91 year-old Juliane is a doer. Her life is a collection of events that delivered her from war-torn Europe to the salvation of a free country. Her life is the lives of hundreds of people combined into one.
And yet Juliane maintains an unsettling simplicity. There’s a place you want to go with her that you cannot go: within.
While Juliane has traveled the world ten times over, her inner world remains hugely undiscovered. Her speech is simple and her words are precise, but her experience? Her experience is indescribable.
Perhaps that’s the challenge of using language to represent such “an interesting and rich life”: words can only get you so far. And you as the listener, however patient and intent, will only catch moments of sadness–barely perceptible to the human eye—and you will only hear emotion found in the pauses that last one second too long.
For the everyday civilian, Juliane remains a mystery. Our desire to explain her–to understand the grief, love and lost memories in a time of historical significance—merely serves to reflect our own flawed thinking.
Juliane is the mirror, exposing our obsession with answers. For she, herself, is a window into the unknown.
Photo credit: Matt Perko