Goodbyes in Mannheim
My last three days back here at home have just started. And with "home", I don't just mean Heidelberg and this house I've lived in for the past twenty-six years, but also what has become my second home for the last five years: Mannheim.
At first I was underwhelmed by that city. The castle everybody said was so beautiful looked like a mid-sized museum in Heidelberg where I'd had pottery class when I was a kid, everything was concrete and houses where these big square slabs. But it grew on me. I discovered parks and cafes, and most importantly, met people. Many of them I studied with, some of them I learned with, others I just met a couple of times and never got the chance to really get to know.
And then there's the theatre people. If you've ever went through half a year (or in one case, about a week) of rehearsals for a play and experienced the intensity of what ends up to be a "rush to the performances", you will know why that's so special. Many programmers can experience something similar during the final weeks before a scheduled release. It's just the dedication you have to put into your work, and the special last surge of power you invest in those last weeks to make sure it finishes on time. It's exhilarating, and therefore exhausting. But it is worth every last drop of tears, blood and sweat.
And such an experience fuses a group together. You get to know these people. You see how they are at their best, and at their worst. And you realize that you love them, all of them. And then, a day like today comes along. The day you go to the drama group meeting and know it will be the last time you will be there, as one of them.
I'll miss them, both of "my" drama groups. I'll probably forget many of their names. But I won't, I can't forget the people. I never can. And I'm grateful for that. Keep in touch folks, I'll do the same. And remember: "Wir machen hier Regietheater!"