New piece on TOD

A new piece of mine is up on This Ordinary Day. When you go there and there’s no drawing up, check in again later.
You’ll find my pieces there every two weeks, by the way…



Last week, I had what must have been 2 of the more bizarre minutes of my life. I had been asked (on very short notice) to do a short interview on German TV. This was a first, and it was live, and it was on one of the biggest channels over here (though only digital TV).
They called me on Tuesday, the interview was on Thursday morning. The topic was, not surprising, with the World Water Forum in Istanbul and the World Water Day last Sunday (not to mention the focus of my work): water conflicts.
It went well, I think; I was suprised that I wasn’t more nervous when finally standing in the studio, but I think the circumstances in all their absurdity made me relax. (A very kind woman had done my make-up, professionally and all, while more or less famous TV people were sitting next to me, curlers and all, then we had to run to the studio because this kind of interview normally doesn’t include the kind of make-up I got, they put a micro on me and there I was, standing in the studio where the main German news broadcast “Tagesschau” is being produced… it really was a bit surreal).
Here’s a picture of me back home, still giddy from the experience.

Winter Quiet

After a week of spring-like weather, winter is back. Snow, grey, cold. And with its return, I’m back in hibernation mode, it seems – or should I say “ignore the things I need”-mode? It is so hard for me these days to give myself room, to take the time to actually do stuff I want to do (instead of just dreaming about it). Which is suprising, because I think I had this idea of a totally different life starting the very moment my PhD thesis was finished … it is harder than I thought to re-learn how to take care of myself, to do nothing, to relax, to enjoy, to just be. But I’m sure this current “in-between”-time is necessary, useful even. We all need to give ourselves more time for transitions like these, I think. More time to arrive in the new situation, to settle down, to think about what to do next.


This last few weeks have been sort of wild for me, in more than one sense. After handing in my PhD, I dove right into editing some 20 texts on different aspects of peace and conflict, which is kinda typical. I did not sit back and enjoy the feeling of having finished a 5-year-project. I did not look back or give myself at least a virtual nod of recognition. From one mad activity to the next – that’s the pattern.

With what has happened ever since my son was born in August 2007, however, I cannot help but wonder what I’m trying to numb here, what I’m trying to avoid by these mad bursts of activity. I guess that will be the question for the next 10 years or so…

At least, these episodes are becoming shorter, the realisation that I have accomplished something and actually have a right to enjoy that accomplishment is coming sooner. Which is good, because tell you what: If you really can’t give what you don’t have (BrenĂ© Brown,, I have a lot of work to do to show my son that he is, in fact, worth all the praise and applause in the world.