Greenpeace had built an arch that looked like a rainbow on the dike, just before the mile-long bridge to the Arche Noah begins: “Life After Corona”. They offered coloured sheets on which people could write their thoughts and stick them onto the rainbow.
We were on the way to the Arche and just made it, before it started lashing. We could sit outside, with a roof over our heads, and sat out the rain. In the meantime, we had Currywurst, Schnitzel and a Burger. Pádraig wanted a Coke, we had a glass of dry white wine. At least that’s what we ordered. What we got was white alright, but ‘lieblich’ more than ‘trocken’.
Why is any of this worth mentioning? – Because it is so completely normal, ‘stinknormal’. To go for a walk. To see other people and observe what they’re doing. To get wet from the rain. To run for shelter. To give out about the service. To be alife.
I have no idea whether there will be life as we know it after Corona, never mind what it will look like.
I find it hard to connect with people who worry about their mental health because they feel isolated these days. People who are bored out of their mind because they have to watch movies all the time, or read books, or go for long walks, or be with their family. People who cannot go to the cinema, to the pub, to the gym, to the hairdresser. What is their life like if they feel that this is hardship?
One of my older sisters, the younger of the two, died last week 20 years ago. I smoked a cigar for the first time in years because I wanted to take some time out and remember her. The cigar made me think of my father who had swapped cigarettes for cigars during the war because there was less demand for them and they were easier to come by. He always had one in one hand and puffed. My mother worried about her curtains going all yellow. Even the newspaper cuts my father sent me, no matter where I was, so that I kept abreast of what was happening in Dortmund, smelt of cigar smoke.
A lot, if not most, of the people who attended my sisters funeral are long dead. The paper my father sent me important cuts from, does no longer exist.
I listened to Carlos Puebla while I was smoking
Carlos says in the introduction that the first verse reflects what ‘our commander in chief’ said when he read Che’s letter of resignation.
The whole thing, the picture, the myth, the glorification, all that is a bit pathetic. Sure.
But the idea is all but, the idealism, the knowing what is right and wrong and to do something about it, the fight for justice, is all but.
After my previous life kinda ended, someone from that life told me that colleagues saw me as an idealist. As if they were bad mouthing me.
What’s wrong with being idealistic? – Would the Che have joined Greenpeace?