Too much to think about and no peace getting around

This blog entry would not have been written without the encouragement of Manfred Gosch and David Wampamba. I am a member of the ironblogger group ibcoco and thus dedicated to blog once week.
However, the last weeks had a lot of challenges and I had not time really to think thoroughly what happened in my life. I am a person who prefers to think before talking and writing 😉

But, as written above, the two ironbloggers told me that they want to read what’s going on in my head.
So, here are my thoughts :

  • My mother died unexpectedly four weeks ago and last week was the funeral. I was really overwhelmed how many family members attended. It was nice family gathering, even for a very sad occasion. I am still thinking about my family, how we all developed and chosen our way of life.
  • My mother wrote a diary. We found it after her dead and still could not read them all. I am struggling with parts of her memories and ask myself how much confidence one needs to share everything within the family. I am lucky to have two, three people around I can be open to.
  • I am thinking about a relation to one of our daughters and having difficulties to cope with the current situation.
  • We are going to change the legal status of cocoate and I need to prepare all this.
  • I am thinking about an approach for a business coaching, have several ideas but am not sure yet.
  • I want to further work in our garden, it’s so satisfying, but I need to find some time for it. No real solution yet 🙁
  • We promised to help a friend building a terrace, actually two terraces. I was eager to use modern materials but as it is an old house, it might be better to do it in the traditional way. I think about the working steps and hope that there wont be bad surprises (as it could happen always in  an old house ).
  • I am looking forward to restore another house, together with Isabell and Dick. So far, we are in the disgusting phase: emptying the house – really very disgusting!
  • We still want to sell our house because we want to travel and enjoy life by reducing working for money 😉 A lot of people were interested in but the concept of buying a house as an investment is still very uncommon in France. Thus, we further  need to work for money and can’t travel half a year.
  • I also think a lot of the current political situation in France, with Le Front National as one leading party in the polls. I grew up in a dictatorship and I don’t want to live under it again.
  • And, I am searching for the perfect blue. Since weeks! I am doing a new abstract painting but it doesn’t flow!!! Too much things in my head. I am not at all relaxed.




René Magritte - Le faux miroir


Der plötzliche Tod meiner Mutter hat uns, ihre engsten Angehörigen, fragend zurückgelassen.
Je mehr wir über sie reden und uns erinnern, um so mehr Facetten entdecken wir von ihr. Wir erkennen, dass wir alle verschiedene Dinge über sie wußten. So langsam ergibt sich für uns ein neues, ein gemeinsames Bild. Dabei stellen wir unsere alten Gewissheiten in Frage, legen manche beiseite und eignen uns neue an.

Das Wort Gewissheit geht mir seit Tagen im Kopf herum, ich assoziiere damit und muß es mal aufschreiben, um zu sortieren, was mir dazu einfällt:

Gewissheit, sich einer Sache sicher sein, sich auf seine Erfahrungen und Überzeugungen verlassen können, denn die haben sich schon oft bewährt in kniffligen Situationen, bei Herausforderungen, die man zu meistern hatte.

Die Gewissheit, etwas ganz sicher wissen, zu kennen. Ein Thema, einen Gegenstand, einen Menschen.

Wie lange hält Gewissheit? Immer? Bis zur nächsten Krise?

Wann habe ich das letzte Mal meine Gewissheiten überprüft, am hier und heute? Zweifle ich meine Gewissheiten an? Oder verlasse ich mich lieber darauf, was ich eh schon weiß? Weil ich mir meiner Gewissheiten sicher bin? Weil ich den Konflikt scheue? Weil ich müde bin, nicht kämpfen will?

Wie gewiß bin ich meiner selbst? Kenne ich mich so gut, dass ich nichts Neues, Ungewisses an mir entdecke, entdecken will?

Zeige ich mich in aller Klarheit, so dass andere sich meiner gewiß sind, so dass sie mich sehen, hören und erkennen?

Wie gewiß kann ich mir deiner Liebe sein? Heute und künftig?

Silver Grey


It is often said that grey is not a colour, but a statement, if you want to hide or remain invisible (the grey mouse). Sometimes, instead of positioning oneself for one side or another, we are looking for a way in the middle between two opposites, between white and black.
But grey can also be understood as a departure from all colours, all affluence, as a conscious counter-design to a noisy world.
To be honest, I did not have these thoughts when I started the painting. I just wanted to experiment with black and white pigments, dissolved in acrylic and a silver oil paint.
The result is a painting full of nuances, interesting and colourful and not at all boring.




Diversity & Nationalism

Currently, there are more than 65 million displaced people, refugees, asylum seekers in the world.
This movement causes a crisis in many countries around the world and discussions about asylum seekers, migration, integration, assimilation and multicultural societies are taking place in many countries, quite often initiated by right wing populism. Many people fear the influx of migrants and asylum seekers. Sometimes it is pure refusal of foreigners, sometimes it is the fear of sharing collective goods.
Where does this reluctance and fear come from? Is it a cultural thing? To answer these questions I needed to think about diversity and its opposite, nationalism.


Diversity can be

  • an asset: it might be good have different points of views and approaches to tackle problems, achieve something, find solutions.
  • a burden: it might be difficult to understand each other and to communicate and the risk of refusal or hate is relatively high
  • costly: diversity comes with different languages and cultures and for keeping it, a certain infrastructure is needed. A state might face difficulties to maintain such an infrastructure. To be economically successful, a certain kind of standardisation and uniformity is needed, which includes mainstreaming communication, behaviour and cultures. Keeping diversity costs time, money and other resources.


Nationalism is based on a common identity, culture and language which means in consequence getting rid of diversity. Migrants from different cultures pose a challenge to a national state, which wants to keep its identity, and right wing populism plays on that. Nationalism is used to counter diversity which comes with immigration.

States dealt and are dealing very differently with that challenge:

Reducing/eliminating cultural differences

This can be done through genocide (Tutsi), by expelling migrants, providing separate settlements (reservoirs for Red Indians, ghettos for Jews), through marginalisation (black people , Aborigines, etc.) and by the request of assimilation (giving up one’s own culture).
A very topical example of marginalisation is the so called threat of Islam, done by linking Muslims to a group of Islamists, which are misusing the Islam for their violent actions.
(All these measurements are also approved methods to get rid of any opposition in a country.)

In western democracies, it’s often done by imposing the culture and language of the immigration country for everybody through integration programs, media, the educational system, access to the social welfare system and citizenship. These measurements are aiming to strengthen the power of the immigration country.
States following this way are e.g. the USA, France and Germany.

Accepting differences

Done by tolerating differences, sharing responsibilities and rights collectively, giving autonomy to minorities in a federal system.
Countries handling diversity in this way are Switzerland, Belgium and still the Netherlands.

Of course, the majority has the right to control immigration, but if migrants are in the country, they should be accepted as equal.
I believe that dealing with diversity depends on how a state sees itself in relation to other states, peoples and groups. The national self-understanding can be based on equality or on the superiority of one’s own people. The treatment of minorities and foreigners is the reflection of this self-understanding.

I personally prefer diversity over a mono-culture, even if it’s challenging.
What are your thoughts about this topic?