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…

Everything Else

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.

Two Paths

It had come on suddenly. The right halfside of her body felt numb, as if it were anaesthetised. Anna went to the doctor. He frowned and did not say anything for a long time. “Looks like MS” was his conclusion after he had finished his examination. At the hospital she was given cortisone. Some weeks later she developed dizziness. Some months after that, the left side of her body also became numb, just as the right side had done before. Some months after that, her eyesight became blurry. The doctor saw his diagnosis confirmed. As if in a dream she received her disabled person’s pass. “50 %” was written on it – “for now”, she thought. “The power of thoughts” was the title of a presentation she heard during this time, as she mentioned later. Its topic was not about health in particular but about how we can visualise our future dreams so vividly and real, as if they were already true. She was asked to feel in a highly intensive way how it would be to have reached this wonderful state. She saw herself sitting in a green field, light-hearted and happy. She moved freely and felt light. Inside herself she felt a tremendous energy. So overwhelmed was she by the experience that she cried and cried – and yet this experience felt liberating. Each day, fFrom then on, she imagined each day how she would look, what she would do, and how she would feel as a healthy person She concentrated all her attention on this happy future. She let go of everything that did not seem to fit this image. She learned to notice much more quickly what nourished her soul and what was taking energy away from her. She focused all her life on that which strengthened her. After some time she was able to discontinue her medication. This was nine years ago. Her symptoms disappeared and have not come back.

Thomas lives in Switzerland. “Diagnosis: MS” was what his physicians wrote on his report. He has tried mental training and self-hypnosis. He has visualised how it would be to be healthy and has tried to feel it as well as he could. He has suffered more and more attacks. He says there is only one path on which he can go, and this is his path. He is learning to strengthen his inner self for whatever will come. He is learning to cope with an everyday life, which is harder than that of anyone he knows. He is learning to live in an upright state even though he is lying down. He is learning to live with dignity and self-respect even though others pity him. He is learning to feel strong even though his body is weak. He is learning to live from an energy source that many healthy people do not know.

An Army for Peace!

Do you also find that there are too many unhappy people in the world? Then I would like to tell you a story related to this.. In a large town, there lived a man who had a special trait. He could not bear to see people in misery. Perhaps that would not be worth mentioning, since there are many people who see themselves in this situation these days. But this man had a second trait. He had done everything he could to relieve the misery of the poorest people. He had, together with his friends and later co-fighters, helped hundreds of thousands to lead a worthy life.

The man asked himself: Why are some people so successful, when killing and destruction are concerned? Why do armies work more effectively than churches and many social organisations? And he decided to create his own army; a strict organisation with officers and soldiers, with flags and uniform. An army for peace. The war aim of this army was, so it was said, “to save at all cost the population of the slums which is threatened to go under in a sea of debauchery, alcoholism and vice”. That certainly did not please many pub landlords and pimps. The “soldiers” of the Salvation Army were attacked and often wounded; three of them were even killed. Gradually the persecution stopped. The Salvation Army remained in existence and continued to work against prostitution and pimping, homelessness, and the consequences of war, according to their Christian conviction. Their position was: “We want peace. There are enough calls for peace, but the evil in the world does not react to well-intentioned appeals. Conflict, strife, fear and desperation cannot be fought with admonitions, they demand a true fight!”