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Samstag, 22. April 2017

growing into a new fragility

Why do we escape to daydreams and thought up stories?
Why do we keep playing out different scenarios in our heads to a degree where it is actually exhausting? 
Why do we all like to avoid reality so much?
A big part of growing up is realizing that there is a gap between how the real world actually is and how the world should be. Most people react with helpless confusion or philosophical melancholy once they become fully aware of that matter. Actually a lot of people aren’t fully aware of that matter, they just get an idea that there is something deeply wrong with this world and since everybody around them seems to be fine, there must be something deeply wrong with them. So they escape. Some escape into work, some to foreign countries and others simply escape into daydreams and stories. Stories and dreams are maybe the only remaining echo of our childhood-wishes. The wish to be part of a better world belongs to our earliest phantasies. Phantasies that were about opening secret doorways to Narnia, finding mystical objects in attics and being picked up in the middle of the night by friendly pirates on flying ships. 
All these scenarios we keep running over in our heads and all the dreams we keep stored safely in our minds tend to feel like great science fiction from time to time. They are impressive and detailed and insightful and they keep us going. They might even keep some of us alive. Unfortunately the more you grow up the more you realize they are not as accurate as you thought they were, but science Fiction never is. We didn’t have a Space Odyssey, we are still waiting for real hoverboards and Los Angeles will never look like the dark, rainy, neo noir version of Blade Runner. 

In the end all the scenarios and dreams are nothing more like anxieties and a ways to deal with them. We are afraid we won’t fit in, we are afraid we’ll end up alone and most of all we are afraid of growing up. So we escape to our childhood worlds once in a while to feel safe and regain a sense of wonder. I think we share those anxieties and cooping mechanisms with everyone. So we’ll never be alone actually, it’s just that no one likes to admit their flaws and anxieties. No one likes to show weakness. No one likes to be vulnerable and fragile. If we could just be honest with the world and ourselves. If we could just let go of all the masks and veils of adulthood, we would grow into a new kind of fragility together. We would be united in our anxieties and wouldn’t that grant the kind of stability we all need to close the gap between how the world is and how it should be? To feel united in something - a feeling - to gain the strength to truly steer this world in a better direction. To change this world to the world we imagined as children. 
Full of beauty and magic.

photography by dep schwedhelm and me.

Sonntag, 19. Februar 2017

Camomile tea (f)or disciplined Collapsers

I often come to think that childhood is our last hideaway from reality and in that, one of 
our last sources of simple wisdom and infinite magic. When retrieving back to that place you sometimes find the easiest, most simple and most obvious answers. Answers and solutions you weren’t thinking of before. You weren’t able to see, because you were too covered up and surrounded by your daily routine and everyday responsibilities. 
Remember, when you were little and sick in bed how your mom made you camomile tea, read stories to you and tucked you in. Even though you were sick, there was never a sense of doom, a sense of forsakenness and endless suffering. You always knew and felt that there was an end to all this. That the camomile tea would heal your fever, medicate your sickness. 
I wish, there was camomile tea and stories for a broken heart. Something that could take the edge of the pain, something that could make it easier, speed up the healing process before time evidently heals this broken, shattered to a million little pieces heart of mine.     
I had always assumed that when this relationship ended, it would end with a certain gracefulness, a sad and thoughtful charm, a tender farewell. Unfortunately this is never the case, is it? In fact we feel too much. We don’t just feel our own pain anymore, but we start to be preceptive for the pain of the world and every living thing in it. We start to see all the cracks and bruises. Every little detail that seems to be wrong with this universe. The world acquires a tendency to crumble as easily as a soda cracker and you find yourself horribly susceptible to small animals, different shades of light, songs played late at night over lonely radios. It becomes particularly dangerous to go near movies in which children call for wise monsters and crippled girls are healed by the unselfish love of impoverished bellhops. Everybody and everything seems to breath melancholy. We are in fact so receptive for pain and suffering that we eventually start to feel overwhelmed. This state of mind, this state of feeling everything, feeling too much, finally, makes us experience a sensation of unreality as acute as never having felt at all. It is becoming painful to see. It is becoming painful to breath. It is becoming painful to think. Suddenly there seem to be whole areas inside us we have to be careful of. Our mind, like a paw, winces away from certain sharp recollections. 
Sometimes I think, the only thing we haven’t lost is the ability to suffer. We’re fine and in ease at suffering. But it’s such a silent suffering. We never disturb the neighbors, our friends or parents with it. We collapse, we collapse even daily but we collapse in the most disciplined ways. That’s us. That’s certainly us. The disciplined collapsers. And because we suffer, we think we loved, for the suffering is the proof, the testimony of a heart that was able to feel such love. The thing is, the problem maybe, that when we have suffered long enough we step by step, moment by moment adjust to the idea that we have always suffered, and that it was never any different, and a sort of mocking health is eventually achieved. So we keep walking, we keep working and we keep living, thinking that everything will be fine in the end. All we have to do is to stand up straight long enough. I think, that after all nothing can save us but a good fall. It’s the act of staying up there on the wire, balancing ourselves with that trivial parasol and being so pleased with terrifying an audience, that’s finishing us eventually. 

Don’t you agree? A great fall, that’s what we need.

photography by leon antonio james and me.