“Are you still doing this interview series? Yes? Ok, I wrote the answers down for you. We only need to take the picture.”
The following interview is not my achievement. It is a gift from my oldest brother and I feel honoured to have received it - and to be able to share it with you.
Florestan is my oldest brother, and the oldest of us four children. He studied in Hamburg and Oslo and holds a master degree in wood science. He is now working as a bikemessenger in Hamburg.
„Happiness I cannot feel, and love to me is so unreal...“
This has become somehow a strained term for me. Everybody is searching for it, everybody has suggestions and concepts how to reach this state of being. Despite the fact that this anticipated vibe is so eminently distinct, and particularly, contingently not available for everybody along these lines...
Struggling most of my lifetime with chaos, disorder and depression, it sometimes seems that the key to this mythic purpose is lost. Which path to choose? Ironically, the frantic quest for happiness alone can lead to misery.
So what is happiness to me? Probably more a state of calmness, mental balance. These rare, little moments: Alone in the woods. Watching and communicating with wild animals. Exhaustion, aching muscles. Confronting the elements. A successful repair. Riding my motorcycle with my brother... The first cold beer on a warm summer's day. Meeting old friends again. The feeling of being known. The feeling of being needed.
„Forever I wander, forever alone...“
For me, this is even harder to answer than the question for happiness.. Most people seem willing to say that „home“ does not inevitably mean an actual place. More that feeling of being at home, somewhere, with someone. It will therefore depend on the people, with whom you gather.
Thinking back, I have always felt a strong disconnection to the concept of home. More the feeling of being caged, when the bounds of venues and people come too close. Which leads to escape and expel of one self from these secure spots. Comparable to the strive for happiness - Most people will search for settle and establishment, sooner or later. By way of contrast there are those people, who avoid the gathering, almost against human nature... The few who are driven, restless, compelled to search and wander.
Never been literally home-less, I still carry that mindset in my inner self. Existing in transient dwellings and occasionally participating in social structures, instinctively having a foothold for rapid flight.
What is it? A fierce combat. Falling down, losing, bracing up again. Fighting your inner demons, getting thrashed. Feeling the fire, the anguish. Licking your wounds, tasting blood. Standing up for the next round, again. Learning to lose. Learning to release.
Decisions. For life, or against life. Arise or perish. Open or occlude yourself. Bite through and unclench again. Soak all the sorrow, grief and mania, choke, gulp, digest. Breath out again. Cognize. See what life gives you and what you give life back.
Behold all the noise and fury and bitterness, and even so the vastness, silence and all the purity and pulchritude. The astounding ambivalence, and the vicious, barbaric indifference of nature.
A snap thought on that: Man and mankind are always ambivalent. I have the feeling that the question for good and evil, to the end that people are gonna be valued and rated, is kind of obsolete.. a desperate attempt, to comprehend the incomprehensible.. climbing through the urge of dubious action. Clamping on learnt morals to deal with fear and frustration.
Mankind is not predictable. It often seems to me, that our presence on this planet must be totally randomly, as measured by the grade of self-destruction, carelessness and non-sustainable existence. Not to mention the calculating deviousness you experience in people. Yet, there are these rare personal bounds, encounters, acts of commitment.. these irrational, selfless actions, midget miracles that can astonish even when stuck in the endless streams of negativity.
In the end, the question for good and evil probably doesn't matter to me. You will have to deal with the utter darkness, the pure instinct of survival as well as the predisposition for kindness and sincerity in people.
Florestan's question: What means desperation to you?