I miss the life I used to have, or at least the things and moments that could have become something beautiful. Forest walks, playing music by myself on the old wooden bench among soft green hills, brushing horses, and flying kites in the autumn sky when the fields were full of golden stubble. I miss sitting in a small, dim room with a friend singing Irish songs to the few chords I could play on my guitar. I miss how freely I could breathe in the moments I forgot the 95% crap my life was then. I miss girls’ nights spent writing insane stories, watching fantasy movies, making up names, and dreaming of space ships. Winter was full of backyard sled-hills made from buckets of snow, summer was stargazing, family singing in three or four languages at the same time by the fire, and listening to stories on cassette in the gloomy light of glow sticks. I miss wooden sword fights and walking around the garden while hooping. I miss the unspoken promises of adventure, of a life full of jugglers and stories and wandering bards, of science fiction and wonderful worlds, of walking the edge of nature and following stony creeks below thick overgrowth many times more. I can’t remember how to get to those places, I wouldn’t know how to find the ones who would have walked with me back then, how we would sink back into who we once were, who we could have been. I want to cry every time I see the hills, the autumn forests, the open space rolling in waves of green and gold and blue, unlike the flat open landscapes I can go to now. And still I know that what I miss is a fantasy. The songs have been sung, people moved on, the old market shrunk to a joke of itself, creeks have been lost and forgotten, and the horses I knew have grown too old to carry anyone. But we could have had something beautiful. I miss having someone who would reminiscence with me, to write and paint these unspoken dreams of where we were headed for a few short years.
Born in the days of autumn rain and slushy snow, the colour of rain and salty spray of seawater still shows in my eyes. Neither clearly grey nor blue, so I just call it the colour of rain, of steel-blue clouds, of a wall of fog on the mountain side, clinging to the golden trees like a sheet of grey silk. I’m born of rain, and rain is what runs in my veins, steaming and bubbling when meeting the fire flowing from my heart. I’m born of rain, and when I feel blue, blue like rain and fog on a forsaken shore, I’m larger than the sum of my parts, I’m more than one raindrop – I’m a storm, a force of nature, and yet just a drenched figure, huddled between rocks and watching myself pass into the fog. I’m born of rain, and it remains inside and outside of me. There is a cloud following me, watering the thoughts I mindlessly sow in the furrows my inner storm tore open, while I follow a the trail this gale I am is blazing in front of me. Sometimes the thoughts I sow are seeds as blue as a clear-washed sky, sometimes as dark as a thunderstorm rolling heavy with rain. I’m born of rain, and I won’t ever escape what my eyes betray. I’m born of rain, and I’m learning to choose to embrace the clouds, to stuff them with white feather-dreams to make them less heavy, hugging them close like a pillow or a blanket, listening to the rain inside and watching it drawing patterns in my mind, tracing story lines down a window pane in intricate patterns, stories to write down, to escape into like sailing on paper ships across foreign seas, to capture in my cupped hands and watching them spill on crumbling paper, sometimes for myself, sometimes for others to read.
Keep your fairy dust, your pinks and sparkles, your lace and ballet shoes. I have no use for them – I’d rather breathe freely, heavily, sweating and panting but content, than choking on glitter and inhaling the epitome of daintiness. Stay trapped between glossy magazine pages, if you want to. Drink from poisonous words of self-hatred and bird-bone fragile ideals from broadcasted streams of perfect lips, to the dehydration of your ever paling sense of self. When I wear black, it is to match a million stars and provide enough vastness for whole clusters of myriadically coloured nebulae. I wear white, and it is the canvas for my life, my future, to be painted in all the shades of songs, laughter, hopes, fears, grief, joy, success, failure, grounded optimism and meaningful relationships instead of strained efforts to be nothing but happy, living in a cheerful bubble made of denial and digital filters, where performance and pretence replace the art of living. There is no place for pink and powdery pastels in my wardrobe, as even my skin is but a parchment providing space to be inked with maps of adventures yet untold, to count in tiny scars and bruises my encounters with trees and brambles and mock fights. I dance en pointe in sneakers along supermarket aisles, skip through train stations, and do backbends and cartwheels on the dancefloor to feel like myself. I am free when I do the dishes at midnight and chase clouds with my camera at lunch. My fairy kingdom is made of moss and sticks instead of plastic castles, and I’m not a princess but a guard, an explorer, sometimes even a warrior queen hunting for rocks. I’ve been too old to fit into cute clothes since I was able to read excavation diaries and old legends. I tried to dress up, to paint a mask over my freckled pale face. I tried, and all that is called pretty failed me, as it clashed with my shoulders’ harshness, crashed on my collarbones, and shattered like sea-glass on old rocks, creating not the harmony promised by pink packages of perfumed herbal teas but only discord in my eyes, visible for all. The only intersection of my dreams and the ones they try to sell with airbrushed billboards is the wish for a horse, a strong and loyal horse to carry me beyond the end of busy road, to where the reign of media ends and the realm of reality begins.
Wide awake behind closed eyelids, the passion of rapidly firing neurons, flashes of thunderstorm-like consciousness, falling backwards into habits of uneasy dreams at the cutting edge of spiralling hummingbird thoughts and cherry blossoms settling down like moths at sunrise, the sweltering heat of a body-warmed woolen cocoon less comforting than the cold morning air creeping between layers of blankets and skin tingling with electricity.
Sparks of knowledge singing along the wires of nerves and peeling tree bark away until the raw bone-marrow becomes one with sleepy feet retracing icy lines of fleeting sun light, wandering low over the mind’s horizon – stillness of birds on telegraph wires between rooftops, whirring blue sparks recreating whole galaxies at the speed of light multiplied by pi and unfolding into one dimension for every constant and factor ever thought of.
Point of origin, branching out in the shape of a platypus; bloom and sun and winter all at once curling up in twisted ropes of chimney smoke, sky-bound paper ships attracted by singularities, a tidal wave of black holes at the bottom of a mind’s deep ocean, sea-turtle green and lagoon blue, the colours of the spectrum defining speed and amplitude, longitude being as uncertain as flight patterns of mosquitos and latitude as fleeting as bookpages turned, absentmindedly over a long cold cup of coffee.
I’ve been thinking about realising my dream of publishing some of my poetry (especially the haikus/rengas) in some form. What do you think about using kickstarter or some similar way of funding for this purpose?
Anybody interested in an illustrated book with my poems? (Or poems combined with photographs?)
Edit: Somehow I got the feeling that this post is attracting commercial bloggers because of certain keywords. If you are interested in MY stuff and supporting it (and not in getting views/likes on your business), please leave a short comment or send me a note via the contact form.
swing suspended from a tree
time that never was
I have no clue what this is about or where it came from.
I just felt like the world was swaying because I’m so tired (wrote some pages for my thesis tonight) and somehow I got nostalgic. It took me a few moments to remember where I had played on a tree swing – in my grandparents’ garden, I had forgotten about this for many years. No idea why fatigue induced wobbliness triggered subconscious associations with this faded memory. Many of the memories of my childhood and especially school years are very vague or deeply buried, so sometimes it really feels like some segments of time went missing.
imagined world, life
inside a kaleidoscope
blue skies and warm nights
My soul is a wolf, running over winter hills, traces in the snow, starlit;
aurora crowning me in green and gold and blue, ancient star-fire
– running with the storm, the clouds, towards a blood-red moon, dipped in gold and drops of silver,
running, running, breathing icy air, lungs on cold fire,
going, going, keep going, running through nights,
dark and starry velvet curtains parting like nowhere found in city walls, not anymore,
and the wolf keeps running.
Listening to Heather Dale while looking at pictures of beautiful stars, nebulae, and northern lights makes me feel my inner wolf again.
Because it reminds me of the good things in my past – playing the guitar with a friend while singing the German version of this song horribly out of tune (to quote my little sister: she said something along the lines of “the two of you are singing three voices”), riding without saddles on ponies in the forest on a stormy day, meeting a guy friend of mine in a pub to practise talking English, singing and playing Irish songs in a small room at church after youth service on Saturday nights.
And the song fits the mood of one (emotional) landscape in my fictional world. The rider at night, watching the northern lights on the heath, following the polar star, and sleeping under a roof of reed to wake up in cold morning sun over foggy moorlands a day’s ride from home. She could have been me.
We lived the dream;
but the dream was short-lived.
They decided to tear down the walls
that had guarded our nights.
We lived the dream;
and we will fight to live it again.
A new place we will find
to feel alive when gathering at night.
There used to be four nights of capoeira each week, in four different places. I went on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On Thursdays I went (and still go) to youth group instead. Now, the places for Monday and Wednesday classes are gone. Practising just once a week is too little for me, so I’ll have to figure out how to manage the conflicting schedules. Maybe I’ll try alternating – one week going to capoeira class, the next week to youth group.
My biggest fear right now (apart from being scared of failing my master’s thesis) is that the replacement class they (hopefully) will offer once a place is found might be on Tuesdays. On Tuesdays there is choir practise. I don’t know how I would deal with even more conflict between capoeira and church activities. Everything used to fit perfectly last year. Sure, I came home late at night five or six days a week, but I was happy.
I want to be part of both worlds. I don’t want to have to choose. To me it’s not just about faith vs. personal hobbies. It’s about friendship and belonging somewhere. Maybe I could go to a home group on Mondays instead of youth group – that particular home group is a sub-group of our youth group, so that might be an option. In the future I might join the capoeira association our instructor belongs to; right now I lack the money; and their schedule includes very late classes at the moment (I don’t want to be at home after 11pm on a weekday), which hopefully will change again. Sure, I could try to find a different group closer to my home, but I’d like to practise with my friends.
Part of it. I woke up with this song in my head today.