Jesper Juul

Oktober 2014

As many of you know I have been through a rough patch for almost two years now.

Here is my status:
A month ago I moved back home to my old apartment in Odder, which my local social welfare authorities has been generous enough to reconstruct in ways, which makes it manageable for a person in a wheel chair. Getting out of the institutionalized settings has improved my well-being and my spirit and has also confronted me with the life I’m going to have for many years to come.

I will spare you many unpleasant details from the past 6 months and just summarize status. I’m confined to either a hospital bed or my electric wheel chair, depending on 4-5 hours of professional care a day and most daily activities like cooking, shopping etc. takes a lot more time than 2 years ago. It is however an immense joy to be able to prepare and eat decent food, which has taste, smell, texture and soul. Another few months on mass-produced food and I would have become anorexic.

Moving back home was a nightmare of chaos and I survived only because my son Nicolai was able to live with me and establish some order – empty boxes and filling other. On top of this my grandson Alex was living here for almost a fortnight, which has been another blessing. Three generations of guys, who are as similar in personality as we are, is a beautiful experience.
On top of this good old friends have been helping me with big and small things and generously lending their time and skills

I slowly began to wonder why is did not get any easier for me to live here in spite of the fact that 90% is now in order. Just this morning I woke up with the realization that it is because that although the apartment and city is mine it’s not home. Over the past fifteen years I have mentally, emotionally and physically uprooted my existence and developed new and very strong roots in Croatia and especially Istria (The only place in the world where I ever really felt at home). I was prepared to spend the rest of my life there and change my citizenship, sell the apartment etc. All this is now out of the question and I must develop new roots if I can? At least I know now that I’m neither depressed nor lazy, just unhappy.

I was born with the blues and it’s still there. Must try to write new lyrics.

I have done my first on-line supervision- and counseling-sessions and it works out very well. 

I have been asked to write a few forewords for new books in Denmark and Germany and I have given extensive interviews to a few magazines. Starting November I’m engaged as one of three “experts” by Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin for a monthly feature called “Familientrio”. So all in all I’m having a slow and good start in my new professional life.
It has become clear to me and others that my role in the leadership of FamilyLab International must change and at the moment the whole group of dedicated national leaders is working on a structure, which can serve the needs of the organization better than I’m able to do. From the very beginning of FLI this was my plan although I would have preferred to wait a few years! Who knows – maybe it is even a bit late to do it now?

A few months ago I began to write a list of things, places, activities and people I have lost due to my medical condition, but after the number got into 3-digits it became meaningless. I’ll let my old friend – American jazz musician Ben Webster – inspire me with one of my favorite tunes “I guess I’m gonna hang out my tears to dry.”

My voice is still very weak and might not improve. I can manage face-to-face conversations when my partners are patient and sometimes even Skype, but that’s it as far as verbal communication is concerned.

Copyright © Jesper Juul