Wall of silence

Wall of silence
Monday April 10, 2006

Dear Alice,
While riding my bicycle around town the other day, I was struck by the aritificial kind of silence that always seems to surround the german culture,(Ruhe und Ordnung),and I was thinking about how much might be honestly spoken about if the people on the street and in the cafes could speak openly about their lives,their families,and especially about their childhood injuries.Just what would that sound like to go by a group of people talking and to hear,”As a child I was beaten and trained like a circus animal to always be quiet,keep my mouth shut,follow orders,do my work,NEVER complain,go along with rules and regulations that I never understood, and now,finally I have an idea what it has cost me and I now do everything I can to prevent myself and my children from being hurt by this”.
Imagine their conversation partner answering with,”Yes, I was raped as a child and now have found the courage to break the wall of silence that my family and the society has imposed on me,I know what you mean”.
I must wonder about this idea of “Ruhe”, if it is not just society´s attempt to shut the child (in us) up,and to not let us gain most valuable experience in telling and hearing our stories being told in a culture where childhood injuries are taken seriously and are seen as an essential part of integrated,adult life.

AM: Yes, indeed, this could be a good image for a film.