I struggled with a cold for a week and today is the first day I am staying in bed. Reading. Rereading. Music. Sleep.
Reading new things to open up new roads. Reading old things to remind me of the importance of new roads. Reading randomly in the book I have been carrying around for almost two years. Bumping into these quotes:
"Three words give you fever. Three words nail you to the bed: change your life. That is the goal. It is clear and simple. But you see no road that would lead to that goal. Sickness is the absence of a road, an uncertainty about how to go on. You are not facing a question about how to go on. You are not facing a question, you are on the inside of it. You are the question yourself. A new life is what you would like, but your will, which is part of your own life, has no force. You are like one of those children who have a marble in their left hand and won't let go till they have the coins they're trading it for in their right: you would like to have a new life as long as you don't lose the old one. You fear the moment of change, the moment when your hand is empty."
"Great things always begin with sleep. Great things always begin by their thinnest edge."
- Christian Bobin, The Very Lowly
And I remember how once I was walking pilgrim trails in Sweden as part of an art project and I carried all y-shaped branches I found on my path with me. Y, pronounced as "why". Another question but a similar one. Carrying my questions without answering them because that is what pilgrimage is about, should be about.
There were many churches on our route and we were expected to visit them all, it was part of the project but I didn't know that until I arrived. Just as the priests we met were not informed that the three of us walking, all artist invited for an art residency called "Walking Peace", weren't religious. It could have been an interesting situation if the priests would have had more time for our encounters but most of them were busy and too keen on talking instead of listening. There were exceptions of course. The pilgrim priest who walked the labyrinth next to the cathedral of Lund every morning to let go of her questions and who told me that when she was standing on the altar to address the people in church and couldn't find the words, she would just start singing and then the words came out.
Most churches we visited were built around a well or next to one, a more profound and honest source than religion. It made me realise that my y-shaped branches could be used to find water if you hold the long end. Or used as a catapult to attack or defend if you would tie an elastic band inbetween the two short ends. Or if you break it in three parts and turn the two short ends around, it turns into an arrow. It shows you the way.
And afterwards I tore up a Bible. It was also inspired by a quote from Bobin, saying: the Bible is a book made out of air. And it is. Interpret it in any way you want.
I sat in the projectspace for a day, carefully tearing every page out of the Bible and folding them into airplanes, letting them fly, aiming for the door.
More about Walking Peace (which I renamed: Walking in Circles) here: