And smiled into my wooden cup of forest.
Dienstag, 7. Juli 2015
After work again, and off I was to hitch the bus and drive out. Out into the rolling hills. Out into the twilight of the forest, away from the frantic ratrace and the heat of summer. Into another form of existence...
And smiled into my wooden cup of forest.
Yap, it was, the ferrule is a fashion jewellery finger ring made from actual bronze.;-) I was quite enthused to find it and had that idea nagging at the back of my brain the whole time. The handle is made from bog walnut from the lake I lived beside for most of my life. The dam had to be repaired, and when it had dried out, I found the wood of a WWII 98k carbine´s stock. After trying to give it to three museums in the vicinity, I simply kept it, and since it was gravely damaged I decided I´d do that swords to plowshares - thing and make a knife´s handle from it.
What I like best about this knife, while it does the cutting, it is also a constant reminder to me of several things. When I look at it, I remember the moon over the silent lake, the hooting of owls, the flittering of sun on the waves and ripples. I again see what I have first seen in my life-treetops of the pines and furs gently moving in the summer wind, I smell the smell of resin and mould. But I also smelled the stench of gunpowder when I worked on it. The gun it once held had fired a lot and got hot in the process, so much in fact that the smell became a part of the wood. This wood had once been a walnut tree swaying in the breeze. The gun had presumeably taken a lot of lives. When the alliance came to free Germany, the soldier who had used it threw it into the lake. Dark and still, it guarded its treasures and curses of the deep. It is safe to say that the soldier who threw this gun into this lake had been not a big-term Nazi functionary, and if he performed any deeds of heroism, those might well be those of an everyday sort. Might be he killed with a feeling of guilt. Might be he killed with a feeling of purpose. Might be he just tried to survive as best as he could, as most soldiers did and still do. The dark and deep abyss has kept the secret. The secret is a part of the wood, as is the secret of walnut leaves swaying in the wind. There are stories in the wood of children scooping up the walnuts or might be a farmer and many farmers or might be it was harvested on an industrial scale, which is most probable. And just like the wood, the stone in the pommel had also been washed up by the stream, secret in secret and stories and tales. This is the real power of this knife. It is a weaver of nets, of webs, of dread and dreams and joy, a teller of secrets. It is a key to hidden doors of copper on an iron hill with a golden lock. It remembers the abyss and its secrets but it now lives again, not as a weapon in the first, but as a companion for a dreamer.
And last night when I went for a short stroll into the woods, I heard the cat-owl hoot.
Donnerstag, 2. Juli 2015
The woods actually DO change. But they change according to their own devices, and bend and bow to the laws of nature, not to the constant debts and vicious cycles we love so much that we compose our very lives out of them. Our culture keeps us low when we should be vibrantly flaming. Put your noses to the grindstone, or you won´t belong. I have personally come to the decision that I´d rather die than belong, for then my death would be according to my own devices. It is not out of depression, but out of joy that I come to this conclusion.
I have decided to live. I want to truly live, not a masquerade, but a life that somehow fits into the world. And to experience joy, I have to accept grief and pain. To live I must accept death.
There can be no security in this life. Our culture tries to sell us this, and charges a lot of fees for it, but all the promises it makes are rendered absurd by contemporary developments. World-wide terrorism, economical instability, a world on the threshold of world war IV (yap, did not recognize we still got World War III, do you? Lost track myself....). And if we all are honest, it has always been that way. There can be no certainities. Everyone can die at any instant, everywhere, and in spite of any promises of national security and whatnot.
So what? Quit whining! Any tree can fall, any wild piglet be killed by a wolf. They do not complain. They do not change that much. Oh, I hear those high priests of economy complain, what, humans are far aloft from animals and even trees, how can that outcast state we have anything in common? I hear priests and imams damn me for being heretic and infidel, for we should dominate, not care.
But this is not how I understood Economy Report, Bible, Koran, Vedas, Pillars of Insight or whatnots. We must care for our fellows in creation. It is a fallacy if anyone says otherwise, for we can witness in our days that such a behaviour leads ultimately to the extinction of man. This cannot be a goal for neither Christians, Muslims, Mammonists (...erm, maybe...).
But theology and philosophy is not subject to the woods, either. It is a common mistake that we all tend to project our humanity onto trees and wildlife. They simply do not "think" that way. And it is not thinking they do in any way we can understand. This makes us not superior to them in the least, not at all.
A dolphin does not need clothes or a computer. Why should it develop them, then? And dolphins are not cute, in fact they bite off their victims´heads and give the rump a fucking, excuse my language, but this makes it clear. Wolves are not nice, or free or wild. They just are. All those are human attributes, illusions at best.
This does not mean we should quit telling tales. It is human to tell tales, and good fun. But we have forgotten that there´s always a secret truth hidden behind; a glimpse behind the mirror, a look into the face behind the mask.
At work, I had a funny conversation the other day I had several times in my career already. A business man stated he believed in a "might makes right" justice. Okay I said, since we were standing together in a one-to-one situation and no one to witness, how much money´s in your purse? He replied and told me the amount. So, I said, give it to me, plus the keys of your car, and make no fuss. He looked at me, not quite sure if I was serious. I donned an air of menace and stepped closer. He looked at me in terror. Then I stepped back and explained to him that this was exactly what he believed in. For I could have beaten him up with two fingers only. He was a bit thoughtful afterwards. Of course I did not do any harm to him, and never would, and I´d never recommend this. I just could do this because I have a very good reputation amongst those business partners. He even gave me his thanks afterwards. What disgusts me, however, is, that he would not change anything, and no one would. But, if life - as a normal and necessary consequence of their behaviour - gets the better end of them, they start whining and complaining and expect others to help them out.
In nature, this can prove fatal. And it is always interesting to see indigenous woodsmen of all cultures act in contrast to many so-called survival gurus. Seldom if ever, for instance, would a Saami be caught so unawares in nature that he´d call for a survival situation. Instead, indigenous people tend to be much more careful und prepare every step with caution so as to avoid saying "survival" in the first place. These people try to remain as self-sustained as possible, while on the other hand they would help anyone in a bad situation according to a very strict cultural code of conduct. The behaviour of white men is often called insane, and I would not argue with them.
The new path I am on is fascinating me, and, oh, yes, I will continue, for the one who lived once, lived in fear and debt and self-neglect, is dead.
And I smiled.
Mittwoch, 1. Juli 2015
But it´s not in the bike or the sport. It´s in the people. They might all be decent enough, but I simply cannot stand their crazed gibberish, the nervous talk that all is well and all will be well and always has been. There are exceptions, of course, but I cannot stand the superficial focus on a surrogate activity without so much of a single thought spared about what lies behind. Philosophy, ecology, politics, emotions simply are topics left out. Instead one rants about what fork what stunt and whatsitsname bikepark.
I have realized that I have always been an outcast and will always be. It´s a simple fact: I always was happiest with few people around. I could do what I ever could to be accepted, I could work for them, I could create and give them a context, such as a club, a smithing community, a promotion club, in the long run I am always mobbed out. Don´t know why this is so. People who must know (psychologists, priests, druids, philosophers) tell me they can´t say why this is so, either. Others say I am "too good" for this world. Excuse me, I am not good. I have a lot of grave shortcomings. And - can anyone be too good, because he´s no bastard?
The answer is, yes. Yes, in a world of bastards, you are too good if you don´t get rid of your neighbour by cunning and shrewdness.
But there is little I can change about that, and I know this full well. So I guess, I will continue to care for my fellow human beings, and, to rekindle my fire, I need an outing from time to time. Then I go for a hike, or sit on a stump, or saddle my steed and ride out to the hills.
Zlatoust and St. Petersburg. In those ancient days the Brakkersfelders Knopmetz had a similar nimbus to those works of art Zlatoust now produces and was far renowned throughout the world.
But it was not just iron that those ancient truckers transported. Corn and meal, ale and wine, cloth and works of art, sugar, salt and coffee, cocoa and spices they transported over these hills.
I imagine sometimes one or the other did halt his wagon, and standing where I was, enjoyed a moment of rest while looking down into the valley.
None of my fellow mountainbike riders would understand this, and I am glad for it. They will never know the secret.
It was just a solitary ride to the hills. Without gibberish.;-)
So... again... stay tuned!;-)
I look forward to use and test it. In the hand (while it still has to see some polishing) it feels well comfy and the balance point is right on the index finger. It cuts as aggressively as intended.
But I´m in for some serious testing still... watch out;-).
Mittwoch, 24. Juni 2015
I write this while sitting in a café near a highly frequented road. The sheer noise is overwhelming, cars driving by with blaring subwoofers with drivers who might as well use the bass reflexes to propel them forward. Just over the square I could see junkies and drunks dozing their lives away murmuring to themselves. On my way to the café I had seen five mentally challenges persons screaming at no one in particular. Each and every person I have seen on my way wore a drastic frown that would have been an indication of a serious mental illness just five years ago. Three guys with ragged clothes had an argument and whacked the shit out of each other until the police came by.
Hell, one might say. Hell on earth, everywhere.
But as I passed by the railway station, I saw a girl with well-worn Salwar pants of green colour, with a shaggy mane of dreadlocks walking barefoot and happily eating an ice lolly. Her feet were ...
?muddy? She ?smiled? the whole time? She bid me a nice day? And meant it (I guess)?
I did not ask her where she´d come from.
But I like to think that she came from a place that makes me happy, too. The still vibrant, living, lovely woods, where I can walk with dirty feet and feel the mud between my toes. Where I can smell the strong earth and the rich scent of soil and the bark of trees and the perfume of blossom and, yes, decay. A place where all still makes sense. A place not far in kilometres from the hell we have made, but that cannot be farther in actual. These days I tend to flee my fellow humans more and more. I cannot help them, for they want their life that way, and while I often crawl to the silence and go to hidden places, I do this as I always did. I know the magic sword from the lake is not offered just like a muffin at the baker´s, and while the grey rock will not open to grant me access to the realm of dwarves, where they will provide me with magical weapons to fight the world, I still have gained treasures beyond description there.
The art of stealth and stalking for the joy of it. Laughing deep and full of joy. Lust and dance and death. Moving in and out the branches of a tree, more nimble than I could before. Some people say there´s a light in my eyes they cannot explain and a star upon my brow. I don´t tell them. But it is the forest in my heart.
Now you have read about this on my blog, and chance is, you get this impression that I rant about the same thing over and over. If I do, I do this, because it is constantly filling me with awe. It is constantly growing, and I am becoming something very different to man. Nothing special, either.
There´s nothing mysterious about the things I do there, and some of you might find this childish at best. I walk. I sit on tree stumps and sip my tea. I climb over fallen trees and try to outrun deer. I do try handstands at a tree and tumbles down a slope. I thread through the thicket and drink from the sunlight. I shoot my sling or my arrows at rotten trees (and fail to hit still;-)) and hit the soil with my hands and fists. I do my pushups and situps and "yoga" positions and do them for the fun and joy of it. I run until I am exhausted and simply lie on my back to watch the leaves dance in the sun. It makes me strangely happy. None of this I do for any purpose, and I concentrate on the joy that fills me when I do a movement according to, well, what feels right, you know? I could draw this in a whiplash line, but only because the fern grows that way, the spring flows that way and the cat jumps that way.
I do this all in a feeling that... well... cannot be intelligently described, but that simply feels the way. I watch the owl at dawn hunting and the buzzard kill its prey. I watch the deer running and the hare exploding from the thicket, jumping farther than any human would expect for such a small and harmless creature. I watch the adder in its camouflage and the spider weave its web. They all teach me an art that is far removed from just being "martial", that has no name any human could pronounce, no positions or lectures given.
I still write this blog. This is presumeably the only reason I feel the urge to call it anything. And I want to create a myth for myself, and give hope to others. One drop of filth can poison a million gallons of clear water. And there is a lot of filth in our world.
I have decided that I do not want the filth that much. Most everything is rotten. We eat shit and chemicals, wear special waste as clothing and tie our body down with strange clothes like to webbing load restraint assemblies. Most of the work we do is ridiculous and futile. Ah yes, I have to bend to those circumstances, too.
But I asked the forest. If you are gentle and polite, you are welcome there. He waits for you to shut up and be happy and fierce.
Donnerstag, 18. Juni 2015
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