Lost and found

Got back from Nowhere yesterday and starting to decompress now. I’ve thought a lot about what Nowhere 2013 was for me. Most of it is impossible to express with words or maybe even at all. But this idea of loosing stuff kind of got stuck in my mind. So here are some thoughts about my experience at Nowhere this year.

This Nowhere was a super intense one. I really felt it and heard and felt from others it was so for them too. The extreme weather, with very high temperatures and more humidity than last year and so many and such hard storms must have had something to do with it. Maybe because of this also a lot of people got ill, tummy flu or whatever it was, a lot of people spent part of Nowhere being violently ill. Either of these break down your defences.

This year was my second Nowhere and last year I felt like I bit off a part but there was a lot more. Probably more than I could chew at that time, so I didn’t feel to bad not going for it completely. This year it feels as if I went for it full on, pushing it as far as my body and mind could take. And I feel like I hit the edge of what I could handle a few times. Which is good, I was ready for it.

Trying to summarize it feels like I lost a lot of things. My mind a few times (or almost at least), my heart definitely two times, my sense of restrain. But most importantly, I lost my fear and my ego. Two things that have kept me from reaching the full me. I can already feel fear and ego are trying to creep back, but I am much more aware of how they do, so I hope I can keep them at bay.

Thanks to loosing stuff I found a lot more than I could ever hoped. I found my self, and love and with this real self-love, something I have missed for a long time. I found openness and determination to go for something, even though I might not yet know what it is exactly. I feel confident I will find it by just going for it, not holding back any more. And most important I found true love, in so many forms and shapes. So many people who are so close to me, closer than I ever let anyone come before. And if feel wonderful!

So Nowhere was truly life changing for me. Much more than any other thing I have experienced before and that includes a year of intense psycho therapy, psychedelic experiences, Native American Church and other Peyote ceremonies, body suspension and last years Nowhere. All these experiences where very intense and did change me, but nothing as much and as deeply as this. Thank you Nowhere!

Back from Nowhere

Got back from Nowhere today, Belgium under a heat wave. Going for a skinny-dipping swim with rum-icecream-coffee with two of my closest lovelies, feels like I’m still compressed, pushing the moment to come down from this cloud. To come back to Brussels, waiting for a storm that isn’t going to come and bring the needed refreshment. Kind of strange after all the Nowhere storms, but at the same time very fitting. Looking at the city lights under an orange moon, they seem more bright and lively than ever, almost like I’m tripping, maybe I am. Guess I’m still in limbo, more than a week after Nowhere 2013 has officially ended. Cannot say I want to come down, but it’s getting a bit crazy, almost a month away from the default world. Staying up there is nice, but when all your friends have one by one dropped back to the default world or taken other travelling paths, it feels a bit lonely. But that has been an important part of my Nowhere experience this year, accepting the downs that come with the ups. It was a very intense ride, and I’m riding it to the end. Feels good!

What was I thinking?

I wish I was a l33t hacker that could get a sent e-mail out of an inbox again before it is read by the recipient. It’s an all too common feeling. I sent a mail only to feel it was a dumb idea and I should have never sent it.

The most sensible thing with mails like this is to write it and then save it and wait a day before sending it or realizing I don’t want to send it after all. And I know while I’m writing it it is one of those mails. And still I send it immediately, exactly because I know that if I don’t do it right away, I probably won’t send it.

The next thing is waiting for the reaction of the person I sent it to. And being stressed the whole time. And knowing the person will probably only read it after a few days. Why do I keep doing this to myself?

Surface Tension

We walk each other by in the supermarket, trying to ignore each others’ gaze.

All the lonely people, where do they all come from ?

It seems like the more people live together, the more we live apart. I can remember the time when the term Living Apart Together (LAT) was still a neologism. That was back in the eighties. Nowadays it seems we are Living Together Apart more then ever.

Walking trough life I see beautiful, tender people. I would like to touch them, be touched by them. But there is this surface tension. It is far to dangerous to be touched, it would burst our bubble, yours and mine. The bubble keeping you and me from melting together and becoming one.

It fills me with love for humanity to see all these fragile souls. To be touched by them nevertheless, somewhere inside. I long to be touched even deeper, with all my body and soul. But the tension that keeps this from happening is also a beautiful arch, like the tension built up in a well told story. Keeping me hooked, fantasizing of what could be.

With an open mind, heart and soul there is much wonder to come. Nothing to fear, not loneliness, no losing of self. I look out and with a clear view I don’t see lonely people anymore. And I see a tension, not to be broken, but to feel, to touch, to explore, to ride like a water strider. Like two bubbles, touching, sticking together, but not becoming one, floating trough the air together.

Living in a billboard

I’ve been living in a billboard for about three weeks now. I think this kind of billboard s a typical Belgian thing, it’s mounted on a trailer, in the form of a triangle. You see these kind of boards all over Belgium, usually parked somewhere next to a busy secondary road or near a roundabout. Most of these are illegal or only semi-legal. It’s with this illegality that the artist who made these boards is playing.

The three billboards are called the Good, the Bad and the Ugly and form an art installation/performance by the same name. Karl Philips, the artist behind this project, plays with the boundaries of legality, with the borders of society and how you can live in these margins. His other works include Surplus Cityguide, a map of places where you can dumpster dive, get a shower or internet for free, an art installation with deconstructed Renault Trafic vans in Bois de Boulogne, Paris and Concierge, where a homeless woman lived behind a ClearChannel billboard.

The Good/Bad/Ugly fits in this line, with three people living in three caravans/billboards that are put in unused public spaces. The money form the advertising on the billboards is the budget the inhabitants live from. Because it is art and it is advertising, it is usually possible convince police to allow the caravans to stand somewhere.  Something gypsies or other travelers wouldn’t be allowed to do.

“Where is the art in this?” it’s a question some people have asked me. I’m not going to get into a discussion of what is and what is not art, but the installation of the caravans and the people living in them clearly provokes peoples, let’s them think, makes the feel something. To me that is art or is at least what art should be and do. “But isn’t it just advertising?” is another question. Yes it is, and that’s the beauty of it. It is art and advertising and a social statement at the same time. And because of this it provokes people in different ways.

“But what is it like living in a caravan?” is another question I have gotten. To me a less interesting one then the two previous ones. How is it like living in an apartment? Or in a country house? It’s what you make of it. I’ve been looking for ways to live as free as possible, with as little distractions as possible. Most people call comfort what I call distractions. Living a simple life is what I call luxury and living a nomadic life is the way I do that.

To see some pictures and videos about the project and to know where we are right now, check out the Good/Bad/Ugly Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/gbdgoodbadugly

Why I use DuckDuckGo

Google, Bing and other search engine make a search “bubble”, and only give you results in line with sites you already visited. This reduces the chance of finding intersting sites and narows your view of the world wide web to a bubble: http://dontbubble.us/

Google used to have a motto “don’t be evil”, that was a long time ago. Unless privacy is evil in Google’s world. Don’t wanna be tracked? http://donttrack.us/

So what alternatives do you have? My favorite is DuckDuckGo: http://duckduckgo.com/ I used to use Scroogle, but that only adresses the privacy issue since all results come from Google. DuckDuckGo is what MetaSearch used to be ten years ago: returning results from a wide range of search engines. DuckDuckGo is my weapon of choice, for sure! 😉