0035 – Travellers of the Soul

A cow at my friends farm in Australia, sometime in 2018

The only time to write is when the clock is striking far too late and the day is wearinng on the edges of your bones. My face is burnt from a day in the sun and these thoughts need to leave my hands before I go to bed.

I met someone recently and it got me thinking. We only met for a brief moment but in that moment he read me a poem, The Courtesean by Rilke of which I have found no translation than the one S has for the was the version taht this person read from.

I haven’t heard a reading like that in some time. The way he spoke so slowly and softly. There was no rush and there was no other noise to overcome. It was just a living room but it felt like a stage. Some people can do that.

I also think of my friend VC who made dinner for me once. We spoke and played guitar that night and looked out the window. It was easy and we fell asleep on the couch. I found my jacket amongst five hundred leather jackets and I went home feeling warm that night even in the depth of winter.

When you speak to some people it’s clear that they’ve travelled within themselves. I don’t have the words for it right now but there’s a sensitivity to their speech and a focus in their listening. They know what you’re talking about because they’ve been there too, maybe not to the same place but to the same depth. You have your path and I have mine. We walk it separately but we are in it together.

Sometimes people can pretend like they’ve been there. Therapy is sometimes a shorthand for this. “I’ve been to therapy” some people say but that’s as good as saying you’ve been to Norway. Ok, yeah you’ve been there but have you eaten the fish cakes? No, I thought not. You need to tell me about the smell of those cakes then we can start talking.

I digress.

The depth that you can connect with others is the depth you have connected with yourself. You can let others in and show them what you’ve discovered – kind of like exploring a cave. I’m reading The Hero With A Thousand Faces right now and it’s no surprise that the labyrinth or the cave (think Aladin) is where the treasure always lies but it’s of course often guarded, by a dragon or a jin or whatever.

I think one can sense if one has gone into the cave of their mind, slain the beast and come back with the treasure. One tell is that they are actively steering their boat. A lot of us (myself included) have other people in our head directing us, our parents, societal expectations, you name it. It takes a serious amount of introspection and help holding that frame to act in a truly free way or in a smaller scale, to speak from the heart.

I have had many conversations where people are speaking through proxies. Is that you speaking or your ideology? I have been there too and it feels like a card game of social credential. Ok you believe in wealth redistribution, check. All cops are bastards, check. Veganism is the morally correct stance, check. It gets exhausting because you’re just checking each other.

This reminds me of what S said about politics being downstream of personality. I agree wholeheartedly with this. Politics is implementation of a philosophy. It’s of course incredibly important to figure out optimal implementations but we can’t lose sight of the philisophy behind a political party.

I think the politics conversation can be a false positive. It’s actually quite easy to mask and pretend that you’re on the same page, the same team. It’s just a matter of agreeing on pre-existing talking points.

The more interesting angle, I think, is to explore where your thoughts don’t fit into a box. Where your ideas don’t have a home off the shelf.

I miss my friends back in Oslo sometimes because they are some of the realest people I’ve met. The conversatons just flow without pretense. I couldn’t categorise them even if I wanted to, they are just so chaotic and exploratory. I’m left always wanting more.

Sometimes in Berlin I feel tired. I feel like people have taken some thoughts off the rack and put it on like a suit. Take it off, show me what you really think. It’s easy to blend in with a uniform, it’s social signalling and no one wants to be an outcast but to have your own thoughts, no matter how contradictory they may seem from the outside, is what it means to live, to think.

I want my friends to be a walking bundle of contradictions and I want them to allow myself to be the same.

Well, it’s getting late now and the sun is a long forgotten memory. I finished my essay a few weeks ago which was a culmination of a lot of thoughts from this blog. Do check it out here. I will continue writing on this project to add to the compost heap which will then be squeezed, drained and compressed into another essay. I was thinking maybe the next one could be on friednship and being on the receiving and giving end of interventions – what a juicy topic, don’t you think?

I’m feeling a lot better these days. I went for a run along the canal and saw the sun set on the water. I saw people sitting with their little feet dangling above the water. I saw couples sharing beers and laughing. I saw people with dogs and those dogs with bandanas. The days go by and I wonder where they go, honestly I do. I feel lost but I also feel somewhat ready to build something. I sent me this video of this woman building a cabin in Sweden, she didn’t even have a car.

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