Kwame, you would have turned 47 today, but that dream died a long time ago. You didn‘t even quite make it out of teenage.
But, brother, your few poems have long made it unto the pages of our hearts for all eternity, like footsteps on the sands of time.
Why was I born? Why were you born?
Into this Earth.
My birthday always makes me think. This year more than ever, I don‘t know why. The questioning thought: Everything I‘ve done in the last 48yrs, have they in any way really fulfilled the reason WHY I WAS BORN? Or have I up until now, in a deep subtle way, just been wasting my time? For I was not born in order to celebrate that birth annually. Viewed logically, that‘s a senseless feedback loop – unless augmented, nay, superseded, by a PURPOSE – and the fulfilment of that purpose – of my birth into this earth.
49 years ago, I was not here. I was not a part of this daily hustle and bustle, getting into cars and busses, voting in elections, raising kids, being earthy and doing the earthly. So, where was I? And why did I come here? Where were you before you were born? And why did you come here?
Every year the certainty that I‘m closer to my earthly death, to my departure. I just feel it, so strongly. That reduced distance. It‘s not just a piece of general knowledge that we all have: Everybody dies one day. Yes we all know this. But it is more than this. It‘s also a solid emotional perception, a physical presence that comes closer, that you can feel when you close your eyes and pay attention.
My birthday makes me think, not just of birth, but also of death.
My brother, Kwame, aged 19, died on my 21st birthday. It was a few weeks before his own 20th birthday. The person closest to me. Why did he come? Did he or did he not fulfil the purpose of it? And then he was gone again. It‘s a date we share, in life and death.
Life existed before we were born into it. It was perfect, already. Before we were created, Creation was already formed and perfect. This realisation makes me think and there is no end to this reflection. Just a clear line of perception – an intuitive perception:
You are not without a reason and not without a purpose, unless you fail – consciously or unconsciously – to discover that reason and that purpose; and then to – deliberately or instinctively – fulfil that reason and that purpose.
It‘s a serious and thought-provoking business meeting your birthday again, and still not knowing why. Or knowing if you’re fulfilling why, as best as you can. Year after year.
I don‘t need to celebrate my birthday. I need to reflect upon it.
Er lebte voll und ganz sein kurzes Leben
Und ich beobachtete und wanderte daneben:
Den einen schenkte er ein Lächeln
Und erntete viele zurück
Den anderen brach er das Herz
Und brachte sie vorwärts ein Stück
Er hinterließ in mir vor allem den Mut
Zu suchen und zu teilen Wahrheit und Glück –
Denn wir leben, nicht nur um zu erleben
Wir leben, auch um zu beleben.
Ich vermisse Dich
so sehr, daß
die Sehnsucht mir genügt
Sie ernährt mich Tag und Nacht
so daß die Wunde Deiner Abwesenheit
längst geheilt wurde durch meine
immer anwesende Sehnsucht nach Dir.
Stell Dir vor,
ein Tag ginge vorbei, in dem
ich an Dich kein einziges Mal dachte…
Das wäre wahrlich der traurigste Tag meines Lebens
schlimmer noch als Deine Abwesenheit
schlimmer noch als mein Schmerz
schlimmer noch als Dein Tod.
Ich denke an Dich
Und weiß nicht, wo Du bist
Wie kann das sein?
Einst der wichtigste Mensch in meinem Leben
Einst der engste Verbündete in meinem Streben
Wir haben uns gegenseitig
Alles gegeben und alles vergeben
Doch lag es irgendwo in unserem Weben
Daß wir so früh getrennt sein sollten
Ich bin hier geblieben
Du bist abgeschieden und bist jetzt irgendwo
In der großen weiten Schöpfung
Und ich weiß nicht wo