Sehnsucht nach den Sternen? / Homesick for something

Mein Land, wo ist es? Mein Land, was ist es? Wer wohnt da? Was machen die Leute da? Was mache ich da, in meinem Land?

listen!

/ Where is my country? What is my country? Who lives there? What do people do there? What do I do there, in my country? Below, one dozen Berliners spontaneously react to one of these questions…

listen!

Sometimes I feel pain inside. It comes from deep, but I know it very well. Anyhow, when it comes, it is always a surprise. I call it Sehnsucht, to be homesick for something. I felt it when I was still living in my village and later when I went to Frankfurt am Main. I was homesick in Paris, and then in Italy. I always thought I was homesick for Berlin. But when I went to Berlin, I was homesick for something else. However, Berlin is a good place for homesick people because there is a lot of space and you can walk around. You meet others. Therefore I decided to find out something about feelings and what Sehnsucht might possibly mean to others. These are the results.


Illustration: Cinzia Pallaoro, Berlin

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River Spree, der Kanal, down to Potsdamer Platz, mid July.Walking from Gleisdreieck to Potsdamer Platz. A place where cars drive fast and flowers grow along the road. Ships pass through black water. Up on the water, I see a fish. Tourists next to me have noticed it, too.
The child:
<Look, papa, a silverfish! It is swimming on the water!
Why does it swim upside on the water surface, and why doesn’t it move?>
The man:
<It is dead, Benjamin.>
Benjamin:
<But look, there are more silverfishes, and they are all swimming on the surface.
Are they all dead?>
The man:
<Yes, Benjamin.>
#

I continue walking alongside the Kanal to Potsdamer Platz. They swim on the surface of the water, everywhere you look. From far away they look like leaves that have fallen from the trees. Silverfishes in all sizes, dead. The biggest one has been cut in two halves by a motorboat. A ship crosses the water, then a duck-mother with her children.The ducks are crossing the dead fishes in slalom. There, platsch, I see one small fish, jumping up in the air, and down again into the water. Having arrived at Potsdamer Platz, a man tells me that the river contains too little oxygen during the summertime: <It is really a pity for the fish.> he adds.
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Illustration: Cinzia Pallaoro, Berlin

Mein Land, wo ist es? Mein Land, was ist es? Wer wohnt da? Was machen die Leute da?
Was mache ich da, in meinem Land?

/ Where is my country? What is my country? Who lives there? What do people do there? What do I do there, in my country?

Below, one dozen Berliners spontaneously react to one of these questions…

In my country …

……………What do you mean with that question? I dont have a country. At the moment I live in Germany, otherwise known as Motzkistan, the „Es-geht-nicht-Land” where nothing goes. If I had something like <my country>, all people would do yoga and live together in peace.

……………In my country people help each other when somebody’s bike falls into the hole between the S-Bahn metro track and the platform.

……………In my country ice-cream grows on trees.

……………Do I have to react to your question? Well, I wish it could work, to be together, J. and I. This would be a perfect world for me. But at the moment this is just completely utopistic with that kind of relationship we are living….

……………My country is not Germany. My country is an emotional landscape for me.

……………In my country all people have the opportunities and capabilities to develop themselves and to give meaning to their life. Training opportunities for becoming a painter for example. And they would be resistant towards people who want to scare them, to make them afraid.

In my country …

……………My country doesnt exist any longer. I was born in theGDR and this country does not exist any more, it is true.

……………In my country there are trees. And they grow and grow and grow. Nothing can stop them.

……………In my country the sky is completely blue and there are no stripes by aeroplanes and no kerosin, there is no smog, no climate transformation. The sky is blue again.

…………..In my country… Hm, da soll man immer so schnell was sagen. That a Human being is able to make big steps, I mean, to develop your personality, to educate yourself, to build interests and strong social relationships and also to do small „hero-deeds“. I believe that this is possible independently of social origin and initial frame of a Human being. However, it seems that a Human being will never be able to completely loose or deny certain features of his or her initial condition. In my case for instance this means to react in an extreme way or simpl unfair in situations in which I feel powerless or pushed into a corner. Other Human beings sometimes have the need to be perfect or to save money or whatever. I dont know if this helps you.

…………..In my country people still believe in utopias. They are not living in the total emptiness of utopia that surrounds us here in our society. And yes, if it would be a country, a real country, then it would have no borders, my country.

……………In my world you feel like Kafka. You are caught in a labyrinth of doors and rooms. Everytime you enter a new door, you find yourself lost in a new corridor, in front of the next door.

In my country …

……………In my country I find somebody to love and who loves me. Everything is open.

……………In my country there is enough water for all.

……………In my country newspapers have enough money to pay for photographs. And I am a famous photographer.

……………In my country there are houses of twelf metres height. They are made out of potatoes. Everytime people are hungry, the king just tells them to eat from the houses.

……………In my country, my mother does not have to work for a xenophobe boss and her boyfriend receives a decent salary so he can afford living.

…………..In my world there are so many colours! Everything is full of them. Also, I don’t know the word in German, Kreaturen, creatures. Yes! Colours and creatures! And animals, and plants.

In my country …

…………..In my country people don’t pay 500 Euros for a two-room appartment. NO WAY! They just refuse to pay it. They decide on their own, and they just do not accept this price.

…………..In my country… must it be now or do I have more time to deliberate about this question?

…………..Ach ja! … In my country, the sun wakes me every morning and I smile. And people are able to express their feelings in such a way that they are always understood by the others. There simply exist no communication problems, imagine!

………….In my country old and poor people do not to spend their nights in front of discotheques or their weekends in the Tiergarten to collect empty bottles to have a bit more money to live with.

………….In my country… Sorry, but I have to work now. I will think about your question later.

………….In my count(r)y… it is just a county, but with lots of trees! Berlin is just kindergarden – but my county!

In my country …

…………. >> this is an interactive & open list for more countries, things and Sehnsüchte >>

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