Monday, July 7, 2008

रोस ऑफ़ Jericho


Rose of Jericho

At the mature age of 64 years I suddenly want to gather the thoughts I have had during my whole life. In the childhood or youth it happened certainly less conscientiously and later with only a vague idea of what this all could mean. In my early life I perhaps wondered sometimes, why I was a bit different, but I didn’t even try to explain it. If I wish to try to do it now, it is not, because, as an elderly women, I now want to look back at my former life. No, just the idea of being an old person makes me laugh. In my head with rather few gray hairs among those with the original color I still have a mind of a naughty small boy. That’s how my friends know me and that’s how I feel. It happens just now, because in this moment I am again in a situation which makes me think about roots. Once again I have left everything behind me, not having a feeling that I have torn up my roots. The first consequent question is, do I have roots? Originally, I wanted to write about roots, and I also wanted to give to the story the name “Roots”. But somehow, it was like a splash, I remembered something I had heard for more than 50 years ago, at the secondary school. Our teacher of biology told us about the rose of Jericho, the plant which is swept through the deserts by the wind and always recovers again. My vague ideas got more structure and a light went up in my mind. It’s me, the rose of Jericho!

As a scientist (once a scientist, always a scientist) I didn’t want to rely on my memory which, however, is still especially good, I wanted to get more information about that curious plant. The word rose made me hesitate a bit. I couldn’t identify myself with the fine cultivated flower in gardens carefully kept in order by their owners. As a modern person I had a look at the Internet and in fact, Wikipedia, the holy bible for a lot of people in the whole world, gave me the information I was looking for. It was a relief as I saw that the blossoms of the plant were very different from those of the real rose. John Irving’s description of a flower like a vagina with labias didn’t choke me; as a mother of two children I didn’t have any erotic associations reading it. Anyway, having worked all my life as a gynecologist, this stuff is my daily bread and leaves me absolutely cold. This comparison is rather amusing for my less puritanical point of view. The good Wikipedia told me also something else, even more important than the form of the flower.

I learned that there were several kinds of plants which had the same name. So I soon excluded those found in the deserts of Asia and Northern Africa. It seems that those plants really dye and live further through their offspring. In spite of all the changes in my life I am at the moment very alive. So I chose as a metaphor the plants found in America. They seem to be masters of surviving. The other name of the plant: “dinosaur plant” doesn’t disturb me, I could live with that name, too. This was the idea I was looking for, plants without roots deep in the earth, moving long distances and producing flowers again. For me this comparison allows to crystallize my thoughts about roots and their meaning. As I will tell a lot of my own experiences, this will be a kind of an autobiography, although it wasn’t my original purpose. The reader will perhaps find differences or equalities with his own life when reading this. I hope, both will let him understand better his life or that of some other persons.

I will try to analyze what roots really are, what is the meaning of the roots or especially not having roots. However, everybody in this world has got roots, the question is only of knowing and feeling the own roots.

My roots

I was born during the last war in the best private clinic in Helsinki. My mother had had her first delivery at home, my elder brother was born four years before me. She always told that she almost died during the birth of the son. She didn’t want to have the same experience again. So, I should see the daylight in the clinic where the children came to the world with a silver spoon in their mouth. As I knew my mother, it could have been as well, that my mother belonged to those women, who are crossing their legs and shouting loudly, when the baby wants to come. You sometimes see such scenes as an obstetrician. However, I never discussed this theme with my mother. My place of birth is a city just beside Helsinki, a very modern one. I don’t remember anything about living there, because my parents moved very soon to the North of the country, not very far from the Arctic Circle. I was sometimes teasing persons who now live in that city. I asked them very innocently were they were born. Most of them came from some very far-away small villages, although they were extremely proud of their present hometown. “Oh”, I remarked, “I was born here.”

If the family tree is meant, I know my roots very well. My parents had grown up in the old metropolis of Carelia, Wiborg, the part of Finland, which was lost to Russia. It was earlier an international town, even called Paris of the North. There was much culture, good schools and the people amused themselves in a very particular atmosphere. My parents moved to Helsinki before the Russians came. They were therefore no real emigrants. However, later in the North of the country their friends came mainly from Carelia. The mentality of the Northern people was so different from that of the lively and gay Carelians, that the emigrants and other Carelian families preferred staying together. They had often parties and they knew how to organize them. Old Carelian customs as to Christmas or Easter were kept alive. I have even given them further to my own children, because I think that certain rituals give a feeling of security. Many years later the Carelian circle shrank and a new university brought many people from all parts of the country. This mixture gave a new character to the life in the town. But the countryside didn’t change.

My family has always been rather small. My mother had one twin sister, who died very early, without children. Her only brother married very late and didn’t therefore have children, either. My father had two sisters; both of them had two children. These relatives were living so far away, that we didn’t meet often. So, I never knew, what it means to have a real big family. But I grew up in a family with a rather international atmosphere. We had often foreign guests, and I sometimes traveled with my parents abroad. They spoke both several languages. We learned at home good manors and how to behave us in different situations. My family belonged to the local society and most people knew us. It sounds rather good and gives the impression that I as well as all the family had solid roots in the place where we were living.

Sometimes I had a strange feeling. As a child I didn’t think much about it and later, I noticed it, but didn’t really care. However, it is strange, indeed, if you are never home-sick. I didn’t even know, what it means or how it feels. I couldn’t understand other children or young people, who had to turn back home, because they couldn’t stay away. Or if they didn’t turn back, they suffered a lot. After I had finished my school I went abroad to study, alone, far away from home. Naturally I had contact with my family, we wrote letters, but I didn’t even spend every holiday at home. As I had finished my studies I turned back to my country, but to another town. So I didn’t meet my family very often, either. I missed the friends with whom I had studied together, but we met each other from time to time. First many years later I recognized, what was wrong. It happened, when I already had children of my own. Things that happened opened my eyes and I saw all my life in a quite new light.

I suppose every child needs a feeling that the own family is the best family and the home is a place, where you always find security and love. To keep this feeling you may actively forget or depress the memory of things you don’t want to remember. You want to keep only the good things in your mind. Through my own children and my feelings towards them I noticed, what I had been missing all my life. Whatever I have been doing in my life, including international carrier and many other things, my children have had and will always have the first place. I would do anything for them. I was suddenly aware of the fact that I had been as a child and also later rather an object to be shown in the society. If I didn’t always have enough warm cloths for the cold winter, I thought it was natural, because my mother needed for the next party a new evening dress or a new hat and gloves for her cocktail dress. I didn’t want to think about the nights I spent waiting that my father comes home and being afraid of what was going to happen then. In spite of his good position he was an alcoholic and spent a lot of money for his drinking. Today I think my mother never knew what real love is. For her it was something she had seen in romantic operettas and had nothing to do with normal human feelings, most probably sex had been an unpleasant duty for her. I had very often a feeling, already as a child, that I was the only adult person in the family.

All this makes me think that roots mean a real family, giving you warmth, security and love. Just names in a family tree are not enough. But this is only one side of the complex. A good family may give you roots, wherever you live. On the other hand, a very firm structure in which you live may compensate other lacking aspects. In my case, we never had a place of which I could have said: “This is my home”. We always lived in a town, moving from one flat to another. So, what could I have been missing if I had been home-sick? I don’t know why, but some of my best school friends felt well in our home. Perhaps it was the effect of the façade, I never asked them. On the other side, that time I still had my illusions, too.

Missing roots

What I told before may give the impression I wouldn’t care at all, if I don’t seem to have roots. On the contrary, an unconscious feeling must have been there, always. It is just a desire to belong to some people or some place. I certainly would have liked to be a member of a big noisy family, or to live in a house in which other generations of the same family had been living. We never had the same neighbors for a very long time. So, there were few things, which remained familiar. As a biologist I would say, it’s the effect of the environment on the development of my personality.

As I was a student abroad I spent a lot of time in the house of my best friends. It is a big manor in a village, and the family with five children was respectable and wealthy. Members of the same family live in other villages in the neighborhood. For a rather long time this was for me the picture of a perfect way of living. Gradually I began to see, what was behind the façade. There were often severe quarrels between the different characters of the family members. In many cases it was a question of property, money and other equal things. Some relatives were completely ignored. Many years later the family got more and more separated. I understood that despite of all the wealth and extern glance there was in fact very little to be envied. Later in my life I had more often the same experience. Especially, when I started working as a gynecologist, I gradually lost the most illusions. It was depressing to discover the intern family life of many patients of mine. Almost nothing was, as it seemed to be.

When I was a single young woman I was working very hard and didn’t have time to think about things like roots. However, I had a lot of friends and we met rather often, had parties, went out or made excursions. Most of my friends had studied abroad or were foreigners. Many local persons were impressed by our way to enjoy living. I was working several years at the university, teaching medical students and doing scientific research. In that time I was intensively studying everything concerning the normal development of the human being. It became to a constant habit of mine. I have never stopped asking me the question: “Why?” It is a way of living, which has impregnated my whole life and is a part of my profession, till I die, I suppose. I also had some scholarships to do research work in Paris. Since that time Paris has become almost like a hometown for me.

Once I met a man who was very different from my earlier friends and colleagues. It was refreshing for me to be with somebody, who had nothing to do with medicine. He and his friends were all biologists and spent a lot of time in the nature. All the Finns have a very close connection to the nature, but I had grown up in a completely urban environment and had always the wish to live in the countryside. And this man came from a big farm, one of the biggest in the region. He told me, he would spend his whole life there. Today I think, it was the most important reason, why I married this man. Although the marriage wasn’t like I thought it would be, I loved the life in the nature and from the nature. I imagined I could put new roots there, real roots. My two little sons enjoyed the freedom in that paradise. I did a lot for my garden, planted flowers and trees. I had my own vegetables and herbs, the rest we got from the woods and fields, I even fished from the big river, on which we were living. I let build a small cottage for my children, where they could play or even sleep, in a place which I could very well observe through the window of my kitchen. I even dug a waterhole with big stones and plants beside the cottage. And indeed, the children liked to stay on the stones. On the both sides I planted weeping willows. I imagined often how big the trees would be, when my grandchildren would be playing in the same place. I brought from the wood a young tree, which has pretty white blossoms and red berries birds like to eat. Many exotic birds were staying near our place for some time on their way to the north or the south. So we could observe them through the window.

I often thought about Oscar Wilde, who ha said that the best things you can give to your children are roots and wings. That was exactly what I wanted to do. Although I was living about 80 kilometers from the town, I drove almost every day to my practice. I also visited regularly congresses abroad, and so I took several times my children with me to Paris. We had a lot of fun there, I showed them things and places which I tried to see with the eyes of children. Both sons said afterwards that they could have stayed longer there. I let make a big photo of the two little boys from the country, sitting on the green grass before the Eiffel tower. For me it was the symbol of the wings I gave them. Under the big photo I hang to the wall a picture I had painted. I had always wanted to paint, so I went to a course in the next village. One of my first pictures was a view of the historic buildings of our farmyard, with the old aunt and two uncles doing their work, even my big dog was there. I had purposely used a naivistic style, and I wanted to continue the series. These were the roots.

Today, many years later, I suddenly notice that my desire to give roots to my children, and perhaps myself in the same time, made me evidently exaggerate in a way, which may seem ridiculous for other people. But I was very earnest; I wanted to write down the history of the place and the family. So I let the old relatives tell me old stories they had heard. Being always very conscientious, if I have a task I find important, I started with the Stone Age. It was told that objects of stone had been found in our field. They had been given to the provincial museum, but nobody knew about them later. Officially, no population had been known in that area. So I found interest in the archeology. I read all the books I found in the library. According to the descriptions of the early populations, our place would have been just ideal for living. Long time ago the sea had been very near, the big river ended there. A stony ridge a few kilometers from our place consisted of different art of stones; many of them were exactly the same, which were used at the Stone Age for making tools and other objects. I drove often with the children to the ridge to look after interesting stones. Once I had to leave the place quickly, because I thought I had heard noises of a bear from the nearby moor. I didn’t tell to my boys why I was suddenly in such a hurry.

In the white summer evenings, when I had finished my work in the household and taken care of the boys, I used to go to the newly plowed fields. I was not alone; the mosquitoes came, too. Therefore I usually smoked cigarillos and the nasty insects left me in peace. I went up and down, looking at the earth, sometimes I found things, which might have been something. Every now and then I went with a heavy bag to the director of the museum, who probably got a crisis every time he saw me coming. According to him there was nothing important in my findings, although I had seen one thing also in the collections of the same museum. Once he admitted that I had evidently found something – and destructed it. I had told him about the curious things I had seen as I was making a new flowerbed. Conscientiously, as mostly, I had dug the earth rather deeply. So I found big flat stones, arranged in a certain way, vertically and building a hole with straight edges. Some old bad bones I saw there I threw in the dense rose bush to prevent that my dog could get and eat them. That was a tomb, said the director. Afterwards I thought that the stones really had the north-south direction the early tombs used to have. When I was on the field and somebody phoned up, my children explained: “Mother is on the field looking for objects from the Stone Age, although, she will take some from the Iron Age, too, if she happens to find any.”

The longer I lived in the idyllic place in the country, the clearer became it for me, that the history of the family and the whole region were very different from that I had imagined before. I should have rather called the river “the Bloody River”. People had been killed in many occasions. There was hatred and jealousness, in the families and between the neighbors. One of my favorite books is “Jean de Florette” by Marcel Pagnol. I had a feeling that his story is universal; the people in the village in the Provence were very similar to those in our small village very far away. They felt togetherness only, if it was against strangers. And I was a stranger. As I wanted to leave my husband, and for very good reasons, I was the bad one. Sure, I came originally from the town. Till that moment I had been the busy woman and a blessing for the family. As I drove away with my children, I cried, because I left the place, where I could have been happy till the end of my life. I have never understood the remark of my ex-husband; he said once that he couldn’t stand it if he saw me looking so happy in that place. What had I done? I never said a bad word to him. Sure, I often should have had a good reason, but I also knew, that moment would mean the end of our common life. At the moment of my departure the tree I had brought from the wood had its very first blossoms.

When the children had spent a weekend with their father, they told me that father had cut down the weeping willows, because they had been dead. That was his explanation.

I had found for me and the children a nice little house in the town in which I had grown up and in which I had been working during the last years. The house had a wonderful garden, a real grandmother’s garden with many plants you hardly find today. Recovering from the nightmare of my marriage I gradually felt well again. I had some old friends living near us and I found some new ones.
We often had a garden party with families in our place. I thought, well, this will be now my home, for the rest of my life. I had a lot of plans for the house and the garden and I already started realizing them. This was my last attempt to put new roots. But I had no luck. The man I had left could not accept the divorce. I suppose he is also one of the persons who don’t know what love is. In the last of a dozen of processes he assured that he still loved me. But I only experienced his deep hatred, a desire to harm me and violence in different forms. Finally, I had to do, what my friends and my lawyers had always told me: I should leave the country with my younger son. For me it shouldn’t be difficult, knowing several languages and having been living abroad before. First as the chief of the local police proposed me the same thing, because the police couldn’t protect me before something worse would have happened, I made my decision. So, I left my country, most probably for forever.

I didn’t have much time to choose the best place for living. I had to use the first offer I became, it happened to be Germany, the country in which I had spent many years as a student. I thought I knew this country, but it is very different to live in a society. As a student you are not really integrated, you meet other students and you are not confronted with the same problems as the real members of the society. I very soon noticed: this is not my country. But my son had to grow up there. He is today a wonderful young man, soon finishing his studies at the university. He finds friends everywhere. He seems to be completely integrated in the new country, he hardly remembered his early years in our own fatherland. But somehow, he has also a desire to learn to know for instance our culture. The only thing he remembered was the wonderful nature. For me the time had come to leave Germany. I wanted to leave the most things behind me. So I gave to my son everything he wanted to have. I was a little surprised that he chose especially such things, furniture or other things, with which he had grown up. Maybe he wanted to be surrounded by objects, which were familiar to him. Maybe he is also missing, in the deep of his mind, something like roots.

Many people, who heard about my intention to move away, into another country, couldn’t understand me at all. “At your age! Do you really want to leave everything you have here?” There were also others, who would have done the same, if they had could. Mostly they didn’t have the courage. I myself, in the new country into which I have recently come to live and work, don’t think any more about roots. I will enjoy this atmosphere, the people and the way of life. I don’t need to identify myself with the Spanish nation. I hope there will be no wind more, which will blow me away from this place.


Although I know our family tree till about the 17th century, I think I can understand those people, who are permanently trying to find their biological parents or relatives. Persons, who have been adopted as a child or lost members of their family very early. It must be a feeling to be nobody. Who am I? Where do I come from? In Germany you often read or see in the television reports of such cases. Many Americans come to Europe to find their roots, perhaps some relatives or a place where the family has been living. But these persons mostly have already a real family in America; it is perhaps more an interest they can afford than a burning desire.

My experience of being nobody is somewhat different. It has happened every now and then when I have been abroad. It sounds perhaps ridiculous, but one of my experiences was in Paris, when I was living there some time. I did my research work in the oldest hospital of Paris, “Hôtel Dieu” at the Place de Notre Dame, in the heart of the city. I had to transport blood samples from the clinic to a big laboratory, a bit outside. On such days I came in my car to work, normally I used the Metro. The samples had to be kept cooled during the transport. Somebody told me I could possibly get artificial ice from pharmacies. So I went to a pharmacy. As I asked my question, I got a very peculiar regard. The person didn’t say anything, only went to another room. I heard low voices discussing, but couldn’t hear, what they said. Two persons came, looking at me. I had a feeling I should explain exactly why I needed something like that. I told I was a doctor working with the famous professor and needed the ice for my research work. But for these people I was a nobody. Why should they believe me? I could tell anything. I had a feeling as if I were a criminal, perhaps murdered somebody and trying to conserve the body with artificial ice, or something like that. I couldn’t really imagine, what you could do with that stuff. I wanted to shout loudly: “Hello, listen to me, it’s me, many important persons hear know me, and in my country, my family is known, too!” I couldn’t really impress them. I don’t remember any more, if I got what I needed. I rather think, that I found another solution for the transport of the blood samples. The results of my study are today, many years later, referred in the Google more than 1000 times. But I’ll never forget the feeling I had in the pharmacy. There have been other situations, in other countries, and the feeling is almost the same. Nobody knows you in some place, and so you are again a nobody. What about then, if you don’t know yourself, where you come from?

Family trees

Many people want to know their own family trees. I will not speculate, what the real reason is. Nevertheless, there must be often emotional backgrounds, whether the person recognizes it or not.
In my family there has been an elderly relative, who has studied our roots. Today my brother is continuing the studies. He also likes to go to family meetings. It is easier for him, because he is now living in the part of the country, where our most relatives live. I must agree, he has found some similarities, which occur in all the generations. It concerns my father, my brother, myself and even my son. Although we all have had or still have strong intellectual interests or professions, we all liked or like to work with our hands, as our ancestors so far they are known. If you only study your own family tree, it might be a personal interest. There are again other persons, who like to study family trees generally, from other families. In those cases it is a hobby.

I have an own experience of such people, who want to make money with other people’s honest desire to know something about their roots. Still living in Germany I got one day a letter. The sender had most probably taken my name from some list of medical doctors. There was a coat of arms and an aristocratic name. “Dear Mr. Doctor…”, he wrote. His first error, he couldn’t know anything about me. Studying family trees as a genealogist he had often met my name and could follow its origin till the 17th century. Fine, I knew my ancestors to the same century, but with a very different name. My present name is the name my father took himself and his two sisters just before the last war. It didn’t exist before, and afterwards, nobody was allowed to take the same name. It was a part of a national movement; young people, often students, who had foreign names, wanted to translate their names into Finnish or take quite new names, as my father did. Today we are just four persons using that name.
I could order a booklet of the history of my family, a family tree, with frames or without frames, in different sizes. There was also a very interesting coat of arms, which I could order in a desired size.
Now you happened to meet the right person, I thought. I cannot stand people, who collect money from innocent persons and then very soon disappear before they have been caught. In another place they start the same play again. I took the letter and went to the police. At first nobody understood what I wanted. I was asked if I had lost some money. No, I hadn’t, and I wouldn’t, either. But I wanted to stop this kind of criminal activities. So they made a copy of my letter and promised to give it further. A few days later I phoned up the police department to be sure that something happened. The officer, who had got my letter, hadn’t understood more than the others. So I explained him that I could show very clearly what kind of criminality was behind that letter. Finally he understood and I promised to send him all the story of my name and family. Later I received a letter from the court, they had registered my paper, they told me, however, it was perhaps not necessary to make an extra process because of my claim, because there were already 193 other claims against the same person. Most probably those 193 others had already paid money, it is not very common that somebody claims without having lost anything. Anyway, I was pleased to hear that. I suppose that among those who wanted to have a family tree were also some, who just wanted to have a family tree, even if it wasn’t theirs.

It is unbelievable, how anybody can think that buying an aristocratic title could make an aristocrat of somebody who cannot change his vulgar appearance or behavior. Such “aristocrats” can impress others only with their money. Presumably they are surrounded by the same type of society as before. Or perhaps some real but poor aristocrats could join them, wishing some profit and giving a bit glance to the new members of the aristocracy. But the roots, they are still there where they started.

Genes of Adam and Eve

I don’t want to discuss here, what I think about the beginning of the mankind. It is in this case not important, whether I believe in what the Bible tells us or what Darwin presumed. It is nicer to speak about Adam and Eve than about the Homo erectus.

One day something happened to me, what gave to my imagination a quite new direction. I have never been inclined to esoteric practices. Neither have I ever tried to do yoga, and I don’t really know, what meditation means. If it is the way how I sometimes sit still thinking of various things, well, perhaps it means that I have been meditating. But I think it is not what is usually understood as meditation. On the other hand, I know a lot of biological things that happen in the human body, for instance the effect of hormones in the brain. But nothing can explain my experience.

I was sitting in my kitchen, breastfeeding my baby. I noticed that I was moving my body in a slow rhythm. You sometimes see that in the television, when reports of hungering people in Africa are shown. A starving mother tries to feed her undernourished baby, and you often see the same movement. I closed my eyes and I suddenly heard the noise of leaves trembled by the wind, very far above me was a blue sky, and the earth under me was rather far away, too. I had a feeling as if I were sitting in the middle of a very big tree, in the jungle. It was very strange. After that I could have the same feeling again, just closing my eyes. I am sure it had nothing to do with the release of hormones through the suckling of the baby. Some women may have an orgasm through the stimulating of the nipple, but this was nothing alike. It was like a picture, which was very deep in my brain. Somehow I became conscious of it. It is supposed that in some phase of his development man used to live in the middle layer of the jungle trees. Could their exist a kind of mental atavism?

I tried to find an explanation to this phenomenon. I got an idea, which seemed to me like an answer to many questions. I became aware of the fact that we all carry with us genetic material, that means, organic substances, of our very first ancestors. Real substance is given further. I expect eagerly, what the neurophysiologists may tell us about our brain one day. I also realized, what might be the reason why many people absolutely want to have own, biological children. I could imagine that this strong desire is something like a fear of death, a very definitive death, because your material doesn’t live further.

What about déjà-vus? Many people have had this kind of feeling; you have seen this before or you have been in this place before. It is very easy to say: that must be something you have really seen before. You have only forgotten it. But I can say with absolute certitude, I had never been before in those places where I had that strong awareness of knowing the place. Once it was in Geneva, many years ago. I visited a course at the university, and one day I happened to be on a street which seemed very familiar to me, as if I had been walking on that street every day. I can swear, I had never been on that street before. I still remember the place and the feeling. I have no explanation to that phenomenon.
Another case occurred, when I was living in Germany. A Belgian friend of mine took me with her to Belgium, to the eastern part of the country. We came to small town. As I saw the gray houses, I never had seen that type of houses before, a strange feeling struck me again. It was like being home. I asked my friend, if this part of the country was Wallonia. Yes, it was. Although the early part of our family tree hasn’t yet been proved exactly, it has been presumed that our ancestors left Wallonia during the war 1618-1648 and went to Sweden, to the region with the most mines. Sweden needed skilled smiths and on the other hand, there might have been religious reasons, too. Our first ancestors who have been found in the official registers were smiths living in that part of Sweden. And this learned and respectful profession was given further from generation to generation.
It is very difficult to explain this certitude you experience to somebody, who hasn’t ever had the same feeling. What do we really inherit with our genes? This is perhaps the material part of our inheritance. Can our experiences be firmly impregnated in our brain, so that they can be given further with the genes? What an incredible vision! How do you explain the déjà-vus of an epileptic person? Is it only a result of the disturbed electric function of the brain? Or could it be that in this state some hidden pictures in the brain are waken up and come to the surface of the consciousness?

If we think about reincarnation we come to a different field. I haven’t really studied such cases. Therefore I will not allow me clear opinions. We should discuss about the soul. What is the spiritual existence? What happens to our soul after our death? Nobody can give us the answer today. There are biologists and neurophysiologists who strictly deny any kind of continuous spiritual energy. I represent the opinion that we cannot deny something just because we don’t know. I keep my mind open. It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be critical, I always prove new theories. I can afford me to say: “I don’t know!” It is better than pretending to have an answer to any question. You have to think about the last results of the scientific studies, technology and all that. Leonardo da Vinci was a very special person, or think about Copernicus or Jules Verne. But the last innovations are very young, if you think about the age of the mankind.

I have a vague idea of what spiritual energy might mean. The last time I learned something about different religions was at school. And honestly, I don’t remember much of that today. But I could think now that there good be an enormous mass of energy, and tiny fragments of it would spend a while in an organic body, after the death melting together again. God made us to his own picture, or we have all God in ourselves. Such sayings might have a real background. What is God? The old man with the white beard in the heaven? I suppose we will never understand it completely. The religion requires that we believe without understanding. My modest mind will certainly never solve such a question.

Nevertheless, there are phenomena, which cannot be explained with our knowledge. This cannot be a reason, why we should deny the existence of believable reports, only, because we don’t understand.

The real roots

Writing down all these things and living at the same time in a quite new country, I have got some new ideas, what roots could mean. Although I haven’t yet really settled down in this short time, I already have some daily routines; not very different from those I had before. I need my daily newspaper, I cannot live without newspapers. I’m very delighted, because the newspaper here is much better than that I had till now. I enjoy reading news and reports of the whole world. On Sunday mornings I here the same music I used to hear before; starting with Edvard Grieg, followed by Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy, Ravel and so on. The voices I here from outside do not speak Turkish as my last neighbors, but the difference is minimal. What is different in my new life? Sure, the landscape is different, the climate is better, and the people are kind and helpful. But people live here almost like people in any other country.

As I still lived in Germany, I became more and more aware of my nationality. I saw very soon the differences. It was not only the daily life. It was the mentality, all the society. I was often asked to speak about various themes of my country. I regularly ordered newest information from our authorities. So I was able to tell to my audience about the actual state. I was often asked, why I left my country, if everything was so as I told them. It was sometimes difficult to explain, and I couldn’t always tell the real reasons. I was asked, why everything was so different in my country. The only answer I could give was: because we are different. It was rather curious, once I saw a program in the television. The very popular moderator Günther Jauch was discussing with the former ski springer Thoma about the Finnish master springer Janne Ahonen in a live sending. He asked Thoma, what made Ahonen so different, he didn’t seem to have nerves at all. And Thoma answered: “He is a Finn.” What do you mean?” “The Finns are different.” Jauch couldn’t really understand the answer and asked, what the difference is. Thoma answered shortly: “They are just – cool.”

It was inevitable that I one day started asking me, what made us so different. And so I started endless studies about the roots of my people, the Finns. I haven’t yet finished these studies, although I already published one article using all that new knowledge I had gained – for a medical study. It is a fascinating theme, and I suppose, I will spend the rest of my life learning new things. But it is another story.

All in all, I got a feeling that roots might mean something else. They are not only names from your family tree, the place where you have grown up. No, it must be something you carry with yourself; it must be a whole complex, which has an effect on your life. Recognizing this I feel much better. I don’t feel like a nomad any more. I think my roots are everything I have experienced in my life. That gives me a feeling that I am home, wherever I am. The world has become much smaller. You can reach the most important persons almost everywhere. There is the Internet, the mobiles and flying is no luxury more. You must not loose the contact to your people.