Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Back from Poland and Berlin

 Me in Berlin

Well, a death in the family had me flying out to Europe. Poland, specifically, then Berlin for a couple of days. This will be something of a scattershot of topics. 

Dealing with the death of another grandparent produced enough melancholy that I wondered why there were not more moments of remembrance. What I mean is that there weren't enough stories about the deceased, and even though everyone else was closer to said person than I, I couldn't shake that feeling. The person, if you didn't guess, was the grandfather of my better half. 

That I, a writer, should want stories told might seem a little uncaring, but I felt the same thing after the death of my own grandfather (the only one I ever knew). Rituals were had, but none included the retelling of stories past. This has happened for other deaths too, and I'm still at a loss for why. I'm not saying that each person at a viewing or funeral cannot go through their own thoughts about the matter, but this still felt like a missed opportunity. 

Why is that? Why do the rituals surrounding death seem so silent? [1] Is it merely the result of us urban post-modern humans not having an all out ritual? Perhaps sharing those stories is hard? I'm not sure, but I want that incorporated in my funeral at least: share the good and bad stories. Drink something. Remember, because soon everyone will forget. 

On that note, before the funeral, I was lucky enough to see the hometown of my beloved, Szczecin. A larger town than I remember, we were able to see a few pieces of art in a local gallery. I even managed to write.

Afterwards, the background melancholy still high, we visited Berlin for a couple of days (it was the place where we flew in and out). I'm not sure I've loved a city more. Berlin was, simply put, gorgeous. The museums and the mix of dilapidated and new buildings really seemed to strike a chord with me. That and the cafes. And the food as discovery, when we finally found a restaurant in a maze of alleys and unmarked doors. And the simple air of it all. Or perhaps it was a matter of the specter of its history, so dark and so recent. 

Nevertheless, I managed to write quite a bit and I hope that you will be somewhat entertained by the stories I penned out. Soon to be seen in the email list, so sign up. 

[1] For the moment I won't digress into my time in the Army. And more specifically, in 5th SFG, where all are required to ensure that their wills and funeral rituals are in place (usually in terms of a song etc). There if one were to request a song that was out of place, "Super Freak" or what have you, it would be rudely shut down. A missed opportunity perhaps? So then, at risk of seeming so insensitive, I speak of my own funeral.

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