The more you know…August 16th, 2008

Creativity, it comes in waves. They coast for a long, long time, becoming invisible more and more. You just have to wait for a fresh one to fill you up with…with energy.

While browsing through several websites to get inspiration from (this job is like lifeblood to me) I revisited a site my brother recommended me two weeks ago. This site by Philip Toledano goes by the name “Days with my father” and shows a staggering view on Mr. Toledano’s 98 years old father who suffers from loss of his short-time memory, making everyday life a bit more difficult than usual. He, the son, comments on some of his breathtakingly beautiful pictures, on some he doesn’t, leaving the viewer guessing his own part of the story, making him pause for a moment. This series truly is a discovery to me. I’ll tell you why.

My grandfather died when I was thirteen years old. I loved him. I simply did. There was no shade or doubt or restriction to this love, it was unconditional. I can’t remember every part of the time we shared, what makes me love him more. So many memories are locked in my mind, covered with a misty layer that won’t go away. I know that he was good for me. For all that I have experienced in my short life, the knowledge of him having been a part of my life made me stand situations better.

He was the one who awoke the love of nature in me, the mechanical skills, the love for storytelling and the ability to love life and not let fear destroy you.

The last memory I have of him is in the hospital. It was winter, only a few weeks to Christmas Eve. We’re hustled into my uncle’s bus, we’re in a long quiet hospital corridor, I am there, in his room, his eyes are closed. His whole body seems to be wired, for whatever reason, all I see is that he’s asleep. I don’t comprehend it. To this very day I am asking myself why I didn’t do anything. Awake him or break down or cry. I remember I didn’t cry. I realized the loss of him years after this day. I simply was too young. Shouldn’t I have written down a few words then? I was already into writing, but I can’t find this particular day in my old writing books.

There was some sort of connection between us. It’s no sure thing, maybe I only want it to be that way, but he resembled me in so many ways that I refuse to think there was not.

One year ago, when my own physical situation was getting worse again, I was sitting at dinner with my grandmother (my father’s mother), we were sharing thoughts of him and then she told me the relieving news about that day: I did do something. She told me that when I entered the room and greeted him in my usual happy but shy way, he somehow awoke. He was in an artificial coma, that is. He wasn’t able to wake up. They did this to lessen the pain. But my voice made his eyes move and his body get in a slight motion, as if he wanted to greet me back. Or say goodbye. I’m flooded with emotion when I think about it, because all the time I somehow “knew” there was still something, something in the deep of my head, that would clear the fog.

My grandfather had cancer, there would not have been any possibility to heal him. I regret that I wasn’t “aware” enough those days, but I can’t help it. Maybe I will never get over his death. He used to make me smile. The only one who’s able to do that today are my siblings. Like they share a part of that untroubled happiness that was present those days, and which isn’t anymore, today. I want that back. I really do. It was part of being a child.

Still there’s fog. I never really got over it. Since then I’ve had problems with the older generation, with weak people, because I am so weak myself that I can’t stand any more of this weakness. I’m always afraid I could break. And I would. But I do have another grandmother, my mother’s mother, and like Mr. Toledano’s father she’s suffering from dementia and her physical state is continually worsening. But I can’t bear to be with her. She gets lost into repetition, she’s so full of fears, regarding simple daily routines, she can’t stick to them, it’s all a mystery to her, and not recognizing people and forgetting numbers and appointments is making her being scared the more.

I’m scared, too.

But when I saw those pictures again, for the first time I started to think if committing means a profit for both of us?
Don’t get me wrong. I just see that those moving situations can give you more, more happiness and more emotion at all, than anything else could. I owe it to her to be there and to be a listener, we all do. I won’t be able to take her fears away for she’s now eternally locked in a whole different world, but maybe I could do that “awakening”-thing again. Make her see she’s not entirely alone. She still recognizes me. I should take my time now. I’ve never been so close to her, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a story to tell. I know she does. I will be sad. But I should give it a try.

I will have to think about this.

Because I know: Avoiding has never been an option. Running means your fears will come after you one day. They’ll chase you.

It’s a funny thing, I always tend to drift away from the topic I actually wanted to write about, which was creativity and drawing in this case. That’s another thing I am afraid of: being not good enough to do my job as a media designer. I realized I once was so good in drawing and art, I still am, but only theoretically. In my teen years I did watercolour paintings and portraits of common objects. I haven’t tried to draw since I was fifteen or so. Maybe that’s all related. One can do things he or she wasn’t aware of, I believe this. Maybe it’s everywhere the same, you just have to jump and do it. You’ll learn and get better. Maybe you won’t win prizes or be recognized globally, but if it fills you up with energy and makes you stand the pain and the wondering and life as such…I think then it’s worth a try. You wouldn’t even know if you hadn’t tried.

If there’s anyone still saying personal websites and blogs are overrated – it’s probably someone who’s afraid to jump.

I’ll keep you informed on this issue. Right now, there’s a blank sheet of paper that longs to be filled with ugly scribblings…yet.

/* I have to thank Pandora again for making me feel incredibly good */
/* I’d almost forgotten my last Holga shots. I will upload them into the gallery by tomorrow. Actually they turned out pretty good, I think. */

imagepostAugust 16th, 2008 imagetime21:53

5 Kommentare

  1. chris:

    I just wanted to say : Thank you … thank you for sharing your memories … remembering me of myself and the memory I almost forgot. You somehow brought them back to me.

    Thank you 🙂

  2. site admin:

    ‘s a pleasure, as always 🙂

    You’re still there, I’d thought I’d scared you away…

    You’re making me curious what memory you are referring to. But whatever it is, it is rare, keep it safe.

    It’ll help you through hard times.

    You have no idea how close this topic is getting to me…still struggling.

    Yours, Christiane

    (forgot the holga shots…*seufz*)

  3. chris:

    Yes I am still here 🙂

    I first thought of my grandma (from my father) when I read your bloq, because there was a more or less similar situation with her. She had some kind of amnesia and sometimes did not even recognize her own daughter. But when me, my brother and my mum were visiting her it was kind of different. Then she had moments when she seemed to be the old grandma I know and even made jokes. She recognized me and said “Der Christoph” , perhaps because I was her godchild (Patenkind). That is one of the moments that I remember. Well of course there are even better situations which are in my mind, but I think that this one fits the best.

    And there are also a lot of nice memories of my father that came just to my mind.

    Yours, Christoph

  4. chris:

    Unless you want me to leave … I don´t wanna bother you … never did! The problem about written words is that you can always interpret them like you want and that your own thoughts and feelings will influence your interpretation of the things you read. So I cannot distinguish whether you wanted me to leave or not. I am fine with both.

  5. Christiane:

    Bitte geh nicht weg 😉
    Natürlich störst du nicht, im Gegenteil, deine Meinung interessiert mich sehr, und zu lesen dass es dir in gewisser Hinsicht ähnlich ergangen ist zeigt mir, wie wichtig es ist so etwas auszusprechen.

    Ich habe mich einfach schon so sehr daran gewöhnt manche Menschen mit meinen Worten zu erschrecken…aber eigentlich war das auch nur ironisch gemeint mit dem “scared away”. Sorry. Ironie und Witze kann ich nicht gut 😉

    Es gibt Neuigkeiten. Siehe neuer Blog-Eintrag.

    Und bloß nicht weggehen. Ganz ernst. Ohne Smilie. Ich find’s schön mich mit dir auszutauschen!

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