i reconsidered my surroundings, i saw my surroundings in a different perspective, i thought of escape ways, vanishing points, refugees, refuge-seekers, people fleeing, horizons, views from above, views from below, landscapes, townscapes, territories, perspectives. suddenly i had to go to madrid just because of the avenidas, i could also have gone to buenos aires or N. Y. but i went to madrid also because of the meat-coloured city, madrid meat-city.
on the way from basel to ZH airport by train i suddenly saw the familiar landscape anew, i laid out lines, horizons, thought really in spatial terms and became very tired in the process, brain-tired, laid out nets from the train as it travelled, as in a computer model everything was disturbingly new as at birth. i could just as well have travelled back from the airport to basel again. a precipitate birth, at the same time the impression of a circle closing.
i thought also of my taking flight my flight movements out of my surroundings, my somehow insipid surroundings. i reconsidered my friendships, which tended to be a kind of unvarying objects in a territory, closer or farther away depending on my point of view in this terrain vague. they were fixed points, way stations when walking when running, roof constructions, protective buildings, standing around in the territory. it was advisable to have several. the more i re-considered my escape ways the better.
i thought also of refugees, these people cast into a landscape and into a territory, who had no buildings to stop over – + rest, nothing, no fixed points, no places, no roofs, nothing, they had only themselves if at all. my escape ways were roofed-over by the privilege of freedom. I neither had to flee, nor to reflect on taking flight. I didnt have to do anything.
but throughout my life i have forever been dreaming of terrains with buildings, objects, sculptures, things which when dreaming in youth i flew over in fighter planes and which when dreaming today having grown older i stride over and across. stand around there. walk around there. stroll around there. stand there by chance and stroll, gazing, observing.
dreaming is self-definition, dreaming is drawing, painting, making music, writing, walking, running, thinking, breathing. when one is dreaming everything is moving is really really true not graspable but portrayable. dreaming is taking hold of, is the movement of taking hold. dreaming is the work of taking hold/evading/running/fleeing, the work of slipping away, the work of taking flight.
i know the closeness of very many years ago: my old mother calls me today: -mon bébé, ma chérie- and i call her then: -ma vieille-. she is years ago i am now. ma vieille, mon bébé, ma chérie. thus the beauty of my childhood comes full circle. circle, round, without space but with duration. my mother sends me drawings with 5 trees, green, with violet trunks, their crowns oval leaning to the right as in the wind I/L/O/V/E and underneath a green circle with YOU written in it. she always sends me new and highly concentrated coloured circles, very beautiful circles, simple beautiful concentrated circles, ma vieille.
we are waiting for the next catastrophe. catastrophe = terrorist act = suicide attack. assassins are coolly observing and analysing our surroundings. what the WorldTradeCenter was for america, the murder of theo van gogh is for holland. hollywood image USA + european intellectual image, USA + europe, exactly observed, the weak points analysed for the purpose of destruction. the weak points analysed dissected and subsequently transposed into a perfect strategy of annihilation. i understand the will to disappear in suicide, to merge into absolute nothingness, to no longer want to be, to be nothing. but i utterly and totally really reject the act of suicide as a strategically deployed weapon as a tactic of the absolute, as the purpose of cool destruction. today suicide attacks strike at the heart of our societies, of my surroundings, which bear in themselves the possibility of failure, of the imperfect, the insipid, the democratic, the individual, of just living along, it doesnt matter, it is unimportant, it is my flowing, fleeting culture of changing standpoints, perspectives, horizons, points of light and escape ways. unbearable for suicide attackers. after all it would mean that their point of view is only theirs, their small human point of view, personal, individual, not divine, large, general. i fully understand suicide, but not a suicide attack with its extremely cool intelligence and extreme stupidity of feeling.
re-considered escape ways
new years eve, engadin, friends. someone says: -this shop has started selling kosher goods to orthodox jews thats fine but the jews are not to my liking. not to my liking? was i not to this persons liking? did she know that i was a jew? i was unable to react, my mood had taken a nose-dive, these were my friends, these were my jews. my jews were not to peoples liking. these were my friends. my friends and my jews.
pretty soon after midnight i drove back and saw these brightly-lit festivities, too gaudy, too bright, my good mood had taken a nose-dive, i plunged down into the dark valley, into the deserted dark Bregaglia Valley, with every bend i felt better, until i got to my place, got home, to one of my workshops, home into the dark. at night i dreamt of a yellow animal that was walking on a shelf from top right to bottom left and looked back at me with a severe glance. i lay beneath the animal like a child looking out from its bed at its cuddly animal toys.
for several weeks i had a terribly bad conscience towards my jews. i hadnt defended them. i hadnt asked, hadnt questioned my friends: -am i not to your liking either, am i not to your liking like my jews-. it was just that nothing had come into my mind, there was this paralysis, an emptiness, from which i couldnt come up with anything, couldnt do anything, paralysed i shovelled food into myself, anaesthetized, detached, turned into stone.
assuming my friends had answered, assuming i had asked them whether i wasnt to their liking either, assuming like my jews: i wasnt like that, not the same, not orthodox, not with stockings and a wig, not garbed in black no, that wouldnt be me, so i wouldnt be not to their liking my friends liking what would i be then? in spite of cahn not not to their liking like my jews, in spite of miriam cahn therefore to their liking, since not not to their liking like my jews? so were my jews my jews if i was without religion? without a jewish mother? in the eyes and minds of my friends i probably wasnt a jew because i didnt show appearance + existence like my jews. so i probably was to their liking i dont know because i didnt ask. perhaps having asked such a question i would be as litle to my friends liking as my jews. my jews remain my jews. my jews are my jews, even if i never belong to a congregation and am not a zionist. my jews are my jews.
re-considered escape ways sarajevo writing in trains
in the period of the ceasefire before dayton i was invited to sarajevo for an exhibition. my works were driven over mount igman, i flew from zagreb to sarajevo in a military transport machine. the offices of the unprofor were attractive thanks to the absolute absence of any so-called interior design, the plane was a flying factory workshop, in the middle the material, we human beings at its outer skin firmly strapped. i was the only civilian. – why i was flying to sarajevo? – been invited, am exhibiting in sarajevo, am an artist.- the soldiers from various military -+ aid organizations looked extraplanetarily gobsmacked at this answer.
coming from switzerland and from civilian life sarajevo was inconceivable. the drive in the white-painted civilian car disguised as a UN vehicle through this space of the destroyed, through this destroyed urban space, the spatial quality of driving through this town, the spatial experience of this destructive rage, the space the speed of the driving recalled the TV pictures, i remembered the outstanding buildings, the newspaper, the hotel, the new quarter by the airport as spatial fixed points, shattered buildings, destroyed, eliminated, barely capable of serving their function.
then obala: a wild crowd of young people who had just been celebrating the end of their first sarajevo film festival + crying + laughing + smoking drinas + boozing, were drunk on the magnificent success of the festival. next thing: my exhibition. a number of these very young men worked in daytime as video – film + art specialists and at night as soldiers in the army defending sarajevo. actually i set up my exhibition with soldiers.
i was given accommodation in the same building on the uppermost floor, the block stood by the river, through small holes in the unprofor plastic sheeting i could look at the mountain, and i assume that over there soldiers of the besieging army were looking at us, observing us, a thought i immediately suppressed. there were sandbags in front of the obala which perhaps gave a bit of protection, protected us a little. in the obala there was a nervous little dog, who protected the people in the obala from intruders by barking wildly. this little guard dog “ticci” (its face twitched even when it was asleep) was a token/icon of the situation: all the people there were somehow TICCI, they all seemed normal young people, young adults, whose impairments became visible insidiously, revealed themselves to me little by little, bad teeth, pallid skin, unwashed hair, cracked nails, twitches, tics. they took great care with their outfit, the fact that benetton had opened a branch meant for them normality, even if they were not keen on benetton. normality meant the best possibility of survival, normality meant civilian life, meant urban civilian life, meant going out, meant dressing decently, meant giving shape to life. i went with them to the central cinema through the completely dark streets, into a completely dark cinema, forgotten the film, doesnt matter, the sudden lighting up of the screen, sometimes interrupted by total black, by complete darkness.
doing an exhibition meant normality meant inviting international artists. out of nothing they had constructed an attractive functional exhibition space in the academy by the river after their first had been destroyed by shell fire. carefully they unpacked my things, every smallest little bit of sticky tape was peeled off, preserved, every piece of packing material was folded up. subsequently we installed the exhibition just as fast professionally as anywhere else in the world. the opening was set for 13.00 because of the soldiers and the electricity; the invitations were delivered by hand direct to the houses and flats. at the opening i had a nice conversation in french about art with the serbian general of the defending army. it was a pleasantly intensive and brief opening. it was fine.
at the only kiosk open in the basarça i bought a map of the city “sarajevo and surrounding area”. on the cover which had been reprinted during the war the usual tourist attractions could be seen as ruins. i got one of the obala soldiers to mark in the demarcation line of the besieging army. only then did i become really, spatially, aware of what work this raggle-taggle defending army was doing to preserve their city. i thought of the maps of “basel and surrounding area”, of feldberg, belchen, blauen, gempen, tüllingerberg, grand ballon, which could likewise form a siege – + demarcation line.
a young video artist told me in a dispassionate voice that he had several times exchanged dead bodies and body parts with the enemy up in the hills. this lad had a very well-trained body, coming from civilian life i naturally thought of sports training. perhaps he was commanded, picked to exchange bodies and body parts with the enemy in the almost impassable mountain territory on account of his well-trained body acquired in civilian days for sporting reasons. perhaps however this job had hardened his body.
only in the shower in the hotel room in zagreb did the feeling of menace fall away, only when i was no longer in this besieged city did i actually, physically, become aware of this feeling of menace.
back in basel those around me reacted reticently when i began to report, steered the conversation onto other topics or manifestly let their attention drift away. my friends looked past me. although they considered me remarkably courageous. for them however rejecting war meant not thinking of wars. to them i was “occupying” myself with war, cahns got a tic about war, must be because of her history – + biography constellation. doing an exhibition in a besieged town didnt interest anyone although art as a token of normality is very interesting, should be of interest, art as a token of normality just as draculics poem with the bus stop and the boring fact that the bus comes punctually every day means normality, day-to-day life.
i think that possibly, perhaps after this return home i decided, took the inner decision, really, emotionally, internally, as a feeling decided, took the decision, from within, emotionally, really, to observe, to study my surroundings, to study how my people lived and spoke. to listen to their language exactly and to evade the supposed embraces of solidarity especially of women, these women around me who refused to think farther than war-is-mens-business. some of the men around me refused to think farther, because in this system of war-is-mens-business-and-hence-bad they logically did not want to be the baddies. the attitude of my people was final and fundamental: -we cant imagine it. so they didnt want to know about my week in sarajevo either. but when the USA ended this european war with war, yes, then my small town luminaries were against the USA, simply, traditionally, fundamentally, an intellectual closed system, us, enclosed in our well-being, punctual buses, punctual trains, electrical, hot water, everything normal, normality and a cosy refusal of using, treasuring the privilege of normality to think and feel in all directions. we are not forced to lug bodies and body parts in almost impassable territory and to exchange them with the enemy. we have the privilege of the normality of day-to-day life, we, we can reflect passionately, vehemently on what it means if a young video artist has to exchange body parts at night, this foot belongs to my corpse, this hand to yours.
while i am writing the panoramic train is winding its way through almost impassable territory. tunnels alternate with glimpses down into ravines, across to castles and historic railway bridges. indians, germans and asians enthusiastically contemplate and photograph/film the beautiful landscape. with every ascending loop the green of the trees becomes more filigree. in st. moritz i will get into my car and drive home along the lakesides.
re-considered escape ways writing while watching television
i dont read these texts after writing them. i think of them, memory, commemoration, recalling these texts. the sarajevo text as recollection perhaps self-important, conceited perhaps, self-image, self-indulgent. self-sufficient. suicide self-killing suicide attack freitod [free death, autocide] death by one’s own hand, hand + hands. the WorldTradeCenter and the view of the two french documentary film brothers who by chance became involved in 9/11, their view from the ground, the worms eye view of the tower into which the first aircraft hurtles: the one brother was just filming a gas leak on the ground + and with presence of mind and professionalism thrust the camera upwards when the fireworker assisting him heard the plane. everybody the entire world saw those few seconds. later the firefighters in the tower lobby try to assess the situation by intense listening, hearking to the building, listening to the injured building. they hear a sploshing, the sound of the bodies falling onto the lobbys projecting roof. on television i see nothing except men in firefighters uniform listening intently and hear the sound, the noise, the specific acoustic phenomenon of the human body impacting after a fall from a great height.
in 2005 i try to imagine in a drawing the last thing these human beings saw: the urban canyon of the street, the suction, the vanishing point in the street. leaping into death the last but autonomous decision really the autonomous ones own the last personal decision against terror, the individual neutralization of a suicide attack by killing oneself? the height of fall. imagining falling in a drawing. the viewpoint of the pilots, who were manoeuvring these planes and flew into the towers corresponded to the viewpoint of my early youthful giant-scale drawings, gliding dreamily and flying over landscapes and towns. 9/11 a dream turned into horror. in 2005 i HAVE to draw the perspectives, vanishing points horizons and standpoints of the others, drawing differently from the ground, from the viewpoint of someone jumping from the tower, looking down from the circling helicopters. i not only have to, something compels me. something compels me to reconsider everything afresh while drawing. being older compels me to think again about my old works. my old sad mother compels me. my silent sister compels me, i have to draw while thinking about it. compelled i have to think again about perspectives.
my jews are my jews who are just as foreign to me as all human beings as anyone as all families as all groups as all male friends as all female friends. but they are my jews and are not to be considered not to someones liking, nobody around me should be allowed to consider them not to his or her liking nobody should pigeonhole anyone or others in that way, be allowed to consider them as a whole not to their liking, as a people, as a tribe, as a race, no-one around me should be allowed to think or do or say that no-one should be allowed to call my jews my jews apart from me no-one should call jews jews apart from me or jews only jews are allowed to consider themselves not to their liking me my jews only i should be allowed to consider myself.
how i detest hate that, how i hate that and especially when i say it myself i hate this pigeonholing. it is better much better much much better to consider all human beings foreign i actually feel that all are foreign neither like this nor like that but foreign, always. that is the better state of affairs, a state of affairs a state of mind, of contemplating, observing, seeing. a state of a continual motion of seeing, a fluid state of seeing, always.
nevertheless my jews are my jews, they are my jews, a state of belongingness felt not lived, a feeling of belongingness, a feeling of belonging without day-to-day life without effects without community without belonging. if need be, perhaps, but but perhaps not i prefer to belong to the jews who are not to peoples liking than to the others who are to their liking, to the others whom they seem to define as to their liking, obviously seem to see themselves as to peoples liking in contrast to those whom they call not to their liking, my jews, obviously.
re-considered escape ways
whenever i think about the foregoing texts i have a feeling of badness, a feeling of something not true or not real, unreal because an attempt to capture something in words, and nevertheless the feeling of being able to achieve this capturing, a specific capturing only through writing. a creeping up upon. a condensing, a writing out, writing as an interim technique, as a procedure between image and sound, through the flow of writing tending to sound, through the filling of the pages tending to image. but i do not capture the content any more than with drawing/painting/photographing. Or as a waldau patient says on television: -bim mole ischs problem was molsch…-
bim schribe ischs das problem was schribsch,
[when youre painting the problem is what do you paint…
when youre writing the problem is what do you write] what and which sound + rhythm. my jews are my jews is a how, less a what i can dream up my jews, dream of them. in a similar procedure to dreaming i can paint. in a somewhat more intellectual way i can as a commentary draw while dreaming. writing is somewhat more intellectual commenting is brain-driven training and perhaps possibly in the end possibly takes everything away by defining, destroys the condensation of dreaming. however, because i also dream in sentences + words, i could by means of dreaming as a procedure condense sentences + words.
a chance computer event led me to this hand-pncl-eraser way of writing. when travelling i take a notebook along. writing by hand is quick, i can erase words + sentences speedily and dont subsequently read my texts. but the proximity of pencil to drawing is frighteningly close and yet not drawing, i would never draw when travelling by train and outside or wherever, because drawing is an intimate process. writing by hand, however, is not. nobody sees anything except illegible signs legible only to me. this nothing is the wonderful thing about writing this terrible nothing, this nothingness is the wonderful thing about writing writing in such a notebook is nothing.
probably possibly perhaps art too is nothing. the object, the left-over thing, the image, this something that just exists away in its nothingness is a contradiction that has occupied me all life long that determines my life. i bear with pride the responsibility for my production of nothing, producing nothing is the best thing one can do today, nothing is the opposite of annihilation, nothing is a declaration of war on annihilation.
re-considered escape ways
suicide, self-homicide, self-killing, suicide attack freitod [free death, autocide], the virgin suicides, jean améry, death by one’s own hand, freitod. freitod [free death] is for me the finest of words. free death is of one’s own free will freely chosen free autonomous. freely i give myself death, i invite death to put an end to me i think my death i enact my death i plan my dying i kill myself i have lived enough freitod autocide the final point of the individual, to me myself of the self, i myself choose, the reasons are unimportant, the possibility of choosing, perhaps choosing, deciding this, only i, i alone decide, the choice, the decision, to decide, to act, i, the last time, to decide, decide alone, decide from the sum of life individual lonely alone, decide from the sum of my life, depart, only i i only i. the opposite of the suicide attacker, who merging with a higher power disembodies himself, disembodying innocent people casts into death human beings who have not so chosen human beings innocent people guilty only of being human snatches them away to death from the guilt of being human lording it in the name of a greater lord punished for their human flawed guilty sinful being being human being a self. lordly, lording it, disembodies himself and others, casts off the body that makes him a flawed human being, in disembodiment believing to have to prove that there is no such thing as individuals with a beginning with a birth and an end with death believes he must prove lordingly prove that through his deed there is a godlike power that justifies casting people into death, subordinating himself to the higher power the higher the attacker believes to be doing the right thing for all he determines what all have to do in the name of a power that has degraded him into a nothing into a tool a machine into a weapon. in his annihilation he annihilates them all, all that is, that is so. that wants to be as it is. that is. that might be. he believes he knows that his act will be rewarded in the world beyond. his higher power sells him his act, his suicide, his suicide attack as the goal of his life, as an ascent out of his unclear, imperfect, paralysing, poor being, his inchoate, impoverished, feeling-flung, flung, asocial being into social recognition. his power works on him, with him on his perfect training to become a deadly weapon, works with him, on him towards his existential dissolution as a social act, as a social deed, his suicide as a social deed that is for the benefit of all, is good for all, his power works on him and with him and just so long until he is a completely perfect nothing, a vessel that believes and whose sole content is the belief that he a perfect nothing will after his death become a myth a martyr to a cause an ideology a belief, his perfect nothingness, his shaped, perfect nothingness is the cool perfect deadly weapon of his lords and masters.
re-considered escape ways + heartless families + suicide sister
i wont write about my sister i wont write my sister, i wont describe my sister but perhaps my sad mother my mother who during the entire drive from the weekend cottage to home tried to jump out of the car. every time that she began to open the car door during the drive i ferociously held her firm from behind with my strong youthful arms, embraced her strongly from behind i embraced her from behind while my father tenaciously doggedly tried to drive home frantically fast as fast as he could tried to end the situation as fast as possible this desperate screaming questioning screaming questions attacking questioning of my mother as to the sense of life and reaching out again and again for the car door. no idea why my father didnt simply stop perhaps probably theyd have come to blows probably it would have taken even longer until at last at last he could have delivered this woman his wife my mother to the clinic at last at last no more this despair at last able to have escaped from this situation in that way my father had the driving wheel in his hand at least he clasped the driving wheel doggedly desperately driving father while i again clasped my mother from behind with my strong youthful arms so that she couldnt throw herself out of the moving car. no idea whether my sister was sitting beside me, my little sister because younger still a child and watching us adults desperately heartless adults. no idea i have really forgotten completely and heartlessly. i have quite simply forgotten her. i was so utterly concentrated focussed on my mothers movements specialised in observing in observing what kind of movements she made so that i could youthfully with my strong arms prevent her from behind from leaping out of the car that i have completely forgotten whether my little sister was sitting beside me. even today as i write i cannot see her sitting beside me in the car, no idea although actually logically she must have been sitting there i cant see her no idea and this flow of writing doesnt entice her out either, she doesnt flow out i cant see her she has no place in this situation heartless if i had seen her i would perhaps perhaps have done something different from holding my mother who perhaps was going to jump out of the car perhaps if i had seen my little sister if she was sitting beside me i would have held her in my strong youthful arms would have protected her against these terrible adults these heartless adults would have held her ears shut before this screaming of these heartless adults these desperate people despairing of themselves acting helplessly and heartlessly. no idea whether my little sister was sitting beside me. i was sitting on the right behind the front passenger seat and to my left i dont know i dont want to and cannot see and no idea, i had to concentrate heartlessly in this jungle fight extreme concentration was my chance of survival, concentration on the fight. no idea where my little sister was.
doctor: -do you draw better when you are happy or when you are unhappy?-
female patient: -when i am unhappy.- (klinik waldau / waldau clinic)
re-considered escape ways
how i hate waking up early immediately this writing in my mind early gloomy gloomy words + sentences which line up one after the other ready to be written, rows, series of sentences + words firmly sung into my mind, sound in my mind, soundmind, staying in mind, perfect writing, song, perfect, in its sequence in its successions of notes in its beauty, yet yet yet in this body of sound remaining soundmind, thrusting through the gloom of the too early, precisely not dream image remembered but writesound lying with the body of sound mind perfectly executed, made music with repetitions, trills, clusters yet yet gloomy forever in words + sentences of gloomy content wretchedness of content set to music body of sound as accompaniment, as background music as musak unbearable sometimes many times yet yet also a pointer to possible procedures. what good luck that my computer has got bust and compels me to write like this by hand with the pncl + eraser + sharpener what luck lucky chance that compels me to write by hand to complete a movement on the one hand close to drawing on the other close to violin-playing closer to me than the delicate hammering tapping stroking of the computer keyboard. writing by hand with the pncl reproduces the sound of my mind writing by hand creates the tone/sonority/sound of my thinking my felt thinking it is the sound of the manner of my thinking.
re-considered escape ways
i assume that people who throw themselves from buildings do not see their surroundings. they do not see the urban canyons squares the other buildings from above. the people who threw themselves from the WorldTradeCenter the people falling the people letting themselves fall acted in panic in despair they plunged out of the windows fleeing from the flames the fire their decision was burn to death burn to a cinder or plunge plummet fall thud to the ground with that moist sound that i first heard in the film the document of the two young french filmmakers. as a viewer at home i heard this sploshing the damp sploshing sound i heard together with the firefighters i heard this moist sound at home watching the firefighters who in this film again and again in the lobby of the one tower gave orders hearking to the sounds of the assailed tower and seemed only gradually to grasp that this moist sound was the impacting of bodies of tumbling falling human beings on the projecting lobby roof of the tower of the WorldTradeCenter, which, as i watching the film at home 1 year later in contrast to the firefighters already knew, would soon break, cave in, collapse.
even if the images that i had seen 1 year earlier live on television with the entire television-viewing world and the concomitant ceaseless shrill alarm bell will forever be lodged in my memory, it was this moist sound of the impacting bodies of fallen people tumbled from a great height fallen a sound that was later the actual sound of this disaster. hearing this sound 1 year later when following the reticent structure of this european docufilm only hearing it and not seeing, not having to see but having to imagine with the help of this moist sound having to being compelled to imagine what this noise provoked and evoked was insight, my recognition of 9/11, of now, of today, of contemporaneity. i was always working in the knowledge of this sediment with the feeling sound-feeling of a change that would show itself later sometime somehow. this noise, this sound-horror had to show itself. i absolutely really had to store this tone, this sound. this music of dread. this unmasterable, moist, muffled noise, this sploshing.
writing is ordering. writing on the train writing in trains writing when travelling is a sliding ordering. when one is travelling through regions, terrains, landscapes, towns horizons, vanishing points, standpoints dissolve. perspectives shift so swiftly as you rush along that i am forever having to re-assemble those spatial networks in my mind as i look out into the territory. when writing in trains on the move. tune, song.
the hatching stroking drawing with pncl is new. repeat with harder softer pncls hatch crosshatch across it without forgetting the perspective the horizon the vanishing point and the terrain to be portrayed, things standing around lying around unclear things running around. hatching makes a sound, especially when the pncl runs over a resistance like the edge of the paper. hatching is on a finer level the same as formerly the striking of pieces of chalk on the floor against those giant sheets of paper, hatching is concentration, felt thinking, hand – + mind performance. hatching is sound.
i think of my mothers circles of the similarity in process procedure: she draws presses with coloured crayon again and again hatching layer over layer. her circles the colour is concentrated condensed by the fine hatching and her circles are a testimony to concentrated work. she drew her circles in her room in the psychiatric clinic, at first disjointed, then gradually condensing into compact circles, gleaming, coloured, these circles show me my mothers possibility the possibility and the tragedy of my sad mother. for my sad mother it is impossible to believe in herself, for her it is impossible utterly and totally really not possible to imagine her circles as art, she values art as the highest of things and her circles and her circles therefore valueless and her circles therefore nothing, occupation, nothing. my sad mother very so utterly much my sad mother set herself and others such utterly extremely high standards, evaluations that she can, will never ever never attain fulfil, unattainable everything, everything made unattainable by her volition, destroyed by her ambitions, so that perhaps at most this life-essential concentration on her circles remains and even, although, because her work on her circles is life-saving, life-sustaining, life-essentially beautiful these condensing life circles remain for her nothing, unimportant, valueless, disposable. no idea why my sad mother has to believe unwaveringly in this evaluation.
my wild mother believes nothing at all, but knows instinctively, wildly, musically that she is an artist, my wild mother blessedly my wild mother instinctively wildly she draws her circles in the psychiatric clinic and elsewhere my wild mother draws her circles when she feels lonely instinctively she draws against the world instinctively she knows wildly about the importance of concentration on a purposeless piece of work compellingly compulsively against compulsions on a work of expression. my sad mother believes that her sadness is connected to her instinctive wildness, sadness stems from her wildness, untamed, believes that her instinct, wild, untamed, is to blame for her sadness, guilt, because forever breaking out, wild, wicked, beautiful, untamed, inventive. her possibilities can be united only in her beautiful circles in these condensed signs, in real condensed signs, in possible images of her life, of her possibilities, of a condensed escape limited to simple circles, these circles her possible still feasible statement of my poor mother.
actually but really actually i wanted to write about myself wanted about my work my working writing and compare actually compare myself with my mother really see in the comparison who i was and how i work in comparison to my mother compare with my mother distinguish in the comparison compare as a feeling myself with my mother compare find similar as a feeling as a wild sound-feeling of similarity of kinship of mother to daughter inheritance of feeling inherited possibility of works inherited procedures executed beyond the possible, beyond the possibility, inherited procedures of work, of working. not as a possibility only but as existence, but every day, but my life long. i inherit her ability without her. i inherit her wild ability. i am her brood, she my animal mother. ma vieille, ma chérie, mon bébé.
miriam cahn 2005
translated by Richard Humphrey