Thursday, March 13, 2008

As if time could be held responsible for how little I understand.

IR•REC•ON•CIL•A•BLE |iˌrekənˈsīləbəl; iˈrekənˌsī-|
—(of ideas, facts, or statements) representing findings or points of view that are so different from each other that they cannot be made compatible.

Sixty-eight years ago to the day, the Russian-Finno Winter war came to an end. By the end of the next year, 1941, the man who would ultimately become my loving grandfather (my father was already born, being raised by my grandmother in a village 60 km north of Vienna) was photographed somewhere in the Ukraine, after making his way through a most likely icy river, probably on December 9, 1941.

“I see my grandfather, worn out, exhausted, weary, and tense at the same time. Looking at his arms laying there heavy and restless and tired on his booted legs, I am not able to move my own limbs at all any longer.

This is 1941, the man on this picture is 23 years old, and I—simply—can not imagine how he must have felt: I just cannot tell.

This huge and irreconcilable and intolerable separation between me and the young man on this picture, much younger than I am now, tells me more about war and about my grandfather than I ever wanted to know.”

Dieser Beitrag ist auf Englisch, doch einiges an der Zeitmauer gibt es auch in der hervorragenden Kultur- und Verwaltungssprache Deutsch zu lesen.