Several seconds passed. We were among the last to leave the botanical garden. It was a beautiful evening. The trip was magical too. All of it. Wonderful. The grass looked reddish because of the light coming from the open windows of the building behind us. My shoes were wet at the heels from the burst blisters. The air was filled with the right kind of magic. Here was the center of the universe. One of them. One of the infinite number of them. In the unlimited space there has to be an unlimited amount of centers. Was I glad to be at this particular one.
February 2005 Archives
the tulips i just brought home already opened up and are now staring at me from the place by the phone. The heater is making noise as if this here were the scene in some horror movie just seconds before the writer in the dark gets seriously hurt. A christmas card from Poland arrived this evening. It must have tried to hide somewhere, as if was folded in strange ways. I left the how to kick people show during the break, as i was too hungry to stay. Oh, and cold. Did I mention cold? It is rather cold out there right now. But the tulips opened up, the heater is going, most beautiful letters and emails arrive and I just know that with every one of these days the spring is coming closer and closer. Soon the buds outside of my window will explode with an almost neon green firework, the sky will be more blue then ever, there will be loud birds outside of my window. Any day now. Any night. It is getting a bit late again. But the tulips are open, the heat is on, mail arrives. What a beautiful world this can be... sometimes...
Imagine that you pick up a book from your book shelf and you begin to read the book and then there is an awareness of somebody else in this world having just picked up the same book. And you are able to see what they see, the exactly same words, word after word after word. For several days perhaps. The location is different... how about the time. Is the time different? What if you could open a book and there would be the awareness of all instances of this book ever being opened on the same page. And in all translations? It would be a cloud of words streaming through a group glued together by page after page after page. Somewhere in the back of the gigantic vertigo of perceptions would be the author, writing the words, one by one, by one, not really in a linear fashion at all. Some words being older than others. Some words really being something else, not actually even written by the author. Or were any ever? On a much smaller scale, imagine being able to see all of the readers who moved their eyes over this and this and this word today. All of them who stopped for a brief moment to try to somehow pronounce the word: Standpunkt. And some of the readers could just include the word in their perception of the text, while others would feel locked out to some extend, that missing word, that missing word, a last locket that made them stumble. And what makes them then think that there are no other words hidden in the text that are equally stumbling blocks, or maybe just rough round stones of words that should have made them stumble but did not? And what about the words not actually written? Several hundred eyes will glide over these lines, one by one by one, assembling words to very quick, seemingly instant translations into a voice in them, and maybe more readers began to read the entry than will end reading it. Maybe many of the readers will be disappointed that certain elements here are missing. Certain readers will be incredibly disappointed that this entry does not include images, compressed, quickly downloadable images of things or other images... And the entry does contain so many of them, except that they are invisible to the quickly scanning eye, they open up to the one who is able to somehow align their point of view with something compatible with the combination of words here. And then this entry can open hundreds of images, more, many more. There are images here, put in deliberately, and then there are all the images that are only visible to one person at a time. There are the peripheral images that happen outside of this window even, outside of this screen even, the images that are stored out of sight to others even. This page looks the same and yet completely different to every single user. Not only because there are so many versions of the page rendered for everyone individually, but because this page is just a spark that falls onto completely different grounds. So imagine that you pick up a book from a shelf and there they are, the words, written one by one by one onto the page and each one of the words has been looked at, has been blessed with attention by hundreds, by thousands, by millions perhaps. And if you imagine the variety of contexts possible and the locations possible and the voices possible in which the words were read and then multiply all this by the ability of the voices to actually comprehend the words and the words between words... Well, then this image in itself is impossible to comprehend. The potential density in each and every stroke we see, and be it just a tiny particle of a letter inside of a simple word, contains the secret to the entire universe, with its centers always present at the given moment everywhere, now. If looked at the right way perhaps?. And now throw a stone and see what happens to the pond.
(seriously, some of the older stuff is so much better than some of the other stuff, which is not all that great, though some things are not half bad. But then, when you think about it...) Okay, gone now.
Just minutes ago the sky was bright blue and bright and blue and the only sound i really heard was the ticking of the clock and the softly annoying sound of the spinning fan under the boards of my bedroom floor. There were giant birds, perhaps turkey-pheasants, a ponyanda, some other indescribable creatures with no given names. I had big plans. I wanted to cross the lake, the river, wanted to take the subway and go really far to a place I did not know yet. Unexplored, yet unexplored by me only. Big Adventure Digest. (Quite honestly the only place I want to visit is somewhere 50% between the park and the ocean...) Now that the rice bowl is empty and the lime tree cropped, the leaves cut into tiny parallelograms, the avocado plants deprived of any leaves for now, bonsai training at its worst, now that all this is done, the sky is turning a less and less saturated soupy something. It almost feels like back in that country where the year has three days, each of them with more than a hundred instances of sunrise, ten sunsets, and yet each one of them packed with a slightly unhealthy level of passive agression. I will now pack my bag and pockets and walk into this valentine's day. It is mid february already? It is almost march? The year is in full swing, I see. Looking at some nice drawings on my desk, they are dated back to 2002. Yet another nauseating observation. I have not been to manhattan for days now. I will walk and ride to resurface in the almost center of the island. By this evening I will be a different person, again. And maybe the further I will be twisted, the more I will be myself. I hope this will be the case. Somehow, since I still believe in something good in the core of my core. The comments on this site here have been shut down by my host. This stopped all spam with one kick of a giant virtual boot. I moved all of the email I failed to reply to into a "read" folder on my drive. It feels like this today could be a new beginning of something. Somehow. Each day should be, shouldn't it?... Could the sky be more gray or grey... what is the difference? I wonder what ever happened to that ponyanda... happy valentines...
There is a tiny store many blocks from here, it is filled with glass and paper and carved wood. It is named after a bird and after something one can do with water or pills... and I liked visiting the place, at the end of my strange walk this afternoon. It began with my wanting to take some pictures of the street. The winter sun was casting a softly magical glow onto the buildings, even around two pm. I kept walking, taking pictures of things, and no things. Around fourth avenue, just two blocks from here, between a basketball court and a playground: a little house. On the wall facing third street, iron cast numbers. 1 6 9 9... The old stone house apparently also has a name. It is called: Old Stone House. Hmm... Apparently the little house here was that British artillery position in the Battle of Brooklyn on August 27th 1776. This here was the place where 256 men of Washington's army were killed, distracting the British, allowing the Americans to flee... (I hope I remember the story right.) Hmm, that was two blocks away from here. The house used to be a farmhouse, belonging to Claes Arentsen Vechte, a Dutch immigrant who owned a farm encompassing a good part of Park Slope... The house was within a town called Breukelen. What I also was told was that Park Slope is actually a really old landfill. How delightful to know that parts of the area here are built on trash. I kept walking west, until I found myself in Carroll Gardens. A broker called me into a house and wanted me to take a look at it. I passed, took the fact sheet... the house was for two families, it was occupied, the top tenant is paying 1100 rent, from month to month, the bottom tenant pays 2300 for a duplex with garden. The broker offered me the house for a bit more than a million dollars... (I was really just walking down the street...) I did not take it. I walked a little bit around Carroll Gardens... then took the train back... Oh yes, that little treasure chest of a little store... hmm... this is a very strange entry.
My mother called me the other day, her voice more frustrated than the tormented one I grew accustomed to over the years. My father had printed out some pages from this site and asked her to translate some of the entries for him. He noticed that the last entry started with "My father..." and so he really wanted to know. Neither of my parents speak English, and so my mother called me after having managed to get through the first paragraph. Frustrating stuff. I love my parents. They are a bit like the two chambers of a giant heart. Hmm, just thought about all the analogies this could entail... and no, my father never beat me. I am glad I do not live on a lower floor. I guess the police would come to get me after seeing me polish the floors in not much more than my underwear. An old sock in one hand, a paper towel in the other. Definitely a case for some special treatment. A patch in the middle of my living room is very shiny now. My shoulders are sore, I am ready to get some rest. I have been burning several ends of a candle for the last few... hmm... months... polishing the floor in the morning is a very nice way of fixing some mental misalignments I guess... I am dressed now. The apartment is airing out. The windows are open. I can not adjust the thermostats on my turn of the century heating system, and so I feel about as powerful now as a driver of a red hummer. Yeah, watch me waste all that energy. I am probably wasting about as much as a hummer driver by just looking at his giant vehicle... The gurgling of steam sounds like the soundtrack of a very blood thirsty horror movie... (I do not have a car, I never watch horror movies, how do I come up with such strange analogies?) Remember when I was able to leave little entries here that seemed like little bursts of thought? The simple, not so elaborate observations of faint reflections of the barely visible? Let this be one of those entries. I do not think I want to write more right now... silly... oh well. About time.
My father once brought home one of the very early magnetic voice recorders. One of his clients must have given it to him, as a present to the ultimate collector of everything. The recorder was a relatively heavy machine, the enclosure made out of brown Bakelite, the core made out of golden "Hammerschlaglack". (I have no idea how this would translate into English. It is that cloudy looking paint that protected most of the cool machinery in the 30's and 40's.) The brown-golden monster looked pretty much like an old record player, it had that spinning turntable, covered by slightly hardened brown rubber, it had a speaker on the side, one with golden lettering, celebrating the glory of a long dead brand. One could even mistake it for a special record player from maybe the thirties, if it had not come with what looked like a Bakelite rattle at the end of a brown cloth covered wire, one with a grill very similar to that of the speaker, also adorned with some golden lines and that name I now do not remember. I think the rattle also had two buttons, one a very dark red, the other one a dirty green, but it could really be my memory adding an interface to what was obviously the microphone and remote. What was also special about the unusual record player were the records that were supplied with it. They were twelve inch disks, with no labels, they could have possibly be mistaken for records, were their grooves not almost a millimeter thick channels, created to guide what was a very heavy looking metal needle of the recorder arm. So this was the recorder. A dictaphone. A recordaton... I clearly do not remember the real name. The sound quality of the device was really abysmal, but the thing did work, it could be made to listen and then it remembered. The machine already had some memories when my father gave it to me. I put on one of the records, turned on the machine, and there it was: a faint voice of a man saying some important numbers, somewhere behind the audible curtain of static. The voice of the man sounded very serious, I imagined him wearing a flanel suit and a hat. I also imagined that there were not only numbers on his mind, but also the secretary who would have to translate them into figures drawn on paper. The voice recorded on some of the disks was simply the one of a powerful man in command. He was speaking not to himself, he was speaking to a modern machine, a machine he could afford to buy, a helping machine that made it possible for him to be even more powerful, a machine that was a buffer between him and his secretary. He was able to extend his authority beyond his actual presence. She would have to listen to her masterís voice even beyond his time at his office. (I have to ask my readers with two x chromosomes to forgive my assumption that the secretary was a woman, but at the time when I listened to the recordings, as a boy, secretary somehow translated into a very skilled person who somehow always happened to be a woman.) I did not keep the recordings that were on the disks. The meaning of the numbers had long expired, and what I saw were not recordings, but a blank slate for new records of my, much more important existence. And so I began to talk to the brown labelless disks. I began to press the buttons on the rattle and to make announcements to a virtual audience, began the spoken version of that writer's prayer, announcements that are somehow important, but never really expect an answer. I began to talk about things. I never finished. I recorded again and again. I never came to any conclusions. Soon the disks were filled with the preparation of great things to be said, without any important thing said after. I was getting us all ready for the amazing next thing. The next thing then never came. It was a bit like the songs I would sing by myself sometimes, the songs with great beginnings that could just never find that last concluding note. Imagine a five year old boy standing in the middle of the living room, trying to finish a newly invented song, and that song would just not want to end. The boy trapped in the hills and valleys of his voice, going on and on on a journey of a magnificent beginning with no end... It was a bit like that. Recording beginnings is fine for starters, but it is really not something that one would want to continue for too long, especially when the days are wide open plains filled with potential adventure... Unless, of course, one discovers that what looks like a record player can also somehow work like a record player. The disk was spun at a certain speed and it then recorded my voice into its magnetic noisy grooves. Once i slowed down the disk with my hand, the recording on the disk became the one of a very different giant me. Then when I moved the disk a little faster, a mini version of me was speaking the words I had just recorded. I even managed to let myself speak backwards. Then backwards and forwards. Then a mix of it all. It was a bit as if the machine that had been created to express power and authority had been for once transformed into a golden brownish friend, an old parrot, one that could repeat whatever I told it in a way that even I could not understand. This was really great, of course. I had found a new electric friend. I soon began to record not only my voice, but the voices of other machines. My magnetic parrot was to meet the other machine friends. I would manipulate the speed of the various recorded melodies and sounds after the moment of recording at first. The recording would happen at the normal speed and then I would listen to the recording and manipulate it. This was an okay idea, but what turned out to be much more fun was to manipulate the speed of things at the time of the recording itself. I would spin and turn the disk at various speeds while I would record whatever I was recording, creating "true to life records" that seemed to be transmissions from some drunk crew of a ufo. I think the one recording that was a real special one for me was when I was able to record some birds, singing really loudly outside of my window. The little finches and starlings and sparrows suddenly became giant dinosaurs, roaring very dangerously, very impressively, very big. I obviously heard them during my recording. They were the sweet voices of loud but pretty cute little birds in the branches outside of my window. The sounds that were replayed to me were massive, powerful, fascinating, they were somehow messages from a parallel dimension. I wonder if any of the bird recordings still remain on the brown magnetic disks. I took the recorder with me when I moved out of my parents' house. It became a bizarre conversation starter for my house-guests at my apartment in Offenbach. I did not bring the machine with me when moving to New York. It was just very bulky and not very necessary of course. So it is quite possible that some of my recordings still remain. It is quite possible that my distorted voice is still there, the boy announcing the next great thing, the giant birds... maybe the magnetic field of the planet turned them back into its own timeless recording of white noise... Regardless of what is on the disks now, what made me even write about them were the birds outside my window, here in Brooklyn. They sound very harmless with their calls, but I just remembered that they only sound this way because of our shared perception of time flow and our difference in size... The vibrations we perceive, the area of the spectrum we can hear, makes these little monsters sound slightly irrelevant and pleasant. I guess if we were smaller than them, and maybe if we were able to hear their sounds with a much better focus at the sounds between the sounds, the singing could be unbearably frightening. On the other hand, the man recording the impressive numbers, any man recording impressive anything, might be no more than a finch outside of a back window, when only listened to at the appropriate "speed" or maybe at least from the appropriate distance, be it space or time... or both... Hmm... so, if only looked at from the right angle, the least threatening things can become monsters... and monsters can indeed be nothing more than the least threatening little things... The change of perspective might just sometimes require more than an old recording machine and a boy spinning its disk at ever changing speeds... Or maybe the thought of that event, or the memory, could be a good starting point for some of that... (As I am writing this, the singing of the birds is being eclipsed by the noise of a police car speeding down seventh avenue... oh boy, I think it is time for me to get back to work...)
He could not have predicted that he had stepped onto a patch of incredibly fine sand. What looked glittery and pure at first became an ever deeper growing well, filled with fine dust in constant, random motion, swarming particles embracing his heels, then ankles, then further, up his legs, immobilizing, him fur,the,r a,nd f,ur,t,h,e;r,. At first his illusion was that of the returning to a comfortable and warm space. A light seemed to shine on him, he felt as if there were a center to this spectacle and that it resided somewhere within his chest. The universe never stopped to expand, of course. The objects around him moved farther and farther away from him with every minute, hour, day... the past was rushing away into a milky distance, and so was the future, on the opposite side of him. An ever louder murmur of voices became the distractor of of his present. His verbal thinking was preoccupied with the decoding of the voices. His visual thinking became distracted by the ever present motion of his surroundings. Noise, motion, the deeper and deeper sinking of his weaker and weaker body... This is when he began to pull on his own hair, the remains of it, stronger and stronger, the short hair, pulled, the good pain, the pain with a purpose. Soon.
The flowers on my tables died before they even opened, but maybe exactly this made them even more beautiful for me. The shadow of one of the forward leaning tulips appears to be the blurry head of a giraffe dog, on the large, white, rectangular vase, here on the table in front of me. The corpse of the tulip in the back has been kissing the wall for days now. Some of the fallen off petals look like red tea. Others look like dust, again others look like lost claws of a fiery cat that happened to scratch on golden doors. The best two hour phone conversations feel like very short five minutes. My second serving of rice for the day seems to be exactly what my stomach craves right now. At least I am not having the shivers I experienced yesterday. Severe shaking of the entire body, a very cold feeling in the core, the chest, the stomach. The stomach wanting to leave my body, or at least empty itself. I had to wear several sweaters and even a jacket to make it somewhat bearable for myself to be rolled into blankets trying to sleep. It was not until three in the morning that the medicine kicked in, making my body finally notice that it was cocooned in layers and layers of wool and thinsulate and cotton and God knows what. I had to change my clothing and even the side of the bed. All I have eaten since is simple rice and pepto bismol. I will be fine. I really love these flowers. If only their now yellow stems would not take on this brownish color in the small amount of water they no longer want to drink, I would keep them much longer. Unfortunately I will have to let them go... soon... My bowl of rice is empty now. I would like to have another phone conversation... please. Tonight I am not able to leave the house.