Encounters in the Retirement Home

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The enigma within man

At the summer festival I sat next to the man.

Despite the noise and the fact I could hardly understand his muted words I am aware of his voice.

I am aware of his eyes.

I feel that the soul of this man – who is suffering a lot in the nursing home, who becomes aggressive when he feels misunderstood by the others, who is often gruff and ill-tempered, his head bent down low when he is sitting down – is weeping.

He is constantly acting contrary to his inner beliefs. He can’t do otherwise.

He is his own prisoner.

He is his own opponent.

I can see all of this in the expression in his eyes, which are the mirrors of his soul.

His body is suffering too ….


And how wonderful it is that I feel a deep connection to this man.

A feeling like love – inexplicable.

I am sitting at the computer, he is looking at me.

Silence is golden.

When I talk to him, it is not always “golden”, and I cannot reach him with humour.

The glances we share are enough though, not talking is more beneficial.


Maybe the ice will thaw

and a miracle will happen.

I believe in the fulfilment of his wishes – that he will become healthy again.

I sow love, patience and perseverance into his heart.

Then that indefinable something is manifesting itself* – the enigma within man.


*weeks or months later the man became milder-mannered and more sociable.


Recognition of a soul

Without really thinking about it I unwittingly looked after one resident in the nursing home more intensively than the other residents.

With this person I had the patience of an angel, something that my colleagues were slightly lacking.

I took him everywhere with me within the nursing home – whether it was to the carnival celebrations, for a walk, buying some sweets in the café or over to the piano where I would play some music.

Despite his dementia his soul read into mine.

We clasped hands with one another.

Even later when my duties had changed

I would go to look for him among those “put into another world”.

His gaze was tired yet he looked at me, his eyes never leaving mine.  

I have known you for an eternity” were his words.

Is he a soulmate of mine?

Oh, this gratitude!

Deep love is stronger than everything that is incomplete on this earth.

Eternity can radiate through man.

It can become more intensive when de-mentia, the state of the not understanding mind appears in the place of the understanding mind, even if it is caused by illness, as people define it.

The essence of the soul can come to the fore –

as a profound grace.



Inner beauty can shine through elderly persons.

Inner beauty can radiate not only through those who are despairing but those who are ill too.

The soul manifests itself through the look in our eyes and by the vibration of our voices.

The squeezing together of hands can also disclose something of the enigma of man.



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