I used to pass by this monument restricting my curiosity as firm as possible, so that I wouldn’t waste a quarter minute of my precious shopping time in Bad Nauheim long Garden Street. Yet, I keep on counting my failures as far as I feel myself genuinely mesmerized before the solemn ambiance surrounding a park bench and a bronze column. Then I forget whatever plans I’ve had in mind, and stop by.
Skimming the 278 souls will enhance more speculations: what are the total losses of each family; how many kids (males, females); would a person without other relatives suggest that they had left him/her alone? Sitting beside the arbitrary thrown jacket then caressing the many well-shaped curves rolls the wheel of life back to the time of waiting for salvation, just like the Beckett’s „Waiting for Godot“. After 70 years, the jacket has been expecting the touch of revival, to embrace the person that once had fled himself away hoping to come back again to his city and home.
After a hustling and bustling outing around the city, holding a light cargo basically filled with Nicklaus chocolate men and other sweets, I finally rested my soul and feet in the train to set off back to Butzbach. A-five-minutes normal delay in the train-lines was generous enough to offer me a bit of tranquility, to close my eyes a while and recount the blessings of being alive; going back home to your awaiting children.
By the launching hissing metallic wheels, I got back to the reality show life. The stream of self relief abruptly collapsed as far as I’ve checked up my facebook page seeking the daily news we’ve just got addicted to get since my country has turned into a dirty puppet theater. The bad news coming from Aleppo has drowned the social media with photos, pleas, videos, and hectic up-to-dates. The mass destruction in the Eastern part of the city shades the marching troops of people rushing with their kids and any possible portable properties out of the hellish nightmares. Aleppo is known for decades as the industrial capital city of Syria; its ancient historical market is listed in UNESCO world heritage sites; a four thousand years-old pearl seated in the Middle East. How can solemn cities cry or bleed?
A photo of an old man lying over the ground spring up on the small screen; near his arm is a much stuffed bag. Delusively I wished to reflect it as a painting hung at an exhibition to one of those wealthy artists boasting how much misery is it out there in the 3rd developing world.
So I stopped rolling my finger to get the news, and contemplated the details. What agony could a 60 years- old man unbearably bear when he was forced to walk the road of displacement? What memories or after all frustrations and aspirations were packed in his only left bag! Maybe he couldn’t stand leaving his ancestors‘ land, so he surrendered contentedly to the sniper’s merciful shot! The bag will be longer waiting for its „unpacker“, my plagued country is expecting eagerly a savior, a Jesus to be born in these Christmas days would be seemingly the appropriate alternative to the Russians vodka petro planes.
Then I sense it clearer: two different eras and areas can two pictures fuse and materialize setting the legitimate question: how humans, wars, hopes, worries, losses are alike? The last realization I’d kept in mind was the hope to see a monument inspired by such a photo commemorating our innocent victims in Homs, Aleppo, Damascus, and all cities „one day“, before I heard the shouting of my two kids opening the door cheering the expected chocolate bag they were promised to get and after all welcoming the mama!