Thursday, 22 March 2018

The Sky Has Cracked

What makes the inability to walk and venture out even more agonizing is the fact that the concrete sky has cracked and we have had such beautiful blue skies and a trickle of warmth in the sun! I feel like a dog, sadly staring out the window.  My only venture out is to the balcony to smoke and I grimace at the thought of not being able to meander through the second-hand shops and drink a coffee and do some busking.
But it is amazing to see how your body heals itself bit by bit, day by day.  I have watched the skin reform on the foot and the scab flake off; the swelling go down and the movement of toes returning.  Sometimes I neglect my body – I am too lost in my thoughts and indulgences to give it proper attention.  But an accident and recovery like this makes you realise how much your body looks after you.
When one is used to always being in motion and living at a very fast and exhilarating pace, being bed-ridden will slow you down somewhat and make you reflect on things.  I am trying to think of what the lessons are to this injury and the good sides, of which there are many.
I should concentrate more on any task I am performing.
I should not feel so proud and think that I don’t need any help.
I should look after my body a bit more.
I know what bad physical pain feels like for only the second time in my life. (I broke my leg twenty years ago.)
I shouldn’t drink so much.
I can draw people and portraits fucking good.
We are all one slip away from our day or life taking a massive turn for the worse – or better.
There are a lot more lessons as well, but they will surface the more I digest and recover from this experience.  I am planning a venture out today, though.  If I go the studio and pick up the guitar I could try a busk tomorrow. Yesterday I made it to the Spaty to buy some tobacco, which was do-able, but still hurt a bit.  But today is the last day on my train ticket so I at least want to get the last journey out of it.
After years of bunking the train here and always getting away with a fine I feel so happy to buy a ticket. It costs 60 a month and for the amount of time I spend on the trains - it is a worthy investment.  Otherwise, the journeys become fearful with paranoia trying to guess if there is a ticket inspector in plain clothes just got on, and then your stomach fluttering when the doors close and you hear them dreaded words “Farhkarten Bitte”.  I couldn’t read or focus on a book in peace, so the 60 a month is worth it for the peace of mind and ability to concentrate on what I’m reading.
My usual victuals in Berlin are – A coffee or three in the morning, followed by some Yorkshire tea - A sandwhich of cheese and bread at the stroke of afternoonish – more tea and maybe a coffee - a doner kebab or plate between a mixture of pilseners for the evenings injestion.  I found this amazing Lebanese place by Box Hagenerplatz.  It’s called Ali Baba and for 5.50 you get a huge plate full of salad, hummous, fried and roasted and seasoned schwarma and lots of other goodness.  It is the best meal in Berlin and I was eating it 5 or six times a week.
One Sunday I was going there and then discovered that they have a lovely Flea Market at Boxhangener every Sunday.  I was mooching about and saw this lovely set of old DDR speakers. I asked him how much and he tells me forty.  I wince and say “Ahhh, I only have 15 euroes on me” He goes “Ok give me 30”.  I say “I only have 15 on me”  “Ok, give me 20” I say.  “I only have 15 on me”.  “Ok give me 15”.  So after a lovely Lebanese plate I return to the studio carrying a lovely old set of speakers.  I hooked them up and they sounded delightfully DDR.
I have taken such pride and love in getting everything for the studio. Everything I have as either been found, foraged or given and bought with love.  After a good week of busking with Louis I would return with pockets full of geld and feel excited to go the markets and shops to buy lots of stuff for the place.  But the strangest thing is – when I have really needed or wanted certain things for the place, I step outside and someone has left it in the hallway.  This happened for a big display unit and a SONY amp and also a big speaker, which made a perfect decoration and nearly completed the place.  It is still a work in progress but whenever I find something, it just seems to fit in place like a perfect puzzle.  I have a great feng shui in there and a REAL coziness.
My Beauutiful studio
The best thing is – I can do whatever I want to do.  Whether it is drawing, playing piano, singing, recording or writing – I just do whatever I am in the mood for.  Not feel like I should be doing something in particular, just doing what I feel.  That is a nice feeling.   A lot of the time I just sit and truly listen to music.  Absorb it and feel it and hear it an environment where I am not bothering anyone to turn it up to eleven.  It is just as important to listen as well as to play.
My playlists have mostly been consisting of – Tom Waits, Beck, Devandra Banhart, Joanna Newsom, Fleet Foxes, Bowie, Odetta, Nina Simone, Dylan, Conor Oberst, Mark Lanegan, Bon Iver, Iron and Wine, Paul Simon, Ray Lamontagne, Sigor Ros, The Lumineers and many more in between.
I am playing the piano a lot, and am building a full set of songs that I can play and sing nicely on it.  I am really enjoying the morning coffee and smoke and then just spending hours pounding the piano.  I express myself quite freely on the keys, and enjoy playing with dynamics and melancholy to craziness and darkness.  I did the hard work of teaching myself when I was twenty, so now I am just enjoying it and expanding on that hard work I did all them years ago.
Ok, well its time for a cuppa ana smoke now.  I am enjoying the speed at which I can express my inner monologue on here, the notebook, though neat and beautiful is a little slower in its capturing the flow of your thoughts. 

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