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Elf Tränen

On the coat of arms of Cologne, there is a depiction of eleven drops or flames, symbolizing
the 11.000 sacrificed virgins in the legend of Saint Ursula, the patron of the City.

When you cry, you shed tears. When the tears fall into a river, they will become part of the river. The river flows a long way, washing stones, over and over again. After a very long time, the stones will become smaller, round and get a smooth surface. Strange, exactly the opposite way to how the man grows. Well, the stone is not human. But it can remember. It carries its memories from its birth, probably thousands or millions of years ago. It carries its old stories as it rolls and gets smaller, until it becomes a grain of sand. And one day, it disappears.

So, if you find a small round stone on a seashore, it may remember the tears, that caressed it at the bottom of the river. The stone might have heard the story of the one who cried. Then, it would be possible that the stone knows how the one looked like, or at least how the eyes looked, from which the tears fell. Therefore, it is not a surprise, if the stone carries the memory of the eyes.

But what happens to the tears after leaving the stones behind and arriving where the river ends? They reach the ocean. They would feel fine there, in the cradle of waves, tasting salty again. They let themselves float under the sun and the moon, up and down, as ebb and flow come and go. Day and night, from one season to the next. When the wind and current push them, they will carry on from one continent to another. And one day, they also disappear.

When you look up and find a cloud, that has the shape of an eye, there must be the tears up in the cloud telling the stories of the one who cried. Possibly, these tears are also tellimg us about the stones they once met in the river. It might seem difficult sometimes to imagine a stone in the sky, but if you look very carefully and wait patiently, you will surely find one. A small round stone, floating, held in the cloud. You will witness the moment when the stone meet the tears again, above in the heaven, a reunion after a long journey.

But the reunion won’t last long. All these good things never last, correct? Nothing really stands still in this world. Everything’s moving all the time. And so are the tears and the stones. When two clouds meet, they will become one. They keep meeting, growing, getting larger and heavier. Then, a big cloud will turn into many rain drops and fall, to touch the ground and form a river. And one day, when someone cries and the tears fall into the river, they will meet the stones at the bottom of the river, caressing them as they flow.

— Hiro Matsuoka

© 2020