April 03 2014 I was told I had to find somewhere else to live, I am 50 so it’s nothing that bad really – just a shock. The timing was pretty crap as well, from my point of view, and also being ‘Northern’ didn’t help. Given two months I decided I would live as soon as possible – no point sticking around where you are not wanted is there?
The timing was crap as it was the busiest month for me ever, a gig in Birmingham, entertaining my German Aunt, and three trips to Berlin (extravagant I know, but I don’t organise the tour dates) on top of finding somewhere to live, packing, sorting along with finding new furniture, this has been one hell of a month, and it has been exactly one month, I never thought you could fit so much into one month.
Most of the boxes are packed, I have some residual things to panic about later this week, but today I am resting, I am resting and taking stock, I am resting and being ‘creative’ in my own way. Perhaps I should be busier and enjoying the sunshine but I am not. I woke this morning being reflective.
I reflected on a man that rushed into me at Berlin Zoo Station two weeks back, I have tears in my thinking about him (I am still human, thank God!). Almost naked, dressed literally in rags but almost naked, almost feral running out of the main station as if being chased by his demons, terrified and wild. I felt helpless, unable to offer any words that he might have understood, and later he was unwilling to take money, as he cowered by the Luggage Lockers.
I want to know about him, I want to know his name, where he came from, what his family is, was, like, where is family is, how did he get like this and how did people allow this happen. I want to know where he sleeps, and where he spends his days, I want to know so much about him and I ask myself why? I question my curiosity, but I think it is more than being curious it is about this nameless man is a person, a person with a story, and person with meaning and worth. His story needs to be recognised and confirmed, more than that I recognised this person, it was me. It was me amidst all that I have, still in need, still in need of love, affection, food and water. I am no different.
It hurts me, hurts me that there are nameless people we walk by, people we subconsciously erase because they ‘don’t matter’.
My mind was, and still is, dancing around the encounter even as I boarded the Flight home and I prepared for the next back to Berlin a few days later my mind was still there.
A society has to be judged on how it treats it’s weakest, I think that was Ghandi talking, and whilst that quote is true it invokes the escape for my conscience – the quote has to move further, it as move from the general to the specific, the quote needs to ‘a person should be judged on how it treats the weakest’ I am remembering that man.
My Flat will be furnished with everything second hand, I was tempted by the deals to be had, interest free and pay later – I saw a lovely Sofa for £800 – but there are just things, they make me no better than anyone else, they perform no auxiliary function other than to look a little better.
I don’t begrudge people their comfort, it is just that this is my path, it is path I can start walking again.
The nameless man in Berlin Zoo Station is my focus, he is the my grounding, and whilst the encounter is still disturbing it has awakened the good person I used to be, the compassionate and caring. The move is good for me, it will be a new start, a new beginning.