Midsummer Scrawl Crawl - 2013

Main entrance to the Friedensmahnmahl

It’s midsummer and this year I’ve chosen to write at the Friedensmahnmahl in our city park. I pass this way often but I haven’t stopped and breathed the air here in 15 years. The morning is lovely, the sun is shining and I am surrounded by art. Everywhere statues and sculpture created and placed with attention, with intention.

A Friedensmahnmahl - a reminder of peacefulness, peaceability, peace in thought, in word and in deed. Now I wish I’d brought my journal. I came instead with my phone to record my voice and my friend Murphy Dog thinking, correctly, that he would just wrap his leash four times around the mausmobile before I could juggle my journal and tell him not to.

Selbst ist der Hund. I love this dog.

My friend Murphy belongs to himself and has no owner, only roommates. When he is visiting us, he is happy to exchange his subtle lessons in anticipation, joy and inexpectation[1] for a nest in the comforter and a ride on the mausmobile.

Testing my limits. Can I get down there?

I found a way to get behind the big statue. I am in a place I thought I couldn’t go. There are steps, but those are just what you see at first glance. There is also a path cleared at the back. Hidden. You have to be interested, to come around looking for the back side, the hidden side of the statue in order to find the way down. When you are handicapped, many things refuse to be found requiring that you search first with interest before revealing themselves.

In secret places one finds secret things.

Now I too am hidden where it is green and quiet, in this place where it seems like even the eyes on the trees watch mahnend: benevolent though urging memory, warning, reminding, watching. It is rich and wild growth everywhere. No tended or planted garden this, but lush and unexpected and full of weeds and flowers and thorns. Like life. Murphy is restless sitting on the mausmobile when there is an unsniffed riot just meters away.

I hope I can get back out again. It rained last night. A black cloud from hell brought us a real gully-washer. On the way home from LPN (Last Pinkel of the Night) the wind gusted around us and I clutched Murphy tight in my arms to make sure we both made it to Oz if that is what the weather had in mind. The little path I came down this morning is narrow, muddy and steep, strewn with small stones in the middle. Why is it that getting out of a situation is usually harder than getting into it? Seems like some sort of mafia principle at work: the difficulty you have getting out somehow proportional to the risk you took getting in.

There she went again! Much too fast for a photo op, the little maus.

A little maus! I saw a little maus running across the stone steps with something in her mouth. Something white and soft. Bread maybe. Oooh she was light brown, blonde maybe and very sweet.

Marmorköpf - “versinnbildichliched the leiden gewaltherrschaft”

This marble head speaks of violence and the suffering of those who must live under its random rule. I too am silenced and humbled by the blind luck that has kept me safe from experience; blind luxury that asks me to believe I can empathize when, in truth I too am human, dumb and blind.

We had a KZ here - just a kilometer or so from where I sit - in a tunnel: the Engelbergtunnel - the Angel Hill Tunnel. Der Konzentrationslager Nazweiler. I remember when my friend told me about it shortly after I moved here. Listening, I felt my heart clutch a moment in disbelief and shook my head. Refusal. Was that the same reaction the good Germans, the tolerant, the open and kind people had when they heard evil rumors of machination and scheming back then? I can’t answer such questions from the past, but still I must be ask.

I stop for a moment and look around me noticing at least four entry points in this small sculpture garden. I wonder: How many points of entry are there in me for peace and peaceablity? How many points of exit?

Frieden ist ein äusserst labilier stets zu neu zu erringender zustand der eintracht der harmonie

And so it is that Peace is a wildly unstable condition which must be constantly steadied through harmony and unity.

Mehr information über den Friedensmahnmahl und der Bildhauer, Hans Daniel Sailer

[1] Mausisch: to expect the unexpected.