For me, the last year was one of firsts. Working every day for the first full year, paying taxes every month – also to the Catholic Church, camping and going on my first pilgrimage, taking Arabic and Saxophone classes, reading holy texts and at least one book every month, leading my first workshop – I tried to use my capacities responsibly and intentionally. And eventually, the sense of sobriety turned into a buzzing ecstasy; I was becoming an adult, and I was getting hooked!

However, around me, this year has also been one of death, war, international weapon and munition trade, religious persecution, mass displacement and migration, fences and walls, broken contracts, the Brexit, the election of Mr. Trump, the ubiqutous rise of populism. International news headlines were filled with doubt-inducing drama, prostituting people for political prospects. Sarcasm chopped up sunsets and eventually, only a deep sadness still roamed the regions. No matter where I looked.

These schizophrenic tensions are palpable, potently strong enough to evict peace and hope from a lot of places. It has become a bleak abode around here.

And yet, the piece of writing below gives an urgent directive toward openness again, orienting around community once more.

Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.

(from Psalm 24,7)

…And many others.

So even if I am not sure yet what my place in all of this is in the long run, I am sure that firstly, the place does not belong to merely me. But in order for us to be here together, which we already are anyway, we need to make room for rules and rights. And – we might as well make it enjoyable, because time is running out anyway!