He was a seafarer. He sailed with freight ships to different countries along the coasts of Europe, Africa and South America. I asked him if he had ever experienced a bad storm. “I have experienced many storms”, he said. “I have experienced some storms where I thought: “We will never survive this!” And he stood before me and had survived, and could tell me about the adventures he had experienced.
“I won’t die before Mary is in her place again!” It sounded quiet and sure from Erna’s mouth. It was autumn. The pneumatic drills hammered on the street and a sweet, biting smell of tar lay in the air. This was the house of Erna’s parents. She had lived here since she was a small child. She could still remember this place when the horses and carts used to be the mode of transport and then, later the first trams! She hung on to this place which was filled with memories.
But mostly she loved the fountain in the centre, the fountain with the statue of the Virgin Mary. The marketplace had been extensively pulled up. The workers had carried the fountain away. Experts had first carefully marked each stone so as to be able to rebuild it exactly as it was. When the new year came, the square was newly plastered. And finally the fountain with the statue of the Virgin Mary also returned to its place.
For a couple of days Erna enjoyed the new and yet long-familiar view. Then she was ready.
One day the old sea dog received a visit from the land dog. They both had known each other since puppy school. Then the sea dog had left and travelled the world far and wide, and had survived many adventures and finally returned home, rich in treasures and experiences. The land dog had remained in his native cave. He had found a land dog wife, and had land dog children. In the meantime, he had grandpuppies and great grandpuppies, and they had all become genuine good land dogs.
“Sometimes I wish I could live all over again”, said the land dog to the sea dog. “I feel exactly the same way”, the other answered. “I would do a lot of things differently”, said the land dog. “Yes, me too”, answered the sea dog. “I would go to sea”, dreamed the land dog. “I would get married”, sighed the sea dog. “I would have adventures”, explained the land dog. “I would have some pups”, stated the sea dog. “I would be a rich dog. I would experience terrible and wonderful things I could tell stories about”, enthused the land dog. “I would have grand-puppies and great grand-puppies who would love and take care of me when I became old and sick”, declared the sea dog. “And I would now sit with you in this sea dog lair”, continued the land dog, “… and I with you …”, it occurred to the sea dog. The land dog nodded: “And then you would say to me now: ‘Sometimes I wish I could live all over again”, and I would answer: “Yes, I feel exactly the same way.”
Sometimes clients who come to therapy describe themselves or each other as broken, as rubbish, as worthless… and sometimes they may not use such words but treat themselves and others like rubbish. Some injure themselves, some try to suicide. And possibly all of this is happening because they didn’t learn to discover that they are valuable themselves. I believe that everything in life can become valuable and can be seen as a value. Anything, even the most unuseful things in life can be utilized for making life precious. I don’t mean that this were an easy task. The contrary is true: “To turn shit into roses” (Virginia Satir) is what the Germans call “Lebenskunst”, meaning, the high art of living a fulfilled life.
This short documentary is telling a story on this art, a story on how to turn rubbish into music and rubbish lives intoproud, happy beautiful lives!
Have a wonderful day, all of you!
In my village there is an old man, who again and again tells of how he fled with nothing more than the shirt on his back, because the occupying Russian troops had taken everything he owned and his house and yard in order to give it to others. He said: “I cannot forgive the Russians.” The man lives in a beautiful house with a balcony and a large garden. His favourite pastime is watching his great-grandchildren play.