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. »

Le nom sécret

Quand un enfant indien arrive au monde il reçoit un nom de ses parents. Ce nom n’est que provisoire, c’est-à-dire il peut changer ou être complété par un autre nom. De la part du sorcier de la tribu l’enfant reçoit en outre un nom secret qui est son vrai et propre nom et connu seulement de lui. Personne ne peut toucher à ce nom. Personne ne peut en faire un mauvais usage. Son vrai nom n’appartient qu’à lui. L’enfant indien reçoit aussi une pierre de la part du chamane. Si le sorcier meurt avant que l’enfant ait appris son nom de sa part, le jeune indien se retire à un endroit désert. Il reste à cet endroit jusqu’à ce que la pierre lui dévoile par un rêve ou une autre révélation son vrai nom. Dans beaucoup de ces pierres il y a des druses, ce sont des cavités avec des pierres précieuses. Dans d’autres il y a de l’or, et dans toutes il y a un enchantement curatif et la force du nom clandestin.

After the storm

I’m using this story with stroke patients, with those who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis and with traumatised persons, including certain situations of separation and berievement. Most of all, it can be useful to support persons who want to recover their memory and access to their abilities.

The storm has done its work. The trees lay criss-cross in the forest. Their trunks block paths and streets. No traveller can make progress here. But when the storm is over, then comes the time of the lumberjacks. With their saws they cut free the paths, lift away the barriers and clear all the streets, starting with the outermost edge of the forest all the way to its innermost core.

La brizna de pasto en el desierto

Un hombre estaba atravesando el desierto. Al rededor de él no había nada más que arena, piedras y rocas, el cielo azul reluciente y el sol ardiente. En la mitad de su camino se le ocurrió descansar y buscó un lugar adecuado. Un poco lejos del camino encontró un peñón que le podía ofrecer sombra durante su descanso. El hombre se acercó. Al llegar vió algo raro: En la sombra de le roca crecía una brizna de pasto, de hecho.
“¡Qué sorpresa! ¿De dónde vienes tú?”, le preguntó el hombre. Después se rió de si mismo:
“Estoy tan solo que empiezo hablar con la hierba. Será mejor examinar de donde viene ella.”
Excavó la plantita de la arena y la puso al lado cuidadosamente. Después empezó a cavar más y más profundamente. Aunque no tropezara con un manantial brotante, en ese lugar el suelo estaba verdaderamente mojado. Cuando el hombre de nuevo se puso en camino no olvidó de reponer la brizna en la tierra mojada. Con unas piedras construyó un pequeño muro para proteger la planta contra la desecación por el viento caliente del desierto. Después siguió caminando.
Al regresar pasó por el mismo lugar. Por supuesto miró si su pequeña planta estaba viva. Se alegró mucho: La brizna se había vuelto en un verdadero pequeño manojo de hierba. El hombre cavó un poco más profundamente y llegó a una parte aun más mojada de la tierra. Con un pañuelo, dos palos y unas piezas de cuerda, que había traído para el regreso, mejoró la protección de su planta contra el viento.
Muchos años después un amigo del hombre tuvo que atravesar el mismo desierto. Entonces le pidió a su amigo: “Pues mira qué fue de mi planta – si todavía existe.” El amigo se lo promitió. Cuando éste volvió del viaje le contó: “Tu manojo de hierba se ha vuelto en una pequeña pieza de prado. Otros viajeros han encontrado el lugar. Han subido el muro y puesto más palos con pañuelos. Alguién ha cavado un pozo y lo ha cubierto con una pieza de cuero. Al lado del pozo crece una hermosa higuera . En sus hojas canta un grillo.”

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.

Anton

When Anton was twenty, he travelled around the world. He liked to visit France the most. He left wife and children at home. In his homeland, he mostly spent his time in pubs. Beer and cigarettes were more important to him than both his daughters.

When Anton was twenty-two, he got divorced. He did not honour his alimony payments. He drank his money away.

When Anton was twenty-six, he saw his daughters for the last time. His ex-wife forbade him any further contact.

When Anton was fifty-five, he had a friend who managed his money and kept most of it for himself. Outside of his working hours, he was drunk. As long as there was enough money for alcohol and cigarettes, he was content, he said.

When Anton was sixty-one, he stopped drinking. That was the time he got to know Frieda. Anton adored Frieda. Frieda had spent her whole life in a small house in the country and had never been interested in alcohol.

When Anton was sixty-two, he moved in to Frieda’s small house in the country.

When Anton was seventy, he had already shown Frieda Paris and London, Brussels, Berlin and Budapest. He had driven her to her relatives in Dessau and walked all around the neighbourhood with her.

When Anton was seventy-one, Frieda became ill. He drove with her to many doctors and hospitals in the area. Anton said: “You are the best thing that ever happened to me. As long as I live, you will not end up in a nursing home.” He drove her to the welfare centre, to the medical insurance office and to all public authorities.

When Anton was seventy-two, he married Frieda. He ran the house for her, vacuumed, did the shopping and cooked the meals. When Anton was seventy-five, Frieda died. He lived another one-and-a-half years. During this time he drank one glass of champagne a day. “For my circulation”, he said, “because the doctor recommended it to me”.

Seagull’s Cliff

Have you ever stood at the foot of a cliff where seagulls live, and have you listened to them cry? They cry in so many ways… It is an impressive sound when thousands of seagulls fly around a cliff, and fill the air with their cries. But you do not only hear them cry. You also hear the gentle sounds that they make when they are mating. You also hear the screaming sounds of the young birds when they are just hatched. Their call is clear, they demand what they need. It is as if they call for justice: “Here I am! I want to grow and become strong!” You can see how lovingly the seagull parents care for their youngsters. Again and again they fly away and come back with a fish in their beaks. Why do they do this, day after day? “Instinct” some scientists say. I call it love. For again and again they are in search of that which will strengthen their young. They do not care if it is raining or snowing of if there is a storm. They search for food for the young seagulls. I have also heard: If a seagull cannot care for its young ones, often another one will do the task. It will then treat them as their own. It will not ask about rain or storm or snow. It flies for these young birds that will soon no longer be young birds. Yes, soon they themselves will fly, confident in their skills to glide in the air high above the sea. It is good to grow up on a cliff where so many other seagulls are living.

Safety Measure

“Good morning everyone. On behalf of the captain and the crew I would like to welcome you all on board of our flight 714 from Frankfurt to Madrid…” The friendly voice of the flight attendant introduced us to the safety regulations on the plane. As requested I put my seat upright and buckled my seat belt. I looked out of the window where the runway seemed to move backwards at a slow pace. I heard the friendly voice say “In case of loss of air pressure in the cabin, oxygen masks will fall from an opening above your seat. You can adjust the mask to fit by using the elastic strap. Press the mask tightly to your face and breathe deeply and calmly. Travellers with small children: Please put your mask on first, then that of your child.” I looked at the seat next to me where my two year old girl sat nestled into her blanket, and I wondered: “Would I follow these instructions?”