The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

Chapter 27 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part III

7

Two Letters and a Poem

129

Meal Time on the Ryndam – Adolf, Eka and Peter at the Back

April 28th, 1965 Le Havre

           My dear Biene,

           We just left Le Havre and are heading towards England. Thousands of impressions hit me all at once. I feel as if I had already been on board  for a very long time. It is wonderful. Yet, I am restless, because you cannot experience all this with me. I would like describe to you how a typical day is panning out for us travelers. The tinkling of bells wakes us up in the morning. It also reminds us in this gentle way to show up for breakfast soon. Then I climb down the ladder. For I sleep in the upper bunk, while Adolf sleeps below. We can shower or take a bath for as long as we like.  Then we march off to the dining room. Never before have I seen a greater variety of food. When we return to our cabin, the steward has already made our beds. The cabin is very small, and if one had to share it with a stranger, it definitely would  not be a pleasant experience. We all have our own peculiar habits, which someone else would have to get used to.

124

Shuffle Board on the Sun Bathed Deck

          The entertainment program is so rich and varied that one does not know which item to choose first. You can watch English movies, go to the library, play all kinds of games. The big hit here is shuffleboard. After lunch you can attend a concert, go dancing in the evening or have a beer in the bar. And now I experience all this without you! That makes me a little sad and pensive. When I turn melancholic, I gladly withdraw from all these fun activities and write in my travelogue.

          Oh this heavenly weather! People are presently sun bathing and the sea is not rough, not even a trace of a swell. I want to experience a real storm. But my brother says that it will come soon enough, if I am really that keen on getting seasick.

134

Peter Strumming on his Guitar

          Your picture stands on my little desk. When at night I look down to you from my bed, I feel infinitely happy. I wished I could do the voyage all over again with you one day, when I have enough money to pick you up in Germany.

In a few days you will begin your studies, whereas I while away the time here onboard doing nothing. Tackle your academic work as if you had never applied for the stewardess program and as if you pursued a life’s career. You should know that you can help me also as a trained teacher, perhaps later assist me for a little while, in case my own studies should be dragging on.

          What would I give to be able to kiss you now! Until next time greetings to you and your parents!

          Your Peter

           On the same day Biene also wrote me a letter, which of course I was unable to read, until I arrived at my brother’s place in Calgary. I only included excerpts here to avoid breaking the chronological order of the family history.

April 28th, 1965 Velbert

           My dear Peter,

           Again you have made me cry. But don’t you worry, Peter. I did not have to cry out of sorrow (it was only lingering at the back of my mind), but from an overwhelming feeling of joy, happiness and unfathomable love. I listened to your guitar music  and to your voice on the record you had sent me. I could not grasp it! I just sat there, and tears were streaming down my cheeks. I once read that only a few people really understand how to say good-bye, and you knew how, Peter. Never will I forget this!

Dear Peter, now you have been on board for one day and with every minute you are getting closer to your destination. And when you read this letter, the long sea voyage and the road trip across Canada will already be behind you. Tell me Peter, isn’t it an incomprehensible feeling to be on the high seas and to experience the vastness and beauty of the ocean? When I experienced the sea for the first time, I was deeply moved. It was in the year we had met. My family and I were spending our vacation on the island of Corsica. Toward evening we had landed on the island. It was already night, when we reached our vacation village at the sea after an adventurous trip through the mountains. Completely exhausted we immediately fell into a deep sleep, from which I awoke unusually early in the morning. In eager anticipation to finally cast my eyes onto the sea, I quietly sneaked out, because my brother Walter was still fast asleep. Outside the air was cool and still. The sun had just risen above the horizon. The beach spread before me still completely untouched. I went a few steps down the slope and then I took in the full view of the sea! Somehow I was like in trance and could not move another step forward. Although the view was overwhelmingly beautiful, the infinite vastness also instilled in me a little bit of fear. I sat down very quietly in the sand and remained there, until the first beach guests, who frolicked in the water, broke the charm that had kept me spellbound. You alone, dear Peter, would not have dispelled the magic atmosphere.

          Inspired by her memories Biene wrote the following poem and entered it into the Book of Dreams.

The Sea

 I will forever love the sea,

Even when the gulls scream

Above thousands of storm-tossed waves.

I love the play of colors in the surf,

The billowing clouds, the sun, the warm sand, …

Oh Peter!

How much would I like to sit with you

On a lonely beach, at the sea

With its music

Rather than being

Separated from you

So infinitely far away

On the other side of the ocean.

On board of the Ryndam I also romanticized the sea as if in response to her letter that I had not even read yet.

7 thoughts on “Chapter 27 of the Peter and Gertrud Klopp Story – Part III

  1. jeannettepaterakis

    Dear Peter,yours and Bienes writing were so alive,it was like a film for me.I could exactly imagine how your life and worries were going on.Difficult moments full of uncertainity.Thanks for sharing with us these important moments .I wish you and Biene all the best.Many warm greetings from Crete

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Thank you, Jeannette, for kind and understanding comment! Challenges and obstacles need to be faced in our life’s journey and be overcome to be successful in the end. This story is no exception to the rule. Amor vincit omnia!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Edda

    Der Beginn eines neuen Lebensabschnittes!
    Der Gedanke an eure gemeinsame Zukunft hat euch ja die Kraft gegeben, alles mutig in Angriff zu nehmen.Das finde ich heute noch bewundernswert .
    Es ist schön,das alles nachlesen zu können .
    Und ihr habt es ja geschafft-das wissen wir!👍👍
    Herzliche Grüsse an euch beide!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter Klopp Post author

      Ja, ihr wisst, wie die Geschichte ausgeht. Da kann man sich beim Lesen schon trösten, wenn nun die lange Trennung beginnt. Doch es stehen uns noch fruchtbar schwere Zeiten bevor. Nur so viel will ich hier nur andeuten, liebe Edda.

      Like

  3. Bun Karyudo

    The letters you sent to each other are very touching. I’m afraid the emails I send to my wife from the airport if ever I leave the country alone are very, very poor by comparison. 🙂

    Like

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