Monthly Archives: July 2014


1985 confirmation with grandma

My dear grandma Frida. In the picture, I am sixteen and Grandma is seventy-four. She was the steady rock of my childhood. Frida survived two world wars. The love of her life got run over by a train, shortly after they married each other and had a child. In the very conservative Germany of the 1930s, she raised the little girl all by herself, then found another man who was very kind to her, married her, and gave her another child – my father.
Her daughter was taken from her due to a surgeon’s error. He was supposed to simply take out the appendix of the young woman, but in the process cut her liver, causing her untimely death.
Frida’s then only son married a woman who, due to her many neuroses, made my Grandma’s life a living hell for many years to come.
No matter what happened, however, Grandma stayed strong, positive, supportive, with unshakeable good humor and compassion. She was my sanctuary. No matter how much trouble I had, getting accepted by my peers, Grandma let me know without a doubt, I was a good person and worthy of being loved.
In her eighties, Frida broke her hip bone and in a gradual decline lost her good health. One evening, we sat together and looked out the window at the full moon. Already only skin and bones, barely able to lift her fork, she gazed out the window with a smile on her face and said, “Isn’t it a beautiful world we live in?”
My amazing Grandma, her strong heart and soul, will always remain my greatest inspiration.

It’s for Life

the thing i was born to do

Very early on, I started writing short stories and poems. It seems, I have started writing my first book at precisely the right moment… and in the process am finding meaning. I love how writing makes me happy, while at the same time enabling me to give something back to the world. It’s for life. I don’t think I will ever stop writing now.

Gliding through the Depths

2005 liam and whale shark cake

The ocean – vast, energetic, calming, countless shades of turquoise and blue, salty, invigorating, and simply enchanting. For many years, I had been less than beautiful whenever I immersed myself, looking much like a drowning poodle. When I finally became an Advanced Open Water diver, something clicked. In a matter of days, I went from wearing nine pounds of weight to zero. I will never forget the freedom of being truly weightless, silently gliding through the depths. In my room, I was greeted by a whale shark cake. One of my best friends in Switzerland had contacted the hotel in the Maldives and asked them to bake it for me. What a beautiful gesture of support from afar! I ran to the kitchen to organize plates and soon my fellow diving students, our instructor, and I celebrated our success in style.

The Bright Red Sweater

2005 liam and babas dad

Sometimes we meet people for only moments, and they inspire us our whole lives. In 2004, I met the gentleman in the red sweater at a birthday party. He was the retired dad of the birthday girl, and had just hit seventy years of age. Being a true Swiss mountain boy, he had never left his home country until he reached retirement. Not long after his last day at work, when he was sixty-five, he informed his family, he would go on a trip. The adventurous senior packed a small backpack and took a plane to Sydney. Not speaking a single word of English, he followed a group of teenage backpackers to a hostel. An idea formed in his mind, and a few days later he asked them, if they wanted to buy an old car together and drive through Australia for a few months. They could help him get around. He had been a mechanic his entire life. In exchange for their help, he would make sure their car survived the trip. They all ended up exploring Australia for many months, in a rusty old van, having the time of their life together. During our short conversation, my friend’s charming dad had us all in awe with his tale. Whenever I am scared to face the unknown, I remember this friendly, positive, old man in his bright red sweater, and off I go, happily plunging ahead towards new horizons.

The Road Not Taken

2003 road not taken

In 2003, I asked one of my friends to transform my entire apartment into a work of art. I gave him the poem “The Road not taken” and trusted his imagination. My friend came up with an intriguing graffiti, transforming the walls of my entire home into a colorful wonderland. His visual story culminated in this piece, on the living room wall. Robert Frost’s poem crossed my path when I was just fifteen. I believe in the road not taken. I believe in seizing the moment and exploring life. Sometimes great, sometimes hard, I wouldn’t want to miss any of the experiences I was fortunate to make so far.