rough brush. To table height seagreen and the rest, including the ceiling, azure. On account of the rooftops
not having had any maintenance for years, moisture has pushed the planks from the flooring out of their
joints. In one space more complete than in the next. Of the space in which we ― the dog and I ― like to
be, I have removed all of the wooden floor. So that the underlying concrete, as a smooth flat surface,
connects the four walls with one another. And because I also improvisingly tackled the gutters, the walls
have gotten quite a lift. I did this on the evening of some soccer final.
The ground can be entered through a narrow passway, caused by the gate having come separated from
the fencing. On the outside the growth has been trampled down somewhat. Only trained eyes would
notice it. On the site itself there are no visible tracks. At least the few times that I have explored it, I have
not been able to discover any. Immediately after the passage, the wild growth shoots up unbridled. A mix
of everything that grows in this earth in this climate; long and low, hard and soft, green and color,
seasonals and perennials.
2 Once we are on the site, our routine is to immediately take the first entrance and then walk to our space
by the inside route. The concatenated spaces form a system of corridors. Real corridors are absent. But
there are some courtyards. And these too are covered with a wild growth that is comforting, both visually
and in fragrance.
Before we reach our space, it is not impossible that we already have been on our way for about an hour.
Would we walk straight without distractions, it would not even take us three minutes. A space we do not
mind being distracted by, is one that obviously has also been claimed by someone. Someone by the way
who, except for my dialogue with this space, I never met. In our space the walls are smooth and I stayed
with the original colors, these please me. In this one the stucco has come loose in several places, so that
the underlying straw matting has become visible. I suppose it is the person who is using this space, who
has painted what is left of the walls and the ceiling a bright red, and who is filling the holes with masklike
reliefs. For as far as they have been applied up to now, these reliefs have all gotten a different color, but
all of a lighter hue than the red. The reliefs do not fill the holes as closing lids; the masks are rather the
parts of faces. Whenever I look at them, jolly voices sound in my ears, that I am tempted to try to
reproduce with my voice. I am quite skilled at this.
This shop too is comforting. Has a pleasing emptiness. I have never seen any tools lying around.
3 In the labyrinth I am almost immune. Restrictions, that I am not always able to simply shake off outside
of the labyrinth, do not bother me here. Like putting my breath in service of my voice. Outside I put my
voice in the service of my practical needs. Often. And also I am never cold in the labyrinth. It seems as if
an inner stove keeps me in the right temperature. Or without having paid it any attention, I am wearing the
Another space where we return to off and on is one for which we must make a detour to pass through it.
In this space both the wooden floor and the cement floor have disappeared and in the clayey soil that has
come exposed a pattern of footprints lies preserved. To me they do not seem prints of a recent date and
the fact that as long as I have come here the pattern has remained the same strengthens my supposition.
It is clear that several different feet made the prints, but all the prints are of feet without shoes. The size
varies from about ten centimeters to about twenty-five centimeters. Especially the smaller ones have
aroused my astonishment when I first saw them. And it is also clear that both the smaller ones and the
bigger ones were made by persons of different weight. Every time I see them, the prints have a slightly
changed expression, depending on the humidity of the ground. The pattern they make somehow seems so
obvious, that I have never developed any theory about the how and the why of it. But it is kind of startling
that it is lying here.
In this space I feel like I am in the presence of many people. Without having to ask her, the dog remains in
the adjacent space and waits for me. And being here solo sometimes reminds me of my visits to school, of
how I experienced those during my youth. To be a legitimate part of a social event. But there is nothing
else to do than to wait until it is over again.
4 The labyrinth has no provisions with regard to permanent occupation. There is talk that it has been
standing vacant for twenty years, but I have also heard that it has been twenty years since the manager
left and that by now it is nearly fifty years since it was in full operation. Maybe it is on account of it lying
fallow all this time, that being in here I pick up very few vibrations that clash with mine.
5 The doll I found in the labyrinth once, and that I used in one of my poems, was the type of doll that seems
to evoke feelings in the most diverse people. I for one have seen this doll in quite some different interiors.
When looking through the windows, during one of our countless walks. Whether the feelings of all these
diverse people indeed are one and the same? This remains to wonder. When I came across the doll in the
labyrinth, she was sitting on a plastic-covered chair. The doll did not have a scratch. As if never the hand
of a human being had touched her. Through the doll I heard Patsy sing. Although the doll was more a
Tammy or a Dolly.
This poem, we – the dog and I – exposed in the Vondelpark, as a foundling. At a New Year's Eve. With
a timer that was set at half past twelve, New Year. When the noise in the vicinity of the poem exceeded
a certain limit, the explosives would oxidize. And The Doll would remain intact and be harmless to a
possible finder. When the noise in the vicinity of the poem would not reach the limit, the explosion would
take place and the sound of the explosion would merge into the festive roar. The risk of someone finding
The Doll before this time falls into the category unforeseen. Time and place. Over someone's subjective
motives I have no control.
6 I made an effort to try to find out who the owner of the labyrinth is. But long before I had a name, I had
used up what drive I had. Around here the complex is called the milk shops. And then milk stands for
milksop. This milksop refers to the youthfulness of the former inhabitants. Young boys who by their
parents had been donated to the city. So to speak. To deal with the daily waste. The boyish ones were
sent out to collect it. While the girlish ones stayed on the ground to sort it out.
7 In the tundra no giraffe is born, in the ocean no human being. This is a consideration I can have when
I am in our space of the labyrinth. Certain organisms like to be in environments where birth-movements
and dying-movements are going on. Another one of those considerations.
My notions are not unthinkable, as I have thought them. And neither are my notions imaginary, because
they are interacting with observations and experiences. They proceed from them and they result in new
ones. The baby a pair gets is a girl, when within the relationship of this pair the feminine needs
reinforcement. And the baby is a boy, when within this relationship the feminine is dominant. The core
of this notion is rooted in my experience, but it grew by a series of observations.
8 Collecting being far from me, I never take any of the many small skeletons I have come across in the
labyrinth. Bird, rodent and reptile. But whenever I am in the mood, I investigate them thoroughly and this
the dog knows. That they are no toys.
Sometimes when I sit in our space I hear a shriek. I assume it is an acoustic wind effect, but up to now
I have not been able to trace the exact course of things. The sound reminds me of a child's voice
expressing a confrontation with something that evokes a sudden mortal fright. But with death children
should be familiar. There is a lot that can frighten children, but of dying they should not be afraid. Why
would anyone? Nothing that is really meant for me comes unexpectedly. And I hope that when my
number is up I have remained sensitive enough to not be scared by death.
Sitting in our space. This invariably makes me calm. Precisely because it is not windproof and waterproof.
In the one next to ours even moss is growing. This gives a full earthly scent that can be smelled right in
Also in the labyrinth I live without a clock. Except that occasionally I cannot escape counting along with
the chiming of the church carillon. By counting along I want to force the tinkling to stop. If ever I could
get a say in anything concerning the general order, I would immediately cancel this tradition. But for
someone like me this is not real. Getting a say in anything concerning the general order. My kind of
sensibility is a minority by far. Fortunately, there are only a few of such intrusive cultural expressions
in the vicinity of the labyrinth.
9 Although there is nothing in me that is part of a majority, I am confident that, just by the fact that I live,
I too exercise an influence on the spaces I move in. The perishable space also, yes. But mainly the meta
spaces. The durable reality spheres.
I do not feel the need to want to trace the nature of my influence. Just as I simply accept the influence
someone else has on me. The fact that the other affects me. And that I more often than not experience
these influences as unpleasant, is logical in my case.
In our space of the labyrinth I feel protected from the erosive action of these sneak-influences. And it is
only the dog who is familiar with the absolute concentration that I am able to realize here.
10 Before I found the labyrinth, I had met with little I could relate to. At least in a way that is allied to my
nature. So my expectation to find any circumstance that could still rouse my enthusiasm was minus zero.
As with my house, the labyrinth pleases me because it is spacious without a corresponding status attached.
In both, I can dwell big without having to behave big. Feel classless. Or rather: be one with those who
cannot be socially classified. And through the many hours we spend in the labyrinth I noticed that its
measurements are perfect and the working of the light is optimal. This is an advantage it has over my
house. The size and the working of the passage of the sun are completely exactly fitting.
The neighborhood of the labyrinth is populated by people with many different tongues, none of which
I recognize. So even if I catch some piece of language, it does not hurt me. And never unexpected
visitors. Or a phone call. Because I am not equipped with a cellphone.
11 We do not have a strict schedule for going to, or being in, the labyrinth. But to date we have known the
right moments to be there without running into anyone. The sensation to together be alone in the world is
almost total in our space. Or perhaps better: together be one with the world. Although sometimes
somewhere in the distance I seem to hear the click of a lighter.
12 Yes, I feel safe in the labyrinth. Through their isolation there is coherence. Between in and out. Not
because my inside reflects the outside, or vice versa, but because my inside is the outside, and vice versa.
Because the boundaries between in and out have blurred. As if my skin becomes a two way passage,
from inside to outside and from outside to inside. This has little to do with extreme happiness. It is one of
my periodically life sustaining needs. The other reason why I feel safe in the labyrinth has to do with
feeling assured about the continuity of things. Because I made an inventory of all of it, here I have the
peace to for hours do little else than just sit. Sometimes eyes open, sometimes eyes closed. Because in the
registration of the progression of the decay I am not interested.
If my head is not occupied by worries of some kind, this sitting here can bring me insight. Into a personal
trauma, for example. Not by way of words or images, but by being transported. The dog is my guide. The
limits posed by time fall away and I arrive in one of my metarealities. Bonds that were brought about here
and also have been kept up here. Bonds from which I have not been able to separate myself, that I have
not been able to get into focus in spite of experiencing them as suffocating. Such a bond I can break off
now. In the first place, because the purpose of this particular bond becomes clear to me, because now
I am this natural extension. And in the second place, because I unabashedly can give expression to the
feelings of uneasiness that accompany this breaking off; moaning, writhing, spitting, yawning, sniffling,
and so on.
The ultimate meaning of the utterance "I am" is spoken from memory. I and am are being separated from
each other. While in my proper being I and am coincide. Because it can also happen, that I am being
transported to the sphere of reality, where there is no structure at all. Again with the dog as my guide. The
concentration of the dog is without any gap. A presence of a continuous quality, that keeps me anchored.
We become one organ, one anonymous life. Averse to time and place naturally, but also at the extreme
edge of materiality. At the edge of the ultimate reality. And here formless and form interchange. And here
also without content and with content interchange. So that the boundaries between form and content fade.
The imagination stops. The image disappears. While the senses keep on functioning. Total cohesion. A
session like this we usually end by a song, sung by me to thank the dog. And through such a song we both
get our individuality affirmed. She again is apart from me. And we again are two.
13 In the end, the outside end of reality is equal to the inside end of reality. A little play with words. But
truthful perception. Because in the reality where there is no structure at all, and where as I mentioned, the
dog sometimes takes me, this end-reality lets itself be experienced.
And what I experience here is that intimacy with nature is overwhelming.
Yes, to stay within the circle of the dog's silence is another one of my periodically life sustaining needs.
And no, images at once full and empty do not bore me, no.
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