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.”
Listen to me, the water whispered, foamed, wooshed, how I hiss and sizzle, light and dull, quietly gurgling and loud and full. I am so many but you can see only one. I sing a whole opera but you just hear one voice. I change myself every second but I´m constantly the same. I give myself up any minute to find myself again at once.
Look at me, the water whispered, foamed, wooshed. I am like you.
This therapeutic story can be used for supporting learning in general, as well as re-learning abilities after a health problem. For example, it can be applied quite beautifully with stroke patients. Obviously, it is also indicated as a story supporting change and developement with anyone who has got a strong biographical link to Africa. Of course, instead of Africa, other continents or regions of the world can be used, in order to adapt the story to individual needs. The reason why I chose the mapping of Africa as the key focus of this story is, that on maps Africa has the shape of a head or scull and thus points to brain functions.
Maps have existed for millennia but there a big differences between modern maps and those from dating from earlier centuries. For example, three hundred years ago, if a publisher printed a map of Africa, it had big white patches on it. ‚Terra incognita’ was marked on it; unknown territory. The coasts were then largely free of such white spots, but the interior of the continent was still a single, large white patch. However, many researchers undertook trips into the heart of Africa and what they learned there, they reported to the cartographers who diligently recorded everything. Land and water routes were discovered. The turns of each river were researched and drawn. The names of the settlements were recorded and the names of the tribes written down. The white patches on the map became smaller and smaller. The parts of the country that were explored and known steadily grew. Finally, the white spots disappeared completely. The whole of Africa was mapped.
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.
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.
The people stood before him. They had come in their hundreds. And he stood before them. What should he say? “The master, whose words you want to hear, is dead”, he announced. “He died last night. But first he bade me to speak to you today.”
“But do you then also know”, asked the people, “what the master wanted to say to us?” “I hear it”, he said.
She complained about the neighbours’ children who were talking too loudly in the corridor between the flats. She complained that the staircase had been cleaned with a three day delay last week. She complained about the garlic smell in the house yesterday. She complained about the neighbours’ guests, who had come back home late and let the door shut loudly. She complained about a dog that had shaken the water out of its fur on a rainy day. This had left brown stains on the wall next to the door.
“I would like to tell you something”, her neighbour said to her one day. “If you continue like this for a while, you will become a hard and bitter old woman who nobody likes, who everyone avoids and to whose funeral no one will go.”
From that day on she was polite to all her neighbours.
Assuming you had died and discovered that there was indeed another life, and that there existed a kind of heaven and hell, but again in between so many other places, as many as there are people, only everything quite different from what the stories of old tell us… and assuming this heaven and hell and the many other places consisted of nothing more than what you have become and so remain, and that there you would constantly live with the love which you have spread, or also with your indifference and your bitterness and your anger…
And assuming that the whole of eternity were nothing more than going for walks in your life which you had and being enabled… allowed… or obliged… to observe your former life quite minutely from all sides…
And assuming you would spend your whole existence in thinking and considering: who you were… who you became… what you received… and what you gave…
And assuming that it were so, and you knew about it – what would that mean for your life here and now?
Far out at sea beyond the coast, behind the stormy cape, is a small island. It is so small that it is only shown on the most exact maps. All the same, it possesses a certain fame in informed circles. The sailors name it the “Island of Love”.
Quite a few people at some point in their lives undertake a journey there. They explore this island in detail. They thereby discover astonishing things.
Some presume, before they get to know the island better, that you will immediately get from the Coast of Being in Love to the Hill of the Homeland, and are surprised at the length of the path that leads them there, through the mysterious Valley of the Middle. Some are amazed that it is not possible for them to visit the soft slopes of the Familiar and at the same time to be at the Peak of Arousal. Others already look forward to the Pot of Passion – as the largest volcano crater of the island is called. Yet they are amazed that the ascent is quite strenuous and that it leads past the seething Chasm of Fear and the smoking Vent of Anger. Those who seek danger bathe at the Cliff of Failure at the Cape of Excessive Demands. Yet even expert swimmers have come into distress and drowned at the east-lying Ocean of Boredom.
I say this because it is often forgotten that only those who traverse the island with effort and danger find the whole beauty of this place. Some build a house on the island or put up a tent. And I have seen those who have already lived there a long time smile at the enthusiasm of the newcomers who still harbour hope of exploring the Island of Love in only one day or a week.
“Now I am forty years old. I am an aged man”, he said and nodded his head. He was a man from Kenya, from the area around Mombasa. “But, I beg your pardon, you’re not old!” I replied to him. “Yes, I am old, and don’t you dare claim anything else”, he said. “In Kenya it is good to be old. The older, the better.”
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