I’m like You

A story by Katharina Lamprecht

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.

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.

Vipassana – Prisoners practising meditation in a jail in India

Lane has shown this film to me some years ago. I don’t know how old Lne is. I know that she used to drink coffee with Albert Einstein every Sunday when she was a student of law. Later, in 1948 she attended the Nürnberg processes where the surviving Nazi leaders were trialled. She worked as a Mediator in peace negotiations for the United Nations and also for some NGOs.
This remarkable film tells the story of a new jail director, a woman who is wondering what she can really do for the prisoners who spend so many years in this jail – and some of them a lifetime. One day she hears about a master of meditation who could possible contribute to this cause. She invites him to visit the prison. An incredible story of change begins. Enjoy this film!

In a high security jail in Capetown, Southafrica

That’ where Joanna is working. Here job is to try to create reconciliation between gang members and to contribute to the resocialisation of some of those prisoners who leave jail and go back in society. Most inmates belong to gangs who have numbers as names… there’s gang 26 who’s specialized on theft and gang 28 who work a lot with sex between the prisoners. Most inmates are waiting for a trial or are already trialled for murder, rape and other capital crimes. Some have killed many other people, both outside and inside the jail. There is a lot of attempts to stabb the staff – about have of the staff members have already suffered stabbing attacks. The film is documenting how Joanna works in order to create an atmosphere of trust and contribute to a change in the lives of the inmates.
Those of you who just want to get a 9.5 minute impression should best watch this part (part 2 of 5). Those who want to see all 5 parts (about 50 min, I guess) may want to start with part 1 which gives an impressive introduction in this gang world.
Depending on where you come from, some of you may need a Youtube-Unblocker in order to see the film.

 

The Landfill Harmonic Orchestra

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!

The Empathizer

There are people who can listen well. And there are others who can observe well. I knew a man once who could do both really well. More than anything else, he was a good empathizer.

When he met another person, in thought or in action he took on his behavior. He looked as the other did, he breathed in and out like him, he moved like the other, and also took on his voice. He felt how a man felt, when he expressed himself and moved in such a way, as the one he met. Then he often asked himself, how a bridge could be created which led away from this experience to another, to a much more powerful, free, and liberated existence.

This man understood many languages. He not only understood them but he spoke them too, at least when he wanted to. Sometimes he spoke the language of an offended person who kept a tear in his voice and held his left hand at his throat, who rubbed his eye after a painful word and coughed at upsetting words. Sometimes he spoke the language of a melancholic person who breathed as if drawing deep breath caused him pain, who spoke of all the things which are lacking, and who almost unnoticeably and yet persistently, shook his head from side to side. He spoke the language of an angry person whose jaw is as hard as a fist, and in between whose shoulderblades one could effortlessly crack nuts. He spoke the language of a sick person, to whom all talk of health seemed disrespectful towards his suffering, and the language of one racked with pain who, for a long time, had no longer searched for words for joy and desire, enjoyment and well-being. He knew the languages of the body, the voice and the breath, and also the ones of the organs, which indeed have their own words. From time to time the empathizer also told a story to the people who came to him. And such a story began, without fail, in the language of those with whom he spoke.While the empathizer spoke in the language of the stricken, flowing from his mouth came the air of the daring. The language of one who no longer cared became the language of one who is propelled by curiosity, and the expression of the suffering became the gesture of the calm and relaxed, who, minute by minute, forgets his pain. And the strange thing was that the people who listened to these stories changed with them. Sometimes this happened secretly and unnoticeably, and sometimes surprisingly, yet the changes had been long on the horizon. Such a story often became a bridge, widely stretched from the suffering of the people to their longed for goal. For the people around him it was a miracle – he simply called it a transformation. This transformation succeeded because the empathizer always secured the first pillar of the bridge near the cliff of their suffering – and never forgot the second pillar of the bridge on the side of desire.