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I am in control

Today I read on the internet somewhere, that the world does not turn just because I turn it. I had to laugh hard, „hard“ as in: what do you mean, it does not turn, if I do not turn it? You got to be kidding!
I am one of those people who for years and years thought, everything was happening because of me, nothing would happen without me pushing it.

One night, twelve years ago, I collapsed in our apartment due to a tubal pregnancy. My body just broke down, I was shaking, could not control any part of it and felt strangely removed from what had been one of my defining features until up to this moment. I was freezing and when I wasn’t trying to control, I was certain to be dying, I just knew, this was the end, and funny thing was: after a first wave of panic receded, it did not frighten me at all. I found, I was ready to let go…until the guys with the ambulance arrived and showed, that they were just that: guys with a driver’s licence for an ambulance. They could not do anything to make my situation better, but measure my blood pressure and state, that it was damm low. They were a little helpless themselves and the only thing, they could offer was, to bring me to an hospital. When they tried to carry me down the stairs, they almost let me fall, so I started to take over a bit and gave them mild directions, more to the right, what are you doing, dont keep it like this…that sort of thing. Really not that pushy considered, that I was dying and they almost threw me down my staircase (which wasnt even that narrow, actually).
It was January and it had started to snow that night. So, when we came out, everything was very very quiet and white, peaceful, somehow suitable for me, dying there, and I thought: what a great way to bid farewell!  My body was trembling so hard, I thought, I would fall off that stretcher. When they finally had me inside the ambulance, one of the guys sat beside me, the other one went behind the wheel and started to maneuver the car out of its parking space. He tried! In my perception, it took him forf*****g ever and I became kinda impatient, so I started to give him directions: dont go this way, turn the wheel that way, no, I definitely think, the way to the hospital is down the street, not up the street – my teeth were chattering and they made funny noises, also my speech must have been kinda pathetic, after all, I was dying, but my driver needed directions, and though I felt relaxed, I also felt, I could not leave him unattended. The guy beside me looked at me, smiled, stroked my shoulder and said: „Are you a control freak?“
I and my teeth chattered back: „Yeah, obviously, sorry.“
 I did not say another single word, while the ambulance, emergency lights on and all, found its way through a snow covered city. I was brought happily into the hospital, dying and accepting it peacefully, while the snowflakes kissed the windows of the ambulance. In the hospital, the people seemed more professional and I got help and felt better pretty soon.
After all, I did not die. There wasn’t even ever the possibility, I might have. My situation was not at all that dangerous. But I felt, I had no whatsoever control over my body. Which felt actually great. Not to have control was underneath the wish, to have control, the most liberating experience, I ever had in my life. I still remember the freedom clearly.
I also remember, that there were other moments after this one, where I met this freedom again, most of the time for a minute or ten, at the most. But once, I met it for ten days in a row, that was, when my mother was dying, exactly two years ago, February 2014. She had surrendered completely, and with her lack of any wish to control anything any longer, produced such a tender peace around her, that the minute I entered her room, I totally gave over to this peace. I could sit there for hours, hold her hand, watch her dying, and it was bliss. When we looked at each other, we could not stop smiling, because we both knew, that we were sharing the most wonderful time, we ever had together. When she actually did die, I felt mostly sad, because that paradiselike situation with her was over and I had to return to reality. I tried to carry my experiences over to that reality and for a short while, it worked.
For days and weeks afterwards, I was not willing to control anything in my life. I was content to let life happen. When I met a friend on the street, she said: you are glowing.

I don’t know, why it is so difficult, to always live that way, why it is, that eventually the wish, to control things, the pain, life gives us, the anger, other people produce in us, takes over again. But I am pretty sure, that this is enlightenment, to one day be able to always let go. When I first encountered buddhism, I thought, „gosh, life would be sooo boring, if you’d be enlightened“, like I rather meditate less, to not become enlightened too fast and have to live my life in eternal boredom. Now, everything is different, and I find that eternal anger, irritation, the daily disturbances, the flashes of aggression so boring, I so wished, I could spend the rest of my life in that quiet boredom and peace. Its true! I guess, this could be a sign of becoming older – my resistance to peace of mind is weakening just like my eyesight. But I can see clearly, how anger, prejudices and fear, guilt and all this wanting, seduce my consciousness again and again into the illusion of being in control, into a multitude of fantasies, that want to take over my life and often succeed. 

 © Susanne Becker


Beliebte Texte

Writing at the Fundacion Valparaiso in Mojacar, Spain

„…and you too have come into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.“ Mary Oliver

I am home from my first writing residency with other artists. In Herekeke, three years ago, I was alone with Miss Lilly and my endlessly talkative mind. There were also the mesa, the sunsets, the New Mexico sky, the silence and wonderful Peggy Chan, who came by once a day. She offers this perfect place for artists, and I will be forever grateful to her. The conversations we had, resonate until today within me. It was the most fantastic time, I was given there, and the more my time in Spain approached, I pondered second thoughts: Should I go? Could I have a time like in Herekeke somewhere else, with other people? It seemed unlikely.
When I left the airport in Almeria with my rental car, I was stunned to find, that the andalusian landscape is so much like New Mexico. Even better, because, it has an ocean too. I drove to Mojacar and to the FundacionValparaiso and I could n…

Could I hold you in my silence

Could I hold you in my silence, where words no longer mean inner certainty, mean anything.
It is this moment, caught in midair. What is, is good & the only gift, we can offer each other, is to let go of every word - a prison, unable to catch the inner landscape, vast like the mesa, the ocean.
A million words can never say, what I want to tell you. Can never say, what I want to tell you.

(c) Susanne Becker

Anke Stelling, Schäfchen im Trockenen

"Wir sind Opfer. Und unseres Glückes Schmied! Wir machen uns gut in egal welcher Kulisse, sind die Protagonisten unseres Lebens."

Anke Stellings neues Buch Schäfchen im Trockenen habe ich verschlungen. Es ist großartig geschrieben und mit seiner Handlung so nah am Leben dran, wie man es selten findet, an dem Hier und Jetzt von mir und vielen meiner Freunde, die mit Kindern und der existentiellen Unsicherheit mitten in Berlin, mitten in einer großen Stadt in Europa leben, wo Neoliberalismus und Kapitalismus die Werte vorgeben und man, plant man schlecht, auch sehr leicht unter die Räder kommen kann. Vielleicht vor allen Dingen dann, wenn man sich dem Leben mit Chuzpe und offenen Armen, voller Vertrauen, ein wenig ausliefert. Hier springe ich vom Zehnmeterbrett, mach' mit mir, was Du willst, Du verrücktes Leben!
Resi ist Schriftstellerin. Sie lebt mit ihrer Familie in Berlin und hat ein Buch über ihre Freunde geschrieben, die im Rahmen einer Baugruppe ein tolles eigenes Hau…

what i learn here, qué aprendo yo aqui, was ich hier lerne (a poem, una poema, ein Gedicht))

what i learn here 

language is my playground
but also:
i learn beyond language
no words needed
words can be a wall

everything is a poem
a piece of green glass
age is a myth
a rock
a snail shell
my face is your face
my face is a cloud
is a poem
could i put a coat
of my words around you
it would be a poem

what i find here
now i am very clear
the object of art is freedom
the subject too

never for money
always for love
can we share this?
yes: because poetry
is in everything

qué aprendo yo aquí

la lenguaje es mi patio de recreo
pero tambien:
aprendo más allá de lenguaje
mis palabras no son necesarias
palabras como un muro

todo es un poema
un vidrio roto verde
la edad es un mito
una piedra
una concha de caracol
mi cara es tu cara
mi cara es una nube
es un poema
yo me vesti con mis palabras
como un abrigo
sería un poema

qué me encuentro aquí
ahora soy muy clara
el objeto de arte es libertad
el sujeto tambien

nunca por dinero
siempre por amor
podemos compartir eso?
si, porque la poesia
esta in…


Eine Zeitfalte insgesamt, Bruchteil des Sommers, auf dem Wasser verbracht, umgeben von Freundschaft, geschwommen in dem milden Wohlwollen des sich Kennens seit ewig. Nichts kann einen mehr aneinander aus der Fassung bringen. Man hat alles schon gesehen, bis auf den Eisvogel, der mit einem lauten Kreischen zwischen den Bäumen eintaucht.
Wo jeder er selbst sein kann, ohne Rückspiegel, ohne Notbremse.
Die Kinder springen vom Dach, in die Tiefe eines neuen Sees, kopfüber, täglich den Wagemut bestätigend, der eine Freundschaft ermöglicht, die alle Zeitfalten entlang gedauert hat. 
(c) Susanne Becker

Hermann Hesse - Das Glasperlenspiel

Es gab Momente, da verstand ich nichts und wollte das Buch einfach beiseite legen.
Das Buch! Das Glasperlenspiel von Hermann Hesse, sein letzter und umfangreichster Roman, sein Alterswerk, erschienen 1943, in zwei Bänden (ja, das Buch ist sehr dick!). Es lag in meinem Stapel ungelesener Bücher, seitdem ich circa 20 war. Ich habe noch die alte, dunkelgrüne Suhrkamp Ausgabe. Gekauft in einer Buchhandlung am Opladener Markt, die es schon lange nicht mehr gibt. Begonnen habe ich das Buch gefühlt zehnmal, und immer wieder beiseite gelegt, weil ich einfach nichts verstand. Einmal bin ich bis Seite 100 gekommen, weiter nie. Ich beschloss dann, dass man vermutlich doch alt sein müsste, um es zu verstehen, Alterswerk eben! Jetzt bin ich einigermaßen alt und ich kann den Erfolg vermelden: Diesmal hab ichs geschafft. Ich bin durch!

„Versenkung und Weisheit waren gute, waren edle Dinge, aber es schien, sie gediehen nur abseits, am Rande des Lebens, und wer im Strom des Lebens schwamm und mit sein…