Good-Morning-Beautiful-Coffee-4a morning in the life of….

Over the last few days a weakness has imbued my whole being in a way unbeknownst to me thus far. You might rightfully reply that this weakness theme is somewhat redundant and whiny by now.  Wait a minute. Perhaps it is the other way around. Perhaps I’m just boasting. Because if you look at weakness as an accomplishment, you’d have to admit that I’m getting better all the time. My newest personal best in the weakness discipline has its basis once again in the breath. My breath at times of the day is so shallow that i am having a hard time detecting it myself. Since I am not dead yet it must be somewhere, right? I guess I should be hiring a private investigator. Joke aside, it really is weird. As if inspite of constantly reiterating publicly that i will be fully dependent on mechanical respiratory support shortl, a part of me has been and still is living in denial. Note to self: The shit is going down.  This is really about to happen. Reality is about to overtake me yet again.

So I am using this post as a means of aligning third person truths with my first person ones. Call it reality check if you want. A morning in the life of …. OR attuning to the way things are.

I cannot turn in bed anymore. When i wake up around six in the morning often a soft crescendo of panic sets in right away. I am still under the thick rubber slash silicone  breathing mask covering mouth and nose which I cannot take off by myself because neither my arms nor my hands functions anymore. Panic. Amygdala Highjack Operation in full effect.  What a rich and intense concoction of feelings. But alas! My wife is there. Or next room preparing the breakfast for children.  Or showering. I try to control the panic. This is a good machine. It helps you get the air your body needs. Sometimes i scream. It’s actually the faint shadow of a scream. A muffled memory of a lion. Darth Vaders intercom don’t work no more. When my wife takes off the mask and transfers me into my forever chair i already miss the mask. No. I miss the effect the mask has. I don’t miss the mask. The transfer from bed to wheelchair is a multi-step process brought to perfection by Anja. I am still above ninety kilos and  as a helpful as two large bags of cement. But wait. I am selling myself short here.  My stiff and spastic legs can be useful.  Swan Lake solo.

Back to the program.

The best part of this transfer is the long and close hug i get with Anja gasping breathless whispers of love into her ear. She smells so good. Her smell is reassuring me i am home. True love. Which is all that it has ever been about. I may have been given a bad break but right here in her arms I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.

I hear the boys fighting in the kitchen over who gets the bigger oatmeal. I can’t just go there to tell them that traditionally the biggest slab of the delicious cinnamon – sugar covered classic belongs to daddy orangutan , king of the jungleme myself and I. Neither can I yell. By now you know why.

Before i join the gang in the kitchen. I have to be shuffled into position within my wheelchair which is an intricate maneuver that involves four buttons and motors on my chair and the proper abuse of my spastic legs pushing my ass towards its final parking position. By this time I am completely out of air for the first time of the day. It is 6.30am. But Anja is on my side, at the same time chief mechanic as well as my lovely flight ever-friendly flight attendant. Now we are almost ready for take off,  we just need to pump up the volume (of my lungs, that is). This is done right there on the runway to the kitchen with a machine called COUGH-Assist. High tech all the way. Let’s blow up a balloon and the balloon is me. Let’s do it nine times…

…. Clears secretions from the lungs by gradually applying positive air pressure to the airway and then rapidly shifting to negative air pressure . The resulting high expiratory flow simulates a deep, natural cough…

after this it is meet and greet in the kitchen. Good Morning. While Anja works the miracle and simultaneously does lunch boxes for the three little ones, takes care that all teeth are brushed, all hair is combed, all school bags are packed, i get my two cups of coffee and everybody stays on track i order to catch the right train, I sit still (what else am i to do???)  in all this turmoil and pretend to be fine. Which is correct for at least 51% of it. I am happy that in spite of ALS running large portions of our lives we still are a regular family with the regular mornings with laughter,  fights, jokes, tears, you name it. I love these kids so much. Often they come to me and kiss me before they’re off to school. Ava whispers in my ear you are the best father in the whole wide world. My cheeks burn. Fire and Ice.

The 49% that are not so fine are because i wish i could go back to being the dad i used to be and of course because my breathing is so labored that… blablabla…. we’ve been there.  I am starting to bore myself.

Just when everyone is about to leave the house the doorbell is ringing. It is my nurse. But this is another story and shall be told another time…



33 (the esoteric post)

yellow-arrival-sign-hiUsually i have a rough idea what i want to write about about when i sit down to blog. Metaphorically speaking. Practically of course i don’t need to do that because I am always sitting anyway. But I still insist on sitting down. Insist to myself that is. Sometimes you just have to.

Today i don’t know where this blog post will take me,  but i feel an inner urge to reach out. It must have to do with the decrease of my physical voice. Not only am i less intelligible but speaking also exhausts me more and more which entails my progressive schweigen. Schweigen is a wonderful german verb that has no translation into the english language. What it means is to intentionally stay quiet and refrain from talking. I am not fast enough, loud enough or strong enough to squeeze myself into most of the conversations that take place around me. (For the record : No one is forcing me out of the conversation. It’s just the way things are.) Also schweige ich. Silentium. More and more. But i refuse to go quiet completely.  Not out of anger. or frustration. Not because I have tremendously relevant or smart  things to say. Not because i think i am that important that i should be fucking heard. No.

What is zu guter Letzt important?  ALS or not! No one has uttered on their deathbed the famous last words … oh,  i wish i would have worked more... When it comes down to the realities of illness and death it is suddenly self-evident that all that matters in this life are our relationships with others. Have we touched other lives and have we been touched? Have we passed on what we were given? Have we loved? Have we been loved? Are we alone or do we feel connected?  Rosebud anyone? ….

So i want to connect. To noone else but you! I need to tell you something. It is so good to know you and if i don’t know you it will be good to get to know you. I am afraid i might not have showed you often and clearly enough in words and actions what you mean to me.   All of our lives I tried to emphasize my individuality but to whoever i talked to in the last year i could only feel closeness. We are so much more alike then we are different. We are all but sentient beings… changing beings… Formwandler. We get born. We live. We rejoice. We suffer. We die. We are a part of something larger that we can explore together. Tiny giants we are. With tiny giant hearts in our chests. Nothing much we can do but live with love and become aware. It is so weird. I had to become forty-six years old facing a terminal disease with a very long name to come to the point of acceptance. It is the paradox of choice. The less there is to choose the easier to make a choice. If you can’t choose anything anymore you have the possibility to get humble. Finally.  It has never been MY life in the first place. I just tried to make it mine. Deep acceptance. It is a feeling like softly sinking into the fabric of existence. Every moment still is new. I am not leaving. I am arriving. Life is grace.



angst-munchHeute schreibe ich seit langem mal wieder auf Deutsch. Anlass war zunächst ein lieber Besuch meines alten Freundes Jürgen, der als treuer Leser dieses Blogs sein Bedauern zum Ausdruck brachte, dass die Blogeinträge immer auf Englisch seien, was ihm nicht immer leicht fiele zu lesen.

Der Grund für den vorwiegenden Gebrauch der englischen Zunge war und ist die beglückende Tatsache, dass ich im Laufe meines Lebens Freunde aus der Welt gefunden habe. Zum Teil durch die Arbeit im internationalen Filmgeschäft, zum Teil auf Reisen, zum Teil,  weil Berlin nicht nur arm aber sexy sondern gottseidank wirklich multikulturell ist und es hoffentlich auch bleibt  und zu einem großen Teil eben auch durch Netzwerke von Selbsthilfegruppen für Süchtige, die mittlerweile die ganze Welt umspannen. Eine weitere schöne Ironie des Schicksals, dass die größte Krise meines Lebens, die Abhängigkeit von Drogen, zum größten Geschenk wurde,  indem ich aufgefangen und getragen wurde von anderen genesenden Süchtigen, von denen ich bis heute lernen darf. Ich habe sie getroffen in Berlin, Mumbai, Marseille, Paris, Glasgow, New York….. und an vielen anderen Orten.   Da schien Englisch einfach die beste Wahl für mein Blog. Außerdem ist es für mich als nicht Muttersprachler eine wunderbare Möglichkeit neben unmittelbaren Gefühl und Erleben von dem ich berichten möchte zu einer zweiten distanzierteren und reflektierenden Haltung durch den Gebrauch der Fremdsprache schlicht gezwungen zu sein.

Die Muttersprache hingegen eignet sich vielleicht gut für das, worüber ich heute schreiben möchte. Angst. Ein Wort so deutsch, dass der native speaker es einfach übernommen hat. Man schaue auf jüngere Schlagzeilen: Florida’s Hurricane Angst. OR Possible Brexit consequences producing king-size Angst

The word Angst has existed since the 8th century, from the Proto-Indo-European root *anghu-, “restraint” from which Old High German angust developed. It is pre-cognate with the Latin angustia, “tensity, tightness” and angor, “choking, clogging”; compare to the Ancient Greek ἄγχω (ankho) “strangle”.

Also, wenn ich nochmal ‘ne Ami-Punkband gründen würde, wofür zugegebenermaßen die Chancen aktuell eher schlecht stehen, der Name stünde felsenfest: Kindergarden Blitzkrieg.  Und das Debutalbum: Weltschmerzrucksack.  Wobei möglicherweise das letzte Rammstein Album bereits so heißt. Na ja,  ich schweife ab….

Denn ich wollte ja ehrlich über meine Ängste schreiben. Nicht die alltäglichen.,, nichtigen und wichtigen Ängste, durch die wir alle durchgehen dürfen. Nein meine Ängste der letzten Tage fühlen sich aus meiner bescheidenen Innenperspektive recht existenziell an. Irgendwie geht’s ums große Ganze und das ist eben auch das ganz Große.

The first cut is the deepest oder Good day sunshine.

Seit kurzem gehen meine Tage so los, dass nach einer nicht vollständig erholsamen Nacht, aufgrund meiner Unfähigkeit, mich selbst im Bett zu drehen, geschweige denn meine Atemmaske eigenständig abzunehmen oder justieren, mein Tag ausser Atem beginnt. Weil die Nacht über hat mir die vivo50 ja beim Atmen geholfen und jetzt muß mein lausig schwacher Körper wieder anlaufen. Ich taufe Dich auf den Namen Zwerg Fell. Dieses Gefühl der morgendlichen Atemlosigkeit, was sich glücklicherweise noch nicht wie Atemnot anfühlt erzeugt eine große Angst in mir. Unruhe. Gedanken rasen. Noch schneller atmen. Das meine Tage gezählt sind ist schon klar. Deine übrigens auch. Aber kann ich sie etwa schon an zwei Händen abzählen? Das stimmt natürlich nicht. Aber das flüstert mir  die Angst ins Ohr. Eine neue Qualität von Angst.  Man lernt nie aus. Und es gibt nicht viel zu tun, außer da hindurch zu gehen und zu warten. Der Tag wird kommen an dem ich die Maske nicht mehr absetze. Oder höchstens durch einen Schlauch austausche der in meinen Hals führen wird. Dann wird die Atemlosigkeit vorbei sein. Maschinen werden für mich Atemlosigkeit erleben dürfen. Die Ängste will ich aber bitte schön behalten. Das schönste an Ängsten ist diese unmittelbarste erlebbare Gewissheit,  am Leben zu sein. Electricity. Let it wash all over me. Und tröstend dann ein wenig später, wenn ich in die Dusche gefahren werde, die nächste Gewissheit, einen weiteren Tod erlebt haben zu dürfen. Tod und Verklärung. Angst und Erlösung.

DJ Food oder Take my breath away

Eine weitere Angst im Laufe des Tages ist die Angst, mich beim Essen zu verschlucken und einen Rohrkrepierer hinzulegen. Aber Spaß beiseite. Es gibt wohl wenig beschisseneneres, als Essen in der Luftröhre. Kennt jeder. Meine sich immer mehr vornehm zurückhaltende Schluckmuskulatur sorgt nur dafür, dass ich diese gefühlte Nahtoderfahrung inzwischen mehrfach täglich erleben darf. Ich sage “gefühlt”, denn “so leicht erstickt es sich nicht” , wurde mir nun schon wiederholt von professioneller Seite zur Beruhigung ins Ohr geflötet. Na ja.  Das beruhigt ja ungemein. Wobei es doch interessant ist, wie schnell man sich an eine neue Situation anpasst. Was vor einigen Wochen von mir noch als veritablen Verschlucker mit terminaler Dramatik bezeichnet worden wäre,  huste ich mittlerweile gelangweilt auf einem Rest-Lungenflügel ab und werde höchstens grün mit rosa Tupfern im Gesicht aber niemals blau. Mir wird gesagt, ich solle gut kauen und nicht sprechen beim Essen. Wäre vernünftig.  Bin aber 45 Jahre in die andere Richtung gefahre. Ein Brontosaurus ist kein D-Zug. So oder so ähnlich…

and in the end?

Und da gibt es noch so viel mehr Ängste. Die meisten davon in die Zukunft gerichtet. Werde ich es schaffen mit der Verlangsamung und Einschränkung der Kommunikation umzugehen?  Werden andere die Geduld aufbringen.?  Werde ich das tief verankerte Muster, Leistung und Sinn verknüpfen zu müssen überwinden können. Werde ich stark genug sein, um meine Mitmenschen nicht durch ständiges Gejammer zu tyrannisieren.? Werden meine Augen vielleicht auch nicht ausgespart.? Werde ich immer wieder Liebe in meinem Herzen finden?

Wenn ich das so formuliere, ist es klar, dass diese Ängste im Kern Fragen sind, die ich  mir heute nicht beantwortet kann. Also möchte ich andere Antworten geben lassen. Um mir selbst Mut und Hoffnung zuzuspreche. Gebete ohne Gott. Meditationen.

Die  erst Antwort schrieb mein geliebter Rilke an einen jungen Dichter im fernen 1908:

…… und ich möchte Sie, so gut ich es kann, bitten, lieber Herr, Geduld zu haben gegen alles Ungelöste in Ihrem Herzen und zu versuchen, die Fragen selbst liebzuhaben wie verschlossene Stuben und wie Bücher, die in einer sehr fremden Sprache geschrieben sind. Forschen Sie jetzt nicht nach den Antworten, die Ihnen nicht gegeben werden können, weil Sie sie nicht leben könnten. Und es handelt sich darum, alles zu leben. Leben Sie jetzt die Fragen. Vielleicht leben Sie dann allmählich, ohne es zu merken, eines fernen Tages in die Antwort hinein.

Die zweite Antwort kommt von eben jenem Jürgen, der mich gerade besucht  und nebenbei unwissentlich dazu veranlasst hat, mal wieder auf Deutsch zu bloggen. Ein Satz, den ich so von ihm kenne, ist mir wiederkehrenden Lebensweisheit für schwierige Momente geworden.

Denn was ist das Schlimmste, was passieren kann? Das ich meinen Willen nicht bekomme….

(worauf Schopenhauer mir als letzte Antwort zuflüstert …  und so ist wahres Glück auch nicht, zu bekommen, was man will, sondern zu wollen, was man bekommt.)












media-share-0-02-04-1e7bbc18c87b802e4d8bd418a1e3c2621aa81c5353f7c013f524ec66ebf5a2cc-009ddc74-a436-4367-82cd-5a364adce5aeHow is life? For me? Absolutely not boring at all.  Although i can hardly move, breathe, eat, speak or wipe my backside on my own, i decided to go on a longer-ish trip.  Yes, i know,  longer-ish is not a proper word, yet still i wanted to use it. Sounds cool to me. As cool as my recent 1.600 kilometer-ish trip to Vienna. Why Vienna? To pick up the Austrian film prize, inofficially named Vally. Yes yes yes. Of course, and that’s all there was when we left Berlin and hit the road, a nomination is no guarantee to get the prize in the end. But come on. Fate has had me on it’s list for other things before. I was doomed and now I’m destined. What goes down must come up.  The harder they fall the higher they bounce . Life is a bitch and then you get a prize with no money attached to it…. But I am getting ahead of myself again.

The reasons to go on such a long to longer-ish and potentially super-tiring trip by minivan, guaranteed to be on the exhausting side of the spectrum, were more than a few. One I have not talked about to anyone thus far was an inner urge for completion. I worked on “LICHT“, the film i was nominated for (for best sound design) 15 months ago in Vienna , and it was exactly then that the first limping symptoms appeared that later turned out to be the disease with the unpronounciable name of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, pet name ALS. So like the criminal that compulsively returns to the scene of the crime, i had to come back were it all began. Cycles. Rhythm. Yin. Yang. Other reasons to undertake this mission were on the one hand my ego-related need for external validation but also the wish to see and meet and chat with and laugh and cry with a couple of people that i hadn’t seen for a while and – who knows – might never meet again. Plus i fulfilled myself a dream. The motto of the evening was GLAM.  Ever since I witnessed Xavier Bardem receive a Teddy Award at the Berlinale a a few years ago wearing a black suit and long fake eyelashes, i wanted to copycat this fashion statement. I would have preferred to do it at the Academy Awards but hey! with a terminal disease you can’t be too picky.

Long story short. The Eyelashes were brilliant. The people were lovely. The winner was…..  Not me! Not me? Not me!

To be honest the moment i did not get the award was utterly unglamorous. I was waiting backstage where my forever chair had been wheeled when my category was announced so in case i got the thing i could drive on stage. A dark hallway. One assistant with a walkie.  No drumroll, just the smell of old heaters. Squelching Walkie gnarls… The winner is  “Untitled”. (That’s the title.) And back we go to my seat. To endure two more hours of awards.  With an increasingly unfunny team of moderators.

But i showed up. And even if you should be slightly blinded by the neon light of my sarcasm you must know that i loved every minute of it.  Life is crazy. Film business too. And within those two days a lot more happened. Andre the Giant was my driver.  I met Andre the Giants wife. I was in  a steamy steam bath in Krems with Anja. Starbucks Vienna.  I spat in the river Danube. (Greyish Green)  Deer Gulasch in Petrovice, Czech Republic….

The Prize is, was and always will be: to be here!

To be here NOW.

And the winner is me.




john-tigerAnthony Carbajal,  a great photographer, ALS advocate and person diagnosed with the dis-ease in one of his videos put it this way : Today I am the strongest i will ever be.  For the last couple of days that summarized pretty much how I was feeling.  Weak and Weaker. I was even imagining a motown group of background singers following me around continously whisper-singing it da capo ad infinitum… weaker and weaker and weaker and weaker.

it all revolves around my breathing these days. Not that the other areas are unspectacular.  I am on the verge of a new era.  Or is it more of a spiritual cycle in the end? Wild Animal Feeding 3x a day or long story short i am in the last days of bringing the food on my tray somehow to my mouth myself. I have a lot on my plate? Yes. Exactly. That’s my point. Being fed by my wife,  my sister-in-law, by my friends and my children is once again different than i imagined. I remember the feelings involved feeding my kids when they were babies. OH! what a joy  when the mouth diligently and eagerly opened over and over again. It wold be great if i could bring similar joy to the ones feeding me. But i am doubtful. My speaking in comparison is still fairly normal.  Time travel again. I sound like a regular drunk. Depending on the time of day and the amount i have spoken you will estimate me somewhere between a six-pack of beer and a bottle of vodka. Which at least for some of my friends brings back memories. Not all  good ones. But fear not. I am clean and sober (but perhaps not in accordance with the clarity statement at all times)

But i am deviating again. The breath. It is weak. And it is weird. Not in the least bit like suffocating. More like day three of heavy influenza. Without the fever. No energy. Dosing off. Me! Mr.100.000 VOLT! Nowhere to hide but in plain sight. With a statistically significant amount of fears, almost like buddies hanging out with me, ever ready to make a bad joke about the last rites of Christ(ian)

Time to correct yet another self-inflation. Paul McCartney in the surround speakers… I’m not half the man I used to be. There’s a shadow  hanging over me. Oh yesterday came suddenly…..

My breathing has a number. Thirt five percent of the regular forced vital capacity. You know the joke of the man who fell from the top floor of a skyscraper. At every level he passes he exclaims : Hey Guys, down to here all is fine.

I have to admit once more that today i am happy about the safety net called tracheostomy, hoping it will provide me with a few extra spins and saltos. I definitely expect the unexpected. Otherwise i want my money back.

But closer to the truth according to Christian is a zen story that i was told by Zen Master Phillipe Coupey at a sesshin with his followers who call themselves sangha sans demeure. A sesshin is a period of time when Zen Buddhists retreat for introspection. You sit cross-legged for hours and days and talk to noone. Occasionally you walk or eat or get hit by senior monks with sticks. It’s one of the best things I have ever done..

The story which describes my and all of our situations much better than the joke with the skyscraper goes like this.

There was a Zen Master who, while out walking one day, is confronted by a ferocious, man-eating tiger. He slowly backs away from the animal, only to find that he is trapped at the edge of a high cliff; the tiger snarls with hunger, and pursues the Master. His only hope of escape is to suspend himself over the abyss by holding onto a vine that grows at its edge. As the Master dangles from the cliff, two mice – one white and one black – begin to gnaw on the vine he is clutching on. If he climbs back up, the tiger will surely devour him, if he stays then there is the certain death of a long fall onto the jagged rocks. The slender vine begins to give way, and death is imminent. Just then the precariously suspended Zen Master notices a lovely ripe wild strawberry growing along the cliff’s edge. He plucks the succulent berry and pops it into his mouth. He is heard to say: “This lovely strawberry, how sweet it tastes.”






Chess-Board-Black-White-1024x1024and now for something completely different.

people have asked me what are the tools that help me cope. i have mentioned a few things , but today i will reveal one major pillar in my als life i have not talked about yet.  it’s neither buddha,  prayer,  science, jazz, black humour nor indian food.

it’s the centuries old game of chess.

why?  well…..  als and chess don’t mix.  and that’s the way,  uhuh uhuh,  i like it,   uhuh uhuh….. because if you, i or anyone takes chess seriously and plays to win one cannot let one’s attention deviate away from the black and white and for me that entails that als has vanished.  all that exists in this moment in spacetime is chess.  it’s not a pothead pasttime like backgammon after all. so the squares,  pawns, knights,  bishops, rooks, kings and queens become the entire universe in your mind for the duration of a game.

and who do i play? you know, living more and more online as a full blown als-eyegazing-cyborg-ninja it is not a problem finding an opponent at all, with more than 20.000 chess junkies waiting for me in cyberspace at any given time, day or night.

so when in december my in-laws honored us with a pre-xmas-visit i spoke feverishly to my father in law,  of course after dutiful reports of more disease related novelties,  about my newly developed passion slash obsession with online chess.  patiently cross-legged on our couch he,  not being a chess player himself,  sat through all my ramblings about chess strategy,  psychology and philosophy before, after an iconic and dramatic pause, he told me about how he had just found the right christmas present for me,  which was then introduced by a somewhat longer account of his fathers’s life of which i will recap the relevant bits briefly.

my so-to-speak grandfather in law had been a civilian throughout ww2 but had been drafted for some technical anti-espioanage unit just short of the russian troops reaching berlin in the spring of 1945. his only weeks long ‘recruitment’ gained him through its high profile in anti-soviet activities almost one decade of detention in a soviet camp.  like many german war prisoners he never talked much about his camp experiences,  my father in law said. all he brought home after this time was a game of chess,  handmade out of bark and wood from siberian birch trees and a linnen cloth which served as a board. he said, since the game of chess was an almost sacred game to the russians the prison guards let the german prisoners keep it.  my father in law had kept it in the family and now decided that this historical game of chess would be my christmas present.

breathe in.breathe out.

with more than half a century seperating us and without ever having met the man i still felt connected. i can only assume that chess in the soviet prison camp meant something similar as it means in my electric wheelchair. you are right here and you are far away.

a safe place for the mind.

right concentration.

mental gymnastics.


further reading



fireworks-yellowa year come to its end. another year. a crazy year. hell,  what a year!

it would be easy and not untrue at all to write about all the loss,  the pain, the sadness and the struggle. because it was obviously there in abundance. from misdiagnosis via psychiatric ward to the diagnosis of a terminal disease.  the loss of the ability to walk and use my hands and arms properly.  the slow but undeniable diminishing of my breathing and as of late even my speech.  the moving out of the apartment where three of my four children were born. selling my sound studio. and these were only the biggies.

i acknowledge all of that. In fact i bow to it.  bow to all the shit.

because it has taught me. and it has opened me in a way only suffering can open you. to reality,  truth and beauty.

i can see clearly now how everything we share is and always will be only a story.  A story that helps us to find identity, helps us to define, who we think we are or who we would like to be. that is fine.  we have no other choice than to make choices to tie all these endlessly complex experiences that make up our reality together somehow. and story is the strongest tool given to us by evolution to create meaning. BUT: it is not the truth. it is just another story.

if we allow ourselves or more precisely conditions allow us to give up all stories for a brief moment we can catch a glimpse of the deathless. we cannot die cause WE never existed as a stable entity.  we are but an incredibly beautiful and complicated flow and mix of experiences which is subject to an infinite number of external conditions that are out of our reach. and with these glimpses begin freedom and peace.

we cannot live a life without stories. we are hardwired this way. but we can gain some insight into the story-making factory called our mind.  and we can learn in which ways views and stories imprison us and keep us away from the ultimate realization that we are in no regard seperate but an integral part of life-cosmos-everything. and with this insight compassion can grow. because no matter what story obscurs the truth,  no sentient being is excempt from aging, sickness and death.

and from this perspective after a challenging year with als i humbly ask myself, if it is so that i have to create stories,  what is a skillful way to tell my story so it may be beneficial to others and not to tell a story of “poor me” and victimhood but to talk about the mystery and beauty of this life which in my story carries at any given moment the potential for LOVE.

last year was a year of love.  of solidarity.  of family. of friendship.  of kindness.  of integrity.

i want to thank everyone for their incredible amount of help. it has been one of the best years of my life.

this is the story i choose.