This month the theme of PonderingTime is “Farewells”. Thinking about the topic, Bernhard Schlafke finally found the following photo stories.
four pictures from Bernhard Schlafke
farewell Separation: Fare-well Gender: masculine [farewell] English: farewell Spanish: despedida Russian: прощальный Hebrew: פרידה Japanese: 別れ Arab: وداع Goodbye, just a word. A word for deep feelings. Feelings that bring about change. A word for a dark path and the hope of light.
Up and away Where he came from, they didn’t’ talk about. He arrived by bike, filled with two saddlebags. She had been alone for seven years, dreaming drainless tears in the laundromat into the wildly spinning laundry drum. He had kindly asked her if she also smoked. Although she hadn’t smoked for seven years, she had gone outside and inhaled the smoke full of pleasure. His smell, his voice, his closeness had become everyday life. Seven weeks. Last night he was very restless and when he got up, he hummed the melody of one of their favorite songs, a song of the rock band “Creedence Clearwater Revival”, „Put a candle in the window, but I feel I’ve got to move. Though I’m going, going, I’ll be coming home soon, ‘Long as I can see the light. Pack my bag and let’s get movin’, ’cause I’m bound to drift a while. Well I’m gone, gone, you don’t have to worry no, ‘Long as I can see the light… “ She looked after him for a long time and thought maybe….
No, it was not the wide empty space, not the uncertainty that had made him uneasy when she told him in her typical calm voice. No, he was overwhelmed by the truth that something indescribably beautiful would come to an end and never return. When the door fell into the lock, he felt the empty expanse and his reflection in the cool glass of the window pane…
She leaves every night. Sort of. Not always photogenic. Always on the horizon, beginning to glow in the morning, and on the down side of the day, setting in the opposite. When he left, he had exceeded eighty years of age, was born in Kaiser’s times, had barely escaped the boiler of Stalingrad, worked with the truck on the economic miracle, coached the connoisseurs in a bus to the Gulf of Naples and later brought in the big Mercedes bosses from appointment to appointment, on the new highways of the present days. How many sunsets he had experienced and where, he could not count, yet he raved about it whenever he had the time. Then he sat down on the stool, opened a bottle of beer and played the harmonica. When he left, he had been lying in bed for a long week motionless and silent. Two hours before sunrise I played the “snow waltz” on the harmonica at his bed side. He left at dawn. He went into the sunrise…
As an artist Bernhard Schlafke travels in many fields. At PonderingTime he presents his pictures from the most diverse directions as a painter. A passion which he has been pursuing for decades now and which he passed on to others in the KreAktivWerkstatt in Dülmen, Westafalia, Germany, for example, of which he is also the founder. Incidentally, this activity is also a project within the framework of open-youth-work-support, in his home country.