Calmness

Suddenly, a calmness
rushes over me
like a heat wave,

Drowning out
the noise and false
busy-ness,

Turning the spotlight
onto the essence,
which, strangely,
always hurts most.

Shouldn’t that which is
essential
come naturally?

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The Bridge

The in-between feels akward. Itchy.
Scary, too.

Not knowing: like a sunburn.
Only in the future …
Traces of happiness and pain.

On the way, someone ventures It needs to be worth it.
Is it me?

Then I see the bridge and start to run.

Dear Jakob,

you are three years old today. Three years! You are such a compassionate, caring and sharp little boy – and funny, too! I am so grateful that I can be with you every day.

On the day you were born, I remember leaving the hospital with you in your little carrier, thinking (and actually saying out loud) Are they really letting us go home with him?, with unbelieving wonder, a little bit of fear and oh so much love mingling in my belly. They did, of course, and off we went on the road that is mother- and childhood, taking wrong turns, riding in the middle of the road, and stopping every now and again to take in the beauty flying by.

Part of me can not wait to see you grow up. To see the schoolboy, the teenager, the man you will be. I want to see it all, I want to see you spread your wings and fly in whichever direction you choose.

The other part wants to stay in this moment forever, with your contagious happiness, your inquiring curiosity and your unconditional trust.

Chances are it will always be like this, I guess. It doesn’t matter though, since I also know this: You will always be perfect, because you’ll always be you.

I love you.

Mama

Looking back

Today is my 33rd birthday. One year ago, I was pregnant with my second child, had just had my PhD defence and was preparing for my first major editing job. Three years ago, I was heavily pregnant with my first child, praying he would stay in a little while longer so that we could both have our separate birthdays (he did). Five years ago, I was newly married and preparing for my first visit to Israel and Palestine, three months that have shaped my professional career immensely. Ten years ago, I was still at the beginning of a relationship with the man who is now my husband and the father of my kids, and enjoying university life and all that entails. 15 years ago, I thought life was not much more than school and the people I went to school with; at the same time, I was desperately clinging to the tiny hope that that was not so. 20 years ago, the Berlin wall had come down and I had realised for the first time what politics actually means (that people can make things happen). 25 years ago, I was dreaming big, unapologetically and blissfully. 33 years ago, my mother gave birth to me on a hot August morning, full of dreams of what I could be.

It’s a long way, and I tend to forget both how things haveĀ  changed over the years, and how certain things always stay the same, even though they may take on a different shape. Today, it is a comfort to look back and know that change is constant and bad times will be replaced by good ones. And that some things, like love and dreams, do not falter, even in the darkest haze.