Heidi Trautmann

Seasons greetings to my readers

Dear friends,

It was only last week that some of my friends and I got together again, as we do every year, to bind the advent wreath for our homes. It is not only to decorate our house for the end of the year festivities and finally the day when - as the bible says - Christ is born to bring peace to the world ….when he later has to discover that humanity will never learn and sacrifices himself to take on the burden. Are we not always waiting for somebody to take the punishment for us?....this was just an embedded sentence, sorry, let me finish my main sentence, it is not only the question of decorating the house… but the appreciation of nature, to go into the hills along sandy roads or where you know where what grows over the neighbours’ walls, and collect the accessories for our work. The smells of the island, I have assembled them: there are branches from the eucalyptus or any other acacias, seed capsules of all kind of trees and bushes, from the myrtle tree or the strawberry tree, branches with red rowan berries, bay leaves, rosemary twigs, rose hips, macchia cuttings, dried species of thistles, roses and seed capsules from our oleander bushes all to be bound together with pine and cypresses and miles of wire.
We stood knee-deep in this collection of smells and colours around our working table while we created interesting and colourful wreaths and the talks and thoughts we developed were intertwined. Christmas tunes, cookies and Turkish coffee, while the sun had set over the Mediterranean Sea and the robin sang.
Last year, my end-of-the-year-message was not well received by everyone: why give us the bitter medicine of human stupidity and errors to taste in a time when words of encouragement would be more welcome and wanted. I was thinking of this while my hands were joining small twigs to attach around the basic round of mimosa twigs; why don’t people want to hear about the lamentable state the world is in right now; why do so many political figures all around our world get out of control after they have been elected by their people? Power makes them corrupt. Why do they use this power to amass rights and riches for themselves, what gives them the right to put themselves on a high throne and overlook the needs of their people who have trusted them; who and what law has given them the right to punish and kill innocent  people? Why? Because they are humans! We are humans, never satisfied, and there will always be parasites and scavengers!

But, I promised to give my end-of-the-year thoughts a positive turn this year and rather think of the good experiences I had: It is to know that our families are all in good health and have work that fills them with passion. The same we can say of ourselves: as long as head and heart are free for the work we feel we have to do, I am happy, and to have the assuredness of having good friends gives us peace of mind. I want to be able to empty my mind of all waste and be prepared to receive the messages of nature: to feel the breeze on my skin, to smell the scents that come with it, to see the wonders created every day. To be witness to events that give hope such as recently a project named ‘200 stars are born’ organised by a group of young and engaged people to take care of disabled people, to bring the problems to the attention of society as an open and live documentation in the form of a walk of 100 ‘normal’ and 100 ‘disabled’ children through the main streets of our capital; to be part of creative people who try hard to improve their part of the world by engaging themselves for a project, painting, making poetry thus calling out to the world: we want peace. This is what I have experienced among the young generation, the effort they make comes from themselves, from inside and they don’t have to be told. Yes, I watch the young art scene, I listen to what they have to say, they find themselves at a point where they will take destiny into their own hands. They are well educated, no longer any signs of a couldn’t-care-less generation, ambitious, well dressed, alert! (I said I would be positive and I will not talk about the other extreme.)
The light at the end of the tunnel, our young generation, and we – the elders should give them all support and encouragement to study and take responsibilities. I believe in the light in our hands!

PS: I received a comment by one of the organisers of the above mentioned project following my report on my website:

It was a very exciting day for all of us. I think we have reached our goal of having the young people interact with each other. The walk was accompanied by crowds of onlookers who thought it was another strike again. We laughed with these kids and had a lot of fun.  It got very sentimental for most of us when one of the children made a wish for our wishing tree ...some actually cried.  I believe it was a great success; society has always neglected the existence of the problematic situation of these kids and their families, but faced now with our live documentary they will have to acknowledge the fact that they are part of our social life. Perhaps it will make our society think twice again: who is actually disabled, us or them…. And who has barriers put up in life… them or us?

My best wishes for a
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year

December 2011 

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