And just like that, 2023 is about to end. To be honest, I’m not sure if I want it to end. Because after some very difficult years, 2023 has been surprisingly good to me. Not only have I achieved some amazing milestones, I’ve also achieved one of my biggest goals in life: to just feel happy, which I did for most of the time. And that’s what I am most thankful for this year, because it’s not an average to me.
‘Music is the language of the heart.’ It is a statement that many music lovers can probably agree with. The love of music is universal – with some exceptions. At the same time, people are storytellers. We tell stories about our lives, about events, about ideas, about each other. And in the end, we turn into a story ourselves when we leave this world. And yet. Yet we regularly have trouble finding the right words for our stories. As a result, we are all islands and can`t bridge the distance to each other.
“I say a prayer for the motivation / Keep me solid so I stay on track”
The start of a new year is nothing but the start of a new day. Often tired, sometimes energetic. But other than that, very little has changed. New year, same nonsense. But this year it seems like the new year has been a virtual barrier after all, at least for me. A road barrier, through which you have made your way through with difficulty between the blocking cars and spike strips, without causing damage, while your attacking pursuers have been held up. As a result, you start the year with a head start.
2022: An Open Letter
“How I wish I could walk through the doors of my mind | Hold memory close at hand | Help me understand the years”
It’s the final day of the year again, which means we’re once again going to take a walk through my mind. Through memories and thoughts. Thoughts on this year, thoughts on the years before. Thoughts on the future years, starting with the next one. I’m not sure they help me understand them, but we can have at least one last walk of the year.
“We do not have the ideal world, such as we would like, where morality is easy because cognition is easy. Where one can do right with no effort because he can detect the obvious.” | Philip K. Dick – The Man in the High Castle (p. 216)
If you ask someone if they think they are a good person, chances are they’ll give an affirmative response. After all, we consider ourselves an above-average good person, just like we find ourselves above-average funny and above-average nice (which is of course paradoxical and therefore not possible). But why would we want to be good people anyway? Life has shown often enough that people can get away with a lot of bad deeds. Does something like karma even exist, or is it a utopian illusion of which we’d wish it’d exist? And yet many of us try to be good, only to be disappointed and pained over and over again when something bad happens to us. Where we ask ourselves the question: …
A year ago I wrote and performed an end-of-the-year-speech for the first time. It was called ‘United In Silence’, which refers to the many losses of 2020. And also that even though silence is universal, the silence from a specific human being is personal. And here I am, for the sixth year in a row, changing my personal silence into my personal voice. Putting words on paper, not sure yet which words will appear.
Words can change everything, but, at the same time, they can’t change anything at all. When said or written, they can travel through space and time. They’re easily gone or forgotten, but at the same time they can stay forever.
I’m in a bar, when suddenly a half-drunk man comes up to me and asks me the following question: “If you were a coin, which coin would you be?” It’s a very random question at a very random moment. But I can’t let it go. Because if I were a coin, what coin would I be? Would I be a two euros, because I have a heart of gold? Would I be a one euro cent because I’m invisible and worth nothing? Would I be a twenty cents because I look unique? Would I be a ten cents because I am a ten? Or just five cents, because I’m just not enough? Would I be a one euro piece because I always present myself beautifully on the outside, but often feel gray inside? Or would I be a fifty cents, used for anything and everything?
Could you help me? I’m on a quest. For years, by the way. You know, such an everlasting quest where you eventually don’t find what you’re looking for. But because you don’t find it, you do find something in yourself. I’m looking for a button. Or rather, a switch. An on/off switch. A switch for my emotions. Too many feelings. Too many thoughts. It can be compared to the amount of waste in the world; it’s too much, you don’t know where to put it, so just dump it somewhere where it’ll destroy everything. An endless waterfall, a flood, permanently drowning, but living on. And such a switch would be oh so nice at such a that. However, there’s a downside to using this switch; I also lose my humanity with it.
2020: An Open Letter
“Reality is that which refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.” – Philip K. Dick
It’s kinda weird to write a short memoir after a year like 2020. And it’s also kinda weird to share my yearly photo with fireworks that look like a freedom pigeon; in a year without fireworks and with a bit less freedom than before. And still I’d like to write something about my own year.
Normally when I speak to a group, I start with a silence. A long silence. Ten seconds. Fifteen seconds. Twenty seconds. I look around the audience, see who is there, see which people I speak to. And, as the silence lasts longer, see how they react to it. The longer it’s quiet, the more uncomfortable they start to feel. Then they start looking around, looking at others. Smiling uncomfortably at each other, wondering when that man in front of the group will finally start talking. This is much more difficult as a writer. I don’t see an audience to speak to, I can only see myself. And yet I like to use the silence, the long silence, or the too long silence, as an opening. Those who feel comfortable during a silence have the power over those who are not comfortable enough with it. Until it’s time to break the silence.