I’d like to put a spell on you
but I’m like a little bird
just learning to fly
certainly you still supposed
hungry for your abc
spell me with your lips
which words you want to hear
treat me carefully
I feel ill as I’ve been in a war
for a very long time
let me come home
and heal me with your tender hands
These days around Christmas I catch myself out how my thoughts wandering in the past. That’s not unusual for the time around Christmas but unusual for me, because I usually try to live in the presence.
Well, I remembered a Christmas Eve a long time ago. Maybe I was thirteen or fourteen. We had a lot of snow at this time. My parents who always cared for other people suggested to bring a bottle of champagne to an old lady, who had never been married and had lived alone the whole time of her life. So I brought the bottle wrapped up in gift wrap paper to the second next house, where the old lady lived in a small attic story. It was around four a clock and it started to get dark outside. She was surprised and a little bit irritated about my visit and invited me in.
All my life I have been able to estimate people and their moods, even as a boy. And so I felt directly when I was entering, that my well-meant visit was not only unnecessary but a disruption.
The small living-room was nicely decorated with burning candles and the Christmas tree had real burning candles too. In the midst of the room stood a little table with white table-cloth, silver cutlery laid beneath a plate. Something was boiling on the oven. The whole scenery emanated peace, silence and solemnity. The old lady was simply but fancy dressed as if she had expected some invited guests. Her whole appearance embodied her inner attitude. She was the cause of the solemn and peaceful atmosphere, which I had noticed a few seconds ago.
The pity of my parents for the old lonely woman was totally causeless, because she wasn’t alone at all and happy with herself and her memories. She had found peace with herself and her certainly not always easy life. Perhaps she was glad about my visit, that somebody thought about her, I don’t remember. I only stayed a view minutes but this old lady impressed me as a boy so deeply that I still can remember her today.
To be a human means to be a human with and for others.
Only alone it seems to me, I am free to be a human.
It’s this loneliness, which let me become a human again.
When you ask my classmates how they would describe me, they probably would say: “Volker is a communicative, friendly and outgoing guy. Who is fast in making new contacts, who likes to laugh and takes nothing quite seriously. He maybe is a little bit superficial.”
But that’s only half the truth. There is another part of me, that is totally different from the first glance. O.K. I like to have company but on the other hand I need to be alone to stay myself. After a day together with other people I often feel absorbed by them and the actions of the day.
Most of us aren’t sensitive enough to realize the difference or aren’t conscious about the inner and the outer world. They flow superficially with the group and are attracted by outer sensations. But there is more. I’ve been learning that during the years I’ve been living alone. The inner world of your thoughts, feelings and your true self can you only discover in silence and loneliness.
You need the daily silence to step back from the daily business and routines to become grounded in yourself again. To keep in mind who you really are. That you not only reflect and repeat the image that people have of you. That you don’t act automatically in the way other people expect it from you. That you stay yourself.
I’m rather alone with myself
than with people
with whom I can’t be myself