Thursday, 5 March 2009

What if there is someone else living here, in my new apartment, at the same time as me? My toothbrush disappeared last night and clothes I left on the floor were hung over chairs when I awoke. Did I not pull down both blinds in the bedroom? So why did sunlight wake me all too early? There is someone else living here, experientially at least.

Can someone be living here, really? What is the rational explanation for my missing things, for moved personal items? There is one certainly, but why do I not credit it? Why do I prefer to think that there is someone else in this tiny place, someone else waking as I sleep, eating when I'm out, sleeping somewhere while I work at the table by the window? Because it is possible, or because it is impossible?

Last night, while someone else made dinner in my apartment, I set out with the bicycle towards the abandoned airport. The bicycle is making noises again, horrible creaks and whirring noises, as though the handlebars might fall off again. I have not written a blog tagged broken things for a while, but just you wait. But the bicycle made it to the top of the hill, past the spaetkaufs and cafe-turned-casinos full of tired looking men. Then round the back of Hasenheide, that giant park which Cara and I visited in summer when all the grass was sharp and parched. That day two women tramps took their clothes off, drunk at midday, and began to brawl in the centre of the park, while all around families and couples sat about watching and laughing. In the evening, I dare not think what happens there.

There's something unsettling about the geography of this area, where a long immaculate road channels between the dead oval of the huge Templehof airfield and the landsculpted Neukoelln park. At night, it is quiet as though it were built for an invasion that never came.

At destination, a third floor flat on the edge of Schoenberg, I sat for a few hours meeting new people, became enravelled in conversations about quantum physics that I could neither substantiate nor explain. Back in January a friend told me of extraordinary sequences that had filled her life since she began to investigate String Theory. We spoke about them as a result of my talking of various coincidences in my work, both writing and music. We began to talk, at length, about the subatomic building blocks of the world, of quarks and hadrons and the oscillations within particles. The theory posits that each and every building block (there are twelve) that forms neutrons, electrons, photons etc. is in fact made up of a single string, and is not a type of point without internal structure. These strings can oscillate and it is differnet oscillations that lead to observers seeing an electron here or a neutrino there. Or so my theoretical explanation went last night in all its summarising, reductionist glory.

This interrelation between all particles explains everything and nothing, it is the end and a huge beginning. At some point I wanted to assimilate some of these ideas, obliquely, into my novel. But last night, whilst smoking cigarettes and trying to explain these things, I realised that if this is what my music and writing tries to deal with in some minor way already. String Theory offers a theory of everything, from micro to macro, from atomic to human and cosmological realms. Talk of coincidence, unseen consequence, collusion, interoperability, memory and simultaneity that features in both my writing and music deals with a tiny, tiny aspect of this.

Perhaps somehow this time away from work in the last few weeks is starting to allow things to become sediment in my work. Layers are beginning to lie with each other, the human beauty of error, consequence and chance has been a preoccupation of mine since learning of fatalism back at school. Here in Berlin, in my own inconsequent way, I'm starting to understand that perhaps my work is not an attempt to explain anything but rather to create conditions in which coincidence and chance might be exposed. Slowly, slowly however! There is still much work to be done before I can, indeed, call it work.

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