Calm waters are attractive

Sharing another piece of slam poetry by Julia Engelmann, which I could so relate to 🙂

Julia Engelmann -Calm waters are attractive

Stille Wasser sind attraktiv

I’m a Nerd.
But no stylish Hipster,
more of a thinker,
a total Chimera.
I don’t surf on any fashion trend nor retro wave,
I surf on the Internet.
Books to read and texts to write,
and sometimes I have the feeling
that I’m different and alone.
Nobody looks like me and
nobody seems to be close to me,
sometimes I have the feeling that no one is like me.
A place where I belong, there is none for me.
But why do I feel different?
And,
and,
and
what should happen next,
I wonder,
what do I do wrong,
I just want to blend in,
though.
But then blend into what?
And what should it be called,
because we are indeed all different
and in that sense are similar to each other.
Maybe it’s not about what divides us
but about what we have in common.
Maybe that’s why we know each other
instead of staying alone.
Because it’s rather a matter of content
than of form.
It’s rather a matter of individuality
than of norm.
It’s actually a matter of fantasy,
and above all
it’s more about the what
than about the how.
What should it be called after all?
‘Everyone is strange and odd’
but these are mere synonyms for
peculiar and unique
If someone tells you you’re different,
then tell yourself that different
doesn’t mean wrong,
it’s just another way of being right.
And if you want to get along,
you have to move your ass,
you have to face your worst fears!
If you want to succeed,
you must fight off your pain barriers
up the toughest mountain
and keep moving forward.
And what matters is not how high you can leap,
but how high you think you can.
It’s not about physics,
but about imagination.
Above all it’s a matter of what
rather than how.
And who bounds another
enclose themselves
Who weakens another
doesn’t feel themselves strong
Me,
I open my heart
and leave life intact
because I believe it’s good enough that way.
And then I meet you,
and you see me.
And you take,
because you’re by me
and you make the sight clear,
you make real and visible
There are so many expressions,
so many countables
But we are two variables,
on which there was nothing to count,
and I find my place.
I find my space.
In the smallest intersection of your world
and mine
we are the smallest common diversity,
we are what holds us together
and maybe at the first sight
I’m not so cool,
maybe even boring for many people,
but I listen to your words
and I like your voice,
because I like you
and the way we turn the world in our favor.
And this makes me splendid to me.
We are both more
than the addition of ourselves,
We are both more
than the hours that we share,
we are both more,
we are both like mermaids,
whose characteristic is a so called need for salvation,
that is to say,
they can only be freed by the love of a man.
Maybe you are this man for me.
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Being open to feedback

“And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord“. 2 Samuel 12: 1

“He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding”. Proverbs 15:32

Sonia was told by her patient that her rude behaviour had hurt him deeply and that he would be hesitant to come to this hospital thereafter. Rakesh was penalised by his supervisor for a mistake caused due to negligence of the registrar who did the previous shift. Divya was told by her boss that if she did not change her attitude and behaviour, he would not be able to promote her, even this time.

All of us have been recipients of positive or negative feedback at some point of time.

Feedback can be an opportunity for personal growth and a tool for developing better relationships if responded to appropriately.

In the Bible passage, Prophet Nathan confronts King David about his adultery with Bathsheba and his attempt to cover up her resulting pregnancy by having her husband killed. David’s response, even though his crime was grave was commendable. He admits to the crime and repents, and was willing to face the consequent punishment.

How do we react when we receive feedback?

Do we try to defend our actions because we are afraid of being judged, criticised, alienated or rejected?

Do we feel attacked, regardless of whether the feedback was positive or negative?

Do we retreat in silence or do we counter attack and accuse the attacker, make hostile comments or become sarcastic?

David quietly acknowledges his error. It takes emotional and spiritual maturity to make such an admission. It requires a heart that is tender towards the spirit of God and open to correction. Accepting God’s unconditional love will help us to understand that we are not defined by our mistakes, and this opens the channels to let God work in us.

Next time we receive a feedback, we should consciously become aware of our tendency to defend ourselves.

We could start by accepting the feedback and keeping an open body posture.

Instead of attacking the “attacker”, we could ask the person what he or she would have done in the situation and thank the person for his or her insights.

If we are aware of a bad decision we have made, we could admit it before it is brought to light.

If there is a genuine and credible justification for our actions, we could state it in a calm and unemotional manner.

Dear Lord, help us to love instruction and to resist defensiveness, so that we may grow in you and glorify you in all our interactions. Heal us of our insecurities and our need to be blameless. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

s8nci

Reflect:

How do we respond to feedback? Relate an incidence when you received a feedback, how could you have responded better?

Will Sonia be kinder to the next patient she sees? Will Rakesh be able to explain himself? Will Divya be able to change her attitude and behaviour? What would you do in their situation?

How do we keep ourselves from being prideful and keep our hearts tender and open to feedback?

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Is an affair forgivable?

Flowers for Victoria- Sunni Jeffers2388310

 

Single parenting. Teenage daughters. Teaching moral values. Getting back together.

Victoria is a successful business woman, who had to build a career from scratch after her husband left her for another woman. She is the mother of 2 teenaged daughters and involved in community activities. As such satisfied with her life until a repentant ex-husband Matt, comes back. Regretting the mistakes of his past, he tries to woo her back. Victoria goes through the process of re-examining her feelings towards Matt while questioning her beliefs and values. Implementing what she has been teaching her daughters is challenging.

Is it possible to forgive an affair?

Another Man enters the scene. Cleve is a rich, shrewd and successful company head, who is determined to make Victoria fall in love with him. Victoria falls for the classic advances and soon becomes very vulnerable. Now we have a not too complicated plot, which involves a conspiracy, planned by Cleve to overthrow Victoria’s company. In the end, Matt uncovers the plot, and Victoria realizing her own mistakes is able to forgive him.

The plot of the story is not unpredictable, the flow is slow and contains lots of repetitions. It is a nice relaxing read, which does not require mental effort, nevertheless entertaining.

“I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.“  Isaiah 44:22

You can get the book on Amazon here.

 

Photo credit: http://agirlandherbrush.com/artwork/

Photo credit

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Nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award :)

Yippie!!! Another award!

Rules of the Mystery Blogger Award:

  • Feature the award logo/image on your post
  • List the rules
  • Thank the blogger that nominated you
  • Tell the readers 3 things about yourself
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well –> [Okoto Enigma]
  • Answer the questions provided
  • Nominate 10-20 bloggers and notify them by commenting on their blog
  • Ask the nominees 5 questions of my choice with one weird/funny question (specify)
  • Share and link to your best post(s)

 

I would like to thank Love Alchemy (https://selfreflectionhealing.wordpress.com/) for thinking of me and for nominating me. Love Alchemy writes about healing, dreaming and weaving the fabric of life. She describes her journey in overcoming pain so beautifully and inspiringly that you think- I can do this too.

It is so nice to be awarded! Thank you.

What is The Mystery Blogger Award?

The Mystery Blogger Award was created by Okoto Enigma as a way to build connections between small bloggers. “Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.
– Okoto Enigma

Three things about Reaching the sun:

  1. Reaching the sun has been my journey into writing starting at scratch with no experience.
  2. Each blog I write helps me think clearer and understand myself better.
  3. I have not seen even one of my followers in real life J

Answers to questions asked:

  1. What did your past relationships teach you?

I learned you will be hurt, trust will be broken, promises not kept. But that’s alright, you just have to keep moving and rely on God alone. Onthe other hand there are people who stay by your side despite it all. They are the ones star dust is made of.

2.What one thing do people always misunderstand about you?

People seldom read my thoughts right, I’m good at hiding my true feelings. This leads to a lot of misunderstandings.

3.  What makes you feel accomplished?

Writing a good blog post! Performing a musical piece. Seeing the smile of a child who is getting well.

4.What is your favourite song?

I have many:

Trust in you- Lauren Daigle

Thrive- Casting crowns

Wrap my words- Daniel Bedingfield

Picture– Kid Rock and Shery Crow

Annie’s song- John Denver 

5. Weird Question: What would you name your boat if you had one?  If you already do, what did you name it?

I’ll probably never have one, we live far away from any water body. But if I had one, I’d probably name it ‘Moses’.

 

Best Posts

What do you think is worth fighting for?

Never alone

Un- Entangled

A time for everything under the sun

Embrace

 

Nominee Questions

  1. What inspired you to create a blog? And what keeps you writing?
  2. If you could be any other person for just a day, who would that be?
  3. What is the best advice that you have given to anyone?
  4. Did you have a turning point in life? If yes, what happened, and what made you change?
  5. Wierd question? What is your most favourite personality trait?

 

Nominees

Note: If this is duplication of a previous nomination for the same award, or, if you have an award free blog I apologize in advance.

Wrestling with faith- Dancing with Jesus

Song of virginity

steadfastlove143

kimberlyf

Heidi Joung

Neurodivergent rebel

Little tidbits of joy

 

 

 

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The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne51pDG3krcUL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_

The story is set in 16th century England. Hester Prynne, a typical girl most women even today could identify with, is with a child out of wedlock. She has to bear the punishment of the times which is imprisonment, public humiliation and to henceforth wear the “Scarlet letter A” on her dress. She refuses to disclose the name of the father of the child, may be because she loved him, maybe because the consequence would be the end of his career. Battling with guilt and rejection from society, she tries to establish a life, by earning her means of livelihood by needle work and gardening. She tries to bring up her daughter Pearl by Christian values and principles.

Pearl is another central character in the book. Pearl is a child of difficult temperament and impulsivity with strange behaviour and thinking. This is not surprising, considering that she is brought up isolated from other children with her mother as the only playmate. She also shows an extraordinary amount of intelligence in comprehending the realities of life. Initially serving as a reminder of her failure to Hester, she is gradually able to develop a relationship of trust and bonding.

Arthur Dimmesdate is a very popular priest, liked for his piety and godliness. He moves people with his exceptional voice and sadness which disguises his guilt. He is to his congregation an example of righteousness and his physical weakness is almost equalled to the suffering of Christ. We are gradually lead to the truth that he is the father of Pearl, but we do not know for sure till much later in the book.

Roger Chillingworth is Hester’s husband. In his quest for justice in finding the father of Pearl and punishing him, he finds that his personality has changed. The scholarly kind hearted man has becomes under the weight of unforgiveness and revenge seeking, a person void of goodness. Even though we should empathise with the wronged husband, the reader finds him/herself unable to do so. You find yourself increasingly disliking him.

Is it better to admit your sin and suffer the consequences? Or to come to terms with it alone in secrecy? Is it only between God and an individual?

“I will stand with you and mother on the day of judgement” Arthur tells Pearl in a secret meeting.

At the end of the story, Hester and Arthur and able to avail God’s grace and mercy.

The detailed descriptions of events might be a little weary for most of us modern day readers. But the psychological insights into character and descriptions of personality are invaluable. The depths of thinking about right or wrong, about justice and fairness gives you a new perspective.

Central to this book is also the theme of “branding” of sin, while we all are sinners. Which sins should be punished and which don’t need to  and to what extent?  We can’t help notice that while Hester is so severely and unfairly punished, Arthur is being sympathised with for the same crime committed.

We also see in Hester a character so strong and so intelligent. She takes us through the process of being completely rejected by society, questioning values and authorities we have been taught to respect and finding the truth, if only for oneself.

A must read for those who can put up with long sentences, and descriptions, but nevertheless want something to think about.

“People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy”- Proverbs 28: 13

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. “ 1 John 1:9

 

You can buy the book in Amazon here.

You can download the book as a free pdf here.

 

Posted in book review, Christianity, classics, Feminism, love, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

A little light

 

A little light in the darkest night,

A flickering flame, threatening to cease,

Is lighted when a little smile,

In an ocean of indifferent faces,

Creates a little space.

 

A gentle word in a flood of communication,

When understanding ceases and sanity wanes,

An uplifting gesture,

When all around is rejection,

Makes a little space, for a battered soul.

 

Would you be the spark, that lights the fire,

An introduction to a story of life,

Left unwritten,

Unless you,

Would care to be- that little light.

 

 

 

 

 

Picture credit: http://photographystatistics.com

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D’ya still enjoy doin it?

“A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after.”- Gloria Steinem

“Sex is logically impossible after marriage. You have to overcome the paradox of Not this again and Hey where did you learn that?” –Emo Philips

“Life after death is as improbable as sex after marriage.” – Madeline Khan

“Sex was for men. Marriage like life boats, was for women and children.”- Carrie Fisher

 

Well if you believe that, there is a good reason you should read this book.

 

Sheet Music- Dr. Kevin Leman

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After 8 years of marriage I found this book so useful, there was  immediate betterment in our quality of life, not just on the bed. You see, there are so many things the articles on the web or other books on sex don’t teach you. This was an eye opener and I am going to buy a few more copies to present to couples on their wedding. You couldn’t give them a better gift, as a parent, friend or someone who deeply cares.

The book is written in a free, witty and easy style, which made me smile a lot. The examples and scenarios described are those most married people can completely relate to.

The first few chapters are dedicated to single men and women. How do you prepare yourself for the marriage bed? If your answer is ‘Get more practice before marriage’, like mine was, here is another view on it. Saving up for your husband has so many advantages, and Dr Kevin has statistics to back his points.

What if you have already made a mistake, what then? – Well it isn’t too late to abstain till marriage. The emotional consequences of premarital sex are completely neglected in our society, so are the risks of getting STDs. Dr. Leman has suggestions on how to deal with “the crowded bed”, the things that have influenced the person you are from childhood on. Your sexual rule book- We all have one, we’d be fooling ourselves if we pretended we didn’t. What is alright for me, what isn’t and the reasons, are some issues we need to work through. And while some rules might be easier broken, some might be quite tough. Whatever they are, they need to be faced.

Dr Leman then talks about learning to make music- about studying your spouse starting with the honey moon, and gives couples very practical solutions and realistic expectations, especially during this period. He uses a simile on how people learn to play violin, the instrumental and the violinist are capable of making beautiful music, which does not happen but for lots and lots of practice with one instrument.

The book then has a section “men only” and “women only” which is also extremely practical and deals with taking care of yourself and preparing yourself emotionally and physically to experience pleasure during sex.

“Why not, and why not here?”

I find that a lot of women think that they are doing their husband a favour by consenting to ‘let him do it’. I find that so sad, because of the experience and the relationship that comes with good sex. Some of us also tend to have fixed ideas about when, how, which position, and which area of the house it should be done. But why? Dr Leman tells us to be open to the practicalities and details  positions that can be used.

 

The book was very insightful about the differences between the genders, in the way they understand and perceive things, priorities and expectations.

It can be hard, just like marriage is hard.

To find the time, to make the effort, to prioritise, to plan.

But no one is ”winning” the marriage.

And I think what you reap is worth the effort, and when you reap you do manifold.

 

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You can purchase the book on amazon here.

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What do you think is worth fighting for?

“It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can cause a typhoon halfway around the world.”- Chaos theory

Do infants feel pain?

Jeffry Lawson was born on February 9th 1985, a little too early and a little too small. He was born at 26 weeks and weighed a little more than 700gms, his chances at survival were slim. He needed a surgery called a PDA closure (an open heart surgery) to help him survive. He survived only 5 weeks after his surgery. He would have been my age if he had.

A few months later, his parents Jill and James Lawson found out that the surgery on their child had been done without anesthesia. He had only received a powerful paralytic drug, which would not prevent the pain, but make sure he did not move during the surgery.

“That is how it is usually done”, they were told.

“They (babies) don’t feel pain the way we do.”

“They won’t remember, even if there is a moment or two of discomfort.”

“Besides, they may not even tolerate analgesics.”

Jill Lawson tried to get support for her position that babies should get pain control from dozens of governmental and nongovernmental agencies in vain. They were not willing to help her or they supported the anesthetist’s actions.

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They could have left it there. It had not been the surgery which caused their baby’s death. They had little chances while fighting against the elite medical community.

The news reports said Jill Lawson was a housewife from Maryland.

They were not professionals, doctors or advocates.

Her complete account of the story can be read here.

An excerpt from one of her reports reads:

‘‘Jeffrey had holes cut on both sides of his neck, another cut in his right chest, an incision from his breastbone around to his backbone, his ribs pried apart, and an extra artery near his heart tied off. This was topped off with another hole cut in his left side. The operation lasted hours. Jeffrey was awake through it all. The anesthesiologist paralyzed him with Pavulon, a drug that left him unable to move, but totally conscious. When I questioned the anesthesiologist later she said Jeffrey was too sick to tolerate powerful anesthetics. Anyway, she said, it had never been demonstrated to her that premature babies feel pain.’’ 

It was not until a year later, in August 1986, that an article in the Washington Post told their story to the world. In the article, Rovner, a staff writer, interviewed several experts in the area. The article include a quote by Willis Mc Gill, Chair Anesthesia who said “it doesn’t do anygood to have a dead patient who doesn’t feel pain’’.

This article followed others which highlighted the inequity of conducting surgery on babies without anesthesia.

Those days few parents realized that major surgical procedures were routinely performed on premature and sick new born infants without analgesics, which relieve pain or remove sensation. Instead babies were immobilized using strong muscle relaxants. Many procedures in the nurseries were done without pain relief, day after day, and week after week.

Pain in infants was soon discussed around the breakfast table and the water cooler. If mothers knew by the cries of their babies that they had pain, why did not doctors agree with commonly understood parent observation?

In the meanwhile Dr Anand, a surgeon in the UK, was working on measuring stress responses using small blood samples in infants. He showed that neonates showed a major stress response following surgery which eased with anesthesia. He was awarded the Dr. Michael Blacow prize for his paper on “Anesthetic management of preterm infants during PDA ligation.”

With the publication of his paper in the Lancet in 1987, the world realized that surgeries were being performed in babies without anesthesia. Dr Anand and his supervisor Professor Aynsley Green were viciously attacked and accused of experimenting on babies and withholding analgesics. They demanded an investigation by the General Medical Council.

Dr Anand might have thought that his career had ended.

There was an immediate uproar in the press.

The experiments were severely criticized and condemned.

It took several prominent medical scientists to point out that Dr Anand’s research would save many babies from having unprotected pain to mitigate the situation.

Shortly thereafter, 2 years after Jeffrey’s death, the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics each produced statements on the appropriate use of analgesia in neonates. AAP stated that it was no longer ethical to perform surgery on preterm babies without anesthetic.

The November 24, 1987, headline of the New York Times covering the Lawson story read ‘‘Infant’s Sense of Pain Is Recognized, Finally.’’

A leading journal declared that: “Failure to treat treatable pain in infants and children is both inappropriate and unethical.”

Clinical practice in anesthesia and cardiac surgery changed.

American Pain Society now awards the annual Jeffrey Lawson Award to outstanding pediatric pain clinicians in memory one poor infants tragic death.

The public concern and outcry, namely the attacks on Anand and the tireless advocacy of Jill Lawson, provided the engine to move change forward.

Science provided the knowledge base for the public outcry.

Without the public outcry, knowledge would have taken years to be implemented into clinical practice.

The public outcry was generated by common people. By a mother who wanted to be heard.

There was a sharp increase in the number of publications on pediatric pain studies between 1981 and 1990 and a dramatic increase in articles on pain in neonates in the mid 1980s.

We now therefore know that:

Poorly managed pain has serious short and long term consequences because infants remember pain and suffer physiological consequences of untreated pain even 9- 12 years later.

If were do not give babies pain medication it can affect them in the following ways:

  • Pain ratings were higher at the 4-6 months routine vaccination for boys who were circumcised without analgesia than for girls or uncircumcised boys.
  • It affects their sensory processing, which is the way they perceive sensation, even at 9-12 years of life if they were exposed to pain in their infancy.
  • It may impair the maturation of the brain.
  • They may have reduced visual abilities.
  • They may have poorer language outcomes.
  • They may have greater internalizing behaviors.
  • Appropriate pain relief after trauma decreased the risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder in children at 12 months. It affects their response to pain later on in life.
  • Inadequate pain relief and the memory of painful experiences of procedures reduced the effects of adequate pain relief in subsequent procedures.

 

Jeffry Lawson’s memory lives on and has impacted millions of lives all over the world, because one woman did not let go.

One woman stood up for what she believed in.

“I had some second thoughts about pursuing it,” Lawson says, “but I have learned a lot and I know I’m doing the right thing.”

Her intention was not to condemn/ initiate legal action against an individual or an institution. She had a problem and she wanted a solution. She wanted people to know about the problem, so that someone somewhere would maybe work out a solution.

“I think what they’re saying is that there’s no way to anesthetize very tiny or weak babies so the choice is not doing the surgery or doing it under horrendous circumstances. I’m not saying never do it, but I would want to think long and hard.”

 

If it is you who is wondering whether your battle is worthwhile, even when it seems like you are on the losing side- don’t give up. It is worth it.

If your little concern doesn’t even seem significant, even if no one seems to care, don’t give up. It is worth it.

If you have the government and science stand against you, but that little voice inside you cannot accept it, don’t give up. Don’t let that little voice die.

You never know how that little action of yours is going to change the world, just because you believed.

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References:

http://www.dolor.org.co/articulos/MOderna%20historia%20dolor%20pediatrico.pdf

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0194599816636100

Science is not enough: The modern history of pediatric pain. Patrick J. McGrath

Posted in pain, parenting, premature infant, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

She…

 she gave up.

 she let go.

 she didn’t see a reason to keep fighting,

 nor did she have the strength anymore.

 so she let herself go.

 let herself fall,

 felt the weightlessness.

beneath the closed eyelids,

tears formed and overflowed,

even when she forced them back;

back to their source.

but in the falling and the flowing,

she found the strength,

to stand when she landed-

and to walk some more.

 

 

 

Photo credit: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/4-you-are-the-ocean-and-i-am-drowning-glennis-siverson.html

 

Posted in depression, dreams, pain, poems, poetry, Uncategorized, woman | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

An immigrant family. A genius. An indifferent mother.

Would the bright child of an immigrant family who never had the chance to go to school make it in life?

Would a mother who hung to memories of an adventurous night in a train with a man be happy with another for the rest of her life?

What about children, who look after each other, and constantly wonder when their parents are going to leave them for good?

What about the father, whose only worry in life is that the mother would leave him and spends the rest of his time crying?

 

 

Rain in summer

Marguerite Duras

 

Sommerregen- Marguerite Duras31m8AlnE+3L._BO1,204,203,200_

This is a story about a family and about individuals. It is about love and about dreams.

A story of an immigrant family in France, of their life, their struggles and ideology.

The story describes the growing up of the elder 2 children of the family, Ernesto and Jeanne. The father and the mother, the remaining 5 children are hardly mentioned by name.

The mother dominated by experiences of passionate love in the past remains in a world of her own.

“Sie liebten die Grausamkeit der Mutter. Sie liebten die Mutter. Sie liebten es, von der Mutter im Stich gelassen zu werden. “

“They loved the mother’s cruelty. They loved their mother. They loved being let down by their mother.”

The father plays his role as being the mother’s protector, who never leaves her side in the fear that she would leave to an unknown place and not come back. Neither of them have a job or seem to do anything productive. The parents are intelligent, well read and have ideals which are impractical in the real world, but very real to them.

In their story, the children provide them with ”Children’s money” that the government give the parents for their care. The children are not cared for by any adult except for being provided food. None of them go to school. Earnesto and Jeanne look after the ‘children’ and provide them emotional support, by understanding them and reading to them.

There is a lot of crying (every few pages of the book has someone crying), the father cries, Earnesto cries, so do the children.

The underlying tone of the book is also the search for a God .

“An jenem Abend hatte die Mutter gewusst, dass Earnestos Schweigen zugleich Gott und nicht Gott, der Drang zu leben und der Drang zu sterben war. “

“ That evening, the mother knew, that Earnesto’s silence was simultaneously the presence of God, and his absence, the urge to live and the urge to die.”

The life of the children, their hope and strength revolve around a book- One which is a little burnt and yet readable. The book contains the story of a king- King Solomon and the Ecclesiastes, are the ones frequently mentioned.

Earnesto has special abilities. He has taught himself to read and write using this one book. Later, he starts to read books given to him by a teacher. He has attended school for 4 days and decides to stop going because “They taught him things he did not know about.” Jeanne goes to school for 10 days before she discontinues.

Earnesto and Jeanne merge into each other in a way only children in suffering can, with each declaring not willing or able to live without the other. Jeanne confesses her love to her father, thought no true words of love are openly spoken, there is an understanding beyond words, which is in my opinion the only good portrayal of relationship in this book. As a consequence their physical relationship is not shocking and does not come as a surprise.

At the end of the book Earnesto leaves to study, Jeanne leaves too, the father and the mother ‘allow themselves to die’ and the children go to foster care. The teacher later adopts the children.

That is the end of the story.

How do you feel at the end of the story? You feel like you have lost all hope, you feel depressed and you carry a bit of the weight of the injustice of what has happened.

There is unfortunately no English translation of the book yet. I would recommend it for easy read, a little thought provoking, but definitely not for pleasure.

Take away points from the book:

Mothers can be indifferent.

A genius will come up no matter what the circumstances.

Life can be terribly unfair.

In the midst of the dark there is usually a tiny little light.

 

 

 

You can find the German version of the book here.

The French version of the book can be found here.

 

 

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