Friends at the Sparrow’s Table
I turn towards the middle of the day
To take a glimpse at the outer fires.
At their desire for desire.
Carbon bound in life,
»Beloved friends at the sparrow’s table,
I will take good care of myself with the fire.«
Singing the handwash song,
silly hair and foolish feet,
I am ready
To feed you for as long as a life.
Having read a text on the bed,
a spectre in my mind.
Since more than a month already,
from the trembling heart to yesterday’s outbreak of blatant violence,
the struggle has a different prospect:
the determination to be shapeless.
To be nobody in the place where I live.
Politically wrong selected.
is not our summer clothes.
The stick is the set of the crowd.
The non-reciprocal treatment of fear
devolved into a wandering gaze
and into the night without remorse.
(At the moment I have to be more friendly and friendlier.
By virtue of protection, firm endurance, swift application of stress
and the right time.)
bit by bit
until the day
when the embers rise.
In our consciousness the blind spot is a playing field.
Angels in the Dome
Perhaps you can make them out by the garments,
people who love fruit.
Especially those with a fine fragrance.
The sleeves suggest that they are kind and patient.
Willing to help others even if they don’t offer their help
and get in trouble when planning an examination.
They have a personality, but only in outlines,
they own themselves like a vessel.
The air lingers around their feet in evening sun veils.
As a solid existence of an unreal shadow
they look down on us.
Beneath this pivot story of the dome
most people look bored, like at a party.
If you are afraid to dance, try to smell good.
It is a nebulisation strategy.
The comrades all laugh,
but some only laugh when they see others laughing.
For me, your laugh is something else.
Its echo was spread out finely.
You have many eyes.
It is incense
when looking for a weapon store
in another one’s face
I find the expression of astonishment.
Looking for a scent-amount we went outside.
I want to note that the crowd itself is fragrant.
condenses in the vault.
All the voices strive towards the unwillingness to solidify.
I wonder how, if not in the company of strangers,
could it be comfortable in my head?
Today is the second day of the thick wall.
Only eggs and high walls are on the side of the egg.
We have to brace ourselves and be alone,
clean ourselves and pay the rent.
So many eggs have to build walls and still take a risk
and dare to exploit themselves.
To become an instrument for the currents.
Did you know that we do not undertake anything for nothing?
Do you think we sell flowers like flowers?
Everything tries to recruit words.
Powdered opinions and gravity that we have to endure.
This ammunition rides the people.
It endangers itself to lose its content.
Just as fast cartridge cases arrive without filling,
they leave inflammations behind.
From the empty shell factory it answers:
Instead of saying, »This place needs me.«
why not say, »I need a place where I need myself?«
Break the egg.
– later –
the uncovered ones went straight home.
They were amazed at how little disappointed they were.
The leaves turned brown,
the walls turned yellow and gray
as the weight dropped.
We still are containers of light and salt.
A dialogue based on a conversation between Lily Wittenburg and Manfred Rothenberger which took place as part of the series Regalgespräche on 4. February 2020 at the Institut für moderne Kunst in Nuremberg
Published in: TO MISS THE CORE OF DECEPTION Hrsg.: Institute for Modern Art, Nuremberg, 2020
Manfred: Lily Wittenburg is the current recipient of the Marianne-Defet-Malerei-stipendium. And yet she is not necessarily known as a painter. We had been looking for someone who works with colour, but in whose work the brush itself does not take center stage.
Joshua Groß had discovered Lily’s book The Detonated Interstice, and we found it interesting and thought there was some affinity for painting in her works. Or perhaps not. But in our love for dialectical antithesis we then tried to lead her down the slippery slope of painting.
Lily: Indeed, I do not see myself as a painter. But neither do I seek to categorise myself anyway. Most contemporary artists no longer work exclusively as painters or sculptors; there are installations, assemblies, collaborations. In fact, I have always refrained from painting in my experiments. Or at least I would not have used the word painting for anything I did in the past, even if there was a certain painterly quality. I have a fear of brushes, that’s why I have always avoided them. Because they are – at least in my hand – very imprecise, they are so soft and so sloppy. They don’t do what I want, but they don’t do anything by themselves either.
M: But you took some brushes from the da Vinci artist brush factory with you?
L: Yes, I have taken a lot of them with me and I actually use them, too! Painting has always had a great effect on me from afar. But it was intangible, because painting is so firmly anchored in his- tory and affected by so many smart opinions. When I now confronted myself with the brush, I wanted to take painting as a challenge, as something that I had no control over either in terms of content or in terms of haptics. So I took the fellowship as a good reason to face my avoidance strategies and my penchant for control.
M: What were you doing in the studio?
L: I decided to spend three months solely on experiments, pre- tending that I would never have to show anything to anyone. As if there was no necessity for an outcome. Two years ago I had a child and took a break from working with material. That is the state in which I arrived here. I knew I did not want to continue where I left off and try to improve on what I had done before. I wanted to build myself a temporary ivory tower, with lots of tools that were new to me, and that would completely disorientate and disturb me.
There have seldom been disruptions in my working routine since
I left art school 12 years ago. So it is not easy to pretend to be a beginner again. An upward trajectory is an implicit expectation, this is true for all professions. One »should« strive to stake out ever wider territories. The path gets ever narrower while one aims to fence these territories. You become elastic and smooth, you progress, and you know: this I can do, and that I cannot do. Choices made invariably and almost immediately start to constrain the choices we offer ourselves further down the line. Inevitably, how we do our work today determines how we’ll do it tomorrow. Very quickly, from the linear mode of professional advancement, a circularity emerges. I wanted to break this circle. Run into walls and trip myself up.
Then someone said to me: »Painting!« – Oh God, painting, help! So I took a lot of brushes, without any idea and started unprepared. As a pretend beginner – since I can only disguise myself as a novice – I sat there and waited. It isn’t easy to bypass one’s own artistic judgement. And now I was forcing myself to head for exactly the most embarrassing places. For years I had been drawing lines on paper. Fine, straight lines. It was heaven to me, a wonderful immersion. There were a number of other, more experimental undertakings with lacquer on glass, with light and dust. But drawing lines reassures me, makes me serene. So I sat down and I said to myself: no straight lines any more, it’s time for colour. I acquired some chromatography paper, which absorbs the colours and splits them up. I was aiming for the point where I can no longer control the process and where I can no longer trust my taste. In this mirror I was searching for an answer to the question: what is taste anyway? My professor used to say, »there is no such thing as taste, taste is not a criterion in art.«
M: What did he suggest as a criterion instead?
L: There would be good and there would be bad art. Obviously, the subject would go beyond the scope here. But when I look at curated group exhibitions, it often seems to me that there is a lot of personal taste in them. Things align with each other, like a good playlist. There are exhibitions that feel like a house playlist and some that are more like a Stockhausen playlist. I rarely see a Wagner suddenly thrashing in. But what of it? I myself am guilty of pandering to my own comforts. But the thing is, art can’t always be rooted in mere personal comfort. When I am feeling too good, I am standing on ground that is far too solid. This is what I wanted to shake up. And I succeeded. I have now produced some very embarrassing paintings – for me they are very embarrassing.
M: From a market strategy point of view, this is a catastrophe.
L: Yes, it is also a catastrophe for me personally!
M: In art, it is often a matter of an artist’s individual style being immediately recognisable. A style that tells me, I have seen this before, somewhere. The galleries live off it. Only when you are as famous as Gerhard Richter it is possible to completely change your handwriting, to do something completely new. And then, of course, people call it sheer audacity. But if you are not fully established in the art world, then it is quite a hara-kiri path you are taking. In any case, it shows courage. But if you perform such swerves and switches (too) often, you have to expect that every time someone has begun to understand you, you’ve already disappeared, shape-shifting so fast that no one can keep up.
L: Yes, it could be read as a trickster approach as if I was a fraud playing with deceptions. But I wouldn’t envisage this zig-zag manoeuvering a »strategy«. For me, in the spirit of the present moment, ambiguity is important. We are currently surrounded by both a great deal of nostalgia and apocalyptic visions of the future. Both present themselves as certain in a way that can be very restricting. Maybe a general anxiety of the future makes you stick with what you already know, you look back on what you had and you try to preserve what you’ve achieved. Thus you build straight paths towards yourself. I observe a strong general desire to be understood, to perceive oneself as a valuable part of society. It is my impression, once again, that identities are constructed as clearly and unambiguously as possible. This is even true for those who see themselves as marginalized. Although we find our- selves at the same time in a veritable whirlwind of signs, in wild collages of belonging, these too ultimately lead to reductive demarcations.
I observe an increasingly self-conscious straightforwardness. There is a lot of anxiety in art, too. There are big constructions within the exhibitions paired with a gesture of nonchalance. So it seems that if I can’t adorn my work with theoretical ribbon bows, seal it tightly with terms to provide an interpretation, then it will not have enough bang. I am going to drown.
A lot of works want to be immersive, they want to win the spectator over completely, they want to envelop and overwhelm him. Such stances look somewhat courageous but I assume that there are limitations involved that only at first glance look like liberties.
M: You have been here for almost five months. There is going to be a book and an exhibition. It is a tight schedule – the artist arrives here and already in the second week has to start figuring out what to show in the exhibition and in the book. There is actually no room for big experiments with completely new materials and techniques. I am of course extremely interested in whether this exhibition will be taking place and what it will look like?
L: Yes, yes, yes. The difficulty is that the »exhibition« as a for- mat is so thoroughly choreographed. There are many unwritten rules in these supposedly liberated spaces. Like in most institutions we enter, such as the nuclear family for example, there are such strong invisible forces at work. It is very hard to break with this. It is almost impossible to say: this is an exhibition space, but it is not an exhibition. In the end, if you try to do this, you often create nothing but a gesture. I live in a nuclear family, but it is not a nuclear family. I do not know how to do it either, it is very difficult.
In any case, there will be an exhibition, it is already arranged. The disorder of my search is now quite neatly hung in the exhibition space, quite conventionally, that is to say, I have not yet found any other solution. On the one hand there is a refusal, a struggle with the framework conditions, and on the other hand I find it too easy to just say no and put an avoidance attitude on display. Perhaps someone will decide to come, they will take the subway for 15 minutes, get off and want to look at some art, and this turns me into a host and I do not want that person to waste their time. Of course, we waste our time constantly, it just hap- pens and I cannot take responsibility for that, but at least I want to provide a sort of foil, I want to offer something from which something else could potentially emerge, an encounter for example.
M: I don’t see that often in my professional field. An artist who gets a scholarship, who says: Help, I don’t want brushes or at least not that many. And I don’t want an exhibition either. That is the complete opposite of what normally happens, how this whole art business works. Everyone always wants the thick brushes and the big exhibition. You are like a grain of sand in the machinery.
L: Well, the machinery is much too big for a single grain of sand, I pass by unnoticed. It is not really my concern to disrupt the business, I don’t find it that exciting. But it is a field in which despite everything, a
different, wilder form of intelligence seems possible to me. It is a field in which there are questions I would like to pursue. If every- body is too occupied with producing their »thing« then I do not find that very interesting. Today, this fusion of things and ideas and identities is probably being negotiated much more excitingly in fashion and, of course, in the world of goods.
M: What is chromatography and how did you get the idea to work with this technique?
L: Chromatography paper is a filter paper. Impregnated with chemicals it is used for urine tests or other test procedures. It is an absorbent paper with a fine capillary structure. If you now apply colour that is composed of different substances, for example by using a black felt-tip pen, the black will fan out into its differ- ent components. The yellow colour moves further down the paper than the red one. The paper sorts the particles by the movement of the suction force. It arranges them under the paper’s own unique properties. There is something prismatic about it, a spec- trum emerges.
I am interested in processes that touch upon the limit of visibility or the limit beyond which things can no longer be measured. In the past I have dealt with dust and light or radioactive substances. In earlier works I was also interested in things that are un- canny but which surround us. Things with which we constantly interact, that form essential parts of our reality but that maybe could only be understood by physicists.
I grew up in a dark old farmhouse and sat for hours in the kitchen looking at the swirling patterns of dust in the air. I was fascinated by this space without dimensions that only sometimes comes into light. A child observing the micro-particles that populate our everyday life. For me, the question remains how to delineate this space where such uncanny processes slip beyond our apprehension. Where can we get a glimpse of these slippages, and where can there be an actual encounter between us and the forces at play? Where is the point at which the intersection can actually be experienced and is not just an idea. There are many phenomena we cannot see with the naked eye. We see the concrete walls built to contain the radioactive atoms, but the atoms themselves could actually be an invention. So I asked myself: How to describe the- se blind spots, how to render visible that we see nothing?
M: On 8/10/2019 you write: »I’m going to sleep, the painting paints itself.« You take these papers, you put some paint on, you go to bed and the next morning you see what happened.
And something did happen. Then you throw some of it away, save some of it, and then an exhibition is complete?
L: This was a very labour-saving measure.
M: Is that all you want to say about it?
L: I do not know, maybe, maybe, maybe. »Maybe« I always like to say. It is indeed not as spectacular as it sounds. Unfortunately. But maybe next time, maybe the path will become more visible.
M: Mhm ...
L: (laughs) Yes, it is hard when you think for yourself: It was spectacular how I ran in circles and what I came up with. But what there is to see at the end is not at all as scattered and contradictory and nerve-racking and cheerful as the journey thereunto. The path that leads to the exhibition is not visible, because the exhibition is a quasi solidified product that stands at the very end of many attempts. Of course one could create an explanatory exhibition, but this again did not seem right to me.
M: You are someone who deals with text, with language, with literature. That is not so common in art. At least I haven’t encountered it too often. And on the other hand, the craft, the material seems to be very important for you as well.
L: Yes, some things have an almost ghostly materiality that we cannot grasp. That is what material can do: it really can speak a different language or have a different kind of intelligence, through which I like to be led astray. Our time is no longer a mechanistic time, it is no longer the case that the Titanic crashes into an iceberg, breaks in two, everyone falls into the water (the poor first of all) and that is the catastrophe. Instead, the catastrophe is often invisible, or even no longer locatable, it is no longer in one place only. It is always a matter of definition, and it is al- ways up for discussion: is there radiation now? Is there too much fine dust in the air? Is this a riot or is it staged? And how can I have no opinion without being ignorant?
I am seldom interested in political or climate-political, critical art. I am not particularly interested in art that educates through information. In my opinion art operates on a different level. Art is omnivorous, one might even say cannibalistic: it can feed on anything, it can penetrate almost anything, it helps us escape the madness of the predictable.
Conversely, I see that it is attractive for other disciplines such as philosophy, politics, the development of goods and also for activism. How tempting it must be for other disciplines to try to invade it. They use the tools of art, because their space is be- coming increasingly narrow due to the crushing machinery of appraisal.
I think art is a place where we can encounter each other in a frag- ile state. There is no way to gauge what happens between us when we meet through art. It offers tools for our existence as witnesses. We are able to collect experiences without distorting them through concepts or fixed terms. In this sense, I believe that art can help us to deal with contexts that we can hardly comprehend and with the bewildering present. Not because artworks would explain the hidden connections to us, like good illustrative material, but because they give us a space in which the ambiguity and confusion of our own language and existence are bearable.
I grew up near Gorleben, where radioactive waste is deposited. There were constant protests, and this idea of the atom was a threat to me as a child. These are experiences that keep coming back. (It seems impossible to entirely dissociate one’s work from one’s own biography.)
Art can be a means to – this may sound paradoxical at first – get hold of the disquiet and endure it. To approach the uncanny with- out immediately naming or condemning it, but rather to create a space for it, in which storytelling, fiction, deceptions and the quest itself also have their place. Within art it is possible to be a witness, the uncanny loses some of its horror, and the collective contemplation provides time and prevents blind action. There is something in this fragile communication where we can meet without knowing each other, and sometimes this makes the world more livable.
M: Some artists work with new materials that cost a fortune. That is not the kind of material you are interested in. You’re talk- ing about dust, light, everyday things. When you walk through an art museum and you see powerful settings of form and colour, can you relate to that in any sense? Or do you prefer to look whether the glass facade is clean and how the smears shimmer in the light?
L: Yes, mostly. Most of the time I look the other way.
M: May I ask you what you found out for yourself while you were looking the other way here in Nuremberg? Did you find something out?
L: I have actually always thought of myself as a person or artist who is relatively open. It struck me how limited the space I explore actually was. It is difficult to explain. When you go off and say: I am really trying to torpedo myself, to undermine myself, to disorient myself – not destructively, i.e. not self-destructively – to find the places where it becomes strange to me when I do this or that. I reached the limit of the thought space where I feel competent much faster than I had thought. Oh God, I feel totally diffuse in this situation, and that one too.
I have been doing an exercise similar to the one here in the studio for several years now. On a chosen day, I do all the things I never do. Breakfast at McDonalds, then for example a visit to an expensive shoe store or I try on lingerie. Then I go to the business school, I sit down in the auditorium in the Red Bull Hall, and so on ...
Where do I feel uncomfortable? Really uncomfortable and uncool, stupid, alienated. And where do I actually make a fool of myself for clinging to some idea? I feel this could be a great exercise for other people too.
When a friend visited me in the studio and I said to her: »They’re not really my taste or my style, these pictures«, she said that they’re surely nobody’s taste. I had laugh, bursting with with fear, for a long time.
In my insecurity I asked myself how I could capture this difficult situation and how I should make something out of it? It seemed almost impossible to me. I think this is also an important point that I have drawn from this undertaking. To really translate this experience into another format, into an exhibition or into a paint- ing, is incredibly difficult. There is an irony in it and a shivering. I’m sure there are people who can do that. Maybe it would be easier to do it as a performance. I don’t know. It is not about me personally, it is more about me as a tool or instrument.
M: There is a shivering in it ...?
L: You are so helpless, standing there without anything. This moment really exists: when nobody can help you. The loneliness fuses with your own identity, and then you magnify it and try to get rid of it at the same time. In a residency fellowship this is especially extreme: I travel five hours by train to another city where I know nobody and where I am nobody, and I go to an empty studio house at night, and I sit there in the empty neon chamber and do whatever. Like a lab rat who has to think up everything she does there by herself, everything she does to herself and to the things. This triggers an impulse to flee into skills and into
what is familiar, into making sense. A work ethic sets in. You take up a whole room, you sit there and you paint ugly water colours. You get money, but there is no clear assignment, though there are expectations. It seems easier when one is not getting paid, but then it is impossible in another way. Do I have to produce some- thing now that means something to other people? Do I need to deal with the world history, or respond to someone, or an imaginary interrogator? That, too, would be an escape. One then flees into what is relevant, or what one thinks is relevant, or one wants to be driven into it by some authority.
This point needs to be overcome. There are far too many self-formulated laws which do not get us any further. Which do not bring us any closer to what is at stake. Perhaps what I have implemented here could best be translated into a game manual. Against some form of inner efficiency or the will to create meaning by producing oneself through one’s opinion and against the will to create relevance in order to secure a place on the ranking slide. The underlying question is why do I construct a reason for the things I do and for whom?
M: I have seen many artists, also during press conferences. Some- times it annoyed me when the artists were their own vacuum cleaner salesmen and delivered the interpretation of their works before you saw them. But someone who, like you, opens up this situation and shows herself in all her uncertainty and ambiguity, or almost turns this into a concept, I honestly have not encountered that in such a radical way. And I am also one of those insti- tute directors. Who am I? I sit here in the front. But I am not any wiser. One is often so caught up in attributions. The question is what power they gain over us.
L: Oh, I do have an impulse to strive in me. In my observation, when this impulse becomes active, my actions become somewhat boring. Because then they are controlled and put on display: I can do this, I am good, intelligent, smart, or more essentially: I am me. I am in control. It is the idea of mastery that seems fatal to me in many ways. Not being able to control a situation is actually much more interesting. We always discipline ourselves in many ways, including those in which something gets lost through discipline and mastery. Not being able to control a situation and to acknowledge that is precisely what allows us to look further, to avoid coming to an endpoint of an opinion. After all, we are not looking for an endpoint, are we, but for a continuation of life and thinking, I hope.
A day that begins with a spectrum is paid for with a spectrum and ends with a spectrum. We are containers of light and salt.
Yesterday I apparently left the impression that there would be something to be seen. That there would be a harvest from the internal struggles. Of course not. Still, it was very convenient to chat.
It was very warm. Confuciously so, maybe.
I have suppressed the requirement to fill a format. I blanked out that all of this has to be sealed off spatially, that at the end of an experiment the evaluation is inevitable, and that this means I need to fill a room in which I am not present.
Dusk. An elderly gentleman arranges card- board boxes in a backyard, I observe him from the height of my terrace. A sadness of repetition of a hundred or a thousand years flows through him.
Up to here it went well without ideas, now comes the expectant shudder. Watered down, diluted, unaccompanied, escalating. To rampant the blind spot, it is expanding.
The flutter that came running through the rain. Attempts to escape and illusionary goals.
I wish I could read the clock, then I would read it until three in the morning. To do a three o’clock challenge. I finally want the devil to breathe on me, too, for once.
While I am riding my mood in a taxi, concentrating on the flower story and the rain, I try to ward off the thought of the day on which I will have to take place.
Express Breakfast at the Bambusgarten. The eclectic birdsongs tempt me to let myself drift off into the realms of relaxation. Well, I know it is fake but I give in. Minimize the target-oriented actions. Feeding the Koi carps at Zoo Kölle, I think that this incident has become a person who feels restless and ambitious.
You are not familiar with public holidays in the south and have been painting watercolours all day and then you are told at Burger King that »The Rebel Burger takes a long time«. You sit on the bench and wait. The backrest made of imitation beech wood, with an inset lettering, in handwritten style, it says: »Taste is King«. There is a brief rustle in the archive and F.E.W calls from the distant first days of university: »There is no taste!« Then the whole self-torpedoing in the ivory tower tacitly comes to a completely unclear punch line.
You had to assign yourself to the Rebel Burger because for the Double Cheese Whopper the entire organism clearly lacks the training.
I barely keep the deception hidden from me long enough, I know it is a hoax.
Quietly I confront the brush with the ruler. People who stop by occasionally take a look.
Be a walking contradiction here. Take the curved line as a measure. Wherever it gets diffuse, there is a sense of cohesion.
Sunday I rushed a sentence out of me, it was quite good.
The more I try to access it, the more the world condenses itself. It hardens and withdraws.
The child says: »Ouch«, I ask: »Where does it hurt?«, it says: »Over there.«
I am tired of getting the other side, the one of crooked books, outside to find out that the crowd is fragrant. Here, too, gusts of wind are blown around by the breath of a living being, dust is whirled up, here too, there are no responses to the small disturbances.
Studio: There are only two illuminants here, cigarettes and neon lights. I watch the colours as they rise up and I watch the filters burn down. I cannot cope with the illusion of a fixed end point, even if it is just one out of many.
I keep away from the paths for which deception is a means to obtain freedom. I bar myself from creating me. The gifts of this freedom, their predictions, are too definite for me. I am wondering if it may be that the paths they promised us have already taken off?
The number of bones in my body is said to be 206. But I have the feeling of an additional rib on my left side, I am not sure about the position of my heart and I would like to be called shapeless from the outside also. Since I cannot check myself internally, this would only be fair.
Choosing the cumbersome and slow path in order to become clueless and able to find a beginning. A study of chance encounters. Without knowing what I am looking for I follow the movements.
To not stand in the way of what will come of it. Let yourself be contaminated by findings, fragments, too much to count. I choose a section. What escaped my search for evidence ... Something smelly and fragile, something that rubs off Something that shows its effect elsewhere.
I go to sleep, it paints itself. The filter paper will continue where I called it quits. When I awoke, it looked relaxed and badly done in a fantastic way.
I condescend the paper in a tub with colours. They are blurred into each other. Throughout the night they will separate by ascending. Moving in a circle. A prism for darknesses. Everything condenses. After mi- grating through the filter paper, the black disassembled into its components, describing a hidden multiplicity.
There is neither complete nor organized thinking.
I am not just what has gathered here in the chair. At the same time, the beans in the cellophane are molding. They whisper to me: »Together we simulate a reality in a disordered language.«
I answer: »Come, we’ll evolve further.«
A serious distraction.
It is often the same reasons that make you flee or urge you to stay. The contradictions, the lack of results, the shudder in the light of the moment when thinking can no longer follow itself.
Three thousand brushstrokes. When they play together, they create matter. A polite gesture to play the patience card and to avoid any intervention had been requested.
At the Institut für moderne Kunst I read Willi Baumeister: »In art, loyalty to oneself is to always take the plunge into the unknown, even at the risk of being mistaken.«
If you eat less food and only drink a few cups of coffee pearls a month, you can hold on to the last point of freedom that I save myself from. Why?
It’s not about me, but it may be about finding my limitations.
There are cleaners and there are contaminants, both live within me. There is a chemist, but there is no chemistry. There is a master, but in fact she is quite smooth, like a glue, she wants to adhere and please, she is ambitions, even if nobody calls her that.
Today I found a new tool. Now I have to beware of ideas. Not to have any, before the tool takes me by the hand to find its own language.
Published in: To miss the Core of Deception
How could she be searching without finding what she already knows? The first challenge is to lift herself out of the familiar trail. She must leave the accustomed tools behind so as not to repeat what she already masters. To do this, she has decided to leave her shelter, the reality in which she assumes she knows her way around. Since searching is a movement she looks out for an unknown vehicle. She finds something but one should not imagine it to be a car at all.
Now the next step is to bid farewell to the idea of arriving at a truth. Because how could that work, to determine what is true in what is unknown to her? Inwardly, she prepares herself for the fact that she will soon lose her abillty of differentiation while groping in the dark. There is still much to be done.
In order to be set in motion, one usually needs a reason.The path is too long to simply say, I’ll just sail off. It takes a pretext. She can’t make it easy for herself with that. She’s got to outwit her- self. And she knows it’ll hurt when the illusionary goal collapses at some point, later. Her movement now occurs on different lev- els of consciousness, although not recognizable for one another at every moment, they are mutually aware of each other.
Seen from the outside, the seeker is sitting with the unfamiliar toolbox in a little-known vehicle of which she has no idea how to get it started. Her initial position also feels ponderous. Does she still have too much luggage? However, she has to endure the uncertainty of standing there empty-handed to be able to find what she doesn’t know.
She’s erasing certainties. Maybe she should forget the reasons that make her want something? She senses that the ‘why’ is blocking the path, uselessly. Supposedly, all the reasons made up in the past were merely illusions. She ponders for a moment whether she should be sad for all that time spent on selfdeception? Still parking at the point that she wanted to leave, she is without ans- wer to that question. She tries to imagine what it would be like not to have a destination anymore. Is that even possible? Even if it would be a leisure walk, she would like to look good in any case. Perhaps those who move around busily do not have a goal either and just want to cut a good figure while wandering around? One should not think for others and not compare oneself with them anyway, but does it in situations of insecurity. For the third day in a row she is sitting in that vehicle now.
Although longing to drive off, she does not move an inch. Every time someone asks her, she claims that the engine is constantly drowning, but that she’s sure to start driving at any moment. In fact, the engine won’t even start. While she slowly feels a bit embarrassed about the whole situation of sitting in a vehicle of which she can’t even tell if she can’t start it or if it doesn’t want to, she hopes that nobody notices what’s happening to her. To calm herself down, she retreats into the consideration that at least she cannot drive in the wrong direction in a vehicle that does not move.
At this very moment the vehicle sets itself in motion. As if she did not have to shift gears, it accelerates all by itself. Suddenly the challenge lies therein how to avoid hitting a wall. And even though she needs to be attentive, she realizes that she has had more thoughts in the parking lot than on any of her previous trips. She attempts to put the thoughts in some kind of order, because there is nothing else she can do. The intention was not to have a goal. So it seems to be adequate to let herself be driven now, since the vehicle has become self sufficient and no longer subordinates itself to her expectations. Maybe the uncontrollable forces are taking her to an unknown place.