Silence after the Storm

Since I was 16 years old, I have had friends who live in areas which are frequently subject to bombings of different kinds. Through the air, in busses, in discos… The kind of casual, everyday activities that I also have in my life.

With 21 I was in Tel Aviv for the first time, and I was scared before that. Because I knew I was going to one of these places, where you could be a victim to an attack. One evening, I was invited to a beach party by my local friends. It was one of the best parties I have ever been to. While I was still afraid, what might happen, there was a strong spirit of life and joy.
The atmosphere and attitude there seemed to be – we might die tomorrow, so let’s enjoy while we can.

That sounds so trivial and like I’ve heard it many places before. But there on that beach it was for the first time that I could feel it.

Since I was 16, every time there is a bombing or any kind of horrible event in a place, where I know people, I worry. I contact them. I make sure that they’re still alive. And so far I have been lucky – no one I knew has died in this way. But many have been hurt, many have lost someone they loved or knew. Many are subject to the terror and the fear of not knowing when it will happen.

Since then, there have been many bombings and shootings in places where I know people. And even more in places, where I don’t know anyone.
What happened now in Paris is another one of those horrible, unsettling moments. And at the same time it is not worse than what has happened before. But it has come closer to where I live. I know more people there.

I contacted them, to know if they’re alive and I’m still lucky – we are. They all are still alive.

Since then it is silent inside me. Like so many times before, I didn’t know what to do, what to say besides the overwhelming sense of loss, of confusion and at the same time of love for life.

When I watched „This Changes Everything“ last week, I started crying when Germany was presented as a successtory in doing the transition from fossil to renewable energy – and that is not because of government choices but mainly due to locals who started an initiative and created a change in their community. Like this, the country has changed from 5% renewable energy to 30% within 15 years, which seems to be big compared to changes in any other country in the same time.

The kind of overwhelming events like that on friday in Paris, can provoke a powerlessness as it seems that the world needs to change, in order to do something about it. Because there isn’t just Paris, there are also all the other places where things are going wrong. Where people die.
The same is true for the climate change. Everything has to change, in order for the change to be noticeable on a big scale.

Somehow since friday I feel a similar sensation of what was there in Tel Aviv. I want to enjoy every moment as much as I can, while I can. And even though it sounds so cliché, I want to be in touch with the people I care about and value our interactions while we can.
I want to hear music, I want to dance, I want to laugh and see art. I want to touch. I want to show people around me how they can be afraid without making themselves small but instead grow anyways, enjoy anyways. To mourne and feel the intensity of any feeling without being overwhelmed but instead also be able to notice the love. To not be overwhelmed but have the power to create changes they see needed in their community. Notice the excitement of being a life. Of still being here, not giving in to the threat that death seems to be.

I want to allow the silence, that follows the storm. The silence that is full of pain and fear and not knowing what is going to happen. And I want to move in it and see. People. Humans. Life.

This is to the world. This is to Life.

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