Participant’s Blog: Anna Hanschmidt

I am sitting on the train from Amsterdam to Berlin, I see the landscapes fly by, I can see people around me, some are reading, smiling, others sleeping. – Sleeping. This sounds like a good plan, my body says. But my heart and my mind are so awake that I decided take this energy and write this text. At this moment I feel like I am travelling through worlds. Yesterday I co-facilitated with some of my colleagues from Knowmads International Business School an event about alternative education and now I am going back to Germany to sail away in 2 days with over 30 people from all over the world that I hardly know. But I can feel that there is a certain kind of unity in our heartbeats- we are all change makers, facilitators, finders, searchers and alive.

And we are youths and elders.

While sitting here, I am thinking of what brought me here, in this train, the brings me back home to then sail on Sunday till next Sunday with all these people from Germany to Poland. And here I want admit that there is no such thing as a rational reason for this. I just go with the flow, the feeling, the intuition- following the call. Sure, I red the homepage of  the youth and elders project from down till up and up till down- and all I felt was a voice inside myself that screamed „finally“. On this train ride I want to try to hear beyond this “finally“- so I invite you to sail in the waves of my thoughts and feeling about the words/topics/ … „youth“ and „eldership“ with me…

Youth: I guess, I am part of this. This time, this feeling, this Moment. Referring to my birthday I am 21 years , 9 months and 19 days old, some people say that this is quiet young, other say „you have still so much time“. But I ask myself, how can they say this? Does youth then mean „be confused today and start to live tomorrow?“ For me youth means: living the now. This is the only time I have to create myself, my life, my love. May be I can plan till tomorrow; dream till the day after tomorrow but life is calling me to live, now, now and now. Every now has a beginning and an end, all the starts and ends are connected by the infinity of time. Now the suns is shining on my nose, now the clouds are hiding the sun again. Youth for me is the awareness of the Now. It’s believing that a summer can last for a life time. It’s the trust on curiosity, it’s the trust that the wings will appear during I am falling. Whether I will fall on soft ground or learn to fly. Youth for me means:  now and  (n)ever.

Eldership: I would like to share a short story connected to this topic with you: When I was younger I used to climb the highest tress in the forest next to our house. I used to ran completely wild and free in our garden, I was swinging that high till the point of „and now I can fly“ I jumped, flew and fall. So I was sitting on the ground, tears were running down my cheeks . In a distance I saw my granny sitting on the balcony and I heard her say: Come, little one, come. And I stood up again, tried to run as fast a possible with a wounded knee. I stumbled up the stairs, into her flat and directly into her arms. And then I started to let all the tears flow. And she just hold me, whispering in my ears „everything will be fine anna, everything will be just fine. The pain goes away and tomorrow you will fly again.“

What Eldership means to me? That there is somebody who understands me, who can help me holding all my wildest adventures with me, that there is somebody who is letting me be. Eldership for me is deeply connected with patience. I found somebody who expressed almost exactly my thoughts of what I learned from some of the elders ( not olders!) I meet so far on this planet, Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote in the letters to a young poet:

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” 

These are just little insights in my feelings towards eldership and youth. Well, this is what it is for now. Looking forward to get to know you all,

With bright and good feelings,


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