Places of old

From the Book Of Travels, Vol. 2, Chapter 5: “[..]Time travels? They say there’s no such thing… I disagree. Though, it might be different than people would expect. This is not your old, clichy trip through years forth and back, causing confusing by seeing things unseen so far, or making your own life difficult by travelling back just to stumble across your grandmother in her 20s. It won’t just work like this. Maybe it doesn’t work for everyone, after all. It’s just … different.

Maybe it’s just a matter of places, a matter of a certain mental state, of a certain kind of life to live. But it’s possible, and, same as space and time are continuous, it moves you through time by travelling through space. Essentially, it’s about going back to places of old, to places you’ve used to spend a long time in, until you eventually had or wanted to move on for whichever reasons.

Maybe it will not get you to the future, but it will certainly get you to the past. Take a step back, breathe deep, and see them around… maybe by then you’re about to catch a glimpse of your childhood self, running around in meadows chasing butterflies and grasshoppers under a bright blue sky in what seemed endless summer holidays, school and most of the things to worry about being as far away as the few thin white clouds crossing the horizon. Not yet very much thinking about time slowly moving forth, at the speed of one day per day, on a steady course, carring you with it, ready or not. Wrestling imaginary dragons between skies of blue and fields of green. Chances are it’s a just a vague pictures, schemes from a memory, like old fading prints, but maybe it feels closer, more real in a quiet evening.

Maybe you’ll, by then, also spot your late teenage self. Summer again, but later in any possible way. Proud as can be, most of the schools so far just left behind, including driving school. Cold streetlights. Blue nights. Long past midnight. Unreal perception of suddenly being behind the wheel of a car. Long distance driving, or what you by then used to see as ‘long’. Strange teenage Romeos dressed in leather jackets, jeans, sneakers, searching for both willing Julias and a style of their own while cruising the dark hours of summer. Long nights, early mornings, strange hours of getting to know oneself. Glorious days at least while looking back at them, knowing that a load of things tend to look more glorious in a moment of flashback. For sure it’s a trip back free of sadness or melancholy, free of regret or looking for time spent on nothing all along the way. It’s a trip back being at least content, or even better grateful for things as they were and as they are.

Maybe, yet, there is that crucial moment back then, back there, when that childhood self, that teenage self of yours become aware of your presence for a moment, stop chasing clouds or nighttime birds for a moment, and glance, stare at you, and be it just for a short moment, making you shiver a bit until you see it’s you looking at your current self through their eyes… What would you see? What would they see? How would they see their common later self, at this point in time? Would they be happy, pleased, proud, surprised, glad with how things went? Would they recognize, run for you, embrace you? How much if so?

Maybe it’s no time trip at all. It’s a reflection. A strange trip, or even more just the idea of a trip, flashing through your mind for an infinitely short moment on a sunny afternoon while visiting places of old.”

That’s where the passage ends. So does the flashback, short and intense as it was. He closes the book, and, slowly moving it back to its shelf, gazes out of the window where clouds race by through a stormy day of Spring…

awake for days

Night moving on fast again. Still close to 7 Celsius, seemingly leaving behind another winter that wasn’t. Windows opened wide, to not just hear but merely sense the air cooling down, the wind, the city outside. A fair amount of windows opening to the wide backyard, filling the night with noise, light. Even more noise from the streets on the other side of the buildings. Sleep’s still quite a bit away out here. And so night passes, with time being spent on the things to do late at night. Giving in to these things – wine, strong incenses, music, the dark outside. Not in order to ignore a certain massive understanding of “reality” of these days, and the fear, confusion and complexity it brings. But in order to accept it – and yet leave it aside, filter it out just for a while, break it all down to a bunch of concepts and ideas a little less complex…

Pessoa. Jaccottet. Rilke. Hesse. Written poetry on paper. Annotations, thoughts, vague ideas, written, on paper too. A moment to rediscover skills and interests that seemed lost somewhere all along the way. This is the moment to leave marks on the pages of old newspapers, to do scribbles and sketches , the moment to forget about being totally untalented at doing either of these and to still do so for the sake of it, because it seems appropriate, because there’s a desire of doing so, because it just feels so good for a moment?

And maybe at least that very moment will make for a good photo posted to Tumblr later on, a strange approach to preserving things by having them spread far and wide no matter how ridiculous or personal they might seem or be. That’s, then, what will remain once the morning’s closing in again: An bottle of Merlot, half emptied. Sequences of songs to follow through the day not completely unlike echoes fading away. A bunch of unsorted thoughts, more loose ends for an ever-growing pile of unused fragments of random inspiration. And a handful of grainy, desaturated shots on a carefully filtered timeline.
Starting points for thoughts for the next nights to come.

Beyond the noise

“At some point life just got faster. Attention span seems to be constantly quickening. This is not the age of information but it rather seems the age of data overload, the age in which we all subsequently get lost within the megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes of images, textual content, music, video clips flowing by each and every day. At this point we’re just consumers, there’s hardly time for anything else.”

A simple paragraph of text, not much structure nor meaning. His eyes still on the screen, green on black, letters on a squared writing area. Few lines of text, result of an hour-long write-select-delete procedure, of dealing with the own ability to find the right words in the right language, or to accept things to be written as mere snippets of transient thoughts. Snapshots of a mental landscape in green/black symbols. Distraction-free writing, as they call it. Difficult a state of mind to achieve indeed, even here in this place that provides a certain kind of comfort, a hideout from what seems an ever-accelerating world getting more complicated in as many troublesome ways as possible. Distraction-free writing… What does that eventually mean in days in which going _without_ distractions obviously is the last thing anyone wants? What is this likely to mean in days of some sort of superficial high speed culture, in days in which a load of cultural exchange or dealing with content seems to boil down to pushing little blue thumbs on images, a hundreds a minute? What is this likely to mean while looking at the world through a browser window, 1,000 tabs per session and counting, some of them emitting music, some of them eventually likely to emit video if one would just pay attention? So to set the soundtrack for this stage – simple as that: Just fire up three, four, five, ten, twelve different YouTube tabs, randomize whatever you find, press play times X, get your headphones, lay back. Maybe it won’t be pleasant but at least it would be a confusing and, thus, well-suited soundtrack to what seems an awfully awkward journey through an unsorted structure of data in which a load of meaning, not even talking accuracy or truth, has disappeared to a dark and abandoned corner, all along with any ideas about signal/noise ratio.

It’s a cold and rainy evening outside. That’s the reality in things, right now.
The green and black has disappeared as he powered down his terminal. Night moves on fast, seems he’s running low on battery despite the dimmed-down display. Never mind. Possibly that’s not the only way to run low on battery. Looking out of that other window, he can see reflections on wet roads, cars slowly passing by, a city preparing for another late winter night. Power off, for now.
It’s not just the terminal that needs a recharge…


Woke up screaming – again. Saw cold sweat on my skin glittering in the dim light of the distant city, barely illuminating this narrow sanctuary. Remained silent for a few moments, trying to get breath and pulse rate back to normal before finally removing the wires taped to my head and arms, carefully… Not sure why to get back to this confusing world again, or how often I will still try.

state of confusion

Langsam verziehen sich die Wolken der zurückliegenden Nacht, färbt die Dämmerung den Himmel wie eine Explosion in Zeitlupe. Sanfte Morgensonne trocknet die Reste nächtlichen Regens auf seiner nackten Haut; längst schon spürt er nicht mehr die Kälte, die Müdigkeit, die scharfen Kanten der Steine unter seinen Knien. In der Ferne glänzen die Türme der Stadt im Licht des neuen Tages, und ein milder Wind von irgendwo treibt Staub und Blätter vor sich her. Stille der äußeren Welt, ein willkommener Gegensatz zum lauten Chaos in seinen Gedanken und Gefühlen, seine Tage durchdringend, seine Nächte heimsuchend bis in die Tiefe seiner Träume, seiner fernsten Ängste. Längst, so scheint es ihm, hat er vergessen, wie lang er nun schon an dieser Stelle verweilt, kniend auf der kleinen Anhöhe vor seinem stillen Refugium, die Augen nach vorn, den Blick nach inne gerichtet, Wind, Wetter, Zeit vorüberstreichend.

Wie noch zur Ruhe kommen, als durch den Versuch, eins zu werden mit der Ruhe selbst? Wie die Balance zurückfinden, wenn das System in seinen Koordinaten ächzt und stärker zu schwingen scheint als jemals zuvor? Er atmet durch, tief, kaum befreit. Die Sonne zieht langsam ihre Bahn, unbeirrbar, und er mustert die Fliege, die auf seiner geöffneten Handfläche Platz genommen hat, bevor sie weiterfliegt, in den neuen Tag hinein. Im Großen scheinen die Dinge irgendwie stabiler zu sein als im Kleinen, die Ereignisse verläßlicher, die Antworten … vorhersehbarer, wie auch die Fragen, die sie beantworten?

Meditation, ohne allzu großen Erfolg. Reflektion, kreativ, fast desktruktiv – ebenso. Helfende Substanzen – vielleicht, aber diese Zeiten sind lange vorbei. Selbst der Griff in religiöse Erklärungsmodelle nurmehr ein weiterer Schritt in das Pendeln, in Ambivalenz: Ein Engel? Vermutlich. Aber woher? Aus dem Dunkel, auf dem Weg, ihn zu versuchen, vom Kurs abzubringen, abzuleiten ins Nirgendwo, durch Blumenfelder in ein unwegbares Ödland ohne Wiederkehr? Oder aus dem Licht, gesandt, an ihm zu rütteln, ihn abzubringen von einem Weg, den er, unbeirrlich folgend, seit so langer Zeit niemals in Frage gestellt hat?

Neue Situation, neue Gedanken… Verwirrung, auf breiter Front, und kaum Antworten, nicht einmal Ruhe. Aber immerhin Fragen… Er erhebt sich unsicher… taumelnd, schwindelnd, innehaltend, bis die Muskeln wieder ihre Arbeit zu tun scheinen… und schreitet auf die schwere Holztür zu, heraus aus dem Tag, der sich längst hell, warm, unter einem hochblauen Himmel um ihn herum entfaltet hat. Auf der anderen Seite: Wird geschehen, was zu geschehen hat? Kann er verhindern, was passieren soll? Die Zeit wird es zeigen… Eine Wolke streift sanft den blauen Himmel, während die Tür hinter ihm ins Schloß fällt…