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Welcoming songs in the memory of the place Jun 21, 2019   London, Observations

It will rain today. The storm will be heavy and water will pour down on London as if it had been carried over from the Baleares by some gigantic left hand. But for now it is a calm and gentle morning and the birds in the garden are easily out-singing the background noise of the metropolis. Perhaps it is not as gentle as it feels, but it feels gentle to me.

The house is still asleep. I have managed to remember some of my dreams from the full moon night. And I also know that I was one of the few people who actually got some rest.

The moon plays a major role in our lives, it takes sleep away and it lets new members of the family arrive here to experience what we know as reality, with us.

The fish float beneath the glass crystal. They are just paper cutouts but carry in their bellies life of the present, past and future. They circle a paper-worm on a real fishing hook. There is no chance for anyone to be eaten here, but many ideas at play and what better job for an object than to inspire reflection.

I like sitting here and looking at the red bricks of the surrounding houses. They appear to be natural pieces of a canyon, floating above the darker roofs and against the meticulously composed green background of Hampstead trees. It feels as if nothing were here by chance. And yet everything is here, luckily. We think that our actions create a world, but how miniscule is whatever we do against the backdrop of billions of years of selection.

For most of the time this reality has existed without the presence of visible light. And the moon above us is only just recently settled and staring at us with its heaviest side. Its violent past seems forgotten, but the scars on it should be a reminder of the fragility of everything around us.

We are like sparks giving birth to sparks, watching those around us come to life and die before we ourselves fade into the emptiness of space. One of the many questions in the Max Frisch diaries was “do you care what the world will be like once the last person who remembered you will be gone?” The question seems to be a test of how selfish consciousness has made us.

We care about the world that had zero awareness of us ever coming into existence. We study it and explore it and worship ideas from it. And yet we seem so shortsighted when looking into the future. And even the present is a challenge for most.

The water that will fall on London today is going to quench the thirst of bricks and rooftops and the trees and the grass. Birds will probably be quiet, but they also need this inconvenient downpour.

The summer so far has been like all seasons packed into day after day. But perhaps that’s why there are so many flowers even just on the way to the tube. Deep tunnels shaped as if they had been dug by moles. 150 years and so beautifully keeping calm and carrying on.

The morning feels calm. Fantastic calmness can be like freshly stretched canvas in the corner of an otherwise bizarrely messy studio. Possibly many floors below the ground. Quite likely in a place to which water travels for years or from which it emerges to then move along and move along.

The birds sing lovingly welcoming songs in my memories of this place.


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