Lebenskünstler

I am dedicating my life to see the beauty in all things and I hope I can inspire others to do the same .

In 2015, I graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelors degree in Environmental Science.  Photography and videography have been a life-long passion of mine ever since my dad first handed me a VHS camera to help film a home video on a camping trip.  Now I use it to document the people that surround me today.  But I can't talk about myself without mentioning my mentor. 

My dad, Volkmar Risch, died of cancer when I was 12 years old.  He immigrated to the United States from Germany and was known by many as a "Lebenskunstler" which translates to "Life-Artist." It describes a person who manages to deal with problems in life in a positive and artful way.  His last words of advice to me were "celebrate life." 

 

With his monetary help and spiritual guidance I set out to build a home out of a 2006 Sprinter van in 2017.   It serves as my sanctuary, my office, and a mobile speaker system for community events.  To this day, I find it to be a useful tool in honoring my father's farewell wish.  

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Story of God :-)

When God, after hesitating for a long time, went home once again, it was nice; "heat and "perfect" weather! And the first thing God did, was: he pushed the windows wide open to get fresh air into his little house. And God thought: before having dinner I'm gonna have a little short walk - and he ran down the hill towards the village of which he knew exactly that it was there. 

 

And the first thing, that struck God, that there in middle of village - something had happened during his absence, that he didn't recognize. In the middle of the place there stood a substance with dome and an arrow, which pedantically pointed up.  And God ran with giant steps down the hill, raced up the monumental steps and found himself in a quelling, cold-wet, half dark, muddy room!

And this room was draped with a lot of strange pictures, many mothers and their child with a ring over the head and an almost sadistic statue of a man on a lath-scaffold. And the room was lit by a number of oily, yellowish-white, chamois-dripping substance, from which was leaking light. He also saw an unbelievable amount of little fellows running about with dark-brown and black dresses and thick books under tired arms, which smelled musty even from a distance. 

"Come to me please! What is this here?"

"What is this here! This is a church, my friend. This is the house of God"

"Ahh... if this is the house of God, my boy, how come there are no flowers blossoming, why is there no water running, and why is the sun not shining in here, young fellow?" 

"...that I don't know."

"Are there many people coming here, boy?"

"It has been running low lately."

"And why does that happen do you think? Or don't you think?"

"It is the devil. The devil has driven into people.  People think nowadays that they are God themselves and prefer to sit on their behind in the sun."

And God ran outside, happily whistling a song, from the church onto the place. There he saw on a bench a little guy sitting in the sun. And God slid next to the little man, crossed his legs and said: "...colleague!"

May 13, 1981

-Volkmar Risch

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