Life in times of Corona 2021 II

Sunday morning, it’s still dark outside, but I put on my sports clothes and go for a run. Everything is still asleep. I don’t meet anyone except at the farm I pass, the cows are already outside filling their bellies with silage food. The light comes tentatively and it’s obvious that once again it’s not going to be a sunny day in the Unterland. I don’t mind, at least not now. I run up the steep slope, gasping for air to make it up the incline. The air is fresh and it’s not really cold but the hat does quite well. Exercise in the fresh air always feels good and this morning it feels wonderful. I reached the chapel of St. Verena and stopped briefly to see what the valley looked like. After 2 minutes I run further up, as if there was peace of mind to be found up there. Unfortunately, the further ascent did not bring peace either. Thoughts are rattling around in my head and I haven’t managed to “run” my head empty. The trip to Prague to visit my mother, planned for the end of February, seems to be postponed more and more, because two times of quarantine, locked up, without a possibility to go outside, I just can’t stand now.

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The football team trapped in the caves in Thailand

Meditation for the boys and their trainer in the caves (6. July). (Imagesource: Rungroj Yongrit / EPA)

13 people are trapped in a cave in Northern Thailand. They climbed in and then the flood came. To save themselves they had to climb deeper into the cave. The water followed them. After 9 miserable days they were found. But to find them more than 100 rescuers were required, including divers with special training. It is not easy for the youths to get out, because between them and daylight there is a lot of water. They first have to learn to dive to get out again. That may take weeks. I think of them, because the story sounds so crazy that you can scarcely believe it. But I see the pictures of the emaciated youths sitting on the floor in the dark and know that real life is crazier than any story.

I think not only of the youths, but also of their parents. Who are waiting, desperate, helpless, somewhere near the entrance to the cave system. The fear that they will never see their children alive again, hangs on them like a millstone.Read More »

The death announcement

blogCemeteries somehow attract me. There is only one reason for this. On a small surface there are numerous fascinating human stories. No-one tells them, they are the gravestones with names, dates and sometimes photos, which drive my fantasy at full throttle. Wherever I am on this earth, I visit a cemetery in order to feel the cultural differences and think up stories that are unknown to me. Recently my youngest has accompanied me more and more frequently and together we think about people we haven’t known, but who seem so exciting that it seems worthwhile occupying oneself with them.Read More »

‎Death (a book recommendation)

der Tod 1We are immortal. Most of us behave like this.
The real death is hidden, banished, euphemised. The read death causes fear. The real death does not exist.

The fictive death is celebrated, promotionally presented, voyeuristically exploited in films, books, news.Read More »


Children are very much concerned about this question, when they are between 5 and 8 years old. Recently I listened to three about six years old boys, as they talked about what happens after death. The taller one said that one comes to heaven and will meet all those again, who died before oneself. The other boy said that the dead will travel to another, far-away star, where they will then live, and the third one said that death is the end and that there is nothing after it. Three philosophies of the parents clashed and lead to a fierce discussion.Read More »

The mice

After 8 years we had to give our turtle away. My younger daughter had difficulties to accept that Vroni and Guido were no longer living with us and constantly besieged me that she would like to have a new pet.

I refused dogs, cats and parrots, but when she asked whether she could have two castrated mice, I started to consider the idea.Read More »

The Irish story

I was visiting a small Irish town for one day. In the late afternoon I was making to see the sights of the town. It was a small straightforward town and there was not much historical to see. I ended up at a tiny church, surrounded by a small graveyard. It was very simple, with only few stones without any decorations or flowers. Only the inscriptions on the grave stones told little stories.Read More »

Procession of the black Madonna and plum tree

My friend Tamara told me that her mother has only half a year to live. Her lungs only work 20% and she is facing death by suffocation. No one can help her. Tamara told me all the things, she still wants to do with her mother but she is running out of time. They will not manage to do everything. My head is still spinning from her last sentence: “Why did not we start to do all those things 10 years ago, when she was still full of energy?”Read More »

Ohm’s law

I returned home. In the letter box an envelope. It had been sent to our old address, even though we had moved four years ago. I was not expecting any particular mail. I open the envelope and the world will never be the same as before. Mr Ivan Tomek had died. When one is young, death is something very abstract. My grandparents who I loved very much and their deaths are long ago. Back then, I was very very sad but it did not shake the pillars of my world.Read More »