Recieved 13th June 2018
JVA Köln, Tuesday, 29th May 2018
Hello friends (and post control human)! This envelope is the fourth of seven, containing this note and 7xA6 drawings. What to talk about today? The weather has been strange, very hot and then thunderstorms. I’ve been napping a lot, I feel mentally exhausted. Physically exhausted too, I’m glad the shopping arrives tomorrow so I can have some fruit. I feel run down, but not an “I’m giving up” run down, it just feels like I need to have a few days break from people. Most conversations here are five minutes long (or less) so anything more leaves me feeling worn out. I’m having trouble focusing for “long” (ten minutes plus) periods of time. When I read, I need a break every page or so. I feel I lose track of time – it’s Tuesday already? - a lot. It’s evening now, and I feel like saying “again”. It feels like I’m only (but barely) “awake” at night. Which is when I write these. Maybe it’s the stuff with X10 bringing up old memories, past trauma. The unbearable heat that I can’t escape, trapped in a shoebox cell. Hearing nothing but sadness from my friends day, after day, after day. Sometimes it feels like they compete about who is sadder, who has it worse, who can complain the most. Exhausting. I’m okay, really, in a relative terms here. I think I will spend a few days alone; recharge, sleep, eat fruit. That usually makes me feel better. I’m posting this on Wednesday morning, with the previous letters. Mishap with the post this morning. All good. I hope these all reach you soon. All my love, energy and strength. For the forest, for the future. <3 UPIII
Shopping, what’s Vegan?. Drawing. 5/18 Note 26/5/18: It feels like a guessing game. There’s a “vegane Produkte” section, five items: - Brotaufstr. Auberg. veg - Flohsamenschalen - H-Milch lact. 1,5% - Minus L Naturjogurt 3,8% - Soja Reis Drink. Pretty sure at least two of those come from a cow. I order “Blockschokolade”, lots, my favourite, more than the “Zartbitter” and cheaper too. In late April I ordered twenty five blocks, I don’t order as much this time. Hopefully I’m out soon. I write in bananas, I miss eating them. I’m a little upset I cant order oranges or a mango but all good. I can order a pineapple but have nothing but a butter knife to cut it with. Better not. I add kiwis and apples. My German is getting better and I can read most of the list. I skip meat, make up, house wares, most of what is there. I write in paper, I never have enough, and a couple of stamps, I’ll start sending letters now, lots, give the postal service a lot of support (and you!). My vegan friend said there’s not much on the list that’s vegan, some fruit isn’t even v-friendly (apparently, she ordered some and it had an animal based chemical spray or something). I don’t gamble with it and order “bare essentials”, things to keep me happy. Chocolate. Fruit. Art supplies. Stamps to keep in contact. I’m looking forward to Wednesday.
Brain and Body, a Team. Drawing. 5/18 Note 26/5/18: Let’s talk mental illness; when your brain wants to give up, but your body keeps ticking along, fixing the internal and external injuries from the chemical war in your head. Not pretty, not romantic, down right horrifying. Sometimes I feel like my body and brain are separate entirely, a chemical imbalance, my brain overreacts, my body is there with a hug and a blanket to pick up the pieces. My brain is this fragile, scared, worried, anxious, soft little thing, the product of all my years and experiences. It struggles to be in control sometimes, adding too much of a chemical to balance another. Most of the time it wants to hide, apologize for being like this, scared people will notice, not like it, leave. A small wounded baby animal. Then my body, an old friend from way back, “don’t worry, I’ve got you”. It holds my brain, just you and me, we’ll be okay”, like wrapping the baby animal in a blanket. “We can do this, team, I got you like you got me. You’re safe, I promise, I can walk us away. I’ll hold your hand when ne one else will, always until the very end.” I wish I was more thankful to my body, looked after it more.
Sunset. Drawing. 5/18 Note 26/5/18: 8.34pm. I wish I had a camera, the sky is so beautiful. I love sunrise and sunset, the colours, the energy. I wish I didn’t have to squint through bars to see it. The moon is nearly full and so bright. I can’t wait to see it in the forest and really appreciate it, sit were there is a gap in the branches and watch the clouds ease by overhead. Bash in the moonlight, maybe dance, because I can. I was a dancer, I miss it. The freedom, the flow of movement, air (ballet) and earth (the kind you don’t mention to your parents), fire (street) and water (pair dancing). There’s no room for spins here, elaborate free from flows of movement. Soon.
Where does your Language Live? Drawing. 5/18 Note 27/5/18: Throughout my life I have met people who speak five, six, seven or more languages. I always ask if they find it confusing, or if they mix words up. One person (six languages fluent and learning a seventh) told me that their brain feels like a crowded room of sorts, and that several languages have to share sides of their brain so those are the ones that mix words. I’ve only really spoken one language most of my life, and then a little of a family members mother tongue. As I started to learn German (and continue learning) it feels like it is competing with my “second language” (I’m not fluent in it). I accidently speak it or recall it when trying to talk to someone in German. I have to consciously think “hang on, wrong one, the other language”. I think English lives in my left side, it’s the most familiar and I use it to create because of the familiarity. German and my other one seem to share the right, analytical, because I see them as puzzles. This goes with that, forms a sentence. I just wish my brain stopped confusing them.
The Ocean and the Moon. Drawing. 5/18 Note 27/5/18: My dad is a very smart man, whose intelligence I could never comprehend as a child and now, as an adult, I am still blown away by at times. I have a particular memory of him when I was much younger, he worked around submarines then, and he told me “we know more about the surface of the moon than the bottom of our own ocean.” I went to see my house elf friend today (X10 wont speak to me) and a program about oceans came on her TV (I don’t have or want one, I just draw) and I remembered my dad. The sky isn’t accurate, it was middayish, but I needed a moon. I, like my dad, am fascinated by the ocean. The colours of reefs. The size of whales. Trenches, shop wrecks, scuba diving. I’m so curious. Another thing he once said to me was “if you see ten percent of what sees you then you’re doing well.” Maybe mermaids are real, they’re just very good at hide and seek. <3
Keeping Time. Drawing. 5/18 Note 27/5/18: I can barely believe it has been over two months and, if I’m still here in twenty three days (three weeks, two days), it will be three. A quarter of a year. Wow. I’m well looked after so it has not been hard. I’m loved here. “Adopted” by several mums, their little forest elf child. I’m spoilt, like an only child (and I’m the youngest in this house too last time I checked). I will be missed. I make promises to write to my friends here (which I will). Friends go free, new friends arrive. I listen to their stories (I love stories) and I sympathize (or empathize) where I can. With X10, my other friends backed my choices. Talked through it with me. I “have given her to people who can help”. It’s “too much” for me. I am thankful. The time will pass, I will go free, but until then I’ll be kicking back. We all support you here, stay strong and keep going. <3
A few Things I miss. Drawing. 5/18 Note 27/5/18: My friends and I like to talk about the “little things” we miss. I miss that sign that says “real anarchists wash dishes, not washing dishes creates hierarchy” or something close to that anyway. I love all the little tags around the place, “wean yourself off the tit” and of you course “Hambi Bleibt!” among others. Is it among or amoung? Both look wrong to me, English is so confusing. Anyway. I miss fruit. Oranges especially, but also berries; strawberries, blueberries, raspberries. Mangoes. Tropical stuff. Pineapples. Bananas. Also chunky ginger tea, with fire soot in it, authentic forest tea. I only get this gross peppermint here. I miss chunky tea. I miss my clothes, my things, stuff that smells like me not prison repression, sadness and industrial soap. The smell of mud, sweat, sun warmed skin, the ground after rain, “ripe and crusty” dirt as someone put it in a letter. The feel of crunchy leaves underfoot, texture of bark under my fingers. All your voices, multiple languages back and forth, laughing. I miss so much.