Feminine Super Powers

Finally I went with a dear friend to watch Wonder Woman (USA 2017) in the movie theatre. Several critics celebrated the movie as the best comic book adaption for a while, the high number of viewers and box-office results confirmed this and in general the movie is now considered as a worthwhile opening for more femininity in the super hero genre.

The movie is indeed great fun: the actors are good, the story works and the characters are a bit more exciting and interesting than one might expect. Visually it is particularly enticing: great scenography, great camera, great editing and impressive special effects and of course action, action, action: there are so many chases and fights and collisions that it is a veritable opera of bangs, crashs and blasts. And the leading actress does a great job with just the right mixture of grace, sexiness and aggression. Wonder Woman is depicted by the jung Israeli woman Gal Gadot, whose career began as Miss Israel. Furthermore she was in the Israeli army and obviously has a talent for combat and dance – she has the necessary mastery of her body. Apart from that she is married and has two daughters – and when she went to up notch film event and came in evening gown, however in flat shoes stunned reporters asked her why she wasn´t wearing high heels and she answered kindly: “Because it´s more comfortable!’ So a down to earth and seemingly likeable woman!

It is also worth noting that the film was directed by a woman and grossed the highest box-office results a female director has managed thus far. Which means the film was also viewed by and popular for men – and hopefully there is no need in the future to mention this specifically. For of course men can be enthusiastic about a female hero, especially in their favored genres – and Jenkins does not avoid the traditionally masculine genres like action and horror not in the least, as her biography shows.

Jenkins said about her movie, that Wonder Woman realized in the end and also says that ultimatively it´s about love! As true as I find this, I don´t find it quite convincing in the film – for she has this thought while holding a tank above her head just to drop it on the female villain, crouching below it. It made me actually think that she doesn´t want to ruin the potential for a sequel…

But yes, in the end Diana Prince aka Wonderwoman says in her voice over that it´s always worthwhile fighting for love and justice – and who would want to question that?

Wonder Woman´s origin

Wonder Woman is traditionally clearly an American woman – usually her hero´s attire is in the colors of the US flag, however less so in the latest movie.  Here her lineage from the Greek gods is stressed and the story takes place in a battle ridden Europe of the first World War. But the character is much older than the movie, she was added to the comic book universe in 1941. In the early 1940ies, Max Gaines, the publisher of DC comics was worried that his comic books might be too violent for the mostly juvenile readers and turned to his advisor William Marston, not only a comic book writer but also a psychologist and very strongly influenced by unconventional and strong women of his day: he lived together with his wife, his mistress and four children. According to legend, Marston said to Gaines: ‘What you need, is a female super hero. She will be as strong as superman, but basically a pacifist. She will fight for democracy but also for equal rights for women. And her super powers will be love, truth and beauty.’ Max Gaines decided to give it a go and as I don´t know the original comic books I have no idea in how far this was achieved.

But if I was now asked if the youngest Wonder Woman has specifically female super powers that mark her heroism I would draw a blank. Though she is clearly beautiful and focused on truth – in the film she confronts others, mostly men mercilessly with her attitude concerning saving the innocent and accuses them of lacking compassion. And love may be her motivation, but is not her power that consists of – as in her male colleagues – primarily a physical superiority. So she appears to be more feminine – not only because of her wonderfully sexy outfit, but she also solves the current conflicts like her male colleagues ultimately with force, violence, some magic (she can fly and create a force wave) and combat skills.

The same applies to the new TV-Series ‘Supergirl’, which also attempts by introducing ‘Superman’s cousin (and a whole megillah of relatives of seemingly lost Cryptonides due to their planetary catastrophe) to expand the genre for the feminine.

Super Chick

I also thought that it was about time for this during my film studies in the US in the late 1990ies and had created a story along those lines. In my version Superman had had an affair with an Australian Olympic swimmer. The fruit of that encounter was then overwhelmed by her superpowers at the onset of her period. After several visits to doctors and psychologists who all explain that this is not a temporary side effect of puberty, but indeed extraordinary, Mom finally reveals the truth – she once spent a night with a flying American in a red cape!

The heroine decides to find her father – of course against the wishes of her mother, but who can stop a teenager with super powers? So the girl travels to America and learns to deal with her powers ever better on the way. However she also draws the attention of the opposing forces to herself (the genre requires them…). The story culminates in her running into the arms of the evil guys while searching for her father who is indeed already imprisoned by them but uniting their forces, they manage to liberate themselves and yet again save the world.

Two things put the development of this pretty idea to an end. For one the professor in whose class I had developed the story explained that the rights to Superman and all that was attached to him were with DC (Detective Comics) and that they´d never give them away and would also not accept ideas that were not exactly matching the lore of their super heroes,  who are after all, already established characters in the marvel universe. And my ‘Super Daughter’ was clearly going too far.

Furthermore a fellow student remarked it reminded him of the Stephen King Novel ‘Carrie’ where a young girl has telekinetic abilities from childhood on but they really become strong at the onset of her period. As usual with King the whole thing escalates most gruesomely and ends with a massacre during which also the heroine dies. I had no wish whatsoever to feed such ideas.

But I too fell for the notion then, to equip a woman with super male powers!

Today I wonder whether that would really have inspired me as a young viewer – I am sure that a few young girls will become more excited then about martial arts, but that was never my interest. So this raised the question what super feminine powers would truly inspire and be so motivating that one would feel compelled to make an effort to make our world a better one! For this is always the ultimate goal of a comic book hero…

And yes, of course I´d find it exciting to master telekinesis, like Carrie or the classic Superman abilities, like flying – without the cape getting caught. The x-ray gaze, the superlistening, the relative invulnerability and of course the super strength: being able to carry the grocery bags with one finger and park the car upright, if need is would come in handy occasionally.

However – those are somehow super masculine powers: the immense physical strength and always the fight for justice and the ending of battles by simply turning everything into dust and cinders -I do not only find unsatisfying but also boring.

Truly feminine super powers

But what would be possibilities to bring order to our chaotic, violent and unjust human world with more feminine super powers? And I´m not talking telekinesis as it was exhibited by Mary Poppins or the amazing Jeannie cleaning up the nursery or managing household chores with a nod.

After some musing I came up with the following:

  • Being able to decode feelings and become aware of their origin – and therefore the source of any conflict
  • Being able to lead humans from fear to compassion – for an opponent can become rather helpless if one focuses on his weakness, his pain…
  • Being able to heal with a glance or touch
  • Being able to make any weapon dysfunctional with a glance
  • Mastering complicated tasks by enlisting help from others, i.e. if the threatening ocean liner was stopped by cetaceans.
  • Being able to make landscapes green again with a gesture – turning battle fields into blooming gardens…

In line with my current research, concerning the specific feminine energy that is allegedly now finding its path in our collective consciousness, I would furthermore – if I could – encourage ALL superheroes to use less violence and destruction and find a more feminine, maybe more softer but certainly more sustainable path.

For in my opinion every villain is only evil, because he is deeply wounded and hurt – to heal that and do reconciliation work would probably be more rewarding than simply getting rid of him. Furthermore I would welcome more cooperation – not only among the super heroes (and that is actually already taking place, i.e. the Fantastic Four) but especially among humans and an instruction of their consciousness that many people together can actually be a superpower to be reckoned with!

It would also be most fabulous if she could radiate such an aura of peaceful power that nobody felt a need for violent combat anymore – has Buddha been turned into a super hero yet? Love and beauty too, of course!  The super powers that can emanate from that are known by all people who truly love or have been touched by beauty in a deep and lasting way.

And if anybody thinks that this isn´t entertaining and requires less action, I beg to differ. I am absolutely positive there are ways to make this visually interesting and that more psychological depth would not necessarily require more dialogue, quite the opposite. Besides, I´m tired of the continuous war scenes. I would find the amazing appearance of fish to save the oceans or birds to save the skies quite more original!

I am sure there is room for a lot more – and I´m curious how the genre will develop further and the changes that Wonder Woman and her colleagues might undergo, for the comic book literature mirrors the Zeitgeist always very clearly!

 

The feminine consciousness of creation

readymade: the breath of the goddess
the breath of the goddess | wooden boats, gilded, sage and cedar from Taos, New Mexico | born in Timmendorfer Strand, Germany in 2016

The pictures of the performative art event 1000 Gestalten (1000 creatures), a kind of quiet demonstration during the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany on July 5th 2017 touched me deeply. In an impressive way it shows the powerlessness of all the sole beings who begin as a grey anonymous mass and then – human by human – liberate themselves and each other and reveal the power of the many through community. In deep silence, peacefully and intensely these performance artists communicate a very powerful message: man is more than his functions and roles and yearns for peace and freedom… Then I thought of Yael Deckelbaum, Miriam Toukan and the “Women Wage Peace” movement. Again art, this time music, put in service of worldwide peace. And again there is talk about the rise of the feminine in the world. Is there a connection?

Musing about this my dear friend Casmina Magdalena Haas came to my mind whom I highly appreciate not only as a friend, but also as an artist. I perceive her to be truly feminine and if someone were to ask me if there was something like feminine art, I would clearly refer them to Casmina.

A broad, feminine consciousness

Furthermore Casmina has been highly clairvoyant and clairaudient since her childhood. She is able to perceive the impulse of creation in its manifold renditions. She can literally communicate telepathically with everything that is sentient – if it wants to communicate with her as well… For example dogs tend to be rather talkative, whereas cats are more reticent. But Casmina also speaks with rocks, plants, deserts, oceans and expressions of consciousness for which we don´t even have words, but who are in our world and interact with us nonetheless. Unfortunately most people don´t have a sense for this, but Casmina, with her expanded consciousness does and therefore I considered it a good idea, to ask her about art and the feminine in our times:

What do you think is the task of art for a human being?

Art is a tool of our very own inner space, to make ourselves and that what we are, visible and experienceable. Ideally art takes us as creator as well as onlooker into the center of our own power. Art reminds us of what we are and of that which wants to be placed and anchored through us in the world. Art is a means of creation within and through us. It reaches into everything that is endowed with life from creation itself.

painting: female release
female release | pine needles, gold, acrylic, chalk on canvas panel | 30 x 30 cm | born in Orange Grove, Tucson – Arizona 2015

Where do your creative impulses come from?

My art emerges from my cooperation with the earth´s field of creation, which is nature and in this manner exposes the sacred space of materialized light. It is in each and all of us, in all things that live and supremely in that which we cannot explain, but sense. Through my love for the field of creativity, that creates and renews the universe, our earth and ourselves constantly, my art pools the creative expression of life itself. My art documents with all my love the tireless sacred cycle of life, death and rebirth.

The idea and realization of the Interdimensional Art (term for her current work, note E.) emerged from the many years of my artistic path. From the actual creative process as well as from my love for nature, earth, life itself and especially the deep space of the origin of all new beginnings that in turn create life.

Delighting in this I travel the world, enter communication with rain forests, deserts, mountains, continents… During my meditative retreats in various countries my art emerges from these sensitive and at the same time powerful encounters with earth and her creations, I collect sticks, grasses, sand, stones, leaves, feathers, animal hides, bones etc. in nature. These I weave into my art work, may it be paintings, installations or readymades (a kind of objet trouvé  arranged in a special way by Casmina, note E.) From this collection of natural materials oftentimes art works emerge autonomously. While doing this I experience myself in a creative synthesis with materialized life itself. Many of my works were born around the world in this way in recent decades. They are also always a reference to the particular energy, history but also the potential of a specific landscape, a country or continent.

Thereby earth expresses herself through me as part of the feminine. As part of that what we all are – a yet unexplored miracle of life itself, which can never be truly understood but holistically sensed and thereby experienced. My art is a reference to the infinity of creation itself and – ideally – a deep reminder of that to which we can only surrender, life, the “divine” and the endless eternity…

readymade: the monumental needn´t be large
the monumental needn´t be large | wood, rose quartz – gilded | born in Timmendorfer Strand, Germany in 2016

Your works are called: “Breath of the Goddess” or “Freedom of the Earth Soul”. How do you come up with those titles?

The titles of my work emerge out of the creative process. Or during the creative process while it becomes ever more tangible what frequency of life they transfer. In some cases the intention that is inherent to the piece of art reveals itself in interaction with the viewer and even more often in interaction with the buyer, who usually always develops a rather intimiate and emotional relationship to a work of mine.  

What do you think, why the feminine is currently so popular?

In our world today the yearning for the truth of life is ever expanding, for religion, society and science are reaching their natural limits. Art is the field through which we can consciously participate in creation. Through art we give creation more space in our life and in our society.

Nowadays the feminine field in particular reminds us of the depth of peace of all being. Very naturally and obviously it constantly creates life out of itself and lets it flow continually.

The feminine in art is a field that deeply knows but doesn´t want anything. It is a quiet space, constantly informing us beyond all words through manifestation about beauty, dignity and uniqueness of any creation. Thereby we can be reconnected to the miracle that we ourselves are as part of creation.

This reconnection can reward us with the insight that there is nothing to improve. But that it´s about accepting the abundance and the freedom that is inherent in creation and to share it with each other. In and through this force field peace is not only possible but a natural consequence of the respect for life itself. Everyone is able do this and together we make it ever stronger. Isn´t that wonderful?

painting: freedom of the earth soul
freedom of the earth soul | feathers, gold, sand, acrylic, oil on canvas panel | 30 x 30 cm | born in Tucson, Arizona 2016

About Casmina Magdalena Haas and her work:

From the beginning of our friendship on, the exploration of creativity and especially of women as creators was one of our favorite subjects. I could often observe how Casmina´s work emerged and changed throughout its development. From every trip she brought back new impulse, new paintings, new readymades.

In all of these an aspect that is inherent to her work in a special way became increasingly clear since 2012: a material expression of reverence to nature and creation itself. They seem almost like physical prayers of love, worship and gratitude. Often the onlookers of her works get tears in their eyes or become very quiet, as if they entered a holy place. And indeed every space that contains her art and where it can unfold its power becomes sacred in the best of senses and it can actually turn it into a healing space. For who is open to this can be touched in the core of his being and thereby remembers who he truly is. That is a deeply healing experience.

Meanwhile it has been observed that her paintings shine in darkness. Photographed without flash they seem as if they illuminate their environment. This obviously particular energy that emanates from her work has been examined by a dowser. He measured that it can achieve up to 200.000 Bovis which means the paintings and sculptures lift the frequency in their environment with a range of up to 20 kilometers.  Sensitive people often notice the healing power of their radiation. In fact Casmina´s paintings can open the personal access to creation and the sacred presence of all that is in the viewer and thereby the frequency of universal love in the hearts of human beings.

After studying art at the art academy in Munich, Germany and the college of arts in Bremen, Germany, Casmina Haas has been working freelance as an artist since 2000. Currently she is living on the Baltic Sea and all over the world. Almost everywhere, where she listened to the song of creation and expresses it in her unique way, she also exhibited her art, may it be in Germany or America, the Arab Emirates or India or the many other place all over the world!

In this manner the special frequency of peace, of harmony and the celebration of creation that distinguishes Casmina and her work is spreading ever further in a natural, gentle and yet sustainable way. Truly a feminine path!

readymade: and they dreamt on and on
and they dreamt on and on | angel wings of plaster, gilded, coyote heads | born in Timmendorfer Strand, Germany in 2016

Note: These two dimensional renditions  do the actual power of this multidimensional art hardly justice, unfortunately. On Casmina´s homepage this works much better and there is also more to be found about her!

Growth Curves

I had sworn myself not to write any cat stories and definitely not to post any pictures. Until my cat foiled it. For part of this decision was based on the idea that my cat doesn´t have the chance to have an exchange with her ilk about her human, for example when she enjoys my perseverance “It´s awfully cute how she keeps rolling the ball, even after I´ve already left.” Or when she is twitching her whiskers mockingly while I do my morning exercise “That´s yoga? Really???”  As long as that is the case, it is unfair if I do it with my ilk. But, things have changed.

So a cat story afterall

Our friendship began two years ago in March when I picked up the ten year old cat missus from the animal shelter, to offer an ageing feline lady some pleasant sunset years, and also hoping that she wouldn´t need quite so much entertainment and diversion as a younger animal. But it turned out that SEVAL as I call her (no idea whether she was a Molly or Lucy before) is in remarkably good shape considering her age and does not relinquish climbing high books shelves (I have high ceilings), pursuing wild chases of real treats and fictional mice throughout the entire apartment and autonomous open air excursions.

When she came to me it was not clear whether she was an exclusively indoor cat or also trained in being outside. She had been found a few days before Christmas outside in the cold, scraggy, listless, full of parasites and suffering from a heart condition. When I took her with me in March, she was free of the parasites, had acquired a bit of weight and had received heart surgery. The fur on her chest was still rather short and petting her belly was not welcome at all. And every new visitor and unpleasant noises like the doorbell, the vacuum cleaner, and the steam iron made her hide under the sofa. In the meantime her black-and-white fur has fully grown back and is thick and shiny, the wheezing sound when she was breathing and purring due to her enlarged heart valve has completely disappeared and her weight is of a healthy amount again. As is her curiosity and sense of adventure, more and more visitors get to see her now and unpleasantly noisy activities like vacuuming and ironing she now watches with a disapproving gaze from high up on the bookshelves.  When we had the first warm evenings this year, she was standing in the midst of the flower pots on the balcony parapet and performed dangerous contortions to get a better overview of the little front garden below her – I live on the first floor. On such days the throwing of balls or goodies and the usually delightful game with a peacock´s feather are for her about as exciting as the umpteenth repeat off a television show.

But last year she had followed me into the backyard while I was taking the garbage out. With two daring jumps she had jumped from the containers over the fence into the neighboring courtyard. When I called her, she replied since last year, when she followed me outside to the backyard while I was taking the garbage out and jumped with two audacious jumps over the fence into the neighboring court yard. When I called her, she answered, mewing miserably but was unable to find the hole in the fence I had opened for her. So finally I had to squeeze myself through the fence and pick her up an unfamiliar house entrance where she cowered ruefully. I then vowed to myself this cat shall remain a house cat.

But some vows need to be broken for love…

For after the third evening of listless roaming of the small balcony on lovely warm evenings, I thought I´d also be unhappy, if I had to spend all that beautiful weather only on a balcony. But what, if the cat ran away and got lost? Or worse, was run over by a car? I live near a busy road…

On the other hand: this cat has had a life before me – if she was used to the outdoors then she should be able to deal with traffic. Thus were my thoughts until a friend gave me an idea. She had seen a woman in the cemetery with a cat on a leash…  A great place to walk a cat for there are no cars nor dogs. Yet I thought walks in the cemetery somehow unattractive and couldn´t imagine Seval walking on a leash. But a mistress only knows what she´s tried out. So I bought a harness and glued my name and number onto it. On the first evening I put the harness on Seval. She accepted that, but didn´t like the result at all. Her disgust felt like: “You´re kidding about this silly thing, aren´t you?” Then she crawled over the floor alongside the walls until I gently lifted her belly and she realized that she could move rather normally. After about twenty minutes she had gotten used to it and didn´t try getting rid of it.

The experiment is launched

I decided to take her to the front yard – without the leash,  shehad my name and number with her after all. She was thrilled, roaming all over the little garden and when I wanted to go inside half an hour later she came with me without any problems. The next evening, another beautiful warm evening, calling her didn´t work at all and I only managed to get her home after I climbed over the fence of a nearby kindergarden and grabbed her by the harness. I decided that going outside was only permitted after 9 pm when there was less traffic in my street and I usually don´t go out anymore after that time so I wouldn´t have to face time pressure in case one of her outings took a little longer. During these two outings of hers I was outside at the same time reading and texting…rather like a mom on a playground watching her kid. By now Seval didn´t mind the harness so much any more even though it always took her a moment until she remembered she could walk in her full height with it. And I felt safe, in case she ran away there was my phone number on her harness. Usually I caught her about half an hour when she was venturing into a neighboring garden or trying to cross the street. But after three evenings of this Seval had enough. It was yet another warm night and this time she managed to get away every time I wanted to grab her. Our front yard is surrounded by a spiky hedge and that made movement for me difficult, while she just crept underneath the shrubs. As a matter of fact she seemed to rather enjoy our little chase, for she was always close but never willing, to come inside. I sat by the steps at the entrance and tried to lure her with calls and treats. She couldn´t have cared less, but sat underneath the rhododendron cleaning herself. Always in view, yet unreachable.

A few neighbors who came and left expressed more or less amused interest. “Oh, you´re walking your cat, are you?” and the undertone made it quite clear that the whole endeavor was not really beneficial to my reputation.

The experiment seemingly fails

I smiled with embarrassment and didn´t say anything and as soon, as they had left I made another attempt at catching my cat. But Seval now knew the hedge much better and wasn´t so easily tricked anymore. Then our favorite neighbor came and asked with compassion whether Seval had fallen from the balcony I shook my head and explained the experiment. She wishes us luck and went inside. By now it was past 11 pm. I had been trying for two hours to catch the cat to absolutely no avail. If laughing cats could be heard, a high pitched giggle would have penetrated the shrubs… Finally at midnight I had to go to the bathroom so badly, I decided to take a short break. When I came back down again, Seval had disappeared completely. I swallowed hard and began getting angry with myself about this most crazy idea. Using my cellphone as a flash light I searched courtyards and gardens, called and mewed but Seval was nowhere to be found. Only the occasional dogowner walking his pet cast me an either worried or bemused glance. But none of them said anything. By now it was almost 1 am and I was too tired to carry on. I decided to go home. Somebody would surely eventually find the cat – she wore the harness with my number, after all! Thank God! Glumly and full of feelings of guilt for being such a bad pet mom I went to bed. What on earth had I been thinking? Seval was a cat! An animal, for Christ´s sake!!!

Nightly wake-up call

My cellphone was in reach and put on full volume and when a text message came at 3 am, I jumped out of bed, hoping somebody had found Seval. But it was a text message from the US and du to the different time zones it had reached me at this ungodly hour even though it was only 9 pm for the sender.

Nonetheless I stepped onto the balcony and gazed hopefully down into the front garden. And indeed there was a black-and-white something directly under the balcony mewing loudly as she heard me. Grateful and relieved I sped barefoot and in my nightgown down the steps through the hell and to the front door to let the cat in. She ran past me, up the stairs into the apartment directly to her litter box! I don´t want to exaggerate but not only due to my personal relief the sound of her sumptuous scratching of the sand in her litterbox sounded rather joyful. Judging the extent of her business, she seemed to be quite delighted to be home again and was a civilized cat after all.

In the meantime I had put fresh food in her bowl in the kitchen and when she came out of the bathroom, I took the harness off her. Then she devoured the food while blinking happily at me. Grateful and relieved I went back to bed where she followed me a short while later, and took her favorite spot purring loudly. In that manner we both went to sleep blissfully nestled together.

The experiment worked, all involved happier than before

Since then Seval´s evening excursions work beautifully: at some time around 9 pm she scratches at the apartment door and I let her out of the house and about 20-40 minutes later she sits under the balcony and wants to come back inside. When I then open the front door she immediately comes out from under the bushes and runs up the stairs into my apartment. As this now works so well she is allowed to go without the harness – for now she finds her home again. And when it´s rainy or I´m out she is  happy to spend the evening inside.  But she does enjoy her nightly outings, she seems more balanced, eats more again and both of us are most happy when she comes home, just like we are, when I come home from one of my outings and we are reunited once again.

 

The strange chicken

Inspired by a debate on the Michael Roads Facebookpage during this week, today a rather different blog entry, a story. MY variation on the theme of eagles and chicken – there are already a few stories on this out there…that I personally find more frustrating than encouraging. So I chose a different approach. Furthermore it was important to me for various reasons to have a female protagonist – even though this might make for a less smooth reading, because we´re not used to it. Please bear with me and –  enjoy the read:

The strange chicken

Nobody remembers anymore how it happened, but one day an eagle´s egg was laying among the chicken eggs to be hatched. The sitter hen decided not to worry about the strange egg among the others underneath her: if the bird god wanted this chick to be hatched, she intended to do her best and help this little bird to become proud poultry, just like she had learned it from her mother.

However this wasn´t so easy, for the chick from the strange egg did not look much like her siblings and also behaved differently. But the hen really tried her best, to teach the little white birdy proper pecking and scratching, and even though her beak was rather unsuited for pecking and her talons rather unsuited for scratching the strange chicken grew to a healthy big bird.

And one thing had to be said for the strange chicken: even though she was different from her siblings in appearance and stature, she tried her best to be as much like the others as she could.  She ran in the mornings – even though slowly – out of the chicken coop, stumbled through the yard, got upset sometimes about a resistant worm or a sudden rain and was, though not really popular,  somewhat accepted among the other chickens. The hen loved her ‘special’ bird daughter, who caused so much more pain of the heart, but also a lot more joy than all the other rather low maintenance chicks, for everything seemed to demand an extra effort of the strange chicken. Sometimes the hen secretly worried about her. Most of the other chickens were increasingly avoiding the strange chicken and would there ever be a cock crowing for her? After all she would have to lay eggs one day, for otherwise – that was the law – she´d be slaughtered and end up in the cooking pot. But the hen rarely entertained such thoughts, she was too busy doing all the other things that fulfill a chicken´s life.

However the strange chicken had to realize that she managed less and less to feel like the other chickens.  They talked endlessly about how to keep your nest dry and clean, how the hay had to be and what body posture was the best for laying eggs and her sisters spoke more and more about handsome roosters – and the crowing of the young cocks was discussed in ever more detail. But to the strange chicken all this seemed oddly uninteresting. These ever repetitive conversations seemed dull and boring to her. Every day her heart became heavier. Only the sight of the mountains in the far distance and of the clouds high up in the sky could sometimes cheer her up. But every time she stared longingly into the distance, invariably she was disturbed by the hen and reminded not to neglect scratching and pecking, as if there was nothing more important – but was there really?

One evening, the farmer was obviously rather late today, a fox appeared outside the fence at twilight. In panic the chicken fled into the coop. But the strange chicken realized that she had wanted to follow the others as quickly as possibly – as she had learned and often exercised – into the safe shelter, but… actually, she was not afraid at all. She rather sensed something like curiosity and an odd kinship and even a kind of yearning. The gaze of the fox however expressed amazement and perhaps something like contempt, but why? The admonishing cries of the hen interrupted her thoughts and when finally the farmer arrived in the yard carrying a gun the fox also disappeared.

But the strange chicken couldn´t forget these newly experienced feelings. Suddenly she noticed that she rather slept during the day – despite the worrying clamor of the hen that she surely was never to become a proper chicken this way – and rather preferred staying outside in the dark. It was calm and quiet there and she could ponder her own thoughts that none of the other chicken seemed to share. So it happened that one morning in early summer, a big dark bird landed silently on the fencepost by the yard, while the strange chicken was restlessly sleeping in the way of chicken all fluffed up in a small sand pit.

Suddenly she was woken from her dreams by the big bird. “Hey you! What are you doing there?” “I’m sleeping.” The strange chicken said. “You´ve got to be kidding!” replied the big bird and plucked his tail feathers back into shape.  “Why would I be kidding?” asked the strange chicken and the big bird answered: “Because eagles simply don´t sleep with chicken. I know that. I am an old eagle and I´ve been sleeping forever high above in an aerie on a rock, near the mountains.” The strange chicken hopped to the fencepost and replied: “But I am no eagle, I am a chicken!” The eagle almost fell of the fencepoast roaring with laughter. “Whoever told you such nonsense? Look at yourself! Do you look like the creatures in the coop or do you look like me?”

The strange chicken tilted her head  and reluctantly began the comparison: her beak was indeed similar in shape, color and size to that of the visitor, as were the talons, the width of wings and the  quality of the plumage…should she really be…? The old eagle interrupted her thoughts: “Stop thinking! Come! Fly with me!” “But I cannot fly!” she replied. The eagle shook his head: “You won´t know until you´ve tried. If you fail…then you´re perhaps a chicken, that has an eagle´s body by mistake. But if you succeed, then you´re perhaps an eagle with the temporary illusion of being a chicken?!” The strange chicken had great doubts – was she really able to fly? And what were the consequences? If she actually did something none of the others would certainly ever manage?

On the other hand, her curiosity was strong and she thought about the mountains and the clouds and a deep force from her heart burst forth. She knew, she would never forgive herself, if she didn´t at least try. Boldly she spread her wings and looked questioningly at the old eagle. With clear and brief instructions he helped the strange chicken to make a short flight onto the fencepost next to his.

The strange chicken had hardly any time to be amazed by this for the old bird cried: “And now, don´t think, just follow your body!” Spreading his wings he let himself drop off the fencepost into the air. With a couple of flaps he rose high into the air above her. The strange chicken had great fear, but slowly she spread her wings and let herself drop, just like she had seen the old eagle do. All of a sudden it seemed as if a magic power was running through her body. The upwind lifted her high above into the air and as if she had never done anything else, she flew after the other bird. As elegantly as her body moved through the air, as inelegantly thoughts and feelings tumbled through her mind:  was she really an eagle? But then she was meant to lead quite a different life than all the other chickens…and yet…from the area of her heart came a powerful feeling of affirmation: she was different from the other chicken, she was meant to have a different life and yes, apparently she was an eagle! The more she permitted this to spread through her consciousness, the lighter her heart became. With every beat of her wings that lifted her higher and the more aware she became of the vastness of landscape and the details of the ground below her at the same time…the more she became exhilarated by the intoxicating realization: “I am an eagle! I am truly an eagle! This is my true nature.”

Suddenly the old eagle plunged down, approaching a mouse nibbling on a wheat ear. The young eagless immediately became daredevil and speeding up her flight she dashed down before the other bird, grabbed the mouse with natural aptitude and flew onto a branch of the tree, where the old eagle was already sitting. She tore the mouse apart with her superbly suited talons and beak and swallowed it with great relish. Only then she started thinking again and was afraid, the unfamiliar food might not agree with her. But the opposite was the case: for the first time food actually seemed to vitalize and strengthen her. The old eagle watched her with amusement: “Ain´t it something else than the usual grain grub, hm?!” The newly initiated bird of prey just nodded and said: “You were right. I am an eagle.” The old eagle laughed: “Great, that you finally noticed it yourself! I am curious how you will convey that to the chickens!” Suddenly the eagless felt really bad. She had completely forgotten the chickens. But not for anything in the world would she have been willing to already go back. So she pushed these thoughts aside and spent a wonderful day with the old eagle. Together they flew through the air and the old bird showed the young one the world and the way of the eagles. When the sun was setting, the eagless was tired and wanted to go home…but was her home still her home?

Cautiously she landed behind the chicken coop and then hopped around to join the other chickens, who were already waiting for the farmer to be shooed into the coop. The hen saw her first and cackled excitedly: “Where on earth were you? I was worried sick! God knows what could have happened to you! We feared the fox may have gotten you with your unhealthy habit to sleep outside at night….What were you thinking?” The eagless lowered her head and quietly said: “I am sorry, that you got worried.” And then, hardly audible, she added: “I was flying!” But the hen didn´t miss it. All ruffled with indignation she said. “You did what?” “Flying…” and then the young bird of prey began telling first slowly but with ever more delight about the tall trees they had circled, the fields and meadows and even the meandering river over which they had flown and the mountains, she had now finally seen up close. But the hen interrupted her: “Rubbish, silly fantasies – you fell asleep somewhere in the sun and you dreamed! This passes! From now on you’ll sleep in the coop again, like everybody else! For U can tell you one thing: you will never be a proper eagle! They cannot live among chickens. They actually eat chicken! They are birds of prey! Predators! Besides, they are alone a lot and have to live terribly lonely and unprotected all by themselves outside and always hunt for their food themselves – I can tell you, no reasonable bird wants to live like that! It is dangerous, reckless, and awfully exhausting! You very certainly don´t want that.” A few of the chickens nodded in agreement with the hen. However most of them hadn´t even listened, but were utterly absorbed by scratching and pecking. The eagless gazed at the flock of chicken she had become so familiar with. Some of them she really liked, they had a fine nature and sometimes even a sense of humor. But…should she really sleep in the coop again? And spend the next day again with scratching, pecking and cackling? The more she imagined this the larger her resistance grew and her clear knowing: she couldn´t do this anymore. She had become a new bird today and would never ever be able to pretend she was a chicken. Not even to make her old friends and relatives feel safer around her.

Something got irrecoverably lost today…but something new, slightly unfamiliar had taken that space: an amazing strength, a magical connection, an infinite love for life she had never known before. She would never, never, never relinquish that again and so she said firmly: “Yes, that´s exactly what I want!” The hen shook her head violently: “Nonsense, you have no idea what you want! Here with us you´re taken care of, protected and loved! That is the most important!” The eagless sighed heavily. “I love you too. But I cannot and do not want to live like you. It is against my true nature.”

And in front of the flabbergasted chickens, she spread her wings and rose high up in the air and with every beat of her wings that carried her further away she knew this was the only right decision. “How can you abandon us like that?” a chicken cried after her and another: “You thankless bitch!” And a third one yelled:  “I always knew, something was wrong with you.” Howver the hen that had raised only whispered to herself quietly: “Then fly, but God speed you.”

The eagless was already too far away to hear it but suddenly she felt that even though she didn´t know where she would sleep tonight or where she would find food tomorrow, life would show her the way to become the best possible eagle she could be. Filled with awe and bliss she flapped her wings a few more times and flew higher and higher further up into the night sky towards the stars.