22IV1999 while gideon and i are busy shooting little reports for our traffic safety program [for this week one about a traffic school, one about a garage, one about a man who paints traffic signs and one about the firedepartment, that transports people to the hospital in case of accidents] and i am starting to experiment with my first african-cartonboardbox-hidden-photocamera...while i am busy with these things my mind is occupied by mans incapability to really be free, to breake loose from the walls and patterns that we construct around the threadbare wonder of our hearts. which lie keeps us from fully rejoicing in the freedom of our choice? which awful misunderstanding turns aspirations into undesirable duty at the point were wish becomes reality? what is the cause of mans impotence to choose life every single second and embrace it in its fullness? two fragments from letters and a fairy story...
...a horrible suffering joy growth mystery expansion of vision and extension of self...something changes, evolves...deepens, brightens behind the eyes when one breaks through the fear of freedom and finally embraces what is unknown [...] biting deep into reality, as if we have found our teeth for the first time...choosing love, choosing life without evading the pain of truth... [brooke elise axtell in a letter 12IV1999]
yes i know about breaking through the fear of freedom [...] a blank screen...two eyes searching for a place to rest...some familiar spot in the future...but they wandered...there was nothing at all that i was obligated to do...no restrictions...not age...not place...not time [...] and i felt that it would be amazing and impossible to keep this zero-situation...lying open...a lifetime...even here [far away from my roots and high-speed-society] there's responsibilities...my being, at the point where it is free to choose, chooses, but afterwards tends to forget that it has chosen, that the way lying ahead is the same white horizon in a direction of the soul, it forgets that and tells me that these are things that have to be done now before i can go on, before i can be free again...it is a bloody lie...i am free now...i must rejoice in my choice...must truly believe that i am where GOD has lead me...must be able to really live and dig...HERE and NOW...not afterwards in blazing stories [my reaction13IV1999]
not so long ago in a country not so far from here lived an old king. with a magnificent palace like all kings in other fairy stories have, with marble pillars and a golden dome above his sparkling platinum throne. marvelous tapestries covered the walls and the floors were embellished with refined mosaics. the king, in his embroidered robes, was a perfect reflection of his people, that was shining with prosperity. and so the realm was constantly filled with fumes of euphoria. nowhere, not even in the most forgotten, forsaken corners of the kingdom, would you have been able to find a beggar, a motherless child or a suffering patient. even the cats on the streets and the crickets in the fields rejoiced because they were adorned with the finest jewellery. but at night, when everybody had gone to sleep with expensive wines buzzing in their beautiful heads and the chattering and laughter of the feasts had ceased, you could hear, if you listened attentively, the soft lamentations of a little golden bird. she was certainly the most beautiful creature in the whole nation. her slender body was dressed in white golden feathers, with scarlet stripes under her diamond eyes and down feather made of thinly cut curls of saffron yellow gold. the king loved her very much and adored her beauty and perfection. the little bird lived in the kings' favourite room in the eastwing of the palace. her ivory cage stood at a distinguished desk in the shade of a giant evergreen oak that dominated the courtyard. but although the king smiled at her all day, and had her brought many delicious dishes, although the court scientist marvelled at her unique magnificence and the little princess told her merry bedtime stories, although she smiled gratefully and loved her master and sang him many moving melodies, although her mind wanted to be content...the heart of the little golden bird was cold and sad. she hated the unmovable bars and motionless views from her prison and she detested the walls that reflected her voice into aimless empty echoes. and thus she sang in the darkness, when even the guards had closed one eye and the dogs were dreaming of juicy bones, she sang her gloomy songs:
`exile the night, o twilight moon expel the shadows from this womb i sense a world beyond this swoon beyond the claws of dreadful gloom
i dream of meadows without guards of yards without a gate i wait until the sun will rise to take me up to paradise but in a cage i wait
commence the day, o northern star invite the light into this hall i sense a world beyond this wall beyond the reign of nightly tar
i dream of meadows without guards of yards without a gate i wait until the sun will rise to take me up to paradise but in a cage i wait'
as the sad bird heard the last line echo into the sleeping corners of the palace, she was always sure that she was alone on this planet and no ear would hear and no heart would understand.
this night seemed not different from the others. after the little princess had finished telling a cheerful story about a pink frog who was turned into a toadstool because of his haughtiness, the bird kissed her goodnight and sang a last song for the old king. his grey eyes gleamed happily. then she was alone again with the darkness and her mournful poetry. but at the moment that the little golden bird was deciding which song she would pick first [`my fortune is a needy lie' or `o cropped wings that serve no goal'] an angel descended from heaven. `i have heard the wish of your heart and i will set you free' he said with a friendly voice of someone who knows many things.`go to sleep now and you will find a new world tomorrow'. the angel disappeared and after having repeated his words many times, the bird fell asleep.
she woke up from the astonished voice of the little princess. `father, come and have a look at our little bird, i think she is ill!' when the bird rose up she felt different. she saw the king rushing into his study and heard him mumble `dear heavens, she has turned all silver'. the bird stretched out to see her image in the mirror above the drinking bowl and saw that it was true, her body was no longer gold, but silver; the stripes had turned blue and her eyes were now rubies. that day renowned doctors and scientist walked all over the palace to examine the little silver bird. but not one of them could explain what had happened. the head of guards proposed that the bird had been switched for another, but the princess recognized the birds voice although it had become weaker. when the king accepted the loss of beauty and peace returned to the palace, the cage was left alone and the discouraged bird started singing again with her lesser voice. that night the angel returned and said: `hold on to your dreams little bird, i will do as i have promised. go to sleep now and you will find a new world tomorrow'. the angel disappeared and after having pondered on his words for a long time, the bird fell asleep.
the next morning she woke up from the princess voice. `father, come quickly and have a look at our bird, for this time she must be really ill!'. when the bird moved she felt different and looked into the mirror to find out that she had turned all copper, that her stripes had disappeared and that her eyes were now modest pearls. the king invited some doctors and a biologist but they could only state that something inexplicable had happened to the little copper bird. when the king found out that his bird could no longer sing more beautiful than the average nightingale he lost all interest and asked the gardener to take care of her. but during the night the little princess sneaked into the greenhouse and took the ivory cage to her room. she told the little bird a pleasant story about an elephant king who was in love with a purple dolphin, but the wistful bird could only think of the wide horizon beyond the bars, the open sky, the white crossing of endless roads and the infinite starry heavens. but the princess did not love the bird enough to set her free. and thus the little bird sang her lamentations in a soft moderate voice, after she had sung the princess to sleep. that night the angel appeared for the third time. the bird did not look up. but the angel said with his wise and friendly voice: `i cannot limit their will, but do not loose your vision, i will do as i promised. go to sleep now, tomorrow you will find a new world'. the angel vanished and the bird dozed off after having thought many confusing thoughts.
again the little bird woke up from the princess' astonishment. she cried out in horror: `you have turned into a monster!'. as she ran off to fetch the gardener, the bird looked into the mirror and saw that she had turned all iron, that she was rusting and that her eyes were now two lumps of coal. she smelled the terrible stench of decay that her body vomited and heard the shrieking sound of her rattling voice. the princess returned with the gardener and told him to get rid of that hideous creature. he promised the princess to kill it and took the ivory cage to his greenhouse. there he looked for the first time into the dull coal eyes of the little bird and pitied the mournful creature. he decided to set it free...
when he opened the tiny door of the cage in some dark corner of the kings estate, the little bird went mad with joy, but could not fly away. her wings were numbed by a lifelong captivity and her trunk felt like lead. so the gardener picked her up and put her down on the lawn and left. dead beat she lied down, but through her brokenness and pain a sparkle of vision caught her and when she moved her wings she rose, with the last strength of her slender body she managed to rise...first above the palace wall, but seconds later the great forrest...still she mounted gasping...the country...she climbed the clouds without breathing...the continent...pain pierced her lungs...the silent blue world...the little iron bird saw it in its fullness and knew that she could not understand, that she could not come home...then her vigours had dried up, her will was broken and she started to fall, tumbling through millions of ever changing perspectives until she crashed.
the angel descended from heaven and lifted up her corpse and whispered with his friendly voice into her shattered ears: `now i will lift you up to paradise. go on and sleep some more, tomorrow you will find a new world...'