E.Barlach, The Spirit Fighter, Nikolai Church Kiel
Already in my youth, I lived in different worlds, which were little connected. First were the fundamentally different families. Our own was already not uniform with regard to father and mother, then also the one of the grandparents. In addition, this was reflected in different places, partly in the city, partly on the coast in the countryside.
During the war both our apartment and the grandparents went up in flames. Our accommodation in the weekend home of the grandparents on the Baltic coast changed dramatically when experiencing fight actions and occupation by the British army towards the end of the war. About seven years later followed first own long-awaited trips, by bike to Austria and back, and still with a visa to Paris, but again without any possibility for identification. But I liked this change of location, but not all the changes of people. If these disappeared forever, as happened many times through relocation, emigration or death, it was hard to digest.
All this has been reinforced by numerous experiences, the meaning of which was not much felt or even played down by the people around me, but which today are simply brutally remembered. I'm almost run over by a departing tram when I want to jump up. Look as at an exciting spectacle, as the big bombs from the huge airplane formations are spilling. The neighboring house 10 yards crashes together by a bomb, as I sit in a night air raid on that side in the basement. One does not let me know what happened to the people in it. A German aircraft is shot down just a few hundred yards before my eyes right behind the sandbanks above the sea. I see how the young pilot at the low altitude not manages to get out. A few weeks later, I watch directly as British soldiers who have arrived in the meantime destroy all fishing boats, there a main food source, with explosive charges.
These experiences were still more reinforced by the rather extreme living conditions, especially during the hard, grim, cold winter months. In November, in a storm surge, the dike almost broke, where I was at night while sandbag-hauling. It followed extreme cold with minus 32 degrees and from the frozen sea in the storm on land wafted many meters high snow masses. Thaw later brought huge icy floods, standing up to half a meter high in the house.
You would think that made me sick or mentally disturbed. It was not easy, with at least superficially infection-related diseases. But more of that applies to my sexual development. A classmate, whom I liked very much, disappeared to Austria and was not allowed to be contacted anymore. The father rarely showed up and cared little for us children. Otherwise I liked this life. I saw diversity as a gain, but with the caveat that there was never a lifelong human being with whom I could share all of this experience. Later, I continued to search for such changing forms of life in other countries and consciously deepened them by learning the respective languages, which made it even more impossible to find such a person who could share this multipolarity with me.
The conclusion was shown after many later meditations, which each stimulated renewed meditation.
The further inward or outward, the lonelier the way becomes.
Only in my old age did I understand what could have made me sick at the time but was not felt that way. This is today referred to as post-traumatic stress syndrome and just treated by psychologists as a disease. In addition, attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome may be referred to. I have understood both as an essential impetus for versatility, not to become a specialist, which certainly had professional disadvantages. But today I find it a great asset.
© Copyright Hans J. Unsoeld, Kiel, Bangkok, Berlin 2013/2018
Updated Apr 06, 2019