I am safe

I am safe

The end of the eclipse.

You see, it is one thing to face the Beast and KNOW that you’re alone. When you KNOW that no one has your back, you never even attempt to glimpse over your shoulder to find support. You face the Beast head on. Then, maybe, maybe the Beast is puzzled by your grim determination. Maybe, maybe it is unsettled by your fearless, fierce smile. And maybe, maybe it backs off.

On the other hand, it only takes the tiniest flutter of your eyelids, the tiniest movement of your head to see if someone is behind you to protect  you. When you return your gaze to the Beast, it will know. It will look at you with the terrible grin of victory. It has seen you. It has seen the void where you looked for backup. It knows. You’re dead. And the humiliation, the pain and the torture are infinitely more intense.

This is the land of belief I created in my mind a long time ago. It’s a terrible place to dwell. But here’s the thing. It works when you follow it without hesitation.

I feel safe in the face of danger

This is the belief that made me run head on into danger without batting an eye. It made me call the Commander of the Israeli Army in charge of the Gaza Strip and tell him I was from the German public TV, so he better call back his boys as I wanted to inspect the area of a proposed treatment plant. This belief made me pretend I had power and authority when the paramilitaries stopped me in the Colombian mountains. It made me tell lies so bold and outrageous that nobody ever dared to doubt them.

It also made me live my life on the edge for a long time. I only began to relax on the wheel when the needle hit 150km/h. I felt safer in the Colombian mountains, in the depths of the Amazon, in Palestinian war territory, because I knew I was in a dangerous place. I knew I was alone. I knew I always close to hazards.

Those places were much safer than home. Every time I hit home I could feel my tension rising with anxiety and threat. Home, the place where people leave their houses unlocked. Where people can pick a newspaper from a box and leave their change without anyone watching, and the system actually works.


The place I could fall prey again to the illusion that I was safe.

Then I had my first child. And I knew I couldn’t live my life at 150km/h anymore. I didn’t want to take my child to war territory, through narcotraffic routes and into deserts without water.

I have three daughters now. And I’m taking on the biggest of my fears. I’m about to settle down. I stop running.

It’s time for a new belief. I am safe. All the time. Wherever I am.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *