Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Woman Upstairs


  [Warning: contains somewhat of a spoiler, although you can  basically  deduct it from the back jacket]

I read this book by Claire Messoud with flushed cheeks. This has also been my story to admire people so deeply and treat them with a zeal  they did not return, just as for Nora and her relationship with the Shahidis. Claire Messoud describes this kind of experience with vivid detail.

We never really learn the other side of the story, though. Were the Shahidis aware of how hurt and disappointed Nora was?  Or did they care about her in the way they could? 

In the course of the story Nora flourishes as an artist. She links it to the effect that Sirena and the ambiance around her had on her. When Sirena leaves,  her energy dies out. But what if she were able to hold on to that energy? It is no use of pretending every relationship needs to be mourned, but what if we managed to stay with what has awoken in us? 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Walking with kindness

It was a hot summer day.

Even here  the green was  juicy and ripe announcing the beginning of August.

Austwitz Birkenau is not barren land, life lives here too.

That day I walked with difficulty, trying to find the sacred silence. 

Do not think about the  blazing sun, about not catching up with the group. 

Somebody offered me an umbrella, somebody asked a bus to give me a ride. 

Life can be honoured  in this way too, by passing small acts of kindness.