If the student is ready, a master will appear.
In this case, my “master” is some sort of an artwork, something that is much more than “just” music or words. It’s a realization – or let’s call it illumination - in the first place, something that always obligatorily arrives in a coded message, beyond every-day comprehension. This realization connects me to something much deeper than I am myself, something that is way beyond the surface. Even more importantly: I’m an active part of the process: to be able to decipher the message is the same valuable as the actual procedure of creating it. And the message is something else for everyone, thus decoding it is always a solitary task. Something else for every single human being in the world, yet an experience that eventually connects you to the entire universe.
And so yes, on Thursday we were sitting in Zöld Pardon with the guys from the Luki-course when all of a sudden I heard the following discussion:
R: “So yeah, acting. That was my first love!”
B.E.: “And what’s your current love then?”
R: “What I do now. This.”
B.E. (casually, with a cig in her hand): “Writing, that is?”
This sent a shiver down my spine. To talk about such an intimate topic, so openly at a casual table, after two beers! To reveal that much, so calmly!
Later we drank more and I had a relatively deep conversation with her. She revelead to me that from this point on, she wants to put “it” (writing) in the first place – no matter what. And then I told her that when I’d been a kid, I would always declare some classmate to be my BEST FRIEND, my soul-sister, my “eternal other part”. This, of course, was a very serious mutual commitment at the time, young girls always do that at school. However, no matter how great our relationship had been up to that point, realizing and announcing this commitment always ruined it all. Saying that she is my BEST friend and no other person – you only have one BEST friend, you see – awakens such high expectations that it is nearly impossible to rise up to those standards. Because we all grow, all change – and human relationships never develop according to internal wishes and claims. And what is said and what isn’t makes a HUGE difference. Therefore each time I made my commitment aloud, it vanished into thin air soon afterwards. Suffered too much – no more unnecessary commitments, to whatever. Let things develop naturally, everything always is the way it should be. I never ever want to have a sense of guilt for not feeling, doing something I do not feel up to (anymore). I do not, under any circumstances, wish to put any person or thing in my heart’s top list – nevertheless, if it happens to be there, it surely makes me feel whole (for the time being). But I do not want to depend on persons and things that are way beyond my own conscious willpower and abilities. This is the freedom of feelings, the freedom to grow and change, take whatever comes openly. “Freedom is to think that two plus two makes four, if that is given, everything else will follow.”
The mysterious process of creation has always fascinated me: when you do something, give it all you have and then see how the outcome is something — way beyond you! I once read in a book that we all have a spiritual guide who is an expert of whatever we are doing and helps us by imposing our mind with certain ideas and perspectives. I often rely on this kind of internal-external help: I never, for example, use a dictionary or thesaurus, I always just rely on my instincts. And then I re-read my words and say: “hey, but where on Earth does this come from?” – until I realize it certainly doesn’t at all derive from an earthly source. It’s extremely intimate, again, but there is nothing spookey about it. It’s just that through the process of creation, in the state of being inspired, we naturally get in touch with something that is way beyond us.
And then comes the bullshit that kind of destroys this naturally supernatural state of mind. Worries, fear, envy, doubts, insecurity. Whether it’s good enough by earthly standards, whether it isn’t too much, too complex to comprehend, too intimate to share, whether it’s worth it at all, whether anybody cares… and there is just no way to let it all go.
To me, the song Arena verbalizes these doubts perfectly well:
“I cannot turn my feelings down
Beyond my means to turn my thoughts around
Expressed in every word I will ever speak
Brighter than all the stars combined
More than the waters, Earth, and sky
All that I wish and all that I dream
No creed on Earth can replace or provide
In my darkest hour, the comfort I’d feel
Leading me to see I can be more than I expect of me
My beginning and my end
The first and last air that I breathe
More than the sum of everything that I will ever be
It didn’t matter how hard I tried
It took so long to claim that I knew how
Or what it meant to let go of this
To ever say goodbye
Call it destiny, call it fate
Chose my direction: Running forward
Each life to learn anew, whatever may come…”
And then, there are these songs that just always find me in the right state of mind. In 2005, it was “Joy” in Berlin; in 2006, it was “Perpetual” in Leipzig and this year, yes, in 2007, in München, it was obviously “The Farthest Star”. Yepp, now that I’m constantly struggling with the fear of not doing well enough, not possessing the power to get beyond the surface throughout MY process of creation, not being able to please others and myself, there certainly was something striking about the very first sentence of yesterday’s VNV-show:
“The will to greatness clouds the mind
consumes the senses, veils the signs
we each are meant to recognize…”
(The good thing is, however, that after my 5th VNV-gig, I’m smart enough, at least, not to put ANY make-up on. Khmm.)
And now, shall I get into details why The Farthest Star, Dark Angel, Standing, Epicentre, Carry You, Nemesis, Legion, Testament, Illusion, Fearless, Honour, Chrome, Homeward, Perpetual, Further, Beloved (the songs being played yesterday) meant a lot to me? Shall I explain why being there in the very first row was such an other-earthly yet fully life-conscious experience to me?
You know, shortly before the gig started, it suddenly dawned on me that if I was to do a survey now, and would be asked where I’d want to be at that very moment, I would just say here, where I am now. A very liberating feeling, indeed.
Well, I hope you understand it’s not merely about music or fandom, but something much more than that. It’s just a reflection of my mind at a given point in my life. “If the student is ready, a master will appear” – how very true that is, again! It’s just a question of keeping your eyes open – it may be, of course, something else for you: a kiss, a book, a movie, a discussion, the eyes of somebody you love… but it’s surely there… so
“Seek no more for hollow answers:
Answers that lay within you all along.
Farewell to dawns seen through saddened eyes.
Farewell to pasts to sorrows chained.
Forget your fears and want no more.
You will be strong and want no more.
You’ll be adored. You will have everything.
You will be strong and want no more.
Forget your fears. You will have everything.
And want no more…”