I’ve only realised now that I’m here, but I’ve come to a foreign country.
It’s not the language and landscape that are disorientating, nor the food and customs, unfamiliar though they are – it’s the activity. My friend has organised a busy week – travelling and meeting people and playing taiko, with new dojos and groups almost every day. In itself that’s not strange: two years ago a week like this would have seemed completely normal. But since my head injury, I’ve been able to do these things only gradually, intermittently, tentatively… and here it’s all so efficient. I feel I’ve come into in a new world; a world of planning and execution, of intentions and actions, all smoothly following one another; a linear world of efficiency and efficacy, and of certainty – certainty in one’s decisions, certainty in one’s ability to see them through.
I look on in slight bewilderment at all these individual trajectories weaving around me, lines and curves lifting and looping and neatly intersecting each other. It’s not that I wasn’t aware of this world but back at home I observed it from a safe distance, hovering at the edges, lingering in the shadows, while I waited for my head to clear, for my nausea to subside, for my capacity for sure action to return.
But here these plans, these intentions, these trajectories include me and now I have to step out towards them; now I have to carry myself forth.
‘Tiger and Turtle – Magic Mountain’, Duisburg, Nordrhein Westfalen / North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
30th September 2022