día en que yo tenga que dejar para siempre el cuenco de la amasadura, quién seguirá llevando el negocio?” Los dos no tenían hijos.
“Anda”, habló la mujer, “busca a un hombre joven que te eche una mano y a quien puedas enseñarle todo en cuanto a tu arte. Cuando seas viejo y ya no puedas trabajar, él podrá continuar con la tienda y estarás orgulloso de él como de tu propio hijo.”
Dicho y hecho. El panadero hizo divulgar por los pueblos vecinos que buscaba a alguien al que le gustase hacer pan y que quisiera aprender este oficio de él.
En los días siguientes se le presentaron cuatro hombres jóvenes, y no sabía por cuál decidirse. Como la decisión le resultaba tan difícil, acudió a su esposa y le preguntó a ella lo que podía hacer. Dijo esta: “Haz venir a todos otra vez. Te diré a quién vas a tomar.”
Entonces el panadero pidió a los cuatro hombres que viniesen de nuevo. El primer hombre se presentó y la mujer le preguntó: “¿Por qué quieres hacerte panadero?”
“Me gusta madrugar y me gusta acostarme temprano. Y un panadero se entera muy pronto de todas las novedades que se cuentan en el pueblo y en sus alrededores.”
Vino el segundo y la mujer le preguntó: “¿Por qué quieres hacerte panadero?”
“Mis padres son difuntos y tengo que mantener esposa e hijos.”
Vino el tercero y le preguntó: “¿Por qué quieres hacerte panadero?”
“Lo considero un honor hacerle a la gente el pan que dios nos ha dado.”
Vino el cuarto, y a él no le preguntó nada.
“Tomamos a este”, le dijo a su marido.
“¿Y por qué a él?”
“Al entrar aspiró profundamente el aroma del pan.”

(Por Stefan Hammel, traduccíon: Bettina Betz)

The Balloon

A therapeutic story by Katharina Lamprecht, with whom, along with our Swiss friends Adrian Hürzeler and Martin Niedermann, I have written the book “Wie das Krokodil zum Fliegen kam” (How the crocodile learned to fly)…

No one in the community knew, when exactly the festivity would take place. But that it would happen, everyone was sure of it.

When the day came, they all gathered at the meadow near the village. So many people. Not only from the village but also wanderer, passing by accidentally, stopped and many shared the moment. In the middle of the meadow was a booth where everyone could choose and take a balloon filled with helium. There were red, green, blue, yellow and purple ones. Some had faces on them, some stripes or dots. It was all very colorful.

One after the other the people let go of their balloons. And up they rose into the blue-grey sky. And what a beautiful sight it was. At the beginning they all stayed together, a colorful bunch of balloons, like grapes on a grapevine. But after a while, some of them got loose, they peeled away and began their very own journey.

And one of them, I don´t recall whether it was the red one or the green one or perhaps the one with the little dots, this one made its way calmly and silently to a place where the others didn´t go and he got lost in the vastness of the sky, to fly far far away. Perhaps even to the stars.

Après la vague

Quelqu’un m’a écrit : »J’ai été chargé de préparer un séminaire d’aide à soi-même ayant pour sujet « l’angoisse ». Tous les participants souffrent d’une épilepsie. Auriez-vous quelques idées sur les histoires que je pourrais y raconter ayant pour sujet l’imprévisibilité des crises et la détresse qui y est liée ? »

Ma réponse fut la suivante : »Je propose que vous racontiez quelque chose sur les habitants de quelques villages sur la côte ayant survécu au grand tsunami il y a quelques années. Ils ont été pour ainsi dire des témoins qui s’en sont sortis avec plus de peur que de mal. Les habitants d’un village ont toujours regardé la mer avec les nerfs à vif en attendant la grande vague suivante. Ils ont organisé toute leur vie de manière à y être préparés. On pourrait dire aussi qu’ils ont gâché toute leur vie avec cette préparation. Et la mer était presque toujours calme… Les habitants d’un village voisin y ont vécu presque comme si rien ne s’était passé. En abordant les dangers de la mer ils disaient : « Si nous partons, nous partons. Mais maintenant nous sommes là, complètement. » Et il y avait d’autres villages … Vous pouvez dessiner une carte sur un tableau à feuilles mobiles sur lequel ces villages sont représentés. Demandez aux participants de vous dire dans lequel des deux villages ils veulent vivre, ou comment vivent les habitants dans un troisième et quatrième village, ou alors où les participants du séminaire si ça se trouve aimeraient mieux vivre. Demandez aux participants ce que signifie ce contact souhaitable avec la mer, à quoi on le reconnait et à quoi est dû le fait que les villageois mènent une vie d’assez bonne qualité malgré l’ancien tsunami. Vous pouvez demander aux participants de dessiner d’autres villages pour d’autres comportements avec la mer qui est rarement sauvage et dans la plus part des cas calme. Vous pouvez demander aux participants de dessiner le comportement avec la mer sur la carte ou, si la carte est placée au sol, de le marquer avec des maisons de Monopoly. Il serait aussi possible de marquer le site actuel avec le comportement d’une mer qui est rarement sauvage et la plus part du temps calme et de marquer le site souhaité et de réfléchir pour savoir qui et quoi peuvent les aider à déménager du domicile A vers B. »

The Librarian

The story “The Librarian” shows a metaphor for the cooperation of conscious and unconscious thinking and represents a useful viewpoint of how memory functions. It is useful in any context where learning and gaining access to memories and capacities plays a role…

Do you sometimes try and think of somebody’s name and it just doesn’t come? And then you do something else and don’t even think about it any more and then suddenly – hey presto! – the name pops up! Isn’t it strange that you sometimes don’t find the solution while you are looking for it, but indeed and very so often, afterwards? How is this possible? There is only one answer…
A friendly librarian works in the brain that manages the stockpile of your knowledge. He sits in the service area on the ground floor near the lobby. The most frequently used books and folders he has nicely to hand and clearly presented in this zone. He has well ordered long shelves in the basement for the material that is rarely required. Sometimes when a book is out of place or your request does not meet the specifications of the registry, he needs more time to research. Because you’re not used to waiting, you are likely to think that he has forgotten you. But as the librarians are not like that, they are in fact very service-oriented and extremely meticulous! With your request in his hand off he goes through all of the basement rooms. He hunts and searches and finally: “Aha! I’ve got it!” With the book in hand, he comes up the stairs. He brings you what you need.

¿Dónde están las estrellas durante el día?

Ella tiene dos años y muchas preguntas. “¿Dónde están las estrellas durante el día?”, por ejemplo le pregunta a su padre.
“En el cielo”, contesta este, “así como por la noche.”
“¿Entonces están apagadas? Es que no brillan para nada.”
“¡Claro que sí! Siguen brillando. Pero el sol es tan luminoso que ya no se ve la pequeña luz de las estrellas. Es como cuando ya no oyes música baja si de repente alguien pone en marcha una máquina ruidosa. La música baja todavía está, solo ya no se la percibe. La música está acallada y las estrellas están deslumbradas.”
Ella piensa un momento y dice: “Ahora sé también donde están mis sueños durante el día cuando estoy despierta.”

(Por Stefan Hammel, traduccíon: Bettina Betz)

Two cactuses

Another story by Katharina Lamprecht

“This is awful!”, one cactus complained, “My thorns are so long that no animal dares to come near me. No lizard, no bird not even the tiniest termite! I feel so lonely”.

“Why are you complaining?” the other cactus answered, “Mine are so weak and thin and soft that I cannot defend myself at all. No animal shows me any respect. The lizards climb all over me and tickle me with their little feet and the birds dig their claws so deep into my flesh that it hurts. I hate it”.

“You are a lucky one”, the first cactus replied, “I would give my roots for an experience like that. Imagine, feeling all that life on oneself”.They went on complaining and lamenting in this way to each other for a while. But suddenly they had a wonderful idea: they would swap their thorns so that each other could get the feeling they wanted. And for a short time, both were happy. One, to feel the birds and lizards and the other to enjoy peace and quiet. But that didn´t hold on for long and soon each began to complain again. They felt their new lives to be exhausting or boring and they longed for their old lives. So they swapped their thorns back. But again, after a short period of contentment they began whining again as before.

Then one day the wise old snake came along and rested for a moment in the shade, the two cactus casted. She listened to the two of them, complaining away, and suddenly she whispered “instead of wailing to one another you better learn from one another”. And with these words said, she slithered on.

The cactus thought about these words for three days and three nights. Then they began to try and find out, how they each managed to let their individual thorns grow. When they knew how to do that, each started to explain and teach the other how to do it. After some practice they knew precisely how to grow strong and how to grow weak thorns. And the more they experimented the better they became and the more colorful and different their thorns got.

Now they were able to keep a perfect balance between peace and quiet and lively action. And for the wise little snake they created a thornless and shady space right between them.