I was able to speak today with someone who grew up in (west) Germany, and I showed him stickers from my two recent trips to Berlin, the one in 2009 and the other in 2010. He’s lived in the US for the past 30 years, but he talked about aspects of German history and culture that will help me make better sense of the stuff I have been gathering for the past six years.
My favorite quote of the day was, “Tempelhof is a cult like The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” (I’ve got a dozen or so stickers about Berlin’s Hitler-designed Tempelhof airport that protest the ongoing commercial development of the site.)
What struck me again today is that every tiny sticker has a story to tell. Every single one.
Wikipedia (sorry) says this of the Tempelhof airport:
“The airport halls and the neighbouring buildings, intended to become the gateway to Europe and a symbol of Hitler’s ‘world capital’ Germania, are still known as the largest built entities worldwide, and have been described by British architect Sir Norman Foster as ‘the mother of all airports’.”
Stickers speak of past, present, and future, as in the story above and a gazillion others elsewhere. I know it probably sounds stupid, but when you think about it, maybe stickers are like grains of sand in a mandala. Every grain of sand in a mandala is charged with particles of energy that represent time. Stickers are like grains of sand that represent particles of energy – past, present, and future. Sand, stickers, mandalas – all ephemeral.
Who knows. It’s getting a little circular, and I’m tired. I will sleep on it and report back later. In the meantime, here is a(nother) random story to figure out. Who wrote this? Why? What is s/he saying? Why?