Plastic Shock

It is more expensive. No doubt about that. But how much is a better and cleaner environment worth? I feel incredibly lucky to have a zero waste shop within walking distance of my home. Once a month I buy there legumes, rice, spices, and even sweets. I bring my own glass jars and they fill them for me. After that, I often stop by a regular supermarket to buy whatever is missing. And then comes the shock. The plastic shock. It feels awkward to see everything wrapped up in plastic that is to be discarded right after use. It only happens on the days when I come from the zero waste shop. Otherwise, my mind is trained to accept the plastic as "normal".

Half a kilo of lentils in plastic costs 1.79 €, without plastic 2.55 €. That is 0.76 € for nature.

Balance

One day, it worked. I had not trained for it in particular. But that day, I took my hands off the handlebar, and it worked. I did not loose balance. I did not fall off the bike. I had tried a few times before, but after a few seconds the bike would become unstable, my heart would skip a beat, and I would clench the handlebar again. And now, it just works. Out of the blue. I would love to say that it is a result of meditation, but I have no way to prove it. Meditation is all about balance and being in the moment. The second my mind wanders and pictures the terrible accident that could be about to happen, the bike drifts off. A fearless mind is a quiet mind.

My old saddle cover: "Life is like riding a bike. You don't fall as long as you keep pedaling"

Pitfalls of Empathy

I strive for empathy. I believe it is key for almost anything. I am amazed at the power it unfolds when interacting with others. And I always took for granted that balancing my reactions based on how others probably feel was the way for a better togetherness. However, the danger lies in hiding emotions behind that balance, which then comes over as being untrustworthy. This nuance struck me once again in a context I had never imagined. A computer game. A game about how we relate to each other. About how we feel. And about how we react to it. I loved the main game of Life is Strange, and the same goes now for its prequel, Before the Storm.

In so-called "moments of calm", Chloe pauses to reflect on what is going on in her life

Enraged, here Chloe stops when she sees her image in a mirror she is about to smash

Chloe supports her friend in a moment of sufferement, as her world falls apart

As in the main game, many events and references are left open for interpretation

While a game of decisions, the ending must inevitably lead to the plot in Life is Strange

Holiday Dream

It was empty. Really empty. The parking lot. The ticket offices. The overpriced restaurant with photos on the menu. The gift shop selling souvenirs of dubious taste. All of it, closed. It had the mystical aura of an abandoned place. Not a single tourist on a location designed to host armies of vacationers on all-inclusive holiday packages. It was a dream come true. The whole place entirely for a few locals and myself, a semi-local. No crowds. No strangers on the pictures. No waiting in line for the nice photo spot. And all the time in the world to take in the moment and the location. Three things made it possible: a weekday, a cold wave, and a pandemic.

I met less than ten people on this snow hike in the Murnau peatlands

The stairs to the world longest castle remain empty as it snows in Burghausen

I was entirely alone at the UNESCO world heritage site of the Wieskirche

The emptyness striked me most at Linderhof Palace, which led to this blog entry

Segfault

We all distort reality. We bend it, such that it better fits our inner fairy tale. One would think that the tale is just a slight adaptation that puts things into a better light for ourselves. But ever since I first realized this, I have been shocked to which extremes it goes. From people who firmly believe that absolutely everything is their fault, to others who would never in their life even come close to the idea that anything could potentially be their mistake. And when one confronts them with the objective evidence, silence. A gaze to infinity, like an internal segfault. And this leads me to the most frightening question of all. How much am I distorting?

"Just a tiny little bend". Take care. Keep your balance.