I just wanted to highlight every word you wrote.
Mara Segal
93

Dear Mara!

Your wonderful and kind words come at a time, in which they are reminiscent of the soothing effect a milk-honey-lemon balm has on a severely burned skin.

My life is ‘sunburned’ and writing keeps me from peeling the skin off. To hear from another Human Being that has an equally deep appreciation of the arts, makes my life worth living — even with a bad ‘Life Burn’, as I may call it now. And yes, that word did not exist in the English language. Until now.

As language adapts to the changes in society, we should never be surprised, that words appear in our consciousness, that we cannot even relate to, because we are missing the experience that was required to come up with that word creation.

Where I am strictly adhering to the core principles of (any) language, is for one the purpose of any given word, what is it supposed — based on mutual agreement within a society — to convey. To me, that is the crux of writing. To utilize words, woven into a beautiful wall carpet my mind can look at — deriving all the imagery it contains.

My earliest ‘manuscripts’ date back to 1965, when I had to say something nobody wanted to hear. Generally, there was never anybody around to hear what I had to say and I had to say a lot, whereas this saying constituted a large percentage of questions.

My Mom would always respond to my investigations into how things are and why Humans behave as they do with “Child!!! Stop asking me a hole into my belly!!!” (‘Ein Loch in den Bauch fragen’ — German Expression for heightened curiosity ;-) But in all honesty, when she understood the scope of the question, she would lovingly attempt to bring a little light into my early investigation of what life is about.

My first novel was written in 1967, but as You can imagine, it never made it into the public. I had to suffer from severe abuse for all of my childhood. Emotional abuse at that. My older brother was an Alpha(llus) male — he would not tolerate his younger sibling. For the better part of my entire youth I was exposed to: “Your are so stupid!”, “One day the insane asylum will pick you up!”, “What a stupid picture!”, “Did you write this stupid crap?!”. “You are mentally ill!” “You’re a loser!” — the list is endless.

Needless to say, that I stopped painting, in spite of having probably been the most talented painter in Germany of my early days. Not even to mention my short stories. At the age of 12, I had already amassed over thousand books. Books that I read and that were a perfect reflection of my evolving mind. The first library was children’s literature. Astrid Lindgren, oh how I loved her!!! She created an icon for young Human Beings in Europe at the time. Her most popular series was spinning around “Pippi Longstocking”. Pippi was my heroine and the heroine of millions of girls the world over.

It was her, who introduced me to the theme that would accompany me for the rest of my life — to the present day. It goes like:

I make the World just the way I like it!!!” (“Ich mach’ mir die Welt, wie sie mir gefällt!!!”)

The more I dove into my books, the less I was abused and harassed by my brother. The Universe sometimes possesses an awkward sense of humor. More and more I would withdraw myself from the ‘family’ (in which nobody ever had a problem to ridicule the smallest member — to the present day I despise so called humor that only works on the expense of others.) and start writing. My love for language, especially the German literary language was infinite. Through out my entire Life — including my stints at the University — my grades averaged at the highest possible level. In Germany, the grading system goes from 1= (Excellent-Flawless-Faultless), 2= (Good) 3= (Average), down to 6= (Absolutely Insufficient…). I never received a returned test without a ‘1’ prominently written on my papers. All my Life.

Language is the Blood of my Life. The immeasurable experiences that I made in this Life, ensure that I will never run out of material. The material in my mind is sufficient for an infinite number of books — all genres.

Please allow me once more to express my joy over Your response. I so needed that. You may have saved my Life with it, for as of this moment, I like to alter one line of the song “Buffalo Soldier”:

“Fighting for Survival” = “Writing for Survival”.

Have the most blessed day that can be had on this amazing Blue Planet!

Helena-Sophia 💛

And yes, I will keep it coming. :-)