This entry is part two recapping my trip to Berlin, Germany. Read part one here: Choice.
After the cantankerous night described, a whirl of adventure unfolded into sunrise. There was currywurst, there were sadomasochistic sex club adventures, there was naked sex on the street… all three were immensely good, and I still have a longing for more currywurst.
My night ended up in of the most beautiful parts of Berlin, and what became my hub since I was staying a block off, Görlitzer Park, a post-unification creation from a prewar train station. I left, somewhere around eight in the morning with a beer in hand and a smile on the face. I woke up the next morning sufficiently bruised, still happy, reminiscing about all the pain and clarity from the night before.
Let’s talk about how great the art is in Berlin. It’s amazing.
It’s absolutely amazing.
Everything is covered in the smartest street graffiti I’ve seen. Ten-story buildings become canvas, huge monstrous illustrations and politically charged pieces that simply baffle the mind when trying to unravel their process and construction. Old hospitals are converted into massive, government-funded gallery spaces and live/work residences that are not only affordable, but huge and livable. The art is smart. Yes, there is magic-marker crap there just like here, but it’s scant and in the shadows.
The scene there actually made me appreciate what goes on in San Francisco even more, and I’m often a naysayer of the local art ‘scene’, because I hope that what is going on here is a genesis for something bigger. I don’t want to be a hater, but frankly, there’s a lot of shit art in San Francisco.
The one disappointment I share is that most of my photography there sucked. Troubled with weather and light, I found shooting at night was the only time I was truly inspired to get behind the lens. I’ve posted a few shots already and there are some more to come, but not many. More reason to go back.
And, go back I will.
Here I am back at home. I swore to myself that I would take the positive energy I had picked up overseas with me and remind myself with it each day forth. And, I do. A day hasn’t past yet where I haven’t spent a few moments repeating things in my mind that changed me. I can’t share it all… I guess that stuffing box will never cease… I think artists must do this, anyhow. It’s how we process… it’s how I process. I think non-artistic observers misunderstand this. The easiest way to explain what I do with history, experiences, ideas and emotions that I keep to myself is that I’m my own compost pile. Yes, sometimes it smells like shit. However, I’m fertile.
My goal is to remove the negativity when I can. It is impossible to eliminate it, to do so would be an unsustainable balance. It is even impossible not to express it. That would be an unfair reflection of experience through my process. The negative events we experience… even this disgusting oil spill that makes me nauseous the more I read about it… affects our subsequent experience and expression in positive ways, if we choose and decide to.
This is ultimately the best experience I had in Berlin. Control. Being in control and realizing where the scope of control ends and begins within my living experience. In every panic attack, in every argument, in every moment that you and I experience we still hold on to an element of control. Yes, one can argue that at times it is so diminished that we feel out-of-control (natural disaster, violence, etc.) but we do control our thoughts, we do control our reactions, we do control our subsequent ways of emoting and building from the just-past. Somehow, I was reminded of all this there. I appreciate this coming from the fantastic Berlin light.
I have a lot ahead of me. For that I am grateful.
You can read the final part of my thoughts here: Außer dir kann das niemand.