Herr Bischoff


The ever-thoughtful Ruben Schade recently wrote about Macroblogging and made some great observations. In the age of Twitter-esque Microblogging, personal posts that go beyond a couple of lines are increasingly rare. Following the lives of friends or interesting strangers used to contain more depth. Not in a literary sense. There used to be more of the person there.

I’m still struggling with thinking “who could ever be interested in what I have to say?” Should those people exist, what do I even have to say?

The most popular posts this far are those with technical information and how-tos. I don’t care all that much about popularity. Yet the general feeling remains that personal experiences may not be what others want to read at all. I mean, I do. I like to discover interesting snippets, thoughts and random bits and pieces out of the lives of others. Especially when their lives are different from mine. I find this inspirational. Sometimes it triggers a thought, a feeling, remembering something from my own life – and I suddenly feel connected to the experience, the person itself.

The authenticity is what makes an encounter meaningful. In a plastic world full of fake plastic trees, we need authenticity, honesty and deliberate vulnerability more than probably ever before.

Connection is a strong thread that runs though my life. The desire for connection, the lack of it, shielding me against it. The rediscovery of connection to myself, people close to me and eventually total strangers. We all seek connection, we are social beings. Even those actively avoiding other people feel a strong need for the presence of other humans, longing for someone who understands them, whether they like it or not. Usually it’s the latter and leads to more isolation and an attempt to approach life rationally, without the need for emotions. I know. For the last 26 years, that person used to be me.

It may be a little much but I feel like sharing something. Feel free to skip the next part, if – for any reason at all – you don’t want to read about mental issues, depression or intensely personal experiences. Here be dragons.

About two years ago a transformation occurred. Triggered by adverse circumstances, a major depressive episode announced itself. I could feel, taste and smell it already. In every fibre of my being I knew that this time there would be no emergence at the end. This was it. It went downhill fast.

Sitting in my therapist’s office I broke down within seconds and cried. I cried and cried and then cried even more. When I had stopped crying, I sobbed and cried again. This went on for the rest of the session. We barely spoke a word.

He suggested caring for the part of me that was crying, the infant, the sad and confused little child that couldn’t understand why all of the sudden, everything felt wrong, back in 1979. And that’s what I did. Back home, I grabbed a pillow, held it in my arms and immediately started to cry again.

The connection happened almost instantaneously. I felt the sadness and abyssal despair, the blind fear and the helplessness. I let the infant cry and held it tenderly. I was present, fully immersed in that moment. Time was meaningless, life outside passed by unnoticed. Nothing was more important than to be there, for that infant, for myself, in that moment.

Eventually, it felt safe. It began to trust me. This happened quickly, a lot quicker than I had expected. I had believed it to take weeks, months even, of careful nurturing to slowly build trust. Instead, at one point it relaxed, felt safe and at home. I could feel a blissful sigh echoing through every part of my being.


That’s when, for the first time, love opened up to me. More precisely, I opened up to love. To pure, universal, all-encompassing love. Love for the infant, love for me, love for other people, love for everything that is. I felt thankful for all I’ve been given. I felt humble, for probably the first time in my life. Before, the term equalled subservience, like submitting to a dogma. Now it is closer to awe, tenderness and gratitude, to dedication and devotion. My rage was gone. It was no longer necessary.

But all that turned out to just be the beginning of the ride. It’s a long story. I may tell it at a different time, maybe even a different place. Who knows. Life is full of surprises.