Autobiography of a Yogi
Will anyone care to read my autobiography? The story of somebody who is nobody in more ways than I care to list right now.
I'll try not to care -- a futile attempt, I already know.
Alas, here it is, written on recycled toilet paper. The kind that hurts the ass.
It's been awhile now, that I have had the urge to write about (wo)-man's search for meaning.
I want to write about MY STRUGGLE to navigate this world of ours. And, to reveal what I have learned so far. In case my discoveries can be of use for someone.
One's path tends to make sense only once traced backwards.
I am slouching in a cone of light, on an off-white sofa, dressed in sweatpants and a hoodie that looks like Swiss cheese, with all its holes, as I am typing these words.
I am on the island of Mallorca. I seem to have a knack for ending up in places I never ever thought I'd set foot in.
Right now I am fantasising about a fresh start. A clean slate. Tabula Rasa. But knowing full well it's no less a dream than the dream of ridding myself of all my unwanted personality traits. Of all my wrong doings. Sins. Ways that I've failed my fellow human beings. The fantasy of The Cure. When The Cure probably is accepting that certain things can't be cured.
At least in some sense, I AM embarking on the next chapter.
But before I keep on keeping on. This (by evolution) built in poison of NEXT. NEXT. NEXT. I will now pause, and recount some of the previous chapters, that have led me here.
Even as I am typing these words I have restlessness tugging at my guts. It feels like two tribes of ants at war with each other.
Because I am connected to the so called World Wide Web as I am birthing these words, the temptation of emails, news, social media, online shopping and YouTube is creating tension within.
None of that was around when I saw the light of day (except it was already dark when I emerged, kicking and screaming, because I was born at five o'clock in the evening, in December, in Sweden), and my first year was surely a highly psychedelic experience. I was primed to drink mother's milk, I quickly learned to move my limbs and to use my vocal chords to make dissonant sounds. And all the while light and colour swirled all around me.
I don't remember any of it. Or the following five years. Really.
Autobiography. The story of my life. What is life except the stories we tell ourselves about it? We create and re-create the myth of ourselves by telling and re-telling the story of Me, Myself and I. (That right there is a pop cultural reference, in case you didn't pick up on that. De La Soul was this American hip hop act back in the nineties. When I was young for real, and therefore that's the era I mostly spin my myth out of.)
And we may seek the help of a therapist for a slight re-write of that story. Or we may start to practice meditation in order not to believe in those fairytales.
I can still remember when I had no wrinkles, no cellulite and no gray hairs.
You can't change a feeling but you can change the feeling about a feeling. That's another pop cultural reference from the same country and the same decade. By the late genius David Berman, of Silver Jews.
For as long as I can remember, I was always asking the big questions. How conveniently that fits the myth.
When I was eleven (or twelve, who's counting?) I left my feverish body behind, below and went beyond. I floated out into space. I ascended through a hole in the ceiling that opened up, and then closed again, easy, as something created in a Hollywood studio. At first it scared me, but then I felt free. Untethered. Again. The universe wasn't scary. Not even the black holes lurking at the outskirts. Instead the darkness had more spectacular hues than I had previously seen. I had never known black to have so many shades, be so luminous. There were supernovas imploding in slow motion, like watching a flower grow in stop motion. They erupted into cascades of pixie dust that felt like soda pop in mu body, that simultaneously was dissolving into space molecules. Monads. Higgs Boson. I had no words because words weren't needed then. So yeah, in some sense this is a reconstruction, another story. And down below, so so far away, was my skinny sick body, and the orange plastic bucket I had vomited in not long ago, and that my mother had emptied, rinsed and put back in place. The life of that body felt so frivolous. Its problems petty. In space there were no worries and no words. Perhaps it was precisely due to the lack of words that there were no worries? It was impossible to tell whether space was liquid or dust or fumes? It was a mystery I didn't feel the slightest need to solve.
And then I was back there, aching limbs and nausea all over, and my space ride faded. I told nobody about it. Even now, I'm not certain it ever happened.
But, I revisited that float-y space again, many years later.
It was in a living room on Pappelallee in Prenzlauer Berg. The furniture of the room had been pushed aside to make room for maximum number of bodies, bodies clad in white. Each body had a yoga mat or camping mat to lie down upon. And everybody had a white puke bucket.
The first time I got drunk -- I guess I must have been fifteen -- I knew I had found something worthwhile. Finally!
I had officially declared myself an atheist the year before. But just the year before, I was still terrified of Satan.
And now I had discovered intoxication! How wonderful! Liquid courage inside my nylon bra. I became daring, and my breath flammable. But I could make out with almost any boy. I would reveal secrets. And suffer because of it the next day.