How sorrow came into my spring

The feeling covers everything, poisons and makes you weak. Our columnist wonders what helps against this.

View from a window

View from a windowJoe Hall/imago

On the first really spring-like weekend of this year, my family and I were witnesses to a rather cultureless opening of Wiepersdorf Castle. I have already written here about why this house is so important.

Later we sat on beer benches and ate extremely crispy potato pancakes and drank filter coffee, talked to the former manager of the house and were amazed at the musical accompaniment, which was so terrible that I had to laugh. “It reminds me of the Hape Kerkeling Hurz sketch,” I said to my father. This skit, in which a downright horrible piece of music was played to an unsuspecting audience to show the hollowness of the culture industry.

Between all this amusement, and that was what fascinated me about that day, there hung a mysterious sorrow. A feeling as clear and palpable as it is seldom. Not sadness, not longing, not indulgence, no: sorrow.

This place, it forgets us, it forgets me. I felt like a stranger in Wiepersdorf. The socialist paintings of young women who designed a future with a set square in their hands and a scarf in their hair. Women and men who watched me from the picture frame as a child. Watched my father, my mother, my brother, all of us. And all these writers, painters, all these cultural workers that this place is now slowly forgetting.

These paintings are now part of an exhibition, hung tightly in a room that used to be the administration office. Tiny. Countless pictures pressed into one room, a whole childhood, a whole youth in ten square meters.

“I’m going out,” I said to my mother, who was sadly standing in the office. “I can’t stand it,” I said. And mean the sorrow that I feel so clearly.

During the pandemic, we knew it would pass

It is coming to terms with a new feeling, with a new fact that has fallen into life without expectation. The sudden disappearance, the sudden disappearance, the sudden reflection is terrifying. I can follow my thoughts as they make new paths, new thoughts, how they try to make a situation that is uncomfortable pleasant. They take detours, they overwrite memories to make it less painful.

Grief is more stressful than grief because grief eventually mixes with normality again, because normality makes you forget the pain. The sorrow, however, covers everything and poisons, makes weak.

This worried look at the eastern border of Ukraine, the rational view of the day after tomorrow in our world or hearing medical assumptions about one’s own condition: there is no sadness there, there is only this leaden grief. He is not foreseeable in time. We don’t know when something is over. And maybe that’s why the world’s problems feel so terrible right now. Nothing is foreseeable. Maybe that’s why a lot of things are so completely without vision.

During the pandemic, like a hospital stay, we knew it would be over at some point. We don’t know that about war and the environment. The fate of this world depends on a few over whom we have no control.

At the very end of the park at Wiepersdorf Castle we hid in the early afternoon. Near the Zeus statue. This is where my teenage parents kissed what felt like a hundred years ago, my brother got engaged, I hunted oil beetles and made theatrical love here. Here, at the very back, my father is sitting today with a blanket on his lap, my brother is snacking on vegetarian sausages, my niece is on my lap, my mother secretly wants to smoke one.

And for a brief moment, very brief, all the sorrow is forgotten, all the worry. For a brief moment there is no war, no environment, no disease. Because for a brief moment, new memories are created that I already know will be valuable in the future.

#sorrow #spring
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