There would be signs…strange and
Elusive signs that some would notice
And others dismiss. Stars in the night
Sky would seem alive and seem to
Move both at night and by the light
Signs in the air and elements…
The winds would roll and howl
With storms that fell out of reason
With the seasons…There was rain with
Rainbows and hail and snow when
Signs in nature, in the animals…
As their migrations and habits broke
Their patterns. The birds sang strange
Songs and flew clumsy and erratic
Rather in their graceful and smooth ways.
And with the farmers…Their livestock
And all beasts of burden bore weak and
Fewer offspring. Crops that should have
Set easily did not take well to the ground.
Everything was imbalance, EVERYTHING.
And everyone was noticing.
Far and wide words spread of these things
Amongst the villages. People became nervous
And anxious. They did not handle things so
Well, life was hard enough back then. The
Slightest things off balance, especially when
It came to spring set them in a worrisome
And grumbling tone with things to come. It
Wasn’t superstition, people had to think
Ahead for the year. The loss of simple things
Could shape grave misfortune for the bigger
Picture down the road. It turned a normally
Passive and kind person into a desperate and
Defensive, sometimes even hostile neighbor
Whether it was a small countryside village…
Or a denser city community.
During such times the people turned
To the churches for peace of mind. The
Traditional Sunday services were not
Enough so they sought the company of their
Village priests more often.
1558 Nuremberg, Germany
Jon’s family was particularly worried
About their farm. Their goats had produced
Far fewer kids than they hoped for, the
Cows lost their calves and their horses
Were getting old. They were in need of so
Many new things so badly…They had hoped
For a good start to the year but that didn’t
Happen, the year ahead seemed grim…but
Then it seemed grim for a lot of people. It
Was their hope to get Jon married to expand
Their family and broaden prospects for their
Future. But he fought them on this
Relentlessly. It was the one thing he
Refused to yield to and was becoming an
Ugly argument among them.
‘You must carry on the family name.’
His father insisted.
‘It is your duty for the family!’ His
Grandfather agreed. ‘We are old, the
Young do the work. That’s how things
But Jon only resisted them over and
Over. ‘I just don’t want this right now.
I don’t feel right about it. You can’t just
Plan to marry me off like I am an
Animal.’ But they refused to see his point,
He argued, they argued…it never ended.
The reality of the family varied in those
Days. In many families marriages were
Arranged and maintained in many ways
Like livestock were. It was all about family
Lines, work and productivity. Communities
Were structured to provide not just for
Themselves but also for those in the cities
As well. For the commoners, or poorer
Villagers, children were not always a
Blessing or a gift to households but more
So, a commodity of labor. The larger the
Family the more work could be done, the
More trades could be utilized…The
Smaller families produced less and were
Therefore swallowed up by the larger
But worst of all, love was not always a
Grace found in marriages but something
More precious and rare…Found in those
Brave enough to chase it. Couples were
More made by parents bartering and pairing
Their children up, and occasionally by luck
Through friendships…or by chance, the
Best and highly prized members of each
Community getting to choose who they
Wanted like a prize. How anyone was
Treated again depended greatly on each
Family’s traditional way of raising a child.
So, when Sunday came Jon’s family
Went with determination to convince
Their priest to have a good talk with their
Son. The timing couldn’t have been
Worse, the community was in no mood
To consider marriages with all the
Strange things going on. But then Jon’s
Family always did have a bad sense of
Timing. How ironic that his gift of
Intuition could have been so helpful…
But they had always been so blind and
Stubborn to appreciate it, in fact they did
Everything to suppress it.
Jon was obedient, he went along and
Listened to what he was told to do
Always. But the one thing that he
Absolutely refused to be bullied into was
Marriage or being paired up…It cast
Such a dark reminder of what he had
Lived through, and he did not want to
Do that to anyone else ever.
The Sunday service at church was more
Crowded than normal. The people
Wanted constant comfort and validation
For their efforts and prayers. In fact, they
Were more so demanding that their faith
Be rewarded during these hard times. They
Were becoming impatient to hear excuses
Of how nature was just simply hard
Sometimes. Still they went to service
Hopeful that maybe the tide would turn,
That maybe just one more prayer might
Make a difference.
Their pastor, Father Tomas, was a well
Aged grey-haired man, modestly built
With a kind face and voice. His presence
Was always reassuring even the stormiest
Days. But that Sunday he had his hands
Full, the faces of his congregation were
More sour than normal, some even hostile.
Yet despite the difficulty of standing in
Front of his people, he did so with a
Gentle demeanor that slowly calmed them
Down…an effort that few could ever
He quoted passages from the bible
As best as he could, though in truth
He found it hard to be constantly
Inspirational these days. The sermon
Started a little roughly received but
Over the course of an hour the mood
Gradually lightened and the faces he
Saw and knew so well returned to a
More passive state. It never ceased to
Amaze him how people changed on
Sundays. A crowd could be a very
Difficult thing to manage without
Careful words. But if there was ever
A day to appeal to the heart and soul
Sundays were the time to do it; once
Upon a time that is.
His final words he said with a smile
Of relief. ‘Please remember that are
All God’s children…That even in the
Darkest times he hears you. You may
Not feel it, but he is there. Sometimes
The toughest times may seem
Impossible to get through…But they
Test us and can bring out the best in us.
So that maybe one day we can look back
And say…I got through that, and it made
Me stronger and better…for you, for our
Lord…for everyone. And you can be
Proud to know what a strong soul you
His words were well received with
Smiles and applause. The people stood
With some relief then for the moment
And turned and looked at each other
With a little less hatred, impatience…
And more with hope and friendship.
How long that would last? Until the
Father Tomas moved through the crowd
Then to stand at his church’s plain
Looking doors in the rear where he
Could shake hands and bid his flock
Farewell for the day. And the people
Were always oddly happy with this
Part…as if a job had been done and they
Could return to their own lives with a
Little less guilt; whatever that could be.
He did not judge this, he only smiled…
But the feelings were clearly there.
This was always a rather interesting part
As well when the church goers left. Some
Quietly left, some hurried out…While
Others had to stay just a moment to shake
Hands with the father in gratitude…and to
Share some personal words, or advice. It
Was a glimpse into their character that was
Mr. Schiller and his wife were the first
To grin and see the father at the door.
He was a great big round red-faced man,
Always very friendly to everyone—and
Loud. He raised pigs at the far end of
The village…far far at the end, the smell
Tended to detract most away and gave
Him lots of space. ‘Father Tomas,’
Mr. Schiller said, ‘I have to say I loved
The service today. I really enjoyed it.
Such strange times we are having, Father.
My pigs are acting very strange…very
Very strange. Why they are squealing so
Much and making so much noise I can
Hardly get any sleep. And they are eating
So much and fighting…And their tails
Are doing the oddest things father,
Such funny little shapes they’re making.
Do you think you could come take a look?
I swear it’s the strangest thing you will
‘Thank you, Mr. Schiller,’ Father Tomas
Smiled. ‘I will try, yes. These are strange
Times, and animals do notice. Thank you
For telling me.’
Then the widow Heiser came next, a
Robust woman…known as the village
Gossip. She took the Father’s hand and
Leaned close. ‘Oh Father, such a
Wonderful sermon! I loved how you spoke,
But may I offer you my advice to remind
That people sit up straighter. They really
Should take more pride in how they appear
In church. Our Lord watches you know.
And Mr. Styvenson…Oh my, I swear he
Stares at me when his wife isn’t looking.
I really think you should speak to him,
It is so inappropriate in church!’
‘Yes, Mrs. Heiser.’ Father Tomas smiled.
‘Thank you, I will do that. Please have
A good day.’
Then next came the two elderly sisters
That everyone who lived alone that
Everyone loved…Helga and Willa
Meyer. ‘Father Tomas, oh how we loved
Church today. Such strange times these
Are. Why we have been just going out of
Our minds going through our preserves
From last fall. Nearly half of our stock
Is spoiled. We think the rats got in our
Cellar and ruined everything. It’s the
Devil you know, the devil controls
All the rats and mice and evil vermin.
They’re doing this, they’re up to no
Good. They’re making all these awful
Things happen. You really must come
See. The little things don’t hide either,
They just scurry about right in front
Of you…they’re not afraid to let you see
Them, it’s just awful!’
‘Yes, thank you for telling me. I will
Do that.’ The Father smiled shaking
The sister’s hands kindly; inside sighing,
Oh, how he had heard that many times
Then Mr. Styvenson came next of course
With his wife. ‘Father,’ he said leaning
Close, ’Do you think you could speak
To that widow Heiser? That woman keeps
Staring at me. Did you see how that woman
Dresses, all the stains all over her dress?
Can she wash properly, what is wrong
With her? I mean this is church!’
‘Yes, Mr. Styvenson. I will do that.’
He smiled, then chuckled carefully to
Then the Gruber family came next.
‘Father Tomas,’ Mr. Gruber said with
His chin high. ‘Our potatoes in our
Cellar are looking mighty strange…
The ones we stored for stewing last
Fall I swear they are in the strangest
Shapes that I have ever seen! I think
It means something, could you come
See? My mother used to warn me to
Spin a potato 3 times and sprinkle it
With salt if it looks strange or it
Brings bad luck with crops…Well
I have so many strange shaped
Potatoes I will be spinning potatoes
‘I will try to come take a look, Yes
Sir. Thank you for coming, Mr.
Gruber.’ The Father smiled.
Then Gamut Hiller pushed forward
To the Father. ‘Father Tomas,’ He
Said boldly. ‘I saw 3 black crows fly
East past my barn then circle back
And do this 4 times yesterday. On the
Day before the Sabbath! Hell is coming!
I thought you should know.’
The father’s eyes widened. ‘Why
Thank you for telling me, Mr. Hiller.
I will say extra prayers. I hope you
Enjoyed the service.’
Then Mrs. Abner came to the Father.
‘Father Tomas, I loved the sermon,
Father. But my geese have me
Worried, Father. They got out of their
Pen this week, and the poor things
Just got all excited and lost and are
Running all over and I can’t catch
Them Father, I’m an old woman,
Father I can’t catch them I can’t.
Now they ran up the hills towards
The Miller’s meadow and I asked
Little Tobias Miller to get them for
Me, Father, and he just wouldn’t
Do it, Father. He did try and caught
A few, but then he just gave up and
Left…and he left them loose, Father,
He just left. And I can’t catch them
I can’t. What am I going to do? Now
I need those geese, Father. Please
Will you ask someone to catch
Them for me?’
‘Yes, I will absolutely do that.
Don’t you worry at all. Please
Have a good day.’
Then Mr. Hoffstedder came up
To the Father. One of the tallest,
Strongest men of the community.
He always held himself well,
Dressed sharply and carried himself
So seriously that it intimidated
Almost everyone. He came up very
Close, took the Father’s hand firmly
And said…’Wonderful sermon,
Father. But I have to tell you
Something…My dogs are acting
So strange. They are shitting all over
The place…And I mean a lot of
Shit, Father, a whole lot. And their
Shit is in the strangest shapes that
I have ever seen in my life!’
And Father Tomas’s eyes widened
So much he thought they might
Pop out. ‘Thank you, Mr. Hoffstedder.
Thank you for telling me…The day
Is definitely getting stranger for
Sure. I believe I will go now, if you
Would excuse me.’
Mr. Hoffstedder leaned forward
Again, and said with a harsh
Whisper, ‘I am telling you, Father
I know my dogs very well. All
This shit they’re doing is just too
Much, it’s not normal.’
And the Father cleared his throat
And tried to compose himself…
But inside he wasn’t sure whether
He wanted to laugh or cringe. ‘Yes,
Animals do tell us a lot Mr.
Hoffstedder. Thank you, but I really
Must go. Have a good day.’
Then as the Father stepped away,
Maintaining a brave smile to
Everyone…The Gregor family came
Up to him. He knew them well,
They were a very quiet but kind
Family…very respected for their
Work in the village and rarely spoke
In church. Helmut shook the
Father’s hand and nodded to his
Son Jon beside him. ‘Father, I was
Hoping you could speak to my son.
We are considering arranging a
Marriage for him but I think he
Needs your guidance because he
Won’t listen. Would you mind?’
The Father bowed his head and
Grinned. Oh, what a day! But knew
The family…Jon was always so
Quiet. It seemed as it be a refreshing
If not interesting thing to do. ‘Of
Course.’ He agreed.
The family left with the crowd
And waited outside while Father
Tomas took Jon aside and sat him
Down for a talk in one of the pews
Off to the rear of the church by a
Shelf of lit candles. Jon held his
Head down avoiding his eyes.
‘What is bothering you, Jon?’
‘My family wants me to get married.
And I don’t want to.’ Jon shyly
Answered. ‘I just don’t feel the need to,
At least not right now.’
The Father nodded. ‘Well, there’s
Nothing wrong with that. But I
Understand how parents are.’
‘I just do not understand why.’ Jon
Told him. ‘I feel like I get pushed
Or bullied into doing everything…
But marriage is a big thing…That
Is something I won’t be pushed into.’
The Father nodded. Of all the things
That he had heard lately…this was
The most sensible thing he had heard
By far. Spoken in a genuine tone
From a quiet young man that he knew,
Yet didn’t. It said a lot. ‘Good for you,
‘What?’ Jon was confused.
‘I have seen a lot, Jon. Travelled
To many places…Priests do get to
See a bit of the world you know
Believe it or not.’ The Father
Explained modestly. ‘People assume
A man such as me pursues faith
Without seeing much, in fact men of
God see quite a lot. They just learn
To hold their tongue very well. They
See a lot of people and personalities
And struggles. And all need to benefit
From faith…and words of inspiration.
So many push so fast for things, that’s
Not always such a good thing to do
At all. It’s a great thing to see someone
Who wants to wait and take their
Time. That shows wisdom.’
Jon smiled at the Father’s words.
‘You don’t think I’m wrong then?’
The Father smiled really big at
Jon. ‘No.’ He shook his head kindly.
‘Let’s pretend that we sat and I
Lectured you about marriage to
Make your Father happy, alright?
All that I am going to ask you to do
Is to keep doing what you’re doing…
And do what you feel is right for
You. Now let’s just talk so I get
To know you better and you tell me
What’s really on your mind. How’s
They both just kept smiling, Then
Jon slowly started explaining to
The Father carefully about some of
His experiences…About his dreams
And how some came true…But
He was cautious, and did not share
Anything about his special visitors
That came sometimes at night or
Any of his family’s secrets…Just
Enough to let the Father know that
Jon was struggling with something…
And amazingly enough the Father
Was not appalled, he did not lash
Out or brand anything evil. He was
Fascinated. As it turned out the
Father had his own interest in such
Things and was a big believer in
Miracles and gifts. The talk and
Words flowed very well as if it were
Some magic moment; a good choice
And good timing.
‘You know what it sounds like to
Me, Jon?’ The Father said to him with
A gently sense of awe. ‘I have no
Idea why I want to say this, but
I will…Someone up there has a plan
For you. Probably a big plan…. that
Most just can not understand. And
It’s going to play out no matter what.
No matter who comes along. You
Can’t fight that. And I’m saying this
Because the way you speak, I know
There’s something there…There’s a
Very special plan for you…I know it
May scare you, and that’s alright.
Just take your time. Don’t let anyone
Push you…When the time comes
You will know…Because with things
Like this, nothing can stop it…It’s
One of those mysteries that has to
Unfold in its own way…and it
WILL. Don’t let anyone make you
Feel bad about it, alright?’
‘I just have this feeling, I know
People wonder…’ Jon said without
Knowing why. ‘That there is so
Much more…People say it’s either
God or the Devil…That nothing
Else exists…But when I look at
The stars, and see one move…I
See, it feels like…What if there
Is more out there, A LOT MORE…
That it isn’t just one thing or the
Other…Maybe it’s everything.
Maybe we are learning for something
The Father smiled with such enthusiasm
At Jon’s words and wonder as he touched
His shoulder with support. ‘I think so
Too.’ Then Jon’s father stepped inside
The church and waved for his son, they
Had to leave. Jon shook the Father’s
Hand farewell and Father Tomas smiled
Very content in return. Finally, he had
A talk that left him with a sense of
Satisfaction that day, that week; perhaps
In ages. He would later pray for his
Congregation to find a similar peace
It was a strange Sunday for so many
For sure, with broken and hidden
Meanings lost to those who could not
See or hear those moments that built
The secret story playing out. Puzzle
Pieces are rarely seen save for the
Higher hands arranging them…and it
Would only continue to build.
That night the moon was full and
Bright…and seemed almost that
It was a shade of red. A heaviness
Fell upon the evening that drew many
To bed early, so early that chores
Were left undone and meals were
Still left unfinished on tables. In
Jon’s home, his family yawned and
Climbed into bed very early, very
Very early…And when Jon himself
Climbed into bed and looked out
His window there was a star above
That kept growing brighter and
Brighter…as it kept coming down…
Equinox……a very energy knot that I once doubted if I can bring something more here today, for I felt having no more strength to drive this vessel which seems rather in gaseous state. I anyhow am very honored and am so willing to send my best greeting to our precious MENTOR, DAVE for the marvelous BIRTHDAY, definitely no coincidence at all. May this cake, glowing with the SPRING energy sweeten the STAR OF BIRTHDAY and the tribe.
The story that I shared about my brother was even not written to the relatively important part. Several years ago, he asked my parents’ help for pursuing advanced studying in UK. Then after return, he transformed, then gradually, thanks to lots of efforts, love by the ones who surround him, he becomes more and more mature and considerate, even become father right in the same day when I left my last comment here.
Leaving, generally can bring the chances to begin a new identity, to see ourselves, life, the world, even the ones that we have known, particularly our family in a totally new way. That physical separation, in contrast to the period of time when we had lived together with family, particularly parents, helps realize how much that one has dedicated in your life. Then living abroad alone, people have no way but learn to be independent and know to appreciate more.
It has never been easy to leave, to reside in a realm where no family is with you. Being the oldest sister of him, I cannot appreciate more the girl who has helped him getting through those difficult days abroad, a Thai pearl that I’ve never met, even had any contact, but who has always weighed and had a very place in my heart.
So, leave is not only a chance for expansion but also the evolution of of family. I myself still keep the memory even trauma caused by my child’s leave in some other lifetime. However, I know love is to be able to set free, even in terms of spirituality.
Being a reader, I’m overwhelmed by Henzel’s friendship, passion, compassion, guts and love and cannot be sad more for the outcome. Sorry to say so, honestly, I dare not to know the next part of it to know more suffering of such loving ones !!!
Taking advantage of this chance and moment, I want to thank DAVE and you the ones who have shared so much warm stories, knowledge, soothing or uplifting messages. It’s so true that your ART, writings, pictures, music, video, links have enlarged my visions so, making the life much more fun, warm, and worth living. I don’t exaggerate that without you, this life would have no more strength to continue this kind of mundane torments. Yes, all these are enough for me !!!
Sorry for that at least til now, it’s still hard for me to imagine any unexpected good possibilities. Your being here, with me, is the most gift that I can experience in this life.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, dearest DAVE and may you all have a great Equinox. Thanks also to the PRECIOUS ELDERS. How hard life is, I’m happy to be able to be guided, healed, looked after in this amazing way by you all !!!
This came up while I was looking for the CAKE….
As the Equinox is coming, may these help connecting, recalling, strenghtening the good force, power !!!
Thanks to Valiant & Lida for these stories of the background of Germany. In my personal life, just like the stories with my friends who have been talking stories about their moms which are inspiring, this is as well the moment for me to review my own life or the people around me, the worlds where I’ve ever been. This stories of Jon are undoubtedly for individual and collective healing and inspirtation [honestly & intrestingly, I didn’t realize that this Jon just shares the same name with the protagonist of the super hot Game of Throne, Jon Snow til the last days!!!]
Unfortunately, even frustratingly, the parakeet that the mom of my sweet friend M has once rescued from a cat’s mouth still died. However, before the death of the bird, there is still a story. M and her mom are both very filial Buddhists. As the parakeet was relatively recovered, her mom insisted to set the bird free into the wild [p.s. I in fact sent the wiki parakeet to her, and according to the scientific research, this kind of birds are rather domestic and generally have difficulty to survive in the wild nature]. However, that bird seemed reluctant to leave, being insistant to stay in the birdcage. The bird, according to M, seemed expressing her will of staying with them and didn’t want to be abandoned by them. The bird returned to the cage on its own, but still died soon.
This is telling me……most of time, people treat others in ways that they think best to the concerened objects, without listening to or respecting the will of the last ones. Lots of Asian parents treat their children this way, even not only towards their children. It’s too rare here to hear someone ask you about what you want, as most of things are taken for granted. So generally people don’t really know or even ask themselve what they really want in their life, but get led to chase blindly the vanity, without saying what a society of materialism this is.
For healing my trauma of my sad life owing to some tragic circumstances caused by the wrong ideology and the very wrong ways in which my mom got along with my spoiled youngest brother, I was so attracted to a TV program in the title of SUPER NANY. This was not a soap show at all. The franco-tunisien Nany, Cathy just visited the families in trouble with kids, offering the solutions.
[the English version is not telling the same thing, I hence chose the original version as a reference]
Thanks to that literally, authentically SUPER NANY, Cathy’s making sense, I learned a very very precious truth, while parents know to respect and communicate with their kids, their kids don’t need to make any moree rows. However, the truth is generally the adults don’t think children in fact seize their words, even their parents well, they hence have never thought to present the facts and reason things outset forth patiently with kids. For example, a couple of parents would just have chosen lacking the stuffs in toilet, rather than taught their children how to put things in order to specific places. So while communication has never been well proceeded, for appealing for more attention and love to parents, they cannot help but make annoying troubles, tensing up their emotion. Extremely sad that the super loving, wit, fun, even gifted Cathy nany should just pass away so early at her 47!!!
So as a consequence, according to my observation of people that I’ve known, people growing up in the family in which the parents used to listen to and discuss with them, they become the very resonable, patient, open-minded, confident, optimistic, even receptive persons. People who grew up in an opposite enviroment would turn out to become someone prone to be suspicous, even hostile.
None of my parents is of the 1st kind, so most of my life, they had not been the ones that I would ever think to talk any secret. Besides, I’ve never thought, neither believed they would understand me, though I’ve known they love me even very much. I would have no way to relatively get recovered from that family trauma, if I had never chosen leaving home into the remote land. I would have no way to learn how to dissovle the superannuated ideology they had impose on me and my siblings, if I stayed most of my life with them.
Here is something that I’ve asked myself and am used to observe how adults/parents treat their or others’ kids, particularly do they respect kids. Neverhtless, I don’t deny that just like that the Super Nany, Cathy used to say, being able to show the parents’ authority is in fact can somehow gives kids some sense of security. There is certainly the very ART/wisdom to play the games of being parents and children.
So, returning to the stories of Jon, yes, if Jon had never chose leaving home, and had kept being surrounded by the voices framed by the specific ideology, he would have few ways, possibility to learn there are other ways of life, other ways to make senses, other ways to acknowledge his gift, even know to use it to create more miracles which even can benefit the big society.
I cannot stress enough how amazing this video is for this story of Jon and for lots of us, particularly at this timing. There are still lots of reflections of mine that I would rather leave in the air, for communicating with you, the precious, resaonating psychic ones.
Leaving in fact doesn’t equalize abandoning or being cut off from, it’s on the contrary the expansion and compensation of the senior genertation who could not, and love is the very flexible tie of the generations.
Today is in fact the BIRTHDAY of someone who weigh that much in tribe, despite of his silence. Particularly, this precious background is also so sigificant for this series stories of Jon. It’s Stephan, our super gifted and wit Stephan !!!
May the sweetness of this chocolate cake melt the heart of the star of the birthday, the hearts of the brothers, of the tribe!!!