Sunday, October 30, 2011
There is an aphorism from Franz Kafka I always remember when I speak about freedom: “A cage in search of a bird.” I would like to adjust it for my essay to say: “A chain in search of a dog”.
My motto is: “I am a writer, not a fucking bestseller.” I created it not for the provocation, but because I felt it to be a truth. Sure I know that the freedom in this motto is limited. The basic sense is this: the writer is an individual; the bestseller is a part of the system, and happy.
There is a chain of fast food in the US called Jack-in-the-Box. I visited one recently; during my quick visit to Spokane, I found only fast-food restaurants on the highway. The feeling of sitting there and actually being a jack-in-the box, chained to simple, unhealthy food, made me vomit.
They put us in this prison, in that box. When they told me that, first and foremost, I was Eastern European and I should write about my experiences as Eastern European, about the politics. Shall I do violence to my soul and mind, and start writing what the literary business demands from me? No. My mind is not committed to politics. Politics in literature is for me nothing more than nonsense.
I started becoming ill; when they put me and my literature in that cage and told me “You are not needed, if you don’t write as we wish,” I got crazy. What madness, being useless! This was the absolute precipice; after this there was nothing else, only madness or fortunate survival through a great miracle… Being a writer and not fitting in with the current topics, the current spirit or melody in the framework of a society is like being a jack-in-the box – popping up and down, suffering and howling to be noticed while still alive. Must the writer suffer? Not rich, not accepted. Hm. I don’t want to suffer; I want to live a good life as a needed, respected writer…and enrich and motivate the others. Limitations shouldn’t damage creativity. I see this not as a grotesque game but as a serious one. To have no means for communication as an unnecessary writer, with nothing but humanity – no readers for my writing, no audience for my performances – is what I dread most, like all creative souls. We know many examples of such writers from the world´s literature.
But one thing is clear: I say loudly - Milena, a new regime is being formed. A quick switch from communism into the new art of oppression and of limitations for art, the so called Media-Regime. Media dominate us and set the rules of the freedom. This limited freedom of creativity and expression is the first sign of a world gone wrong! No more kindred spirits! Human beings are walking towards stupidity.
What a blessing to be a writer, to be able to sense hidden truths. I know there is something wrong about politics? And about the world’s hidden social structures that make individuals anxious. I see young and old people demonstrating. Now! In NYC, in Chicago, even in Iowa City - all over the world. I took part in “Occupy Chicago”. I prompt my soul to go on strike, too. I want to create a revolution in literature. I will start that revolution! It is fate that forces me to forsake my power and my courage. I am not giving up fighting. I fight for my freedom and for the freedom of being a writer! I am a writer, not a fucking best seller! I don’t want literature to become fast food literature, the literature of business and empty profit.
I am convinced that I can act, not just carry a story through action like a chained dog, but also to register emotions and portray a real character with my individual loves, loyalties, and hates. Literature must become individual again, to the same degree that it had been for ages in Europe.
Hold on, writer, if you don’t fit in this current world. The world is still changing. I have a vision. I am keeping on track, not on the chain, not in the cage. I’ll start the revolution as a fucking writer!
Chicago/Iowa City, 10.10.2011
CHICAGO!!CHICAGO BY NIGHT/DAY FROM THE 96th floor...!!
Love with this city isn´t at the first sight, the city is growing in me, probably into the mutual love... Yes, now I love the city! It is a bit strange, but generally interesting moving city. I feel a movement here. And I came in this city - I was feeling the coming REVOLUTION. And this city is right for the revolution!
It is not so far from Iowa City to go to Chicago, for me it is like the trip Berlin-Prague - 350km - 3-4 hours drive by car.
I was really looking forward to visiting this famous city... My idea of organizing was, to stay a few days! As long as I could be away from our program, it means during the weekend into the week. I was about to find a rideshare or go by bus ("Megabus" for about 20-35 dollars). To fly it´s not convenient from IC. I had to have a transport to the airport. All takes the same time like flying. I found a rideshare, a student from IC who translates my play into English.
For this time I used the fabulous couchsurfing.org. I am a member, but don´t use it much. Mostly in the USA. It is a wonderful meeting point if one is alone on the road, or doesn´t know people in the new city... well, there are a lot of cause to use CS. I didn´t know anybody in Chicago, so I decided to put my posting there. In 30 Minutes I got two answers, I decided for Yakov. He is originally from the Ukraine. The Slawic roots connect always, there is some warm character, some kind radiation which goes direct from the heart in the heart and back and in the air..., as well as the European roots connect me here with people whose origin is in Europe. Some feel these roots strong, some are just "reminders" of European origin. It is interesting the kind of connection I feel here in the USA or generally in the other world, outside of Europe.
Yakow showed me after I arrived the whole city by night, what a kind offer from him!! I was excited, to have such an incredible experience - Chicago from all the sides by night! He was&is really very kind guy... (I hope he reads it here, so far he knows it, I told him it...). Well, then I wanted to see the city, to walk and to meet people. I had an intuition, that I could be involved in the movie... It happened almost in the same time I stepped on the street... Yakov showed me, the famous HOTDOG =Wiener's Circle (sure I am attractive to WIEN/Vienna). I don´t like hotdogs, fastfood... but here I payed attention to people who were around and FILMING. I don´t know the name any more unfortunately, even when I got involved in the filming. I asked the right person randomly - the producer, if I could be a part of the team and he looked me the whole and said: Yes!! Come tomorrow and you can be there for one-two hours! The Hollywood team from L.A. engaged me immediately, I was just like 10 minutes in Chicago for the first time... AMAZING MOMENT AND FEELING! And I arrived! Even if I don´t like hotdogs (I like dogs) I could play - have fun - for one hour... buying a hotdog in unusual way was the purpose for the making a TV show, I suppose... I don´t know more details now...
After I left the production-team... I walked on the street, just a two blocks further... I saw in the darkness a bit strange, hidden narrow street at the main street, with a few people, in black clothes. It was already midnight. I had a bit fear... I said to me- go ahead! I walked towards to them... the small group were just smokers who stood outside in front of a club NEO... all were clothed in black - all seemed to me to belong to one group of people: Gothics. For me a bit new scene... I don´t wear much dark colors, and at that night I was quite sporty, fit for fun, for the TV. Once nice couple - see below - encouraged me to go! I went in, dark, dark and just a few lights... But it was a great decision! The music was wonderful, just for a spirit-free dance!! And what else meant to happen to me at that night? After 10 Minutes entered the club a TV-team - another one - and was about the club and us, the dancers... Whew, another starring! I was feeling it right to be in Chicago!! A small star! They filmed me while dancing, - I love dancing, the music was so good! And my clothing was all but gothic... well, the slogan on my T-Shirt was connecting:
LOVE IS THE BRIDGE BETWEEN TWO HEARTS! I bought fresh in Chicago! All the GOTHIC dancers, women almost nacked, with tattoos and chains took me in their circle, and we danced in trance!! And the TV team was happy to have a documentary for the news about the culture in Chicago!
Around 4 a.m. I was so far out of the trance and dance... I went by train to Yakov´s house, hopping that he opens me a door...I couldn' t come earlier and he didn´t answer to me if it was alright for him. Well, at the station I went out and suddenly I didn´t know how to get to Yakov´s house. It was my first time on that station... fortunately there were two boys. I called, guys... hoye - how to get to xx - street, and what a random! - they lived in the same block of house! After a small talk, we had a big talk! These two guys were one of the leaders of OCCUPY Chicago! And we all three had the same drive for the REVOLUTION!! I was just occupied with my essay about the FREEDOM I should write for the panel for IWP! And I was hoping in Chicago I write it... I was feeling almost about two weeks, there is a TIME for A CHANGE!! I was happy to write the ESSAY, but I was waiting for the IMPULSES! The time for the REVOLUTION came in CHICAGO! We were talking about serious things... they told me about "Occupy Chicago" March, the next day.... I said YES! And we were really happy to encounter at 5 am... and speak such a inspirational talk...
It was so important DAY! NIGHT AND MORNING on screen!!
Time for change!
Yakov was waiting for me... he opened me a door and I told him about the day, night... and we were happy to share so much! He supported me with the essay - I was writing the whole sunday and other day - it was form me an important essay... I don´t know why I decided to write this essay in English, German would be better&faster, but not for all people I met in Chicago and others who like reading my message!
I had to write in English ... see my Essay DOG´S FREEDOM in that blog:::
(AGAIN: Apologize my English, here in the blog as well my essay, how important it is to write in a nice language, but I am not able to spend here so much time::: This blog is just a reminder of my stay in IOWA.)
I went a few hours later with the guys into the march! After visiting the fabulous lake Michigan, the white beach, it was very hot weather... all the days. How surprising for October! I simply enjoyed the time & city & people! I was still occupied with my thoughts about the freedom and my revolution in the literature!
It was a great start for the protest, for the new REVOLUTION! CHICAGO SHIVERED a bit, we were about 1000 protesters and in two weeks again, and more people. Some people were confused and asked WHY they do protest? Some disagreed, and the rest just says YES for the CHANGE.
The sun sparkles through the golden shiny trees, I see the details of the naked trees! People walk down byways and alleys, lighty, big apartments, thousands of the huge buildings and still vacant lofts, lovely bookstores, museums, poetry, art, parks, so many years before and ahaed, whistle of the wind, and the boats are out of their moorings, their distant sails like the wings of doves across Lake Michigan. The lake seems to me like an ocean... and the city emerges from a gig....
old and young black people who still burn from a lifetime of insults, of foiled ambitions, of ambitions abandoned before they´ve been tried. I try to imagine and understand the life of a black man, but I cannot understand it. America is based on the slavery, this spirit and the way of life will never disappear as in Europe the nationalism and thinking in borders...
On the beach of the LAKE - OCEAN - Michigan!
As I saw you, Chicago - from the John Hancock "bar" on the 96th floor... What a marvelous view, the best lady bathroom with the view on Chicago... Enjoy to "make a pipi" on the world from the top once or again again if you step so high!!
Here are many condolences & flower & thanks / wishes for STEVE JOBS.