“as long as you’re alive, live!”, the admiral advised. “you can write later”. the moment when life leaves is not necessarily tantamount to death – but to stagnation as the lack of the unpredictable new. “everybody finds himself sitting at home one day wondering whats left to gain and if that’s really it. this is the sacred moment when you should either commit suicide or start writing a book”. creating the “new” thats no longer offered was the best chance to stay alive, he said, when “most of life lessons are learned, experiences are made, repetition rises towards ultimate divineness”. in his opinion the vast majority of people does nothing like that but follow entrenched habits facing a mechanical simulation of what they still call “life”. the lucky ones are too dumb to realise, he said. 20 year old me was impressed. the admiral sounded wise and right.
he never told me his real name and not much about himself in general. all i know is, that he was a former naval officer who ended up as a homeless dude, living in the park after some “bad decisions”. we had several great and valuable discussions in the early 2000s and i still have to think of him quite regularely. some of his pearls of wisdom were clearly made or caused by alcohol abuse, some still remain. one day he was gone without any warning or indication… i wonder if he’s still alive.
the “sacred moment” he mentioned pretty much is a max-frisch-moment as i found out a few years later: “i say to the american public: life is monotonous, i gain experience only when i write.” (montauk)
i spent many thoughts on every “life lesson” he taught me… on this one i wrote back in 2001: “i think my sacred moment comes in my 40s; when i experienced a completed apprenticeship, earned enough money, had enough sex, travelled enough, experienced fatherhood, marriage and divorce. the moment when kids are old enough to have left parental care already and i am sitting there in my one-room apartment with a bottle of schnaps after having sold the house i once built, facing the shadow side of a bukowski future”. still a future moment though…
as written in my diaries from earlier days i was afraid of having failed in life at the age of 30. i apparently didnt have much trust in myself. dealing with my ancient fears is part 2 of my mid30-inventory. this time: the fear of dying one day as a silly consumer, without having verified that there is some creative potential inside me, to leave the world without any proof of existence so to speak. fun fact: (the possibility of) having children wasnt mentioned in any diary at all…
anyways, my creative output so far:
writing appears to be the thing for me. i’m writing pretty much since i am able to hold a pen. on the one hand there is a huge amout of diaries and autobiographic texts. on the other hand there are myriads of sheets and files containing short stories, longer stories (fragments mostly) and rather experimental stuff. a decade ago i got the opportunity to read in front of a small and hand-picked audience and i won a small contest. i was part of several writing projects as well. in view of this huge amount of fragments, the idea of completing (not necessarily publishing) a book still lives on. got rather close twice already. recently my writing became more and more some sort of self-therapy though.
using all kinds of software tools as my idea of “making music” (which mostly isnt more than experimenting around) feels a whole lot more creative than writing that became way too normal over the years. earlier days i made tons of loops and some fragmented tracks as well. nowadays i’m focussing on what i call “enriched field recordings”, following the idea of combining “organic” (aleatoric) parts with all sterile, solid and predictable parts. growing plants on concrete. recently i was experimenting with ambient, binaural beats and field recordings. when i got the offer of being published by a netlabel a longer while ago, i immediately lost interest though. not sure why. maybe it was too easy in the end, a lack of challenge. almost killed the vibe. no real aims here.
a couple of years ago i won an art contest together with a friend, publicly performing an interactive sonification of one of his paintings. concept was winner, i’d say but crowd and jury appreciated it. the idea of sonifying visual art isn’t new. in earlier days i wrote a code for automatic sonification of the groundplan of le corbusier’s villa savoye together with a buddy. no real aims here as well. proving potentials from time to time seems to do the trick here as well. ah, almost forgot to mention: in school i managed to be exhibited with a painting at local town hall’s corridor for a week.
since i have a real job and certainly would never be able to live from my “art” (or even feeding a family) successfully reduces pressure on myself concerning my “creative output”. most of the time i enjoy being a consumer indeed…