Episode 13

Eternal Flame

On Tuesday was the Conception of Mary, which is a Catholic holiday. My first degree ex boyfriend is spending a few days in his idyllic hometown Neumarkt in Upper Austria, there is a fun Kirtag every year. To be precise in the neighboring village of Kallham. They have everything you wish for: A little Prater with an Autodrome and Tagada, a market place and huge beer tents where you can enjoy Steckerlfisch*. I accompanied him there almost everytime for over eight years. Last year I was there alone to visit his relatives. Thank goodness we all stayed friends and see each other regularly.

2022 was the year my mother died, at that time I was still working as a graphic designer for a non profit association. It was a long way from getting over my mother’s death, but I was so busy with my work that I just didn’t have time to process it all. I worked fifteen hours a day and even had to take care of my colleagues’ private matters because my superiors were invisible. All this together totally confused me and it was almost impossible to focus on the spaces between the letters in InDesign.

In this phase exactly one year ago I received an invitation to Kallhamer Kirtag which saved my life. The way there was thorny, it was in the middle of Corona crises. At that time, masks were still compulsory on public transport. The trains were overfull, came too late or not at all, it was total chaos. With the last wingbeats I made it to Neumarkt, where I immediately fell into the wild bathing pond of Georg and Karin, my ex boyfriend´s brother and sister in law.

Then something appeared to me that I can hardly describe. A bright light between the wild reeds maybe, some kind of presence. Something unearthly perhaps, felt more than seen. It was warm, beautiful, comforting. Was it an apparition of Mary, suitable for the holiday? Or my mother herself, secretly watching me from heaven and protecting in times of greatest need? The bright light streamed through my body and warmed my heart from within. “You overcame that obstacle too, darling.” Sometimes a ray of light is all that gives you support.

She came back last night after an unexpected thunderstorm.

“Oh! Don’t be afraid, my beloved son.” – „Where did you get those beautiful white lilies from?” – „Your friend brought me these.“ – „They match your eyes and the pattern of your dress perfectly.“ – „Are you travelling again?“ – „Why do you always know everything?“ – „Another odyssey?“ – „It’s more of a transformation I think.“ – „Be careful my child. Evil lurks everywhere.“ – „You´re acting overprotective again.“ – „Satan often hides behind the beautiful.“ – „What are you trying to tell me?“ – „All that glitters is not gold.” – „I’m more into silver anyway.” – „Hmhmhm, you inherited that from me, mon cheri.“ – „Je t’en prie Mamu. I’m an adult, I can take care of myself.“ – „Are you sure about that?“ – „What is surety without you, my love?“

*These are stabed and grilled trouts or charts, a culinaric specialiy that I got to know from Upper Austria. To do this, the fresh fishes are torn out of the emerald lake alive with iron hooks in the gills, impaled while still twitching and shock roasted over open fire. Wrapped in paper and served with a slice of lemon, the whole thing tastes wonderful with the third beer at lunchtime.