Man Leben – love


Liebe muß man leben, sie wächst und sie kann auch wieder vergehen

Love one must live, she grows and she may also perish again

You continue the story of your life:

“After my journey to Auschwitz in the beginning of the autumn in 1993, there are three surprises in my life. The first surprise is working in a design office to introduce a modular industrial way of building. This work is unexpectedly successful.

The second surprise is completely unexpected. I have previously told that I have suddenly fallen in love at the age of ten on a girl in the village in South Limburg. It seemed that lightning struck, so fierce and unexpected; I only saw a white glow. In grammar school I have fallen in love several times. Nobody has ever known of this love. After my studies I have met my wife through my work on the architectural office. The first time I saw her in a white charming glow. We have had a happy time until our roads slowly split. The divorce was not easy; I should have shown more wisdom and compassion. At the end of our marriage until the start of my trip to Auschwitz, there have ever been women in my life, but always at a certain distance.

After Auschwitz, love has adopted the form of compassion and sympathy in my life. These feelings are expressed in the poem “Bani Adam” or “Opening of all Gates“, which is composed about 700 years ago by Abū Muṣliḥ al-Dīn Muḥammad bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī-– better known by his pen name Saʿdī  (or Saadi):

“The children of Adam are limbs of one body

Having been created of one essence.

When the calamity of time afflicts one limb

The other limbs cannot remain at rest.

If you have no sympathy for the troubles of others

You are not worthy to be called by the name of “Man (or Woman) [1]

 This poem is addressed to me personally; I wear the name Man.

[2]

Not so long ago, I read that an old zen master once said: “If there would be no suffering and no sentient people, then there would be no finger, no eye, no ear, no hand. Everywhere and One would be empty and deep, deep. There would be no loss and no gain” [3]. These sentences also express my form of love at that time. Buddhism has the word “Karuṇa” which means in Sanskrit compassion. The word Karuṇa is associated with wisdom. [4]

In the summer of 2003 I turned my head and I saw her face full of furrows of life, bottomless eyes, wrinkled hands. As companions we have admired each wrinkle and scar of our life. Later I have written the following short poem:

Your eyes bottomless

Together in eternity

Tender little death

Two years later we met Her big death. The following message more about the third surprise – simplicity – in my life”, you say.

The following post is about the third surprise in your life


[1] See amongst others: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love en http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saadi_(poet)

[2] The tomb of Saʿdī in Shiraz, Iran. Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saadi_(poet)

[3] Source: Wick, Gerry Shishin, The Book of Equanimity – Illuminating Classic Zen Koans. Somerville MA: Wisdom Publications, 2005 p. 170

[4] Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love

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