wise words and smallness
Is there such a thing as wise words? Can I find them?
Can they make a difference?
Is this where they belong? In a diary that no one will ever
Haha! You better have some humor about this Zen!
So, into my list of Things About Me, goes "feeing small".
I almost said, "being small". Get it? Even in admitting
to it, I am doing it.
But that was a long time ago, and far, far away. Today it is only
a rumbling, that has echoed through my life.
And added color.
Color of the artist's kind. The kind that has given me the
abilitiy to be an artist,
and, and the same time,
the kind that -- way too much sentimentality. My father had
that under control. Like a Zen master.
But maybe without the emotional honesty. Safely in a box -- but
what a loss! to him. to me. to the world.
Stop writing. Choreograph!
AND LISTEN: THIS SPRING I AM DOING BETTER.
10.1.18 again, to sleep
even though nothing is wrong,
it was a crappy day. I thought about my tooth, most of the
nothing gave me pleasure...
I made it through the day... is about all i can say. my tooth
doesnt even hurt, but I feel it.
IT SO WEIRD LIFE. THESE
transferences or whatever they are
shit that doesn't matter, but then it does matter.
and if this is hard, then how will i survive when it really IS
teeth, do not last.
Look: this year - I wrote almost nothing!
Is that good or bad?
Why is this hard? It shouldn't be... holiday wi a nice family in
France. Where is my Tapferkeit, my toughness? The smallest things
set me off. Make me insecure inside.
ENGAGE! It was always my answer. It always was the way - the choreography.
The creation, the project,...
I dreamt ... something beautiful
Was Spring coming? Was it Truth? Beauty?
I'm not sure if it was a dream exactly...
for there was no content
Just that feeling of hope
To act, to create, to be part of the river.
It means to practice,
and to make art again.
28.1.17 on the importance of dreams
Yesterday, after sitting zen, in the sun, in the snow...
thinking about finding the dance that would open a door
I started to cry. Learning to embrace the irrational
has taken a lifetime to learn (and may take yet another)
So we have to use our heads, it is only a wisdom tooth, it is not
of any real consequence,
but Daddy, we need the irrational too! Why?
because we need poetry. we need the art that blows our minds
-- the dances, the music, we need our minds blown! We need
it to face death -- to die,
and then to return to tell about it. come back to warn the
others, no, to laugh and cry with them about it, once more.
as we did when we started out.
Then journey back to that
with the help of my shrink,
has many stops along the way, many stills -- this morning it was
the waves, the ocean, speaking, whispering about hte passing.
Today after I practiced zen I thought about this:
let go of the rational
and I cried for this
The Irrational -- the dance of the OA --
can be truth enough.
Enough for me, for this moment,
for this life
all at once, this was a joyous conclusion.
Didn't sit today. A lost day? No! It was great. Didn't do jack,
but lived well. Great energy. No pain.
Put legs on an old cabinet.
Hey well stRted out with pump and full yoga back to back.
Still, you gotta sit. It's not like the world goes down when you
don't, but yes it starts to. You need it. Do it.
Eve. Good energy flows back into me
it's 20:38... it was a bit hard today. I struggle with myself. I
feel some discomfort, and it bothers me like crazy.
Even though it's not really that bad.
I started late. Did yoga. I have no work these days... for weeks...
for months. Just yoga... I mean, come on! This is great. or should
be. I'm close. Close to truth. Close to happy.
In the 70s 80s, in new york,
I understood something about art and art -making:
that content , or having an idea to share, is a fairly wrong, old
fashioned and definitely over-rated idea.
There is another:
you do some random (even literally random) thing,
over and over, and it , the doing of it, in, or _through_ the doing
you can find an unexpected interest in it
and ,(miracle), and the non-human is suddenly deeply human.
You really just have to do it with Lieb und Seele, to put yourself
into it, over and over.
and things were beautiful and interesting
devices for training in the sun
and I was looking forward to teaching, and training
on a high-bicycle thing of wood and paper and sunshine
And flirting with another teacher , who liked me. I had a chance
with her and überhaupt
That my parents took away my confidence, left me childless. Think
of Mathias. Fuck them. I wanted to say at his funeral. Or now to
Steve or my new shrink.
But tonight, for 5 mins, all things were possible. And I want to
go back into my dream.
Inspired by friends and small children
Most of the time I feel pretty lost.
Bits it's lunchtime. That's why.
Or evening. ..
But so I'll have some physical sensation - my asthma, my testical
ache, dizziness - whatever! - and I can brush it off, my focus on
it passes, or it, passes. ok. Or on the way I try to therapy myself,
generally pretty impotently, by pointing out how the mind can giveth
and taketh away.
Like on some level it all surely only perception. how we see things.
how we handle things.
So I sit zen. that's good.
And remember that friends are praying for me. (and that I have
a date with a therapist :)). she can help crack this crusty stuff
off of me.
I was with Helena. As I will be soon.
And there again was that deep sense of loss. Delph will never let
me feel that since she never says I love you. Great!
Because that deep bonding is like ... Fire to me. It burns me up.
Amazing beauty and joy. But not a good idea.
Anyway we were on a ship a really big one and it crashed a bit
into the dock and damaged it and we offered to pay for the repairs.
Just the corner
I can't remember how we caused the accident. ..
And then we were in an apartment like on johannistr. 42, she had
stayed there! 16 years she said.
We were sitting together stretching on the floor and i Said youve
gotten looser! She had. And then I said lets go for a walk.
She checked the sleeping kids, checked her mail, and then I awoke.
I did not know what I wanted to tell her. As in real life I don't.
Before we got ready to leave, there was this computer game, you
toss out these little bright red stones, and they became people
on a board game. They aged and then died. They lived out little
And I remember thinking , well, you can always toss out more.
6.7.16 holding it together,
I was thinking about the bitterness and fear of change that seems
to be so common.
i want to start practicing already now, to be kind and gentle,
insightful and in some sense truly wise old man.
self-realized, as they say. remember what I have been saying:
important is not what we endure, but how we handle it,
how we carry it and ourselves as we go on through the world.
traveling means meeting people. I could meet people at home, but
Travelers love each other, for they have no home, no family. The
world, the strangers become their family, their home, by default.
I was taking a Train in Tibet.
Past many dilapidated lapidaries houses, ruins really.
Up mountains. Through rock.
Up up then arrived in the living room of some Europeans who did
not seem at all surprised to see me.
The next day, we were somewhere and I saw climbers. Top roping.
Cool, thought I. I wish I'd brought my rope!
Then I saw Steve a bit away, in our old backyard, hugging mom.
And I was hugging dad. He squeezed tighter, and so did I. (parents
were not really there- they were, but they weren't. )
Earlier with Mathias, lots of students, and I felt like flying
(again). I had on a big coat. Should help! Just let go!
A few days ago I was dreaming too. And I remember thinking I wonder
if this is a dream. Well, I can fly, but does that mean this has
to be a dream?
I may not be able to control everything about my body, but I sure
as hell can influence my perception of it.
My professional roots, my inventions, my power
I'm in the countryside training. The hailstorm is abating and a
thought just occurred to me:
I have a list of exercises.
This simple structure is deceptively important. It's like class;
one can certainly move one's body in a strong way, but to make this
into training, what I know of as training, what I learned from Merce
Cunningham and others in New York in the 1980s, is a matter of structure.
There is a form to it, a development (through the body, and in intensity).
There are repetitions, and the repetitions have repetitions. It
uses energy trajectories, release, gravity, and all the rest of
those modern dance principles. (though I call it yoga).
It concerns discipline and it's a method of perfecting oneself
through the body. I say "perfecting", and not "improving"
because this is how it feels when you reach good moments: perfect
- a kind of peace and truth and beauty. It lies within its process,
in the doing of it, working it out, and within that flow, for that
time, I am free.
If this sounds like an exaggeration, well of course it is, but
it's also true! This is what dance is: a flight of the imagination!
(we pilots. we lost ones...)
So my list. And now here is the point:
That I have this, what a gift!!! How few have figured this out.
So, now I have a standard form, and then extras and new things.
I.e. 2 sessions in a day. One is rote, and one is impulsive and
subject to whim. they work together.
By staying busy, we don't have time to perceive. Good! Anyway I'm
only thinking about all the shit that's bothering me - physically.
It's like I've lost all my toughness without my dad. to realize
that even he, who I guess, lost as he was, represented toughness
to me, is also fragile. In the end, without power. . Well, a truck
load of files that all went in the dump with masks on. I poisoned
my lungs with some strange chemical.
See? All these crazy thoughts?! chase them away now with non-stop
activity. Do do do do do!!!!
Contact all your friends. Shout out to the world, like thunder:
I AM, I AM!
And then, yes, stop. Completely. Time for zen.
This is how i will get through this.
We were all at a big crazy resort. Next to the sea. Brilliant blue,
like the Mediterranean but it was mostly wild, with nature and inland
One of the favorite pastimes was running, but it was really more
like skating on a big slippery, like a frozen lake, but it wasn't
cold and everyone went in circles around it.
Only I did it on my belly, still running, yes, but somehow on my
belly. And I was very fast, faster than anyone (except Marc or someone,
who followed me). And it felt good :).
I spent a lot of time in my dream trying to get back to Helena.
To find her at the big place. I had been off somewhere.
But otherwise people were incredibly sad, or at least emotional.
Crying together in little groups. For example I saw a blonde woman
crying by herself, so I touched supportively her foot that had a
sock on, and she rolled over towards me. And I thought we might
Finally, a fish made of pottery was repeatedly reaching up - strange,
I thought. Along the wall. It, he, wanted something it could not
reach. I looked, what could it be? A pebble attached to the wall?
Yes. I loosed it a bit, and he did undeed eat it. How is that possible
a stone can open its stone mouth and eat?
Next everything was going down a drain. Mostly pills at first,
but all kind of junk. So I poured out my anti-anxiety medicine,
to be carried away, but I and we all knew that our turns were coming.
We too would bevwashed away. And again this feeling of warm and
loving and deep deep sadness washed over us all.
Dad's birthday: the first one he has missed.
Do lots of things. Busy. Keep doing lots of things… As if
we were perfectly happy. As if there were no COPD. Or anything.
Do not ponder, hust keep doing, as if…. As Maggie said.
Just do not forget to also sit twice a day. To also do nothing,
and to do it perfectly. For between the doing, between the breaths,
between the tears, there is a still point, free of x, y and z. free
of endorphins. It is where you reside. Culture it.
Writing in my diary again. Does that mean I'm depressed? Bro pointed
out, it comes and goes through this life. So, it's my phase again?
I sort of thought I'd found the way out. ...
But mostly it's only when I stop and think about it. Just don't
stop. Just don't think.
Actually, quite a fine day. Put a gate in my max patch, with Marc's
And other fine things.... It's just...
I'm Losing it a bit. Remember how at school I would spend evenings
picking my face, kind of hypnotized? (I've made it so much worse!).
It's strange that I can still do that. hours? perhaps. of course
I _am_ tired; wiped out from body pump, sex, a bit under slept,
my skin is a bit weird... and,
these days have not been easy ones. The lung thing: my new-found
copd, if that's what this is. It wears you down a bit. Not the physical
But here: I can do better than this. I know I can.
I can see now the difference between the thing, and my comments
to the thing - my valuation - giving it significances which, first
of all may not be correct, and second and more importantly, is the
source of much confusion and doubt and, frankly darkness in your
I.e. it's not helping me.
You can see it: the feeling may be mildy annoying, but the comment,
"oh, it's my thing, it's coming to get me!"
Like a child. Like picking your face I guess.
I want to attack tomorrow as an adult.
At work at 8. Stop screwing around.
Listen to me, cough cough, sore knee,
These are the things. They are always there. or nearby. It's not
just by me, and it's not just at this age.
There was always something. Going perhaps, but returning back.
It could be a million other things , from a teenager's pimple,
small tits, losing an investment, squandering a wealth, a bet, a
disease... ALL THESE THINGS THAT CAN QUÄLEN US, at any moment,
in any life.
like zen teaches, we can detach - un-attach - ourselves.
I just wish I could hear theses words from someone else. someone
i trust. A teacher an authority, someone so respected and revered,
that those words would sink in. Kick my ass. Shake me to my core.
Make me cry, and then finally learn.
I Live backwards. Like Merlin. Getting younger with each day. more
and more fit. Forgetting everything I once knew!
It's been a hard year. No parents anymore.
After sitting Zen, I can see that it is me to blame, my mind. I
do this to myself. pondering. Putting screws to myself.
Zen says empty out oneself.
What good advice!
We Homo sapiens have been walking around this earth for 200,000
years and for the most of that time without language or analysis
or existential philosophy, and we did just fine! In fact in many
ways better than we are doing today.
First day of spring. feeling. Of childhood.... powerful and made
of, what? Magic? Heaven? God?
And then it's gone. but to have touched those forces , the fact
that they are! In this or any life,
offers a reason
un raison d'être. and a reason to sit still
to perceive It.
14.2.16 holding it
I have not written in a couple of months. I
used to say that not writing much was a good sign! I don't
need it! No whining...
and so maybe I do whine, but look at it like this:
we do these things, carry up the laundry, recharge
the batteries in our electronic devices, all these things
and "doing", any doing, can bring us joy
- like young children,
or be empty, like middle-aged, and called drudgery.
and life itself can drag us down,
or pump us up. and so to me its the body, training
it, using it artistically, has always been my savoir. Its
a metaphor, but its also ME. body+mind together makes me.
If I train well, I am growing. Beginning, not ending. Affirmed.
I have felt weak of late. A weakling - not able
to verkraften my own mortality, or fears of illness and change
and I fight it with an INCREDIBLE program of training
I am doing.
-- I will upload it here (right) soon --
ALL MY LIFE I wanted to life with discipline.
Now I have a point system. and I actually do it.
Does it help? yes, I think so. but I also
feel I need some professional help... went to doctor, and
got a prescription for therapy...
i am richer than i ever been. part 2 of inheritance
arrived. i will make a will -- for that and for this.
haha. 2 things i can "leave behind.
I can handle this.
This transition. These tests. This body. This mind. This soul.
This. This. This
This girl. This revolver.
Passing of patents.
It was a dream
Filled with beauty and sadness, love and regret.
I was visiting Helena and she had a beautiful house overlooking
colors in the valley she was on the stretcher giving therapy to
someone else, maybe shiatsu but they were both lying down on separate
Everything in the house was beautiful in Swiss or deutsch bio style
with lots of colors and pottery and cloth.
The house had three floors yes and when I came downstairs I took
a wrong turn and ended up without stairs to go down Anets jumped
down from law Kyle ledge. And there was a curtain rod which I was
concerned that I had loosened up and I was trying to make it reads
the other wall.
I jumped down and landed safely and I was always afraid someone
would see me doing these crazy things I was doing it but part of
me wanted to be seen them
Like I was afraid of getting in trouble.
But everyone was only kind to me, and understanding, like true friends
(Note the Climbed too high theme)
And this guy gave a speech in Swiss German and I couldn't understand
it but then everyone started applauding and I realized they were
applauding me and I started applauding too because I was too shy
to receive the applause
So I pretended not to get that it was me.
One of my sleeves was too long, and made clapping difficult (appreciating
others). I was almost too late to clap!
and then I started talking about Helena and how much I liked her,
I couldn't say love because she wasn't mine, but everyone knew what
I meant and I just said I liked her so much and that I couldn't
say anything more. Which was true I was too overwhelmed by emotion.
I also remember earlier in the dream making the comment that the
house was so beautiful and that I regretted that I had rented the
place I lived all my life, which is a stupid waste of money I know.
Although I haven't had much choice I've never had the money to buy
house. Until now.
I dreamt recently of Diana as well. And of course it was also love
have you ever wondered why I have to get up early the day after
Christmas and go to the gym. Or why I have to train sometimes twice
in one day. Or why I leave Christmas parties early and go home to
Or why it's not easy for me to be a social person or better point
why I don't want to go to bars and play games with people.
It's because I need to sit Zen, and the training is kind of the
Zen for my body,
And doing these things take takes a lot of concentration. When
I'm with other people I am distracted. . I can master it when I
have the focus of my solituder. It takes My full power it takes
that much concentration.
and I need these things to feel OK, to be OK with myself. To be
able to function in this world, which is never been easy for me,
In fact a strange weird struggle. My point being that I have to
somehow feel good about myself in order not to be crazy not to be
depressed or fearful. Not to have panic attacks not to be afraid
of life. To have a little bit of confidence in order to do the things
I want to do. To have to be a little bit reliable so that I can
do maybe a little job like teaching yoga class once a week.
All these things that so many people can do, Well, I can't. Not
without sitting in training it's what allows me to be human and
be a good person on this planet.
So thanks for your patience with it. I know it's not easy to live
It has been cleared to me for 10 years or more that the desire to
do something almost always signifies more than the thing itself.
Does this make sense? For example I think of something that I want
to do, some stupid thing, maybe recharging my batteries or something
with electronics and then in the very next moment I am thinking
how beautiful it is to have a desire for a thing and went to signifies.
Even though I am not sure what it signifies! But it is like God
because it lives between the seconds between the breaths between
Call it Joy, or motivation, or love or anything you want, but it's
a thing and I notice it.
19.12.15 holding it
I call this "captain's log" for a reason.
Partly its Star Trek, and partly its
"Invictus" by William Ernest Henley.
Its the only poem he wrote of any note. He wrote it after
they amputated his leg, and said they would have to amputate the
other one. So... my problems are easy ones.
More symbolic, and existential. Like in the
movie "LeMariDeLaCoiffeuse", in which (spoiler) our heroin
is so happy that she has to kill herself to keep it , to keep it
I had own little panic attack, driving to Chemnitz.
Weird. Steve says that hospice says its a symptom of mourning.
One thing I do know, its never good to think of one
thing a lot. It used to be a girl. haha. don't remind me anyway,
now its my father.
Now I think about the young women who come up to me
after yoga. They are looking for inspiration! In me!
:) And I in them.
So this entry is about confidence. I do not have words
for it perhaps, but after I practice zen sometimes, I can see that
all things are as they should be. I am a duck in water.
And I can be happy, with all the mystery and uncertainly,
and even with some self-created dark winged thing hovering over
my shoulder... shoo! That, like the girls, and the love, are
but illusions. Dances of light and shadow.
My Dad did die, a couple of days after I wrote that
(below). Yep. I think that was the night I felt so happy
and free. Not just to be free of the responsibility of caring
for him, but to be finally free of needing to care about HIS or
ANYONES opinion of me.
HE, like the father in Kafka's short story.
I set a codec of life, back in New York, at Purchase,
during my formative years, to jump into the wild sea. and to be
soft too, like the gay guys... And I'm doing that.
Fuck, if I had a dollar for ever person that has praised
me after I have done my training in quasi-public places.
I may not have found or joined the commune of smart
communists, who believe and live an alternative parallel society,
(to inspire me!), that I have often fantasized about...
but I do live in a commune ;). and, much more
I do things I believe in. Beginning with sitting zen.
Twice a day.
in this moment, I think I can hold it together.
kind of Retreat
my father, Merce, would liked this thought:
I have a choice. I can make a list of the things
I didn't do today in the studio this today,
OR in the same time, I can maybe get one more done.
I'm in USA for 18 days to take care of my dad, who
is 92. we were never close. he always scared me. and
put me down.
he still does.
even though I know he has little power to hurt me
now, its in blood, this relationship.
Its like , read Kafka's "The Judgment" ("Das
and you will understand how I feel.
1st full day. totally smashed... already!
Of course, I've done this before! dance rehearsals,
workshops, all that shit. all those years.
to be, and have been an athlete... I almost don't
quite believe it somehow, except I do work a little differently
than the others. I am reaching to my limits. More? It
seems like it -- it seems like it to me!
Of course, yoga is not about being the best.
Its not even about getting better and better (as someone here said...)
this is a strange thing to wrap ones head around in
Anyway, what I wanted to write is
1. that I am here at all!
2. I forgot...
morning in Oslo. I have ANOTHER day off,
expensive day off. not so well planned perhaps, but some of
that chaotic loss is normal
in the flow of life.
my dad is dying. losing his faculties one at
a time. and we vicariously cope.
and I look at the fucking clock of Munch.
I made some art, had some ideas of art, enough to
admire the fanatics who do it COMPLETELY.
and to understand... that to do one thing, over
and over, for hours, and days and weeks,
a set of steps, a set of notes on a piano, or, in
my case perhaps, something nuts that no one else would think of
just some dumn thing, eccentric, impractical and abscure,
over and over, doggedly hammering away at the details,
getting the bits to "work", and be repeatable,
THIS, is completely enough to make art
and more is too much. See the art, that mystery I
have spent most of life trying to understand,
is not a thing we can craft WITH INTENTION.
Rather is emerges silently, invisibly, magically. See, the "art"
part of art, can never be worked out as an idea is worked out.
Art grows in our hearts, sight unseen.
This much I have figured out.
Late at night. Paris.
Last night some of my friends ("colleagues",
Delphine would correct me) did a show in Frankfurt -- outdoors on
a bridge, with projections, and were paid 900.000 euros. So, it
was one of his maybe 8 pieces this year like the one we did the
day before, for our 5.000 euros (almost all of which we gave to
the artists - I might have made 500 at the end. If that.)
So, I look for the money to finish developing my device for persons
with disabilities. And meanwhile he goes to a party, maybe on a
boat somewhere, to celebrate their show. That it had this or that
"artistic" moment, but mostly just that it "worked".
And I sit, somewhat stunned, shaking my head.
Of course, life has always been that way, and I imagine it is that
way for most people. That we can wallow, if we want to, "What
if?", and "Why not me?".
It is, in fact, easy to do that. Isn't it? And I am going to guess
it is especially easy for people with younger siblings (and bad
parents). Or siblings, or bad parents... And of course it does not
bring very much.
Except some anger, which is not always a bad thing! Anger is energy,
and energy can be channeled. I used it, and still use it for my
body-work. I can do a spinning class and half way through begin
to cry, pushing myself to my limit. Again, and still.
But what else to do with it? Embrace it. Like in Zen: embrace all
of what life is... Embrace even death.
But those fuckers, those american fuckers with their icon of "Success"!
I met 2 Amis in Madrid one night, and told them of our work. "Well,"
they said, remember every successful project starts out small".
"No", I said, "You don't get it. It will never get
bigger. It never does -- it is not SUPPOSED to! Its called non-profit,
or art or whatever, and you dont do it for the money." And
she looked at me the way a dog does when you ask it the time of
So they pull you along with their incessant messages, a thousand
a day, "life is about consuming", etc. etc. You are supposed
to get rich to be truly happy. Truly truly... what is always just
out of reach.
I asked my father if getting more and more, your whole life, so
you go up and up, is a good way to live, and he said, somewhat to
my surprise, "yes, I think so".
So being an artist, and doing my bodywork, is my way to say "no"
to all of that. And it is not always easy. But it is at least something
a person can believe in.
I do know that I can see through my brother's facade
of maturity and toughness. Tough guy, my brother. Tough
in a fight. Uses his fists. He's a punk. A kid
that pretends to be tough, but is not. His air of confidence
does not work with me. Haha. I hope he never reads this!
He will take me seriously, and it will hurt his feelings. Because
there is some truth in it.
Me, Im not a punk. Im a wimp. I would
never even try to hit anyone i nhte first place, or have the slightest
illlusions that I am anything but a failure in this life.
Its easier my way. Certainly more honest. Sweeter and
more humble. The dancers' way.
30.9.15 Remember Shows?
Remember shows? I'm in Berlin at my favorite coffee
shop. It's called Espera. Which I'm guessing means "hope"
in some language.… anyway I would like to think it does.
So a show, for a change, in st. Wendel Germany. Day after tomorrow.
I think I'm dancing 2 minutes. Well, walking. Posing. And Vanessa,
who is like 22, does 5 or 6 minutes. Remember how they wind you
And how you can walk out on the sunny street after a loooong day
of technical rehearsals, and everything seems a little unreal. Or
maybe "super real"?
And everything touches you, more than it should perhaps. Remember?
And you wonder, is this fun? And you don't know the answer, but
it is somehow life! Guess who I'm working with? Yes, frieder. Which
is ok, except somehow it's not ok. The art is fun, but it's pushy.
As it always was. But what really messes with me is the OLD OLD
THEME of him vs. me. My brother. who will always be bigger and better.
BIGGER. he is not even sure if he can come to the show because he
has to make a 50 meter screen on a bridge 2 days later in Frankfurt
for half a million euros. before he goes to Berlin for ...
And I know it is silly and does not actually make any difference,
or no more so than anything else.
Mostly though I am quite happy these days.
I am trying to build the thing still. With new partners, even some
new technology and music. I have to believe in it. Partly because
we all have to believe I think, but partly when you see the childrens'
faces, especially the ones with disabilities. ... you have to!
23.8.15 Advice for
Another blue-sky-perfect morning. I'm sitting in the garden with
my espresso, long before the others are up. Sunday.
We spoke a while back about what to do, and with whom, in this world
and in this life. "Where are the freaks?", we asked each
other and I said I wanted to write something about it. I'm sixty
this year. Those existential what-is-worth-doing questions have
accompanied me all my adult life so I don't think there is much
I can offer, but well, here goes:
Essay on the Search for Something Worth Doing
I think you are like me: either you do something with "Leib
und Seele", or you are bored as hell. Not a bad way to live,
on the whole -- except that you have to spend a lot of your life
bored as hell. But how else to navigate this complicated world?
Yesterday in the forest I worked on some choreography. It is at
once the most useless thing, and at the same time the most valuable
thing in the world. A bunch of movement, stuck together with a sense
of intention. Its a great self-contradiction, because I design it
"as if" it matters a lot.
// It is for a commercial gig we are doing for HK Audio. I think
mentioned it, and asked you to help with it. I'm not sure, because
I might have been referring to a similar project creating a "techno"
environment for the motioncomposer. Anyway, I am doing the HK gig
with Burnt Friedman -- which is very cool. The other thing, the
MC work, is still open, so I will come back to you on it...//
So, yes, movement, as a metaphor for... what exactly? One thing
I'll say about it, it could be anything. I could tell the dancer
to improvise and, with a good costume and score, the customer would
be just as happy! But instead I find that I care, and quite a lot.
I've spent hours to make 246 counts so far. That's about 3 minutes
of material. Its tedious work, but it does give me a certain buzz.
I used to know a New York choreographer named Douglas Dunn. He told
me once that the movements we create matter; not to us, but to the
world!. Haha! I wonder how much irony he intended. Probably none!
Its all about the belief in something. I get that. Some of my friends
understand this too. Others look at me the way a dog looks at you
when you ask it a question. Then they ask me how much it pays.
Such tasks have never had much to do with financial survival of
course. So you have to figure that part out. We decided to quit
the electronics company we were working with, so starting in October
I have almost no income. I still get a little from the EU project,
till 2018, but I am not sure if I can survive from that.
There are WG's in Berlin with "clothing optional, nudity preferred".
I visited a nudist camp once. At first it was strange, but after
20 minutes its the most natural thing in the world, and more to
the point, it gave me a sense of utopian vision. Seriously, it was
like, "we are all human beings. all one!". So I think
I understand those WGs. Something weird can actually be kind of
important if only because it confirms that there are other ways
Like you, probably, I have always been fascinated by communes with
alternative philosophies. Anti-capitalist -- probably the most important
and difficult of all, but also, yoga, sex, art, ... it can be many
things. There is a puppetry commune in California I heard of. Artists
with so-called radical ideas, living in the forest. There are communities
in Germany with no cars, or with their own micro-currencies. Different
things. And I always imagine moving in and feeling a part of something
where I can feel good about working there and contributing. Or working
in the field for Amnesty International, Docteurs sans Frontièrs,
or even Greenpeace... But my point is that even on a much smaller,
almost symbolic scale, I can imagine that being a part of something
"alternative" can make a big difference in how you feel.
But I sit in my garden with my laptop and get up after a while
and go over my steps, do yoga, and then work on the motioncomposer.
I'm in a good phase. Later I will struggle intensely with the meaning-of-life
One thing: it can depend a lot on other people. You can tell yourself
something a hundred times, but then when someone else says the same
thing, it can change your life. After my yoga class recently the
teacher said to me that he needed to do his own yoga, but that he
did not feel like doing it. So I said, well, do it anyway. "Discipline,
you mean?", he asked. "Sure", I said, "Isn't
that the best way to live." And then as I was leaving he said,
"you inspire me". It took me a while to get what he meant.
In Zen they say monks practicing together is like a bag of stones.
They polish each other.
I do not remember Summer as being this long
or warm or released. It is time to sit again,
now, at Summers end, before the Fall , and the Winter and the times
of struggle and doubt return.
After yoga yesterday the teacher said to me that he
needed to do his own yoga, but that he did not feel like doing it.
So I said, well, do it anyway. "Discipline, you mean?",
he asked. "Sure", I said, "isn't that the best
way to live. It sounded like you knew this already, in what
"but I dont feel like it", because this
really means, "But with discipline I can do it anyway".
Before I left he told me that I had inspired him.
great yoga, after great coffee. and then a wonderful
and the rest of the day is then icing.
the flew by, compared to day 1. moved
hotels for a second time. another great burrito.
went to studio to start technical stuff.
eyecon problem... i hope frieder helps me....s
flying out of Baku-- back home to little Weimar.
Baku is so pumped up. Its ... well its impressive, but its also
obscene. So many big and bigger glass buildings in such a poor country.
They housed us in a brand new 5 star hotel. My room had a living
room, and two bath rooms. 2. for one person. I hardly knew where
One of the bathrooms was bigger than any hotel room I am used to.
Every day a dozen people served me. Servants everywhere. Friendly
you know _perfectly_ schooled in "hotelmanship" or whatever
its called. Jesus. "Would you like another cappuccino before
you go to the spa?" There is something nice about it. Things
worked like they should. The food was well-prepared. the sheets
are soft. its clean...
but mostly, guys , its just awful!!! I don't want people opening
doors for me. They seem genuinely kind, and I believe they are,
and they may really be happy to serve me in exchange for money,
but I still hate it. I do not know why. Partly I suppose, because
I was not in Aszerbeischan - they stole that from me. I was in Holiday
But there is another, more psychological thing.
working with Frieder again,,, the old stuff coming back. He is going
on to other big shows -- not a lot perhaps, but some quite huge.
and I suddenly felt so incredibly small.
I know, I am director of a production with 40 artists, and another
dozen or so support people, and yet I feel like a pea. small and
useless. WHY SHOULD I CARE SO MUCH what shows he has coming up?
I have a small one here and there, some things with persons with
disabilities. Not nothing --- and that always used to be enough
And it IS enough for me.
So why do I feel so sad. Don't misunderstand me: this work was
fun. The artists seemed to like working with me. they applauded
me at the end. Some also came to me personally with tears in their
eyes to say thank you. A tenor said I opened his mind to what he
is capable of as an artist. Things like that. Wow. and the reviews
have been excellent. so I should feel good and proud, I know. I
just wish it was that simple.
The other thing that really hit me is that Frieder seems like maybe
he is unwilling to help us with the motion tracking for the motioncomposer.
its "engineering work" and he says he does not really
like,,, well, sort of all his work is, but I understand what he
means. the features are things WE came up with. not him. so he would
not really be so creative in the project.
This does make it a relatively small job for him.... maybe a month,
maybe 2, for which I offered him 25.000€.
Anyway, I feel dumped. and the project will surely struggle... I
feel trapped. and like I said, all these old feelings came up again.
Now a funny story : I went across the street to the mall, because
I needed a sweater. I found one I liked, very light and soft and
it was a nice color and fit me.
how much is it?, I asked. And the man (I thought) said , "55
Manats" (50€). OK, its a lot, but it was a nice sweater.
so I went back and looked at it again, and kept thinking about it.
Yes, I finally decided, I will do it! So the next day, I went back,
planning to buy even two of them in different colors. So the six
people waiting on me rang it up. But when I looked carefully at
the bill, it said 1710,-. They cost 855 each, not 55.
Oops. I walked out kind of sad that I had no sweater to keep me
warm. Almost a thousand bucks for a sweater. Are they crazy?!?!?!
9.4.15 60th b-day and
"Haha". we laugh at it.
shrug and say "fuck".
but there it is. 60.
a number. my age.
turn, turn. change change. maybe... maybe
not. its still this strange thing called "life",
till its not.
I remember when someone told me -- I was probably
5 years old -- and someone told me for the first time that no one
knows what life is. or where we go when we die. I DIDN'T
Its a kind of trap, life. It can feel that way...
like we are in this thing, and there is really no way to change
it. "IT" changes, and it changes us, but we do not
change it. We cannot grab a new body, a new eyeball.
There is an exit, One of the most common forms
of death is in fact suicide. just not "start over"
button. no "switch sexes", "switch parents"
I left the house, yesterday, April 8th, with 6 years
and 8 hours,
and then there was a little flash of light and a floater
in my right vision.
a "floater" is a little grey thing that
floats around. never had _this_ before. never one as
big as this.
not that its "big" exactly, just, _there_.
there it is. something new. it stays there.
i think they can lazer them away. I read.
maybe its just there. the eyeball is wearing out. age.
age problems begin.
"Problems?!?" you whiner! YOU
ARE NOT ALLOWED TO COMPLAIN. YOU'RE FIT. YOUR
you do not have a flabby stomach, or body. you
can do the splits, and things. you can inspire people with
your deep knowlege of body, of dance, and art and stuff.
you can. you do. you must. its something.
and you have a project.
go to the gym tonight. and stop whining.
the bottom line of this, is this:
This "thing", it could be any "thing",
it could be the house burned down
or, I lost a finger, or a leg, or a kidney, or a friend...
a parent died. a child. a lover.
A thing changes, happens, and suddenly its psychology.
again, like when i had tinitus for 3 days. or
had my heart checked, its happened before,
it will again,
and then we have to get clear, we have to come clear
someone once said the quality of life is determined
by how we deal with those times,
not the happy ones, but the hard ones, the weird ones.
So how do deal with them? well, its a little
hard to concentrate. you feel it in your stomach sometimes,
you make sure to sit zen, twice a day,
you eat well, you do a little yoga, not necessarily
pushing it, but doing it clearly and well.
you become stronger, not weaker,
its not fun, but you do it, and wait for another time.
The the philolsphical side, as well as this pep talk
stuff, is that
it teaches to accept Vergänglichkeit -- the temporariness
is that worth knowning? is it worth going through
such times? being scared? wishing things were
accepting. breathing. talking to a friend.
crying. moving on...
1.2.15 art, my art
there is the thing, and then there is the desire of the thing --
and the DESIRE is what counts most of all. the fact of WANTING....
so you do some dumn thing -- the dummer the better! -- and it is
all you need. any stupid thing, like 1000 gestures, and the
rest is just toil,
wonderful life-art toil. and something comes out. out
of you. and this is the best art of all.
what is it?what is missing? we do it without understanding
it. and this most essential question can either gnaw at us,
or we have a big laugh!
have i done it well? am I now? there i have less doubt: hell yes!
few compromises. I can look admiringly at clever gentle people
perhaps... living on a commune somewhere, raising beautiful vegitables
and children, but finally this is was my path: teh new york
city artist turned inventor. and so on.
in my humble room and lack of security, surely this is trivia.
I wash my bowls: the real zen.
and no security? haha! that is part of the adventure!
27.12.14 dream of helena and the children
Helena was putting wooden trains, for children on the table, as
decoration, and she felt it was nothing and I said, no, it was wonderful
and why not do it and that the children would like it.
it was for a picnic outside. there was a large sunny park
nearby, and i was running around it, looking for the chance to ake
flight by running with such large steps.
then i met a woman who was somehow in cahrge and she needed help
translating a menu or something into good english, and I gave her
my phone number, but i started out 019, instead of 0179, and she
looked at me very suspiciously, the way the police had done last
night (as they pulled me over for a breath test).
and the children were starting to come it.
what a wonderful dream.
27.12.14 sinister shopping mall
la defense, is a bunch of glass office buildings near Paris.
But under it, and around it, are these shopping malls -- enormous
halls of color and flashing ights, and smells and beeps and great
LCD screens covered with whales and girls getting dressed and undressded.
and millions of people, mostly dressed in black, chinese-made clothes,
are moving about. "shopping2. eating. shopping.
but I see it as something sinister,
sad, dangerous, hurtful....
but they do it. they have been taught to, and captured by
millions of hours and precise techniques
its not just advertising, its an entire society, caught, like little
fish in an incredible whirling machine,
and, as Plato said, they think they are free. There are, count
them, a few artists struggling in their alternative nests, to see
behind it and around it and through it, and trying to tell people
and so its good for me to remind myself that I am not part of that.
I may be many things,
but to an extent, not that.
And so once each year I embrace it, with the loving if unwitting
help of this family,
to remember again what IT is , and what I am not.
20.10.14 cold stone
everyday, e v e r y d
time passes, and I see this, like a stone, like reality
as far as that goes,
and I yearn to sit zen. but
in a typical day I often do not.
in this mileau there is not that support from the outside,
from the other monks,
who, like stones in a bag, polish one another over time.
so the idea was to go on a retreat. find a place where people do
these things, ie support, and yoga too...
didnt find it yet. i will. keep looking.
my only criteria is that i dont have to listen to lectures on love
or religious stuff.
11.10.14 at my peak
of my powers
this morning I am at the peak of my powers. alone, and with
some vision, some ability to see, the deeper meaning of things,
and the things I might do, do better, and do well.
to put aways some things, in their box, to be able to do that,
that makes one stronger you know. the humans who have to do
that, who have done that, they breathe deeper. they are the
well, like (and here is one for that famous List of things that
make up who i am), a screaming child, jealous of his brother, and
who now, with 60, dreams of his x-partner male friend, holding hands
with his sometimes-girlfriend. we were walking together though,
up a narrow street in Basel perhaps, and there was not quite room
for me at her right. you see? I was a step behind, and
and yet, I remember, I liked them. they were the only friends
so whether a dark and whipery shadow, behind me, over my shoulder,
that is counted there.
but I see my liking them, I see that acceptance as a sign as well.
that I have learned to put it behind me. an unconfortable moment,
delph is with patrick this weekend. and the artist in me
can say that there is something good in that. for it bring
up what is anyway there, for me to see.
and seeing things that are there, seeing things that we would sometimes
rather not, pain and beauty both, well, what is the role of the
artist if not that?
so I used to say, "bring it on!". burn me, freeze
me, smack me in my face -- it is my role, my codex, as an artist.
no compromise, no repose.
I can still say that. (if perhaps not every day).
8.9.14 dicey times
continues to be a bit rocky for me this year -- since my birthday.
better, I think, than in the beautiful late Spring, when I was
fearful and even had some hours of depression. A few minutes,
here and there. Never a full day of it.
And my stomach is in its 7 year cycle year. Thanks for my
age, and knowlege, I know what to do.
When I think sometimes that little gets better with age, this is
And now, these days, evenings are calm, and even happy most days.
most days. Mornings can be rocky. not sure why...
coffee helps. a LOT! but those first hours can be very
So, InfoMus has frozen work, and IMM is threatening to pull the
plug, if InfoMus does not release its "fixed" software.
Spannend! like a bracing wet wind in your face, looking out
I need a fucking holiday.
There was a meeting this week -- where every was yelling at me.
and marcello kept laughing afterwards: "I told you so!".
but at least he was laughing. he told me I was wrong to use
the newest software.
But I actually stand by my decision. it worked very well
indeed. even if the politics was spinning like crazy all around
it. you said, he said, they said...
Anyway, I said to both of them:
you will never straighten this out. press reset.
see if they can do it. I dont want to care too much...
if not... I will take a few more walks or badminton
games with frieder...
we took a walk yesterday!
I kind of believe in us for this actually.... strangely.
we know how to do it I think. kind of a cool feeling.
2.9.14 Tell whom?
Everyday there is so much to tell! Well, ok, life :)
Yesterday while pedalling a bicycle hard and hard,
to techno music in the gym,
I began to cry. I let the tears flow.Among the sweat streaming from
my face and head, who would notice?
I trained well, and when I was done with one exercise, I moved
on the next,
into the night, without dinner. haha! like the old days!
now a slow morning, in a café, as is my style. Eager to
do many things,
but take a few minutes to see the bigger picture.
getting up at dawn,
may be the way to run a business -- but it is not my way :)
And I will work hard enough, I think, in this life.
2.9.14 Other People
An very old woman approached me once in a park, where I was training.
I'm not sure why, but only small children and old people ever approach
you when you train in public spaces...
Anyway, she said,
"That will make a big difference when you are old".
How kind, honest and helpful, to share such a thought with me! And
to be so old -- one can only call it wisdom.
And in my gym, much more recently, I noticed an older man out of
the corner of my eye,
watching me train. He was fascinated. As I left the room he seemed
to want to talk so I said hello.
That is wonderful what you do, he said. and I thanked him and explained
that I was a dancer.
Support! Isn't it great? that someone should notice the care and
effort I put in to making this body do these things.
And finally, some days earlier, I saw another man. He was stretching.
He was more flexible that I! I had to ask him what he did. It turns
out he had been lame for many years, and now, after an operation,
was regaining the use of his legs. So he trained a lot,
physio, and lacking muscle mass, was very flexible. Beautiful on
different levels... and I told him so.
Inspiring us to move -- see how important the others are?
We can train by ourselves, and do exactly what our muscles seem
to need, and that is good, but there is so much to gain from others!"
gain from others"... I hope I repay what I take!
Class, dance class, is only one example. the discipline -- fuck!
no one can do that alone! When you're alone,
and you get very tired, you stop! who doesn't? the brain just says
stop, and its so hard to think really straight when you are oxygen
I make a list sometimes, of exercises, on a piece of paper. including,
say, 15 minutes of choreography. and, if I have made the list right,
it works. and I just keep following it to the end. "15 minutes",
I know. dont laugh. but very people will understand this, how hard
that is! even when it is never performed, how glorious! there is
nothing like it in this life.
unless maybe I can really succeed to build this thing.
22.8.14 a typical morning
I may have lost my list. my little yellow list of
Things. I write incredibly tiny in my list... but EVERYTHING
was there! oh no! so i feel confused and stuff.
there was some ideal thoughts too, on the back of it.
it may have been the solution; the answer to all
strife. the way to stay happy. the most important thing of all-
but i lost it.
now i sit zen and think: the magic and beauty of this exact moment.
30.7.14 a typical morning
How can anything be "typical"
in LIFE !?
So its time to change again, to go somewhere strange
and discover something new, something I never even dreamed of.
And quick! before this post-coffee optimism
fades, when I still can sit and marvel and how many things are possible!
I know that only a small fraction of them come to
be... or even turn out to be "good ideas", but, hey, ok,
I don't always screen well, and there is a lot of junk in there.
I think a lot of people are like that. You toss out a lot
of ideas, with conviction, and somewhere there is a hit.
So back to "so much is possible" -- even
now, sitting here, in this day, 30.7.14....
There were bombs going off, great flashes of light,
and if you were near to one, as we were, it would burn you, like
strong sunlight only faster, and we were getting all getting tans.
And then a thought came to me -- like an inspiration.
like a voice from above, and it said, "you do not need to end
with a hydrogen bomb, you can turn what you are doing (motioncomposer)
into a fine process -- the process itself can be beautiful and important.
And as I was saying or hearing this, I was extending
my hand into the air, reaching into the light, and it was the hand
of an old man.
That is a very positive dream. It resolved something
i had another DREAM
we were on a cliff above the sea, and there was snow
everywhere. and even the ocean was largely frozen. and there
were beautiful penguins near me. the sky or the water or something
was bright blue!
and I wanted to throw one of the penguins off the
cliff for some reason... but when I did so the level of the water
had risen so much that it was only a few feet down.
but the strongest part of the dream is that helena
was there, and I woke up feeling entirely sad and missing her.
jealous of something...
9.7.14 In the air to Zürich- to
To suffer a sea change, into something rich and strange...
Thinking of activities which could consume me for a while
like doing my taxes, preparing my talk for tomorrow.
or writing like this.
Or body work, or even thinking about body work -- that process.
Those details, how one thing leads so naturally to the next, and
how when you are tired how you have to push a little and again and
again. And how deep is the satisfaction.
How there are ways I know to do it that do not require energy --
and yet still lead to same truth -- the truth of the cycles of change.
The truth of the beauty of being.
A kind of pride, to be standing so tall and lifted in the gym,
where others can see me, standing as an exercise, as a training,
not stiff, but powerful, flexible, ready and alert, engaged and
aware and calm.
To be special in this. one of an elite -- those who know
body work in a deep way. Sometimes I meet others in the gym
who look me in the eyes, like a greeting between members of a secret
society. They get what I am doing. And I get what they are
doing -- pushing the limit, day after day. With focus, dignity
It is frankly the only thing I have ever found in this life that
is ALWAYS satisfying, always good, and for which there is no guilt,
no subtle sense that I am wasting my time and actually should be
Which is of course ironic since... it is, of course, almost completely
selfish and useless...
I dreamt last night that there was a kind of amusement
park, where you go to re-inact life in a nazi concentration camp.
Where you go to assume the roles of the most suffering of people,
in a re-creation setting, like those places where go to play cow
boys and so on. And you do it as a cleansing, a kind of prayer.
almost like a zen retreat. Like a zen retreat, I think you could
pay, but you didnt have to. And I was talking with a friend, and
decided to join. Thinking, they must have ways to keep it safe from
disease and so on. To bring in the stench, without real health risks.
Where they could starve you in a controlled environment.
And the dream was oddly beautiful, refreshing and hopeful.
I think it may have come from my sense of luck in my life. And
my wondering if I may be missing some harder payment. Like zen is
hard. or hard training, with sacrifice.
But to live simply, as a munch, and be happy. or at least calm.
What a beauty and hope is there in this simple fact,
that relieves my fear of poverty.
DHARMA TALK #62
whether eyes are opened or closed, or half closed;
whether speaking little words, or, silently, a montra; whether counting
breaths, all little details. important is to sit, 22 minutes.
there is a hand there, touching, ever-so-gently, reminding me, like
thunder: I am. I am. I am.
A chicken is crowing, or whatever it is chickens do.
I am in the country, in Germany, near... well, near
nowhere -- This must be good. anonymous. empty.
If I can make it good. sit, twice a day, and do complete
yoga, if in stages, parts... these are the things a person
needs. well, this person.
I got some people yesterday... in
a talk i gave. :)
Last night i dreamed
i was operating an airplane, it had two engines,
and you had to start each of them separately. I started
them, and as we wheeled close to the edge, the drop-off -- you see
we were parked, somehow somewhere in the clouds, and I was getting
ready to take off again, to go back to earth, and it occured to
me that I was not sure I knew really how to fly, certainly I was
not licensed, or trained, but as we approached the edge of the cloudy
launching place, I was not particularly worried. There was a woman
with me, though no one i knew.
I felt happy, looking forward to the challenges, for
example of a good landing, and I had a certain amount of confidence
in spite of everything.
To continue like this, ,, seems
sad. the deep and lost kind.
not to sit, every day. and do a complete yoga, "complete"
decided by me, and of course is arbitrary, but this, i have learned,
is hardly relevent. what exercises it contains, how many bows...
you just do it, like a sneaker, and according to a
decision, and it makes all the difference.
hiking, or not. eating such meals, or traveling in
the far off places of the world . looking out at the sea, or into
the eyes of a strange beast, these nice things are not essential.
but the far simpler thing, the holding of ones life
in ones hands, the seeing it, that is essential and necessary. not
for me, but for the world!
that, i happen to know, is within reach.
society , this one, will not help with that. there
are those that do! a collony here. a cloister there. ask renèe,
the radical. she would know. or the monks.
to gain respect from mr. Lavau, you cut a celery well.
(celery here, as in most places, is not the stalks, but the root
of the plant. and the root has "eyes" which you have to
but my point is, how different from Dad! <
Mr. Lavau proudly shows me his skill in making a "roti"
(below) which took him about 3 minutes.
Its some kind of deer meat, wrapped up in some kind of fatty tissue...
A break from my normal rhythms. like backpacking, only much more
comfortable. less physical, and less fresh air. but nice people,
and amazing food.
I'm thinking of traveling ... Chile, Peru, Ecuador,,,, Patagonia....
i dont know. just hiking in a strange place, where you feel kind
of helpless at first. then you slowly catch on to things. lots of
walking. with my good legs. while i have them.
i remember a guy who was screwing together his bicycle at the camp
site in Reykjavik - he had flown with it and was getting ready to
i asked him which way and he said south around the big glacier.
that's a pretty repetitive route. where for days the scenery does
not seem to change. and he said that was the whole point. that nothing
seems to change. like good meditation. he got me with that one.
all by himself. i totally got it.
and later, as we spent a couple of days in Höfn, i walked
a path along the sea, where summer homes with picture windows looked
out over fjord, and I wanted to _have_ one of those little houses.
and i pictured myself with some work, in my socks, sipping hot chocolate
in the sun, looking out at this view.
but a moment later I thought: hey, but I have this view already.
and I am overlooking the sea, and even better, I am in the fresh
and then suddenly this "to have" was gone, and i felt
so complete just to be walking.
I (we) do go off 3 weeks a year. by American standards, not bad!
Germans typically do 3 times that. paid leave. good social system.
on the other side, I know I am greatly gifted to have this project.
the possibility to change something in the world, for a great many
people. and brilliant creative team to lead. (no one is full time
except me. 3 are half-time. and about 20 are on contract basis...)
anyway, what a great thing that is -- wow. I feel so lucky. its
never a chore. I simply love working on it.
but now its yoga time! that is a chore sometimes! but the good
i found this on a scrap of paper:
there is power, life power in those old emotions.
there must be an art to using them, taming them. like
a chemical, that in the right dose heals and gives you a gift in
your heart, the ability to fly,
to lead others and inspire,
but otherwise will kill you. or at least make you
taking drugs is an art.
Does it matter now? Is it überhollt perhaps,
from ... age? some kind of fading? simple irrelevence?
does my Burning Flame have less heat? and the wind in heart a mere
no, robert No! you have to fight. you always did. nothing, nothing
essential has changed in this. To be an artist never did depend
on how man yshows, newspaper reviews and so on. it never did.
i need to keep making these comments,
on what I see, and what I feel it means,
yesterday i met a black woman on the train. we spoke english and
I asked her how her baby was doing. she said well, and then asked
if I had babies. why not! she asked.
I thought at once about the abortions. and how much, now afterwards,
they mean. there is almost nothing in my life... i cant think of
a thing, that I regret more.
I had no answer for her, and so she asked again.
Its a good question. was all I could say.
"I dont have money, but I am as happy as I can be." and
I believe her. i had heard her singing earlier as she was for a
while alone in that train compartment.
"find a girl and have some babies," she advised. it the
best thing you can do.
diana and i were the last two people alive on earth.
and we were thinking , or talking about what we should do...
yes, Im a good dreamer!
of a dream
it came back to me, my lost dream:
I was at a high pass in the snowy mountains with strangers,
deep snow. there was a cabin or hut sleep in.
they wanted to climb a mountain in the morning, a
high peak, despite the bad weather. and I said, sure, I'll join
Helena, I think, had already climbed that same peak,
so I knew it must be do-able.
and I had crampons (which I have never used in my
life) and snow shoes.
I mean, I definitely was scared, and at first I said
that I might not go all the way with them, but the more I thought
about it, the more I had confidence to try.
There were places where it was a long way down, on
both sides of the path. (remember Iceland?)
8.9.13 too many
early,much too early for me, I sit on the train to
too emotional for a grown man, working his way through this real
what does this mean, these waves of doubt, and pure love, overlapping
and twisted together in my mind? what did they ever mean?
and though I know that this is more a weakness than a strength,
it is anyway there for me... to use. in my relationships, in my
art... i would like to believe that anyway.
at 715, walking to the bus this morning, the line from shakespeare
came into my mind: "to thine own self be true". I assume
he meant dont kid yourself about who you are. dont try to be something
youre not. but, is that not our daily Anstrebung - desire? what
moves us forward?
anyway, its way too early for philosophy, and, not being the young
man I once was -- no longer NEEDING to feel EVERYTHING I can, to
see every sunrise, to jump into every river or ocean...
I wish more that I was under the influence of an anti-depressant,
and have that feeling of ...cool man. everythings cool.
only instead of taking drugs, I practice zen.
DREAM: I was in a room with tables and chairs on the walls,
instead of on the fl
8.9.13 the rain
I am happy for the rain. The good weather was confusing me. It
made me feel I was missing something: a trip to the lake, a canoe
paddle down a stream, the smell of a girl's hair,...
If I had a shrink, I would question her on that point: why this
fear of "missing out"? where does it come from?
how deep is it?
And if I could free myself of it, would I then be more whole,
Maybe that is one of those "parts" of me, those "things
about me" that go on my list.
maybe it is also part of my drive, my joie de vivre, my love of
I got up early last week. yes, me.
If there were a list of things that I could change in my life,
after which I could say: "yes, there, I have it! I have
learned to live. This is how you do it." that would go
on it, I suppose.
And if I did arrive there. And did all the thigns "right",
what then? would I still have a reasons to keep doing things?
if I did have a list of things I wish I did, ways I wished I lived,
what would it look like?
1 sit zen, twice a day
2 do yoga (essentially dance) every day
3 dont watch stupid things on screens at night
4 eat well, and not after 9.
5 work mindfully.
6 be nice to everyone
I usually do these things. most days. or many days.
well, some days.
20.7.13 truck crash
dream: I was driving a truck, a big 16 wheeler, and while I did
finally manage to find 1st gear, (there was no clutch), and it was
indeed a very low gear, the breaks were either too weak, or i did
not have the leg strength to stop on time. I crossed the intersection
through the red light, and ran up into the grass and leaves on the
other side. the two other trucks waiting at the light, one had a
woman driver, they let me go first, to get back into traffic, but
driving this thing was a bitch. I was not really ready, or properly
there had been on "off" ramp to it, but no "on"
ramp to get to it. so police or someone showed me on some kind of
google maps thing how I could circle around, through the town to
get to the weighing station, which was, technically, required. how
impractical, I remember thinking. This truck was very difficult
to drive. (though there was one in front of me that was being driven
even worse than mine!)
haha. pretty funny. all pretty fitting for my life right
It happens, from time to time, that I feel ,,, unfairly treated.
Remember staying up all night,pissed that bill young had taken over
some aspect of the tour?
That feeling that another strong willed person has taken over some
question that I thought was in my control?
A powerful psychological trap for me. Like steve jobs when he would
cry in the office about some power play he had to deal with... how
he would fight tooth and nail for something
that often was not even that important.
I can see that in myself - like now, or lets say last week,
when someone (i still dont know who) ran roughshod over me to kick
out the design firm I wanted to work with.
Im not even sure that it was the wrong decision, though my instincts
tell me it was
but how it was made, needs to be prevented in the future, somehow,
with an Abmachung with Kai-uwe,
I want to prevent this kind of thing in the future.
But those feelings of resentment,how powerful they can be in me.
I have a lot of power in this venture. I want to use them
with patience, dignity and grace,
as opposed to childishly.
another coffee break
quick, qhick! before the great instpiration has passed!
I dreamed of astronauts, that we were -- not dancers exactly,
but for that astronauts!
and a cat that could swim.
filled with inspiration.
coffee hour :)
I once had the idea to make a list of the things that define me,
things that seem , well, not radical perhaps, but a little odd or
different about me.
and that added together, that would be me.
I started it i think. somewhere. I think there must be 87 things
that things gives me pleasure is surely not one of those things.
but i was thinking this morning how
like late at night sometimes, when I am hungry and I can hardly
wait for the next
day when I can eat something salty !
crazy things like that,
it is not the thing,
but the _fact_ that things give pleasure,
the fact that there is a greater ,,, karma flow, at work.
and i remember you , reading die Zeit, one Sunday morning, and
saying how great it was to
read and learn things. its like that. the _fact_ of enjoying somehow
meaning more than what is actually being enjoyed.
not the pleasure itself.
if you see what I mean. kind of a larger philosophical view.
and I see some of the sacrifices that you make for your children,
which are so amazingly great to me, and I am sure that only know
about a tiny part,
and of course they may not always seem to appreciate it.
but the world does. karma does.
Douglas Dunn, a new york choreographer I used to know
used to say, it doesn't matter to the dancer how a certain movement
is done, but it matters to the world.
its like caring about the world, from an artist's point of view...
I think I should get back into a big city. where such people hang
and inspire us.
a second apartment in Berlin. share it with delphine. and probably
I feel ready for that. again, after all these years ;)
happy its almost over. one more phase of this adventure.
I definitely have a bad feeling about that dentist - the one that
caused this problem, but its not anger exactly.
somehow i take this philosphically. it is the only way that makes
sense to me. and, of course, whats done is done.
(which may be a weakness of mine as much as anything haha)
so, as i said in my last entry, to learn from this
exquisite pain. Pain, pure, without real meaning -- for one
does not need wisdom teeth.
It is, in the tradition of Oklo, a shoving from the outside.
it almost has to be for it is almost impossible to shove oneself!
Already, for example, I have been able to cry. not for pain,
but for -- love and loss, the usual reasons perhaps, but in the
most primitive primal sense,
of mother and brother. as intensely dark,
the source of all real power that I have had in this life.
and i wanted to call my brother again , and maybe I will, because
he is involved,
as is the death of my mother,
who I would call if I could.
and so I cried today as I bicycled my training machine at the gym.
It came up from somewhere deep inside me,
like my mother, who, represented in the loving form of Ingrid,
also made me cry, last Friday.
So it is perhaps strange to say it, but I am happy for this.
the chance it gives me, to feel so deeply again,
triggered by a tooth.
tooth pain. wow. intense.
learning from it.. pain management
like counting the time to when I can take another ibuprofen. or
breathing out, and with with each breath I measure carefully the
pain, and find its easing. "the breath out releases.."
I say, each time I breathe. focus.
studying its ... truth. its message. like zen.
it comes and goes... that is the good part.
so im in pain, have pain, embrace pain, ride pain
for 5-10 minutes, and then something in my head,
in my jaw, reverses and the pain re-arranges itself.
like it fractures and moves around. thats the part i love.
at times it is intense and while I know it could be worse -- Im
sure! -- I am almost doubled over to endure it. and I pray it passes
which so far it has, though I must admit the bouts
have somewhat intensified over the days.
then sometimes a part of it hangs on, dull and there,
and I count breaths, as I do in zen.
and after counting to 10 maybe 5 times, I am still with the pain,
but now without the fear. and I say to myself, this is not rocket
science and it is not deadly. my dentist can handle this. he will
know what to do. he is that good at least...
and I am calmer.
but here's the thing: sometimes the pain is gone entirely. and
I feel so elated. and free. and almost silly and friendly with strangers
and full of life and joy.
and at those times I am thinking: it is almost worth the pain,
to have these moments. and the pain is also life. life plus. it
is, in jack's words, "so real". so accute, so etched into
being. into this existence.
22.4.13 Celle Ligur, where
where else would i be but in a random Italian town
by the Sea?
saw helena and her kids and her semi-transparent man
last 2 days. kids sparkling with light! they are discovering life
and the world. remember? The Big Adventure?
They and that could have been mine,
in that moment in frieders garden, could not all things
have been different, if I had only said, "this matters most
of all..." (when she told me she was pregnant).
but that was not my choice.
all of it.
now, if now was then, it would be. but now is not
back to that summer when the clearest thing in the
world to me was that I would always be a step behind that I was
destined to lose in that game of love.
that I was the one apart. the one made to be the poet
(as I think Virginia Wolfe once said). (of course, not with
words, in my case. and anyway, it is the power I speak of and not
This dawned on me when i was 17. that this is how
it would be for me. again and again. how did i know?
and every time i thought i found it, as with helena,
i secretly knew that it was a dream, a myth.
How did i know all this?
and do i really prefer to have those kids? and
i have to write. its late, but i have to.
its life. its passing. im in it, and its moving, but its also passing
blink. im young.
watching nolan movies, about memory, and reality.
how to keep it i guess. find it and keep it. like if
you are busy seeing the faces of your kids, you will not notice
or care if the top falls over or not. if things really do
count for something,
so does writing them down make them more real, or
i want to open the window wide tonight, to smell the
blowing snow with all its memories of Iowa, and,,, mystery.
and how as a teenager, I would repeatedly write that
life was so strange and beautiful.
and that it seemed to almost burn with desire.
blink, im old. or almost.
this week and the last and the last have been fast.
helena, said "good"! I'm not sure why she said that.
fast time is good time? i wanted to cry out, hey wait.
and write the things that make up me, the specialness
of me. like how after my right hamstrings are just a little
too much stretched, a little more than usual, twice one day,
instead of once.
Or how i get herpes on the back of my right leg. and
i have for 30 years. no one knows that! haha.
or how i get up in the night to write things sometimes.
because i want time to stand still for a moment.
I did not sit zen today. can you tell?
i am hungry for
something i never quite found, but art , making it,
came about as close as anything could. its just that art,
is itself so nebulous. i choreograph, for example, what? phrases?
or, what? technology art?
i spent 8 hours today, sunday, building a simulator
for the motioncomposer. interesting,, that i did that.
that i wanted to. was drawn to. i did it like art. i
knew it would be tedious and not particularly useful.
the engineers told me it is a waste of time.
and i partly believe them. but i wanted to anyway.
see? to do something really well, even while knowing that is useless.
see, its like art.
useless is good! see? it emphasizes the making, the
caring. the doing. the value in that. hahaha!
27.2.13 not bad
talking at breakfast, I told about how it was, how
it can be, being in a dance company -- rehearsing together, traveling,
performing, and my friend was envious.
He is young, and still could, haha. but my point here
is how wonderful some of those things were! I can hardly believe
how lucky I have been, to be able to have had that life. seeing
it objectively I mean, who wouldn't admire it?
And now to have this one, this exciting challenge.
There have been some pretty stupid years in there I must admit.
its been very up and down. But the ups...
for that alone, one has to feel pretty damn impressed
22.2.13 severed heads
i had a dream that i needed the severed heads of my
parents for my project, for the device. so i had them in these
polyurethane bags, kind of zip-lock, and I was thinking, well, its
good plastic, should keep all the gook insdie. The I remember
wondering why it wasn't grossing me out, even the neck part...
29.12.12 that time of year
again, thoughts of starting to sit every day, getting
up at ... well, earlier. fear of the coming year. the enormity
of the challenge.
to build something new for the world.
many with more smarts than me have had such ideas...
well, few with my knowledge and sense of the meaning of the human
body in movement.
i'm reading biography of steve jobs.
I am thiniking of what it will take.
a thousand times I have had the idea to sit zen, and
stretch, regularly. I do stretch regularly. most days. I probably
sit 3x a week.
but I mean something else. more.
and mornings. its not my natural rhythm.
but now its about this job, and the vision it will
take... the new vision and power. I know of no other way to
derive such power. as I have been? no. that is
my intuition tells me that. steve talks about
that. I cannot prove it, but I can know that I believe it.
so now, how to get there from here? the zen
monks say, put stones in a bag and one will polish the other.
so I need to find a few stones. in weimar...
start with google. try the yoga houses...
I can do it alone - but it will take a LOT of focus.
I have time for it now, but later I will not.
I can start on the 1st. or I can start right
15.11.12 what do you think
about when you do it?
a woman came up to me in the studio while i was stretching
and asked, aparently dumbfounded,
"What do you think about when you do that?"
I wanted to say something profound, but I could only
15.11.12 fear of happiness
It scares me to feel happy.
I heard recently someone else say the same thing.
probably a lot of people feel that. its an existential
13.11.12 Dreams of Cunningham
I wonder what he dreampt.
I dreamed that the bit of choreography I have been
working on _meant_ something. That it had some real value
interesting dream. funnyvtool.
a little choreography every day. thats the rule!
3.11.12 Malo, Italy
not yet. and, by the way, I am a dancer after
this morning, for a few moments at least, I knew what
art is. with all its mystery and confusion, , i can see so
clearly the poetrification of life -
not as a comodity, but as a neccessary release, like
steam that has to blow out of a pipe in an old factory. too
much energy, too much life, but not too much of course,
because its great. like the energy of a drunk, when they are brilliant
and have done their homework (that stuff will kill you though).
whereas art will keep you alive!
(i can hardly wait to work on my choreography).
hammer hammer, tinker tinker though it may be... something always
a twisted kind of genious. its not enough to
be clever haha (that works to my advantage) and
it has to do with the song "they didnt have to
love me" "fly" from joshua the film
6.10.12 strange dream
The cat kept brining in dead mice, you know the way
cats do that. But these bloody mice were everywhere, and while
appreciated the good intentions of the cat,,,
what do you think this dream means?
30.9.12 Bye Palindrome!
I decided today to close Palindrome.
I'm not a dancer anymore! Not that I can't,
or won't -- I will -- but just because I do not need that
identity anymore. and moreover, the codec that has been my
truest companion through this journey.
<<more on that elsewhere>>
And Palindrome, the official side of it anyway closes.
. and I was surprised that it affected me emotionally. A little
sad i guess, but not only. Like Cunningham's end, it is pride too.
But mostly a kind of zen … peace. You do the thing with discipline
and without compromise -- a set of ethics, arbitrary as they may
be. and yet they are … there is a tradition there. I read
the biographies of some of the great artists and said Yes! That
is partly where I found my Codec - my code to live by. a set of
principles. something to believe in.
Closing it means accepting a new set of principles. I do not have
to dance everyday. I have to build my product. In a few days we
are supposed to find out if we have a business partner in a company
called IMM. even if we do not, I will go forward. I believe in it,and
i am not without allies!
27.9.12 Notes and dreams off my other
Beautiful Fall morning. Im sitting in the garden under
an apple tree. Good day to go climbing, or canoeing or to have sex
all morning with a beautiful young woman… but I will not.
I could, but I was thinking this morning what a lazy bum I am. a
happy bum, but a lazy one. Oops. Whatever happened to carpe diem?
Ahh delicious coffee, and even though every day is like Sunday
for me, Sunday can still be special, can still go slow and luxuriously.
and isnt this carpe diem too? Not to stress and rush and pack and
plan and _think_?!
hhhhhrunning adn running.
a few minuts ago i was in a marathon, i was urnning through buildings
like a university campus or something. i had stopped to get a badly
needed snack - a big piece of licorice in the shape of an hourglass
or a spindle, it was cheweey and sweet and grey,
but i had a long way to go. where were the others i was wondering.
i cant be the only one so far back from the lead pack…###
yesterday i was running too. only then in the rain, uphill, to catch
a train or a plane.
i woke up breathing fast. hm... WAS HEART BEATING STRANGELY IN
MY SLEEP?##i did not bicycle, i mean at the gym either yesterday,
or the day before.
are these dreams telling me that i need to.++obviously
they speak about the fear
i am having these days about time, ad my strangely advanced age.
advancing. young guy, they call me. but my face… my face gives
me away, like those children with that disease where they they age
in my dreams, i am a good runner. i have a chance to win, or to
catch the plane.
i just need to do it. and i am… admittedly a little late.
dr dr what does this mean`? i would so like ot know what it all
the circadian rhythms, like a drum, bang bang bang, faster and
faster. i get into bed, i get up. like my heartbeat dance. the rhythm
of our lives. big dance.
maybe it is because i am choreographing <a little) again…
a phrase. i want to video it. i want to reconstruct the one i lost
too! oof. much to do you see. much that matters. i think of how
cunninghams felt when he was dying . i heard someone say, he was
filled with ideas for his next dance, which amazed even him…
just that there are these drives.
life is, you know, so fucking strange. we go along, 99.9% of the
time pretending that its fixed, that it is solid, and somehow known.
as we understood anything at all! when i get into bed alone, every
night now how impossible it is, this farce.
nothing negative, just kind of square in the face. i sat zen today
deep in the forest. no one saw me come or go. no one heard my chanting.
i come and go, unseen.
this is the way of zen. to whisper. to be so light that we are one
with the air and nothing can hurt us. like those fluffy seeds that
travel in the air this time of year, neither sinking nor floating
higher. just perfectly there.
and i know that it means to work again, and as well as i can. to
choreograph a little more (i am working on a little something),
and to be kind to others. i know what the message is: carpe diem!
carpe every diem. but at the end of the day, the day is done, just
like the one before it. flip, flip, flip the pages are turning awfully
get up early, drink strong coffee, and sit zen again. then call
the tax office. haha! might as well laugh at myself. merrily merrily.
every evening i think, there are a couple of projects i need to
do. useless things. things i cant even call art, but things that
must be done,
before i die. not sure why,,, but like it matters. strange.
like, making a list of the things that are me. those little quirky
things that are just me. like my dreams of flight. or to get in
touch with all the people ive ever known, and say, here i am! here
we are! we touched each other once! like gail stepanek. write her
and say, dont panic, call stepanek.
a dancer i met maybe once in my life. i rented her studio and made
up that ad for her. repeat it , like a a little joke no one knows
but me. there are a lot of those.
i guess thats ok. i have friends. whom i love.
its a been a while, years probably.
remember lying in bed at purchase so full of hope and vision. and
happy in my heart, for i was reaching out. i was dancing. and it
had nothing to do with reality, but haha, who cares? it is the same
the end of summer is always a sad time.
but ok, what i wanted to say is that i can hardly wait to dance
tomorrow - to work on my gesture dance again.
and to train! yey dance!
training, which I did today, makes us feel like doing it again!
and that is
life. it keeps itself going.
my dancing life
has been a mixture of
great frustration in its lack of popularity,
respect and money,
and deeply-felt joy and release in its practice.
and the odd successful show and applause, but mostly just rehearsing
the choreography, the actual making of it,
nothing beat that
so i will do it in the morning,
for its own sake,
and that is enough, and even good.
i know there are others out there
with the same ,,, strange life.
lisa for example,
and that is some confort. i can tell them they are not crazy. and
i said,, i heard myself say, "i'm practicing being me".
way to live.
is life going in circles?
hm. i am older again its true, but have I been here before?
and while I am asking questions, what happens when we die?
does the world continue, or does it stop as well?
my idea is to never do anything longer than an hour. that is a
good time to work on something.
after an hour, switch to something else.
some films, most films are 2 hours long, so i guess that is an exception.
but like today, i was working on something, and after an hour became
and then my yoga was 9pm in the office, and i lay on the floor exhausted
and did not have the energy to pedal up the hill.
or sit. or i forgot to.
but i think i would have remembered if I had only stopped
the thing i was doing. taken a break. break it. keep breaking it.
hm. i have the feeling that this represents a more efficient
way to live.
efficient? at what? at sitting. i sit for the world.
i did used to understand this, and i thought it was for myself.
but to interact with people in a good way,
means that i have i clear sense of myself. and this comes from sitting.
you spread it out. you leave it behind.
a good day. i felt good.
i worked in my office from 9 to 8. um, 11 hours.
i took an hour and a half for lunch. though i spent most of it
and buying things for the office. we had some budget money left
which can only be spent on office supplies.
boy it sure is hard to spend 200 euros on stationary.
eating sushi took maybe 15 minutes. bento box, 3 nigiris, 1 maki,
a little sea weed, a miso soup.
anyway, my day, yes. and yet i did no training, well, 3 minutes
no yoga, no climbing, no dance or choreography, no sitting either.
just office work.
and not even interesting office work. but i was alive
through all of it.
not hurting. and not afraid.
i ate strawberry sorbet with absolut vodka over it.
i took a bath reading murakami.
full full belly. marc made rinder braten. wow. i was impressed.
then i got out of there when they started to smoke :)
and ate a pint of cherry yogurt
rich, and natural...
then bath, and some murakami...
illusion happy ... illusion sad
hey, ill take what i can get.
my first and only attempt at poetry.
i was 10. i remember showing it to my mother
who was an accomplished writer.
she thought for a few seconds and then said,
"im not sure what it means, but it has a nice quality".
i took the paper and left.
not that it was a good poem, im sure it wasnt,
but she might have helped me to re-write it
or discussed its meaning with me
what do you think it means?
the FACT that i wrote the damn thing at all.
not its literary value. the fact...
what one might fail to see
is that the dirt and water are both still there
the dirt was evil i think. and the water goodness. thats all i
well, its better than what she said about my dancing or choreography.
22.9.12 On a ferry to Konstanz
quick quick before the inspiration is gone!
thoreau said there is an hour in the morning when
some part of you is awake that sleeps the rest of the day.
he meant after coffee of course. but an hour is short. i have
to type fast!
greatness. the things one _can_ accomplish. i can
see it sometimes so clearly. and then there is me.
and at first i want to say "pathetically outgunned",
but then correct myself, "finding my way...".
thinking for example of my "mistake" in
revealing business dealings to an employee (adrien). suddenly
he is asking for more money!
the important psychology of such things is so far
from me. me as outsider. as counter culture artist.
but, this venture needs the other thing.
so ok, other me. other hat. here we go...
9.9.12 On a ferry to Konstanz
I'm a little on edge these days. I'm blaming it on
the business decisions coming up -- things that people call "important".
Well, I call them that too, only for me it means something a little
different. A business is a model so firm in this culture and I question
all such models. The way the modern world works...
This doubt, you understand, is not just based on something I philosphize
about, it is not only a part of a credo that I cooked up (during
another phase of my life, the artist's one), but it is, and always
essential to my nature. It is not a concept of me, it is me.
But OK, business it is . It is my desire to try to make this thing.
It gives a purpose, a sense, a rationale to my interests and existence.
Larry reminded me on the telephone yesterday how we, we older guys,
know how to climb over our emotions. uh... sometimes. That a heavy
mood can come over us and we can do sports and make it go away.
Just like that. well, sometimes it is really is that simple.
Such clarity. Thats admirable! And I was thinking after meditating
today how the dances we took could be perfect. not that we moved
perfectly of course, but how perfectly we worked. How hard we worked
with every ounce of our body and soul. Wow! And that is something
we did day after day.
Of course it brought us nowhere. well, no where in this society.
But it was worth it anyway. how strange is that?
But back to my edge-ness. So I took a day off. I had the
great idea to climb some mountain but
somehow trashed my knees. shit. this is depressing.
no knees no climbing. no dancing!
i have to learn _not_ to do ,,, whatever the fuck I did!
Rich people piss me off. I dont even need to meet them. Just to
hear about them. the richer, the more so. Its nothing personal.
They makes me feel loss. a feeling i am prone to , and hate. and
it is probably unhealthy for me.
I heard a story in the news about suits. why 5000$ suits cost so
much. at the end I only wanted one, and knew I would never have
1.9.12 On the dance world
Through most of my dance training, and career, if
I may say that,
I remember thinking,
"how old-fashioned!" that we should go onto
a stage, under the lights. how stiff. how 19th century.
while I liked the discipline and the training, I thought
we need a whole new model of dance.
This was so clear to me.
and now when I see what is happening in the some of
the european dance scene today, what little I know of it, I think:
am I too personal? too solipcistic? probably.but
im not sure that this is art anyway. the rules are different.
Its a hybrid. like me.
anyway, she was there again. The Girl/Woman
that has always been
nearby. and in my dreams. whom I loved.
and she left.
as powerful as ever? maybe not. but high,
lofty, like rainy wind and tears,
and I woke up wanting ot ask helena why she left me.
after I gave her all of me, all my kindness and humor and warmth.
was it not enough? I am really that flawed?
probably. but anyway, its nt ethe right question.
love happened. bad luck is all. ive had good
luck too. like to have found her at all.
but sometimes i wish she would not visit me in my
dreams quite so often. I always wake up crying.
I also dreamed last night that my father had had my
mother "reconstructed" -- like brought back to life as
a kind of robot to keep him company. it looked like her, or
somewhat, only much younger, and she walked around and talked, but
had no soul.
31.8.12 Tuesday morning
I picked up 3 apples in the garden and started to
juggle them. when I stopped, a bee crawled out of one of
them and stung me.
15.8.12 Sunny morning
I was running, fast, in two poorly matched shoes.
they were hardly shoes actually, taped together out of pieces of
found things, but anyway my speed was incredible and inspiring.
as only running youth can be.
(i saw a music video recently in which all that happens
is guys run through an abandoned city. brilliant! though
i doubt it had anything to do with my dream. )
my parents and I were leaving a hall where we had
just heard a speech by president bush (though his face was more
like... not sure, wire rimmed glasses... daddy maybe).
I remember a little of that feeling that used to go along with dancing
for me, a kind of anger: "Ill show them!"
And I ran on ahead, like flying I was strong.
and then up an incredibly steep hill, where I had to use my hands
on the corners of the road, only the road was no long pavement,
but more like particles of light, packed tightly together.
by the way, the president finished his speech by singing
"when you wish upon a star...".
and earlier I was tightening a bright red clothes
line. by pulling the slack back and forth through the rack.
it was complicated.
what does it mean?
14.8.12 On being me
I was meditating in the park and words came into my
head, like someone was talking to me. They said:
"I'm practicing being me."
its funny, but it really does take practice.
can't sleep. it doesn't happen often, so I can't
but here I am in my little dining room, eating yogurt,
reading my book on human evolution, and waiting for sleepiness...
I was nervous today, though I do not know why.
Nervous a lot these days...
Yesterday my "employer" at the fitness studio
where I teach yoga told me she wanted to talk to me on Monday.
She represents my parent, of course, in my freudian mind.
and so it sent me into a strange state of ... cowardess?
Certainly self-doubt, which perhaps is another word
for fear. And I am planing a company these days, and it seems
so BIG sometimes, like now, much to big for little me. Tinker Bell
found a way never to grow up. Did she succeed? I do
not remember how that story ends. one thing is sure:
she managed it for a time.
I want to run to my parents for help. for a
cry and a hug. I can almost remember that instinct! like the
smell you get on the wind sometimes when the rain is coming, of
something distant and very powerful.
To the artist, with his credo, such things always
mattered, but I do not know what I am exactly now. So I do
not ... know what to do with all this... I do not know what
it is for.
Like the feeling I often have after training now:
good, but the yet guilty because I have warmed up and not rehearsed.
That I sherked the truly important part, the art part, the creation.
I used to always fear that part, and without Helena I _would_
have sherked it.
And now there is no Helena anymore,
and no parents either...
Perhaps this means I need to choreograph again, as
8.5.12 San Fernando, Spain
quiet morning. an hour to think, in this cool
conference room alone. what a pleasure!
reminds me of mornings in the church in new york.
when I felt I could make things happen, just by thinking
them through carefully enough, and then in a sense I proved my own
theory by organizing my first performing tour to Norway.
Its what I thought it meant to be a Wechsler: clear-thinking,
emotionless, but eminently powerful. haha!
the work is ... work. ok, good work. with
18 motivted students, psychologists, care givers -- people who work
with people with disabilities.
Busy week of workshop. Josepha is leading things
more and more. excellent.
3.5.12 Valladolid, Spain
People with disabilties...
20.4.12 Trondheim, Norway
Conference + working with andreas. great
15.03.12 Berlin, ministry of
my mother died today.
tomorrow Im flying to north carolina to ... remind
me what ... this is all pretty strange.
12.03.12 Berlin, ministry of
SPEAKER is speaking ,,, innovation, investment, yada
lots of suits. black, black, black, black, gray. Mine is gray.
I wonder if I could find a place to do yoga here? uhhhh....no.
we had to go through metal detectors to get in. I guess that means
people with money are here.
my badge is green. that means "looking for money". some
people have red badges. those are the ones with the money. haha.
quite funny scene.
I got up at 5:30 to get here for this wonderful inspiring speech....
There is a poster outside this lecture hall about motioncomposer.
among others. lets see... I am supposed to stand next to it and
give out cards and talk. then there are these little rooms,
where you go for tete à tete's. its called "partnering".
(Germans love using English words, somewhat wrongly). ok,
partnering. fine. whatever.
it makes me feel very empty to be here......
* * *
I was standing there 2 minutes and a man came up to me and offered
me 200,000 euros. well,,,,, sort of. we talked for 10 minutes. maybe
we'll sit together later in one of those little rooms. haha. like
the little rooms prostitutes have in Amsterdam. He was cute.
Hey, in the Münich airport there are these booth-like rooms,
like little houses, _in_ the airport waiting areas. they have
four doors on them, one on each side. and when you swipe your credit
card, you can go in and there is a bed inside. cute. I think it
was 30 euros an hour. tempting. To bad there's no prostitutes.
we were in the water, the ocean, at the beach swimming
it was wild, the surf i mean.
but the scene too: thousands of crazy young people
some with surf boards - i mean skaee boards
because the dream was also in the streets
doing tricks, showing off
taking drugs, very californi everything.
and my father was there younger than he is now
and we were going around shaking people down, like cops
we had said freeze EVERYONE, or eberything, so like the surf too
so powerful we were, wechslers
and i had the power to say, "you, come with us". or he*s
ok, let him go
before we turned the surf machine back on
only he had disappeared, dad.
and we were looking for him
but a moment ago, he was looking for... or worried about
one of us
and I had just spoken with him, conspiratorially... or at least
going along with his "serious" tone (realistic)
like this was all very serious to him
what a wild crazy beach party was to the rest of the world
so when i woke up, i immediately made a speech
for his funeral, which of course there will never be
(he would not have one - his is an atheist)
(rememeber my dear family speech
modeled after alan goods, dear class speech in acting class
how he made everyone cry
and how i did
dear dead parents
you may not have believed in god, and maybe i dont either
but i allow it. believe. spirits -- like how i saw mom in that cardinals
so many great storires... no one told, because they were simply
great fucking stories, like my dream. like so many of my dances.
and what it means to be artist, what i am.
in my heart.
the turning yourself inside out story
and munch, my secret brother. or spirit-buddy.
my brother, to have one at all
or sister, lost , through so many years of battle
so much, in fact, lost
your, moms too,
of the irrational
acceptance of my art, or even me
the artist in my brother
the one in my sister
or her religion -- yes, God, hey you can be there too, in my heart
hell, love itself,
he learned, more lately to say i love you
is this a critic on him?
so much anger i have lived
for so long
woody allan said only after his fathers death did he finally
stop many of his anxieties.
im happy. i want to start by saying that.
this is one of the best times of my life. this job is EXACTLY what
I would want. i am being supported to chase down a dream. and its
interesting and fun work. i built something today, out of wires
and soldering and little light bulbs. a testing device. and it worked!!
of course the engineers did the real work -- the fancy stuff, but
i contributed! something real.
and of course i am the director. the leader. the one with the vision.
which has its own good feeling.
so im good.
... maybe its the colder weather,, and the end of summer...
i keep feeling like talking to you. i dont know. about meditation,
about dance , about life, about death.
about kids, and cycles and all that bigstuff.
maybe thats it.. the bigness. we have both always understood that.
how good it is to be humble and simple,,,
and then we want to go on stage. or we did.
anyway, my mom is of course getting worse. slowly, that parkinsons
is making her life hard. and weird i guess.
my father went to a neighbors to get something, and when he came
back there was an abulence there. she had called them because she
said she could not wake him up -- but he wasnt even in the house
to wake up. shes done the same thing twice. and other weird things.
passing on takes a while. when is the right time to go? when indeed.
love love love to you
i had a happy day today. :) i sat. i worked hard at the office,
and i climbed in the gym. then went back to the office for an hour,,,
then cooked couscous for me poured melted cholcolate over a banana.
then i talked on the phone with larry and delphine... i still miss
you ... i know you so well, even that you have changed, i know that
That people walk these rainy pre-dawn streets as if nothing were
wrong. As if the world were not dying. As if this were susanable
-- to use the parlance or our times.
But this does seem strange,, this passivity. This acceptance. They
bought it. We all did,,, most of us. We move exactly as if it always
was like this, and always will be.
Its like a mold, a people mold. cars, always cars speeding all
around, who made it? who chose it? it is so organized, decided upon.
one theory is that it was a collective decision. as if commitees
of wise men had sat in a circle and thought this up. others, the
ones i listen to, say that the second group of people, the ones
we do not see, the much smaller and isolated ones from the ones
i am looking at now. they live in mansions overlooking the sea and
fly around in private jets.
springtime! o, springtime. new life, new love.
i am young again. a yellow spinkler held up high so the water dances
in amazing spirals in the sun. and now a bird. A bird!
on my way to work in istanbul i used to go past a little boy every
morning who had a scale and for ten cents he would sell you your
weight. is it only pitty now that makes me wish I had paid him for
my weight every day? what is "pitty" anyway, and is it
good or bad?
like the businessman in westchester who buys a coffee from a similarly
disparate figure every morning from behind a cart on wheels at the
communter train station. they smile to one another, bonding in a
particular ritual that is part love, but mostly commerce. a few
kind words, and while it seems so easy relaxed, in fact it is guided
by stict ritual. it looks free, like love, but they both embrace
my father and his father were like that, structuring their days
around such things. They paid not just for coffee of course, but
for the ritual. The rich man uses it as a way to feel like a chum,
an "ordinary guy". Every morning for twenty years the
says, "keep the change".
People like those things of course, even though the whole system
actually sucks a big one. it is so pathetic and unfair and wrong.
the coffee seller should be, i dont know, maybe painting murals.
certainly the boy with the scale should be in school and the school
should be excellent!
what is important? what is really important, to do in this life,
before im gone. …? haha, if anything!
diana would know. and she would laugh i am sure (and hide her tears)
but the only thing i can think of
is my list of the dumb things
that i have noticed
that make up me. the little things, that seem, since there is nothing
else i can think of, that make up what i am. the special thing that
i am. or was.
so, someone will read it, i hope, and think. like i did when i
met a person or two
near their end, and i took that with me.
remember? writing, at night, in the cool fall, when the sky was
colored and then dark.., remember feeling inspired? #
not that i knew what , or how i could say anything about anything
but i did see my life arching across the world, and i loved it and
it seemed important.
and even if i could not do great things, well, i would try, and
i would see
something new. for new is the essence. change. and keep changing,
and never stop.
that was my motto then, part of my credo, and it is my motto still.
there is a model there, a kind of man
worth being. one that stays innocent somehow, even as he knows,
one that still seduces pretty girls, even as he knows that he does
need to care
that the game, the energy is more important than the words one takes
all the words.
anyway, change things. again and again robert. go to france. begin
meet people, strangers and be yourself to them. practice it. practice
in different situations.
i talked to a strange woman in a bar yesterday. and she say,
how can you do that? talk to strangers like that. haha! if she only
how unsure i am of myself most of the time. but still, i had to
take the compliment and smile. i really did impress her.
I'm a little on edge these days. I'm blaming it on the business
decisions coming up -- things that people call "important".
Well, I call them that too, only for me it means something a little
different. A business is a model so firm in this culture and I question
all such models. The way the modern world works...
This doubt, you understand, is not just based on something I philosphize
about, it is not only a part of a credo that I cooked up (during
another phase of my life, the artist's one), but it is, and always
essential to my nature. It is not a concept of me, it is me.
But OK, business it is . It is my desire to try to make this thing.
It gives a purpose, a sense, a rationale to my interests and indeed
Larry reminded me on the telephone yesterday how we, we older guys,
know how to climb over our emotions. uh... sometimes. That a heavy
mood can come over us and we can do sports and make it go away.
Just like that. well, sometimes it is really is that simple.
Such clarity. Thats admirable! And I was thinking after meditating
today how the dances we took could be perfect. not that we moved
perfectly of course, but how perfectly we worked. How hard we worked
with every ounce of our body and soul. Wow! And that is something
we did day after day.
Of course it brought us nowhere. well, no where in this society.
But it was worth it anyway. how strange is that?
Rich people piss me off. I dont even need to meet them. Just to
hear about them. the richer, the more so. Its nothing personal.
They makes me feel loss. a feeling i am prone to , and hate. and
it is probably unhealthy for me.
I heard a story in the news about suits. why 5000$ suits cost so
much. at the end I only wanted one, and knew I would never have
12.03.12 waiting to see a lawyer
Im wearing my best clothes
I have to give back the money
that I got a couple of years ago from the german hartz IV -- its
kind of an unemployment money
and now Im going to be asked to give it back
and i tell myself everyday, a few times a day, that
it is fine to do so, and only fair and right.
Why the doubts? Simply the years of living
outside of the Law? and that is changing. so its like
I have to get used to a new set of clothes.
07.03.12 Hanover. (CeBit)
still dazed and profoundly confused
by my own mortality
I climb into bed
still hungry for art
23.2.12 Montreal. Pikolo
advantage of being jet-lagged: you get up at 7 and
beat the crowd for the best tables at the tiny but phenomenal Pikolo
Café. Great Capuccinos.
Portugese music playing. whack whack whack of
the coffee thing in the hand of the coffee maker. snowing like crazy
My workshop here is of less fun and interest than
I expected. I even felt a bit bored when I got up this morning,
but maybe that was just the normal let down after the show(ing),
along with any pre-coffee depression. hahaha.
but it does seem like i need to bring this motioncomposer
thing to the next level... kick some ass.
my mother's last words to me were
you go finish that thing you're building
make it for the old people who can be helped by it
she really meant it. wow.
a nd her eyes they were wet
but crystal clear.
23.2.12 Davy Jones is dead.
remember the Monkees? my generation is dropping
away. and then? When I visit my mommy and daddy I always
forget to ask them what happens to us when we die...
Time to sit zen.
I remember a woman at dinner in the old people place
who was frozen. Her fork was in mid air on its way to some target
on the table in front of her.
but on its way she forgot where she was going. I mean,
she was frozen solid. as in
n o t m o v i n g.
And then later,
as I was leaving I said good bye to her, and she said "I wish...".
A then she was looking at me. frozen again like she was trying to
call up the words. Finally I said, "communicate?"
And then she snapped out of it , and said, "yes, that we could
I did not know what to say, so I smiled and nodded.
And said, "its OK. maybe tomorrow", but we both knew that
that was a lie.
Inside that frozen woman, there was probably trapped
a brilliant mind, rich and full of stories and compassion.
The things I experienced at that place
still kind of ... eat at me. I wonder how the workers can
handle it. all that ... existential ... stuff!
So you get it,
visit to my parents left a heavy feeling in my heart.
Not sure what I expected -- how else would we die?
20.2.12 Chapel Hill, North Carolina
no amount of warnings, or mental preparation,
could have prepared me for the sight of my mother
shriveled up and twisted in her wheel chair
complaining and confused.
you get used to it. you smile and look for the person you knew
and she is there,
some of the time,
so its ok.
but its not ok.
and she is probably addicted to morphine.
After I did my yoga in their little health center, 4 little old
ladies came up to me with sparkles in their eyes and compliments
and said how I had inspired them.
a friend of mom's, 10 seconds after we met, said, "show me
some dancing". So i did the first 100 gestures of my
dance and she laughed out loud and clapped (as did the small crowd
that had gathered). My parents missed it. Though they caught the
applause and laughter perhaps wondering what they had missed. They
never ask me to dance.
"Am I difficult?", I asked Delphine on the phone. "Will
I be difficult when I am old?". She said no. and no.
But anyway I had to cry.
21.1.12 Weimar. creation.
hungry feeling -- but not the belly. its that
old burning. the wind in my heart. the creative power-thing
that comes up inside me -- i wish i had a name for it.
or a place for it. A simple art form to put it into.
but my art was never simple.
'Art' ... is the word I learned for it. though the
connection is almost always vague. I know I have written about
this many times.
I use the word only because edvard munch did, and
he described in his diaries so many things I understand, about having
the same feelings.
He called it "Nature". at least when love and sex
what ever its name, it comes. as it always has.
and on a good day it brings with it ideas for movement.
or it comes _from_ movement, visions of movement,
working towards a particular effect -- one that i can glimpse, in
like a dream, and i strategize how to make it real.
show on the 12th of feb.
31.12.11 Paris. the master's
it ends tonight. many will be there, some i loved,
as artists, but hey, with passion nevertheless! ok, many not...
i wonder if susan emery will be there, to cry perhaps, with the
others. in the amoury in new york city will be the last cunningham
i checked into flights. 663.- too much?
to say good bye to something so great. something i
appeciated to the fullest-- the beauty i saw in his work, in their
work, has been unmatched in this life.
well, i saw a couple of shows in paris last week.
that was my goodbye i guess.
oof, but that is a show i REALLY regret missing. one
I would have carried with me my whole life. i got to see the excerpts
list - in the events - great shit. best of.... everyone will cry,
everyone who knows what it means that is.
delph says its a good thing i miss it. things move
on and i should be seeing other things. she says i would just have
gotten so nastalgic that it would not be healthy.
but i dont agree. it is about choreography and dance.
not just sentiment. it is about inspiration. not just in the general
sense, but i get IDEAS watching that stuff.
maybe the question is: what is choreography to me,
in my life now. i can do it. and i am good, but
actually i have gone another path... i will be doing
it next week. but, only next week. its not my life anymore. hm.
but to understand what that aesthetic and way of working
- so much like zen actually - to have lived through those times,
was something life-changing for me. like merce always said, it is
so fleeting. even for us who followed him.
call me old fashioned, call me, sentimental, but i
believe those movements, designed as they are, communicate. and
sealed up within that box of a theater, now, right now, and now
again, they mean Something.
you know, i used to feel like I was in a church when
I watched that stuff.
i feel stranded and yearning. It will never again
be seen. I did not expect to miss it this much. Merce, my zen father,
my master, I miss you.
i finally reached my ailing mother. she asked,"do
you really like working with persons with disabilties?"
I said I like working with people, and they are people.
I would have liked to tell her more about it.
on choreography as an identity. remember!?
what I am, was, am, was, am? a movement organizer - remember, it
is not something I do. but rather am. this was so clear to
me, as strange as it is, many years ago. it was really
that way, and on some level I think it doesnt change.
once a person has come to a point like that... and so , when
the body feels capable, its as if I MUST do it. its me. and
not to do it denies me my true nature. the "what"
-- what to choreograph -- is not the point. it hardly matters.
like merce, you put it together, carefully, and it will have needs
of its own. you listen ot _its_ needs. it serves an art.
I choreographed today. even though my calf is
still injured... so it was a sloppy half-way rehearsal.. but
what ever it is, it must be OK. it is, after
all, natural -- it is part of Nature. it is not something
generated by our little minds. it belongs more to the core
of things, heart of what we are .
the "i dont want!" reaction, is that of
a child. it is a reaction of the surface. instinctive, pure
, full of sparkling life, but it is a perception that comes out
of the dancing play, the illusion of the world. remember what
budha said, to take for real, that which we know to be illusion,
is the thinking of a mad man."
Looked at like this , in the context of meditation
and zen , one knows what one needs to know ot make this strange
Once I had the idea to make a list of all the "things"
about myself. on that list would go, the feeling that I am
being watched. or at least wondering what I would look like
if I _were_ being watched. I feel this as I move through this
another thing, is a strange desire Ive had since ...
20 years, to get in touch with all the people that I have met and
tell them all, "you meant something to me. i have carried something
of you with me through my whole life...". something
i do have a list of these people. I hope i do
14.12.11 good news
Doctor said today that it was not dangerous.
hm. on the one side one has to wonder why he did not tell me this
earlier. on the other side, would i have wanted him to?
the not knowing has brought me closer to knowing in another sense.
Ever since I found out that I both do, and don't have
a heart condition,
my life has changed in ways that are both good and
bad. Mostly I can say that suddenly -- SUDDENLY -- i am older.
I always want to say "old", but stop myself. its
not exactly that.
But it something. and it has to do with moving
on in life. something Im not wild about.
I worked today with severly handicapped kids.
The man said he wanted us to hurry up and get the motioncomposer
ready because some of the kids were going to die. that they
regulary did. wow.
we worked with a guy, for example, who could somehow
only move his left foot. so we gave him music to play with
it. he seemed to like this and the man seemed very happy about
it as well.
14.11.11 coming back from Cardiff, England
It has taken me an unusually long time to grow up.
Its like its something that I forgot to do it when I was young,
so I had to catch up later. Which I have done now. just
I did not, for example, learn how to live -- responsibly, in this
world --until very recently. It occurred to me that
I should wear clothes with no holes in them about a month ago (I
bought 1000 euros worth of clothes in Paris on one day).
I never learned or cared to be the things that most of the other
kids sought to become. Things like making money, or having
a profession or a family. I dont know, I never seemed to
care about those things.
but then, many things have been out of reach for me.
anyway, now I feel can do those things - playing catch-up.
I am ready now to do the things that others began in their 20s.
Haha! its about time! well, its me.
and its ok. There is a lot in this lifestyle to admire and be proud
Like what? ... um... give me a minute...
Well, it is, for example, good for art work; appreciating its values
when i see it. and also making it. also, I have a lot more childish
joy than most. giggling at the way the sun sparkles between
yellow leaves fall around me like rain in the wind.
good things are in me because of this. an extra dose of
sympathy or love? When I have my director's hat on, I can
still remember to hug people and remind them that we have hearts,
And for teachers of dance it is an excellent thing as well.
I can give people vision. they treated me like a celebrity
in cardiff :)
and i train myself, with passion and concentration lost on people
half my age. and how many people meditate and do yoga every
day? on their own. there are some of course. hmm.
I do not know any. Id love to meet them!
anyway, these relatively few and simple things, I can do.
even if it took 56 fucking years. and a sort of heart attack.
7.11.11 Flying to Cardiff, England
funny thing is, ever since the operation.. or
whatever it was, I have been sitting zen twice a day, and training
and sewing, and just generally doing many things each
day. getting all kinds of things done.
not "funny", exhausting is the word.
well, sometimes, like yesterday and today, but usually its ok.
here's the thing, Steve Jobs (and many other people)
said "Live each day like your last". But I sort
of feel like I was doing that anyway. There is so little that
i would do differently.
Maybe sit zen every day. and do yoga every single
day. But exactly that is what I am doing now.
and I started aerobics training. daily.
actually, i have a kind of plan, which i have actually
had for many years. to do 2 trainings, and kinds of
training every day. is the 2-of-7 rule. i have 7 kinds
of training, and each day i do -- or want to do, or plan to do --
2 of them.
I hope I can remember that this is my life, and the
way I want to live it. Standing up, even when I am tired, training.
loving people even when they are not nice.
(those things seem like opposites, but strangely are
not. when I do one, i do the other.)
my heart still beats a little funny sometimes.
I would not say it ever exactly hurts though.
Maybe some kind of electrical disturbance...?
and time did indeed pass. and i am sitting in a hospital
my heart arteries were good. lots of flow. thats good. we still
do not know why my ST is high, and why my heart beats funny when
I train, but at least it is not stuffed arteries. which is good.
healthy arteries are good.
so, yey! celebrate. with zen. and yoga. and friends.
that i did it. good for me.
do you want to know how it was?
well, it was pretty easy. it took about 6 minutes. after all that
stress. haha. I mean I am still in hospital, for overnight. for...
just in case I guess.
they wheeled me in to a big clean room. my doctor was not there,
someone else. I asked the nurse, "has he done this before?".
he never even smiled, but he did a good job. he knew exactly
what he was doing, he was well-trained and experienced. I asked
the nurse if he was an "ober" arzt, a full- or senior
doctor. "yes", she said. "Fine", i said.
he asked me questions about my life as I lay on the operating table,
as a dentist might do. to relax me. nice, if a bit obvious. i played
along. happy for the distraction. um.... i tried to concentrate.
yes, I moved to germany.... hows the wife and kids?
and asked him questions too. a little novocain in the wrist, a
little tickle in my arm muscle as it slid it in and ... nothing.
I ... kept thinking that I was feeling things in my heart. a strange
beat here and there. in my head? or maybe i was feeling the dye?
im pretty sensitive. mostly what I felt was just anxious.
"Your heart beat is a little fast" he said. "Well,
I'm a little nervous" i said. "I can understand that",
he said towards the end that I would feel hot from my toes to my
ears, which i did not. but more interesting, he said before we started
that he didnt expect to see anything, and he was right. ok, my doctor
was being careful in ordering this test perhaps. fine. now know
we know a little more. careful is good.
i will gather the results and send them to my friend of a friend
cardiologists. see what they say. maybe i just train a littler lower
key, as I have been anyway this week. maybe a mild beta-blocker,
whatever that is. more to learn.
no immanent operation. no special risk -- or at least not THAT
one. life is still limited though. and still has risks. one less
maybe. thats nice.
do i have less fear now? um, sure. more committment to life and
love and my work? yes. that was a fucking hard week though.
and now it is tomorrow, the angio i mean. each day,
each day, each day moves closer. its so strange even though it is
so normal of course. i have felt this before, this not-knowing-what-is-coming.
its awful. but in another way, wonderful. I have to say it. its
like, every day should be like this: not knowing. feeling openness
and love. and on the edge.
even if singed with darkness. maybe that is
how life should be.
theres 2 things i guess: finding out, perhaps what I have. and
then theres the test itself. which should be the lesser I know...
haha. well, thats me. the little things sometimes matter more than
the big things.
so i am looking forward to knowing. it might something pretty easy
to fix. or difficult to fix. it might be very important. or not
very important. toss a coin. make a wish.
i feel good. that is nice at least. and if I have to live more
gently, as I have the last week, well, I am ok with that. it was
a good week. focussed even while scattered in another way. I will
and the yoga, and I want to keep doing that too. I actually did
many things that I had been putting off. my taxes, I sewed pants
and a bag. I even put a headlight on my bicycle (I built it myself
out of LEDs and a tennis ball). and work on the project of course.
I did not waste time. I moved with diginity and grace and did what
I was supposed to. it made me feel good. kind of proud.
I face my fears. learn from this.
4 days ago, a doctor told me I had an elevated ST.
this is code for something with my heart. funny, as in strange,
as in dangerous.
the last 4 days have been interesting... and not easy. not at all.
in fact scary. the beginning of something. maybe not today, maybe
not this year, but we do all die you know. including me. including
you. and this obvious fact has been staring in the face, the way
the cows stare at you from the side of the road when you walk past.
i taught dance tonight. what a pleasure, what a release. to move,
but also the joy to see others moving. i told them how beautiful
they looked as they lept and twisted and turned in all directions.
and they knew I meant it - and they knew I was right! dance is beautiful.
It was a big class. I hope they come back for more.
and in the grocery store, a stranger came up to me to help when
she heard how the woman who worked in the store did not have Tahini.
we laughed as we discussed directions to the only arabic store in
town, "..oh you mean next to the porno store" yes, thats
my point is life, _life_ is real these days. i move a little slower
and more carefully. I plan my movements more deliberately. I see
my fears, and I fight them in the ways that I know -- I sit zen
meditation twice a day and do yoga every day now. this does not
erase them, but it helps. It reminds me that I am me. and that my
fears are my fears. Each thing, a place. I eat meals. I breathe
air. I drink water.
i have an angiogram in 3 days. then we will know more...
summer, 2011 Toronto, Montreal
With Larry. :)
6.4.11 Weimar on dying
I remember being told that no one knows where we go when we die,
and I didn't believe them.
I thought they just didn't want to tell me.
1.4.11 Weimar geared up
tomorrow, or later today i mean, we start.
Ha. one of those moments. We start tomorrow....
exist excites extra. man with a dream.
March went slowly -- it seemed to go on and on. the days,
alone, mosying into the office at 1130, poking till 9 or 10 at night,
not bad. almost as good as working on a show hey... remember?
with helena? the days before -- the months, the weeks.
best fucking days I ever knew.
wonder where this will lead.
and who i can be.
30.1.11 Weimar cruisin
starting to work on the exist thing. they say
WE GOT THE GRANT
so now the work. which i am really looking forward to, even
if I know the job most probably will explode before my eyes (in
switzerland first. leave on thursday. coool.
21.1.11 Weimar wow
could it really all be this simple. You train, 3 hours one
day (including rock climbing, er, wall climbing).
you get up sore, and do it all again.
and you feel fucking amazing. like ... everything is possible!
its not just the sport...its the... creating that goes with it,
when you do it right.
when you choreograph.
Wow. i had almost forgotten this.... wow.
I dreamt we were by the sea, in the grassy dunes. Me and...
I dont know exactly. someone important to me. and the water
was wild and windy and blue, and
we _thought_ that a certain body of water was the ocean but I called
to her, shouting to be heard in the wind, "no, that is not
the ocean." "How do you know?", she called back. "Because
with oceans you can't see the hills at the other side of them!"
the _real_ ocean, you see, was where I was taking her, beyond
those grassy hills.
so I was leading us there.
so, what does it mean dude?
13.1.11 Weimar checking in
with a cold
still cold. oof.
Dream again: I went out with Meredith Monk and Björk.
The latter was Really nice and I totally enjoyed talking to her.
Today i was interviewed for a student film about aging.
actually about being "grown up". I said it was overrated.
my advice for young people would be, don't bother.
I was throwing frisbee back and forth with a monkey.
i wonder what it means?
the frisbees were strange. The monkey was very
Just a typical game of monkey frisbee.
I have enjoyed my chirstmas break VERY much.
but now i am eager to get back to work!
7.1.11 Basel - visiting
helena and her family
we were in a spaceship. it was a bit flimsy perhaps, but
it was roomy and comfortable. there were about 10 of us, i
didnt know everyone yet. our mission was not so much to go
somewhere as to escape something.
the ship was built out of 2 levels - both were round and had "areas",
i.e. not really separate rooms. there were 4 control centers_ telemetry,
life support, power supply and communication. each had the essentials
of all 4 so tht the ship could be controlled by any of them, but
the central control for each focus provided additional services.
there was an expert on board for each of the four but everyone knew
all the basics.
we picked up an alien by mistake. there was blood and a search
there were twins from Persia. I accused them, of ... that
one of them was an imposter. and was really the alien.
there were some nice people on board. some I trusted.
of course we would never see earth again, but neither I nor anyone
else seemed to mind. we were all a bunch of losers. or winners?
once the ship started to roll. you could tell mostly by the
view -- how the planet under us was moving in circles around the
ship. i closed my eyes till the nausea abated. i hoped
everything was alright with the ship, but i trusted my shipmates.
it occurred to me to wonder why we had gravity and someone told
me that it would take another 2 weeks before it was gone completely.
23.12.10 - 6.1.11 Paris
christmas in paris. 2 weeks of foods and people and wine.
conversation en francais. other things i shouldnt mention
my hearing came back :) relief. O, but what does
it mean? what does aging mean? death?
I lost half of the hearing in my right ear the day before the day
before yesterday. how strange.
doctor said.... well nothing really. only that i dont have
i hope i get my hearing back. the only good thing about it ...
is that it makes me realize how fucking wonderful it is to be alive.
I feel inspired.
Just have a headache non-stop, and a ringing in my ear.
but ok. wtf.
i did a half a dance class.
my own, sure, but it counts. i feel it. oh yeh.
my studio is a big gym. linoleum floor with all those colored
lines making unaesthetic patterns, and shouts of gym teachers and
kids in the other cloth-walled-off section. I liked it.
Ive had class in stranger places than this...
Doing Cunningham's sixes, on the damp sand, alone one windy day
in Denmark. It was kind of dark in my memory -- dawn or dusk
-- a beach on the east coast, i must have been with manu then...
But today I danced, and so have to have that feeling that goes
with it. like an alcoholic that has had a drink -- the feeling
that i have to have more. And all the other things we
do -- see how they pale in comparison.
And normal life feels like hangin out -- waiting for the hour tomorrow
when I will do it all again.
its the Grant. the big one. EXIST.
pretty funny name, right? existential.
no pun intended.
but i just want to take a minute to notice the suspense. to work
hard on something, a vision. not knowing if we are going to
its a little like before the performance, remembe!? the quickening?
how we would marvel at the not knowing, the tension and the
how REAL it felt. sometimes and night my lover and I would
just stop and notice -- just that -- especially helena
or Larry. or Alex Koziara. A soul mate.
it is possible, you see, to see it as something separate from the
thing you are making. like a dream within a dream -- a show
within a show. do you see what i mean? the working on
the thing -- the breaths you take as you do it, all of it becomes
like a performance -- heightened.
i think i missed my mothers birthday. oops.
there is always so much to say. so much that NEEDS to be said.
helena knows what i am talking about:
its THINGS! things.
all those things of life. the morning, the way the sun squints
off the orange trees, just once, before you get busy with another
day and all the leaves fall off.
and tree skypes me, and d. calls. and i call larry.
and then helena sms's back that I am doing great.
and I smile about that, as I change my shoes in morning, to ones
that hurt my feet, but look better for my meeting out in the styx,
at the handicapped place.
to which I carry all this equipment, and it seems strange and remote.
and the handicapped people always make me feel things that i cannot
explain. but the staff likes me and my vision and say they
will write me a letter.
9.11.10 clap clap
I taught one of my best classes. ever. i dont know
if the students noticed... but i think so. a couple even began
to applaud. which for a university class, is pretty good.
i think. i dont remember clapping after classes when I was
a student. except of course dance classes.
1.11.10 back in Weimar
now i am prof. again. i, prof.
started teaching at the university. its fun and exhausting
and .... unsettling, for reasons I cannot see. im trying
to envision what makes a clear and concise course. what gives
a course purpose and vision, that is, what can inspire? and
do i care?
people come up to me afterwards and smile and thank me, and say
how they feel inspired. so i know I am doing something right.
still, nothing is self-evident. and i feel unsatisfied so
i remember taking a course at nyu on post modern dance and Deborah
Jowitt was the teacher. she was brilliant, trully brilliant
for the first three or four classes. then it was a little
as if she ran out of steam. or original ideas. maybe she was
"turning the class over to us" more, but it felt more
like she ran out of things to say. or stopped going through
the arduous task of preparing her talks.
Both helena and larry told me recently that they admire me for
"still doing it". not giving up, or in. they
meant being an artist and dancing and motion tracking... and
they meant, being independent and doing what I "believe in".
still their comments surprised me.
I was not aware that I had not given up.
23.10.10 bergamo, italy
"sleep it off" he said, as if it were a hang-over.
or maybe all things are fine and as they should be. maybe
the story will even have a happy ending.
though i doubt it. you know, the thing about this blog is,,, someone
may actually read it! I just hope I dont get in trouble.
in their ten commandments, the Norwegian bohemians of the 1890s
proclaimed, "thou shalt write thy life!". they meant
expose yourself, turn yourself inside out!
which has always been my motto. and I was thinking this morning,
at 5:30, on my way to the bus to the plane to the train to the taxi,
how my artist's credo has held true. and fuck, at least I
_have_a credo! a.k.a. shoot the piano player by Trufault.
and Im walking talking to the chill air in a pitch dark of that
hour, and it occurred to me that the love thing, that which I believed
in most, and for so long, has turned out to be something of a ruse. barely
more than a red herring. Im not talking about myself and my
feelings, but of what it has meant to the world.
When I first felt love in my heart, I thought, having no religion,
that it was the essence of art. I thought it that I would
_use_ it somehow, those feelings.
Young actors sometimes say that. Oh that pain, you can put
it to use.
But honestly, now? I don't see it. the whole thing cost so
much more than it ever gave back. other things turned out to be
much more important.
21.10.10 bergamo, italy
glorious life... you think? you look at the beaches,
the sunny skies. I like these people,,, and this work it keeps
me,, what?, busy? hopeful? fed? i dont know how
to say this. it is the middle of the night. and all seems
empty and lost.
do i travel too much? too little? i have little choice
anyway. i dont plan these things.
there is so much suburbia stretching before me, so much endless
mediocrity. and work. only work. well, not a happy
time I guess. not anymore.
16.9.10 back in Weimar
busy day. did zen, yoga, danced in the park, studied
french, called people in canada. cooked a fish in butter
with onions, basel and hazel nuts.
5.9.10 Laredo, Spain
Thoughts on Sound
3 days with pablo by the sea :).
I am on top of a little mountain now overlooking the sea between
escalante and laredo. i see a blue ocean sparkling in the sun.
I was thinking on my way up about sound bubbles, or the chewy kind
of particles that Takehisa Kosugi seems favour (a la soundance).
They have that biological sound (as pablo's filmmaker friend would
say), and yet are not necessarily like something one could identfy
I want to wade through such sounds, disturbing them as I go. Waking
them up. exciting them, maybe making them more chaotic.
Multi-dimensional transformations of particle arrays mapped in
some intuitive way to tactile (haptic) and body (kinesthetic) experiences.
In simpler words, ways to make things that could make it fun to
move, to move sound, to be sound.
more thoughts on sound - here.
2.9.10 escalante, Spain
4-day workshop with Germàn and Icha.
Great. Super nice duo: www.13dias.com.
choreographed today again in the cemetary. near the grave
Manu said I should figure out a way to get a grant out of this
Ill get a picture next time.
I registered today. In germany you have to register where
you live. So I am here now.
now I make hamburgers for my roommies.
woosh. another bunch of days here.
interesting projects, its just going awfully slow.
i guess it is August in germany.
i moved in. Karl-haussknechtstr.
its very nice. quiet. and cool.
looking for an apartment in hot weimar. a room actually. start
small. work up.
13.6.10 iceland, into the wild
click here -- pictures of iceland
2 days here. back in the land of good food -- really good
food (at the moment i smell a duck browning on the stove.
I drank something called wine today with delph and her friends
in the la villette park. half-drunk, i trained in the
grass by the water side, as she and her pic nic birthday party spoke
something called french.
I made this page with my mother in mind. but today, as I
finally got around to inviting her to read it, well, I expect
that the lettering is too small for her eyes. it is
almost too small for mine.
and of course, im doubt her interest.
I have 4 days to pack up everything I own.
25.5.10 romainmôtier, switzerland
This place is spectularly beautiful. I walk around the town
at 7, but otherwise I am preparing my talk and dance performance.
I want them to be good.
I am artist-in-residence here. I have this mansion to myself
these days; before the others arrive.
Its a thousand years old, this house, and perfectly renovated --
as only the swiss might do it.
23.5.10 flof ?
every few minutes another petal falls from the big red flower in
the vase under the window. "plop", they would say,
if they could. they look damp as they fall. they whisper,
and the word comes out "flof".
20.5.10 valladolid, spain
The sun is setting very slowly tonight. fine.
i can see it, the color of honey, out the window of this prematurely
air conditioned train car. Im heading up from Madrid.
its a good train. just too cold. the air outside
is PERFECT. I felt it at the station.
perfect air, warm, off the Spanish plains.
18.5.10 porto, portugal
Ahhh, to see the sea at last.
its been a fucking long time. I didn't jump in, like I used
to -- but then, my hosts were waiting for me back at the restaurant
(I ran off after ordering). To have come back dripping wet
would have been ... odd.
The beach in Porto by the Catolica Universitada is clean and the
grains of the sand are large and couples moan and grope behind the
All of Porto is great -- urban and rural both. Relaxed and stressed.
At first it reminded me of New York. but then I saw that the
river side. It was clean and there were no advertisements.
none. This is not New York.
A dynamic arts community -- with dance! How long has it been
since I have seen real dance! Jeepers. Those girls were
good. I saw some great pique turns with dips and swoops.
I saw a perfect grand plié.
I will propose to work with nubile creatures in the Fall.
11.5.10 weimar, germany
La ville est très vieille et charmante, pas seulement au
cause du batiments de 19. et 18. siècle, mais donc c'est
un pays oublier -- pour 50 ans la communisme empechent leur commercialism
et développement. cool. vive la communisme!
the really strange thing is that I am going to move here. Try a
new ,,,, life. This feels very strange.
26.4.10 Romainmotier, switzerland
I get a couple of days in a paradise.,., a place called Romainmotier,
which is in French Switzerland. I got them to pay my train down
here to check out the possible venues for my performance next month.
and once here, well, I managed to charm a couple nights in the medieval
hotel (well, it never hurts to ask).
But partly, you know, its just Europe. These things happen here.
There are places like this -- impeccably renovated, and dedicated
to serving Culture. No signs "please give generously",
in fact no ads of any kind. The people here focus on , yes, serving
Culture. you know, art, things like that. Jeepers. And its gorgeous.
I happen to know that Migros (grocery store) money is behind it,
or at least , are behind the organizers who are renting this place
out for the last week of May.
But you still get my point. Even Canada does not see this sort
of support for Colloquiua -- about art! Its called Europe.
There are actually quite a lot of things -institutions, events and
so on - like this.
And walking in the forest nearby this morning, as the Springtime
sun was rising, in the hills, to the music of swiss cow bells, I
had to think of you,,,, and all my ami friends, wishing they could
be here. You would love this.
Now excuse me, but I think I have to go back outside in the garden
and take another nap.
26.4.10 picture this
Three-dimensional forms, like architecture, only in gentle motion,
rising, shifting, rolling, in all directions at once. The
colors -- if color is the right word -- are all different shades
of white and grey in crystal clear relief against a sky blue sky.
Now zoom back and pan to the front car of a german train.
At th e front of the car is a large bicycle compartment, empty and
carpetted, and in it, a crazy middle-aged dancer is holding a yoga
I don't know what it is called, but i am standing with my legs
wide apart, arms open wide and twisted over so that one hand is
on the floor and one is pointing straight up. Breathing five
times, I am concentrating that my knee caps are lifted, all the
while gazing out from my down-hanging position out the window, AMAZED
at these upside clouds.
Meanwhile, all around it is green with springtime and yellow with
flowers, all moving at 300 miles per hour.
jesus -- so much complexity! How can I -- this one little
being -- possibly contain all that.
I'm in a good phase. happy about my upcoming move -- my new life
-- even though I know I will surely find living conditions far simpler
and less beautiful than those I have known. You would think
i would care,,, do I? Not much, if at all. Is it penance,
or am I simply "above all that"?
Or just naïveté.
Naïve or not, I feel ok in this train, and with this life.
23.4.10 dreams of flight
I dream of flying. I always have, though less often now.
Less often when im not dancing.
Flying machines, birds, clouds, but especially I dream that I myself
can fly just by moving arms up and down in the right way. This is
a symbol of course. A metaphor in the truest sense, that is, not
in the sense of something we _conceive_ but something that arises
in and of itself. Like an image in a mirror.
It stands for creativty -- my creativity -- which, I have a feeling,
has little to do with what it may mean for someone else. I
What i do know, is that all my life Ihave felt Something inside
me. At a certain point I can remember, i was around 19, I
discovered there might be a word for it that thing. I remember
wondering if I might one day understand it,,,, as a Thing.,,, or
Concept but I was skeptical. , I had heard about
something called "art", but what had this to do with that?
And can a person be "an artist" without actually making
art? It is strange because of course I knew the word, and yet, ,,,
I guess I sensed it meant more than the things people were telling
It was in that same year that I decided to try to become one --
still not knowing what it was! Munch helped
me to finally understand, reading biographies of him and looking
at his paintings. Once I went all the way to Washington DC
to see the originals. I flew to Norway for the same reason.
Hey, remember, I hitchhiked to Aasgardstrand (Munch's summer home
near the water) like a pilgrim. There was not much there.
But I was talking about dreams of flying and this idea of a Thing
within me. In my dream, there is never anyone else that can
do it (except once Jan Vomacka, or his angel). It is my special
gift. And if you asked me what it meant, for example, am an
artist? well, in a way I would have to say yes, but it is not as
if this "thing" has anything to do with anything that
I have ever created. or not directly.
And yet the connection, on a very deep level , is there.
And the feeling I am calling creativity is special. It
does not mean anything you understand -- nothing
that you read in a dictionary.
22.4.10 in love with a machine
I dreamt i fell in love with ... a girl but then she turned out
to be a remote-controlled helicopter.
20.4.10 starting a new piece
I have an idea of something.
so i started something new today. in the garden, after yoga.
a solo, or the beginning of one , ,maybe,,, something I have
thinking about a first few gestures, thrusts and pops. its
interactive, or will be.... it has to do with sound.... and
power. its an opening
but you know what is the STRANGEST THING OF ALL???
I made maybe 40 seconds of material,
i feel so good -- Like I DID something. and i can go
to sleep happy. Just for that. haha. do you realize
how little sense this makes?
its just a few seconds of movement. right? - its not even
but it has nothing to do with work, or play, or anything
of this world...
there it is. I know im not saying this very well, but
it has always been there. you could look through thirty fucking
years of diaries, and you will find this again and again,
and happy by the power this has in me, over me,
a few movements, which i made, for a purpose
(not that it is one i understand)
it is nothing -- or next to nothing. a
ghost, a dream.
to be in the middle of something like this... is as
strange as life gets. not the idea of the thing , but the
anyway, I can hardly wait to get to the studio tomorrow.
not that it will be easy. it won'T! i know this.
but that is part of it. the struggle, the unknown. that
something may be at stake!
16.4.10 a sad memory
sleeping under my sleeping bag, reminds me of that place in San
Francisco where i lived many years ago, with a budhist friend.
I remember having only a sleeping bag and a slab of foam (though
the house was impeccable). Few thing and yet it seemed like
enough! I was so young, and often confused, but i was beautiful
and my heart was in the right place.
I liked it. The simplicity, just a sleeping bag and a matress.
i still feel that way sometimes. Like its all I need,
that and a place to dance.
Anyway, remember that night in berkeley when my family was supposed
to pick me up on a street corner to take me to dinner. i was late,
and they had not waited? remember walking back home crying?
14.4.10 Schwäbisch Gmünd
i rode to town today. i participated in society -- or pretended
at least i watched it; a set of mores, niceties that actually seem
like anything but. but ok, its the way, their way, the people in
a town in central germany. i play along, trying not to stand out
too much. though i probably do anyway.
i am in a shop now. waiting. around me i see ... more than commerce.
and so much less than warmth or friendliness. its called
marketing, it is a sales person, a greeting smile, halogen lights,
body language, racks of products, cards and money, people are coming
and going. its all correct. but i hate it, all of it, for reasons
that i cannot explain.
sometimes these things seem quaint to me, and with the right other
person, like delph, i can even enjoy it. if vicariously.
8.4.10 train to regensburg
happy birthday me. hm..better not think about it.
been on the road now for 6 weeks. cool. i would
do it forever if i could. before that another bunch of weeks.
it makes me think of frey or erich. whom i just wrote.
it occurs to me that the reason I write this is so that when I
die there will be something left. some record of my existence. something
one or two people will remember. for a while. which is plenty, actually.
pathetic, right? 6,000,000 people have written these exact
7.4.10 Basque country
my walking ended. and now it is raining. good timing.
I met up with pablo in madrid. stayed at his place in spain.
with muriel too. what nice people.
7.4.10 Basque, somewhere
i dreampt i was with the actress, angelina lily, if that is really
her name, and she was showing us, and then me alone, her first tatoo,
which she was very proud of.
but it was still on paper, not yet on her skin, on a kind of shiney
green paper and i must say, it was not very good art. it was too
busy with lots of little figures, but I said i liked it anyway,
to support her in her excitement.
but what AMAZED me was ,,, her. to be in her presence. and she
had taken her shirt off, to show me exactly where the tatoo was
to go, and while i could not see her breasts, I could see freckles
on her chest, and the intimacy of what was going on completely derailed
the only other thing i remember is saying something to the effect
that the tatoo might hurt her acting career.
but the point is that the dream left me, and leaves me, feeling
full of love, deep and true. like god. like Her. the same feeling
i got from the dark-haired girl whom i passed on the path.
so what is this supposed to be? what is that mystery? what is it
for? I like it , but see it more as an addiction, than anything
that might be in some way healthy. beauty too rich for use, for
earth, too dear.
let it be. it goes by, as itself, like those little flashes i get
sometimes while sitting zen.
like that transparent curl in the ocean waves just before they
6.4.10 vino tinto
they served me a bottle of vino tinto last night. "no! i said,
only a glass!" its ok,she said, just drink what you want.
it was cold, and i was thirsty.
so i woke up in the night with a big fucking headache.
which i sweated out, climbing the first hill of the day.
as sweeny would say.
6.4.10 somewhere between Mutriku and Markina-Xemein
Springtime perfection! Quiet and solitude. I look for, what? a
way to hold it. something substantial. something I can take home.
IT IS A FANTASTIC DAY, its just another day. either way it ends
I walk and walk, almost in a trance. thoughts coming and going.
samo samo. happy, sad. whatever.
planning my talk for Switzerland next month, speaking it over and
over in german as i walk.
When I was the village in southern france with tree, in love, I
could not believe my luck, remember? so I sat zen in the park while
she walked on, remember? it didn't do much.
we cried together anyway. and shared our deepest secrets.
But you know, for me to walk this path, with my staff, and "pilgrim
pass" (a kind of identity card they give you when you start
out), for me to become a "pilgrim" is ... I mean it occurred
to me that I was already one.
I am often on the road, looking for truth and beauty, trying to
find value in things.... to make sense out of things. not really
being a part of society.... a little dependent on charity, when
there is some to be had.... otherwise roughing it. hell, pilgrim
is just normal life for me.
I haven't had a conversation with a friend for many weeks. and
face-to-face, not for months. not to anyone with whom I can share
things really on mind. I mean, I can _tell_ other people these things,
but they usually look at me the way a dog looks at you when you've
just told it you're thinking about a career change.
I miss you-
I sit Zen overlooking the sea, but I still miss you.
5.4.10 unknown village on the coast of Spain
Dear L, what I would give to share a cold one with you.
This beauty, and solitude it is both light and heavy.
4.4.10 6-second lovers
A girl passed me going the other way. She looked in my eyes and
smiled and laughed and spoke to me in Spanish (which of course I
did not understand). She talked to me as if we were old friends,
looking right in my eyes and smiling. She was so cute I almost fell
over. short black hair and a good nose. And then she was gone and
that was that. still, and, stupidly perhaps, she left me full of
3.4.10 camino de santiago
Jeepers creepers.,, I dont think my legs have EVER been this sore.
I can hardly move. Wow! Haha!
Tomorrow I am going to walk on my hands. I need to balance out my
Yesterday I rehearsed my piece, high up on a hill side. The sheep
And when I got to the sleeping place, one guy asks "what can
I do to help me with .....?" I can't remember, some body thing.
So i started giving him some exercises, and before I knew it I was
teaching my class on the patio, way out in the country, and more
and more people joined in. The owner lady, her daughters, all the
german tourists, till finally I was teaching a big class. it was
a bit surreal. but made me feel useful.
2.4.10 Octopus hamburger, San Sebastian, Spain
Dear P, Have you HAD this thing?
WOW. nouvelle cuisine, i.e. a little precious perhaps, but hey,
why not? art food. food as art. anyway, its fucking delicious!
it looks completely strange. even the salt on it has strange forms.
little crystal pyramids which crunch apart softly as you chew.
I am sitting in the Zeruko restaurant, working on a talk I have
to give in Switzerland next month -- somewhere near Lausanne I think
-- at a conference called
"The Future of Digital Performance, or The Persistence of
its all in German
I want to do a really good talk, and performance. I think I will
show the Chinese piece. Since I am doing it a lot.
But also, as a part of the talk, I want to demonstrate what I think
"works" in video interactive mappings.
Might be a time to bring in some SC? we have a Little bit
of time: Its May 28. We could make a really good show+demo.
Do you want me to ask if you can come?
Even if you can't, I would love to work with you on a few simple
things. It seems like a good way to start the SuperColider direction....
1.4.10 crowded train. Northern Spain.
I remember teaching once, in Erlangen, 20 years ago, and there
was a girl in the class, who wanted to be one of us -- to show us
that she could dance, but it was hard for her since it was her first
time (and since she wasn't a dancer). frustrated she went to the
corner to drink her water in the middle of class and i could see
the shyness in her face, as she drank her water. Shy, to be in a
class, with others, with her body, and drinking water.
I felt something similar once, eating, in an airplane. Food was
being passed out, and we were to eat, in this strange setting --
flying, turning, lifting in a fusiloge of metal -- and we had our
food and our drinks and were to consume them.
I did what I was supposed to, stiffly, shy among others.
And now here I am, with my picnic, in this crowded train, not speaking
the language and trying to negotiate a place where I can use my
knife on my crusty bread and hard salty sheep's milk cheese.
Finally I give up, and look out the window, Feeling the part;
a stranger in a strange land.
30.3.10 valladoid, Spain
walking around the streets of valladolid. they are filled with
people of all ages, strolling, talking, kissing, laughing. I mean
_filled_. Holidays are coming, and the community socializing. The
atmosphere is festive, and a friendly sharing is going on. not something
you would see in America. or not normally,
america is more "every man for himself". or, every man
for himself and his family, as my sister would say.
Despite the joy and life all around me, I am apart. Its a language
thing (I dont speak Spanish). i.e. i feel their warmth extends to
And anyway i am down.
I go into a restaurant and sample the wine before ordering dinner.
a few big swallows and my mood has completely changed.
a few minutes ago, coming into this Madrid metro, i discoved that
they do not take credit cards and i have no cash at all (oops).
I begged the 2 euros 50 from a stranger. Politely, I asked,
"i wonder if you could help me with a problem?"
"If I can", said the beautiful young frenchman with a
gotee. "I don't have any euros and they don't take credit cards".
I said, in French. "No problem", he said, handing me the
coins, and we smiled good bye.
next I asked for directions. people helped me. I could see
it made them happy to do so -- to be part of this world of simple
gestures and kindness.
and I am reminded of hitchhiking, which I have taken to doing
pretty regularly to get to my studio in the country. Espeically
when it is cold and I have my motion tracking gear. I climbed
down out of the high cab of a HUGE snow plow truck, smiling at the
fun of it all, me and backpack and the salt-of-the-earth beauty
of a man, to whom no one would dare say so to his face. He
probably broke his company's rules to help me out.
23.3.10 Springfield, MO les parents
visited my parents last week. good that i had a show on my mind
and rehearsed every day. otherwise... the surreality of the visit
would have been a bit much. aucun de tendresse. it seems so strange
now, vacuus. I mean, I know it is absent in many families, but having
experienced the other kind, I am now struck by its absence. and
the sense of tragedy that goes along with that. spock here,
the relationship of spock to capt. kirk is like that of frieder
to me. or was. clever vs. passionate. See? it
is a competition you know well -- a dielectic, an enigma:
a mother and a father.
and i fantasize discussing it with them, or him, one day.
and recounting the story of the time when skiing and helping my
father after he crashed on the ski lift at Les Gets. i called
back over my shoulder, "are you ok?". and he answered
"no!". so I skied back to him. i remember untangling his
expensive watch band which had somehow gotten caught in his pole
staps and the ski lift.
and afterwards, he was quiet, and spooked, which he tried to hide
from us kids. his fear though was palpable. there is an irrational
in him, in his life -- for him to hide, everyday, in every way,
for it is ... what? pathetic? too personal?
anyway, that is one conversation I will probably never.
24.3.10 bus, germany, crack of dawn
I told larry on the phone last night that watching tv conflicts
with the artist's credo and he burst out laughing.
my back hurt, hurts this morning. its because you did not eat
a good breakfast, because you did not go to the neighbors for your
oats, and you did not take the time this morning to roll and cook
some into porrage.
live and learn. plan meals. its the one thing a partner, a woman,
would do for me. fer sure. meal planing.
1 its going to tighten up today, and cause pain. accept it.
2 body is basically ok. think how minor this is! breathe with it.
3 maybe take an ibu.
4 carb up when you get a chance.
5 youve got your bouncing balls.
23.3.10 keeping vision
i used to think that i should not vegitate on planes. that my "artist's
creed" included rules on the ethics of transatlatic flying.
that you live deeply, fully, you interact, you feel, and that you
never normalize. That you make plans, you go down lists, you feel
things, you write your life. like the bohemians in berlin 1890's:
"Thou shalt write thy life".
but now as i try to watch another stupid movie, 6 hours in... and
write, and remember what that ... meant. and wonder if it still
applies to me.
and if not that, then what? what am i then if I do not have
and i think of the love, or loves that I do not have beside me....
and the vague desire and willingness to change all things.
2.2.10 savannah georgia, usa
the plane has landed in fog. and i am foggy too and sleepy.
In the plane I dreampt of a wonderful future world.
beyond the one i know, where everything is wonderful and new.
1.2.10 that of an artist
my new years resolution is to keep a diary.
of course, i do it anyway -- I have since i was 14.
so it should be an easy resolution to keep.
short entries. that will be my resolution. and somewhat more frequent.
I packed well, I think. I am in the air to Savannah Geo, one of
many trippy trips.
I could have left my room and kitchen clearer.,, I could have done
the cloning earlier (I actually did the shuttle through the night
in the other room. which worked fine, i think, only that I had extra
to do in the morning. Lieber the day before. Really important new
files can be backed in a variety of ways.)
I want to call Gabi and beg her forgiveness that I disturbed her
* * * * * *
I can not know for sure, but I could imagine that there are a lot
of people who once dreamed of something -- a career, an adventure,
something other than what they are now doing. Like Tony, my neighbor,
who is a screen actor but 99% of his life he does other things.
Its not that he is not good, but the level of commitment, the agents
and push he would have to put into it is not really there.
He does other nice things of course, and has a family and a house.
But neither are they his dream. It must occur to him, and all of
them, all those ex-artists or sometimes artists, that their dream
has sort of slipped away. Or turned into something else. Not a compromise
exactly, but... the years are passing.
So when I doubt myself and doubt what I am doing. Or when I wish
I was somewhere else, or more focused, or better managed. Or like
him, or her, well, I should remember these other guys. I may have
to do a side job sometimes, but basically, I live pretty damn close
to my dream. And have done so for a pretty damn long time. I create.
I perform. I dance.
hell, how many can say that?
And although I feel like a freak most of the time, and a misfit
of society, I really should remember that the fact is actually quite
the opposite. It is the many that admire the few, and this life
is really nothing more or less than that of an artist.
11.17.09 in the air
"....and entered, by degrees, a new and somber life... probably
he should have regretted his decision. He had not. That life had
been one without excitement, with no adventure. It had been too
safe. All the elements that made it up were right there before his
eyes, and nothing new could ever be expected. It was like a little
plastic boat, that could sail on without incident, until it finally
But in this dark world where he now dwelt, ugly things and surprising
things, and once in a long while a tiny wondrous thing spilled out
at him constantly. He could count on nothing... Not much in
this life was truly rational, at least not in the strict sense."
-- Philip K. Dick (Through a
You know those shiney tall hats you rarely see, except perhaps
in movies. I saw a man in one this morning. Standing
outside the blah blah hotel in Nashville. It was his job to
stand there. All day. His job was to open the door for people.
Or at least I assume that was his job. Standing there all day.
And at the end of the day, he would go home and feel he had done
his work for that day.
Does it matter what they do? Those with jobs. It gives
them all the same feeling at the end of the day. the day is
done and they are home. They kiss their wife, or their dog.
They drink a beer and get sleepy for bed.
I had a job once. By the second year I was taking anti-depressants.
It was either that, or kill myself. Now I drift, dissatisfied
with many things, but alive and clean. It may be a desolate
landscape, but i walk it true to my nature.
You know what?
I'm happy to be leaving this world of non-stop television screens
and advertising. America has become a strange place to me,
I read in the paper this morning that 1 in 6 Americans were hungry
at some point in the last year. And yet the people exchange "great's"
and "wonderful's", and the staff at this fancy hotel always
ask if they can get me anything. I want to say, yes, fairness and
socialism. But I am in capitalist mecca. surrounded by its
artifacts and servants. My words would only confuse.
11.16.09 Nashville, USA
Each meal results in a pile of trash larger than the meal itself.
Plastic boxes, paper cups, lids for the paper cups. Tiny glass
jars for the fruit preserves for my toast... and so on.
Its breakfast in America.
38% of this population think Sarah Paliln is competent to be president.
Heaven help these guys. I mean it.
my room is filled with stand up cards telling me "We are Proud
to Serve you Starbucks Coffee" and "A 250$ Cleaning Fee
will be added to your room bill if we find evidence that you have
been smoking". Or "Experience the Difference. Membership
designed with you in mind".
I call the front desk, to try to get online and am immediately
connected to a non-stop stream of advertising. Crass and nonsensical.
Television, even worse. So I take a walk among the blaring shop
windows and neon offers. I can hardly think. I can hardly feel.
My feet are leaden. I feel like Rimbaud.
But - you know - I am smashed. I performed yesterday, had breakfast
with wonderful friends, and took two flights. Zoom zoom. Had a meeting
with a corned beef sandwich and the lighting design company guy.
One of those big production types. He told me he lit the president
What he wants is the video stuff frieder does. Figures. reiterates
what i was writing about earlier.
that which sells. its in demand. its what you can make money
with. Its what i do not like.
I'd like to feel ... I don't know, maybe proud. The people who
saw me perform were enthusiastic and warm. its like they were
proud of me. why can`t I feel that way about myself? I always
felt like turning around to see who they were really talking to.
10.20.09 Columbus Ohio
The sponsor here, for my show , is called "Fuse Factory".
Such nice people. I love them all, and it makes me sad how
they have to struggle, just to exist. What an impoverished
The teaching and the students were great though. They give
me hope! So much they praised me with the words that
are in fashion -- awsome! And they danced their hearts out.
As dancers do.
I'm back. China -- or Taiwan actually -- was great.
I uplodaded a little video and some photos here.
Wonderful. I enjoyed my first performance very much!
Alone, I could concentrate on performing. This is very different
from directing, or directing and performing. I rehearsed carefully,
as my training has taught me; did my barre backstage while the other
performers (all musicians) were taking their turns on the stage.
The technology I used, which was pretty complicated, worked perfectly.
I tested it three times, and then left it running. Things I've learned
along the way. Now, the next day, I have people coming up to me
with ideas for collaboration or touring in Asia.
I'll try to get a video up soon.
There is not much I would change in the piece -- except that I
still think its not a "piece". I heard that the variety
made it interesting, but I still feel that I would prefer to have
only one composer. Obviously it can and must be expanded if I really
want to make a show, but it was a strong step in that direction.
I think my goal would be to travel with a company of, say, two,
picking up dancers and creating additional quasi improvised group
sections, new for each place we go. I like using the local language
and local references -- as I did last night. I manipulated a sample
of Chinese text (specific to this location) with my movements. I
also spoke some Chinese in the piece. As flawed as my accent must
be, these things endear you to your audience.
Now I 'm backstage on the next afternoon, sitting in a open doorway
with a warm summery breeze, looking out on the botanical garden
and drinking my Vitalon Salty Sarsaprilla (sic), which, despite
its name, is sweet. As I expected. I'm actually performing something
different tonight. I'm dancing in a piece by my host. It is romantic,
odd and, to me at least, satirical -- good genre for me. Mihow!
I am going to speak a little Chinese in the piece I am presenting..
I just asked the man next to me on the plane if he could understand
me as I practiced the lines. He said: "A little hard to understand".
Wow- what a fking language. I thought I sounded perfect! Haha.
So, yes, I have 3 gigs on Taiwan this week! Its a new solo
"thing" -- I can't really call it a piece. "7 Memories".
Because its really 7 piece-lets. Its an experimetnal music conference
WOCMAT. Im also giving the keynote address.
I enjoyed the last 2-3 weeks of creation VERY much. The work with
technology presents interesting challenges, as ever. I actually
make a point of setting the equipment only every second day. That
way it doesn't "take over" what Im doing.
I worked with two excellent composers on this project: Dan Hosken
and Pablo Palacio. I draw on borrowed material as well.
I will show a similar piece in Columbus, Ohio on the 14th of November.
Students from OSU (an excellent dance school) will be joining that
And I've started teaching again! I set up 2 little courses at the
local community center and they seem to enjoy it. As do I. I also
enjoy having money for groceries. Financially, this year has been
Next year, starting in May, I want to try something new. Well,
old is new. You can read hier.
Began counting out the 1000 yesterday. m=127.
Setting it to a rhythm will take a while... I am only up to count
24 and it took me an hour! But ok. Its a life project.
The HARD PART now... i mean, what I still worry about is
FINDING fucking 400 more fucking gestures.
Couting beats is much more intricate than counting gestures. The
reason is simple: every gesture does not take one beat. Some
do, but some do not. and there are pauses. This is all very
important for choreographic reasons, and f it is going to be a duet
or larger,, which is my intent, then it is critical. No cheating!
I added 16 more gestures today. Sometimes I think I have run out.
that cannot be.
Patience, Neo, the answers are coming.
PS. I showed some people the gestures in Madrid.
fine. see I was rehearsing in the corner and they asked to see it.
My rehearsal, is to run through the whole thing of course.
Ok, Never combine showings and rehearsals. A wizard should
know better. Next time: show people lways only a tiny sample.
never the whole thing. it was not satisfying.
1. sophisticated and complex timing (work wi metronome, video,
and then count it out - probably in 8s, but not necessarily.
it could be meterless with simply arbitrary phrasings.
2. analyse it. score it.
3. generate a click track with accents to rehearse.
4. teach s.o. else
5. composer synchs up by:
A. click track (i.e. traditional)
B. haptic cuer to come out of breaks
C. haptic cuer to freeze out of chaos
D. re-synchs by button press