Knocked Loose in Berlin, August 2023
I want to build on what I wrote in my first post about this project being a compost heap for new ideas. Just putting words on a page, day after day, week after week will yield ideas. I use the word yield because I think with the right conditions and time, good things will flower. It’s all about how rich and environment is. Context creates.
I was at my first hardcore show last night. I had never heard of hardcore until I met my girlfriend. Wikipedia tells me that it originated in punk but rebelled against the way punk evolved into more embellished ostentatious expression, like the fashion, the hairstyles. Hardcore was about keeping it basic, grounded. There’s a lot I want to say about hardcore but that will come in a different essay. What I saw that instigated this article was the energy I felt there, specifically the mosh pit.
A whirling tornado of bodies always inching closer to the line of danger, a mosh pit is thrilling to watch. But a mosh can’t happen in a street, it can’t happen even amongst friends, it has to happen in a certain time and place. Everyone in the mosh is capable of it but when the music blasts out of the speakers, the lights are dimmed and the crowd rises to the challenge of the singer to “move motherfucker”, the capabilities are realised and the mosh begins.
I feel the same about love. Everyone has it in them: the ability to love and be loved (just as they have the ability to fight). I believe it is an innate desire to let one’s guard down, to laugh, to smile, to look into another’s eye and be lost and rest in another’s arms because they know that they are found. I have been lucky enough to experience this and I am savouring every single second of it.
But like those that mosh, we can often spend lifetimes walking around like civilians, not because we can’t express and shout and kiss and hug but because where we are doesn’t allow for it or even normalises the opposite of what we want.
Yes, you can find love in a hopeless place but that just makes for a catchy hook and that’s about it. I think that may be found in hopeless places but it grows in a hopeful place, an open place, a rich compost of vulnerability, humour and compassion.
I have come to experience lately both the mental and physical spaces where love can flourish.
Tend to the garden of your mind. There are some people that you speak to and it’s like walking through a World’s Fair, you know the one’s they had in the times before the first world war. Where cities (european) would put on a show of the latest marvels of the world (in a somewhat colonialist way). These people seem to have a living catalogue of passions, memories and dreams of things that they cherish, that they love. My girlfriend said she had been to ten MCR concerts and that told me something of what she cared about and a lot about how she cared for those things. I could listen to my other friend talk about the semiconductor industry for three hours and not get bored. I would seek new angles and ask the dumb questions which would lead to things I never even knew about. He would share this to me like a kid showing a new playmate a collection of lego he had lovingly built. The richness that you cultivate in your mind invites others to jump in and join on the things you care about.
Take care of the orchard of friends. Love, to me, should not always be romantic. As we get older and our parents fade away as our main supporters we need to find the ones that our similar to us, reach out to them and maintain the bonds that we create. They are the ones that we should be able to catch us when we fall (and we will fall), to console us when we see the blackness and to celebrate our wins. With the security of friends can we take bigger jumps, can we be braver and more open. We will get hurt when we take risks and loving is such a risk but knowing that we have safety of people that understand us makes that risk a lot easier.
Protect the space and time of your life. I have been fortunate enough to have lived in a peaceful home this past month, a home that has been crafted with taste and care. Kind of like a little God or deity, the home is a being that shelters us from the outside and allows a small flame to burn on the inside. There are simple things in the apartment that make it cosy: the blanket that sits on the couch for colder nights, the flowers that open as the days go by on the vase, the scented candles that bring a calm aroma as well as memories from where they were bought. The pictures on the wall tell stories of their origin and as well as the vision of the artists. Everything is held together by the space and the space is held in turn by everything that was placed in it.
But without time to enjoy a home it becomes a shadow of what it could be. With time, we can use to the kitchen to make elaborate and sustaining meals, to lie on the couch and be entertained by TV shows which may require advanced note-taking to understand and enjoy, to rest in the bed in intimacy and comfort.
I feel like I always had these words, these thoughts in me but I needed this blank space, this page, this intention and most importantly, I needed to know that you were going to read it. It is the context that you have given me that has brought all this within me out and the beautiful thing is that we have the power to shape our environments. I have no other desire than to create the best possible spaces for being, to feed my compost, to make it rich with worms so that what was always there can finally begin to be.