Today I flew over whatever is left of that neutral zone that was once set between us and them. They used to call them parks, and this one was named after ‘naturalist’ (eheh) Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt. This nature loving Berliner left his name everywhere, it sure didn’t just stay settled in his native town parks but transmigrated through the continents. “In 1850, Douglas Ottinger and Hans Buhne entered a bay in the northernmost tip of California, naming it Humboldt in honor of the great naturalist and world explorer, and the name was later applied to the county as a whole”. So now California corvids, as they call our kind, make their nests in the redwoods of “Humboldt county”. I hate to think of the papers presented by the Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows on the ’corvus coronoides’ which “was first described by Irishman Nicholas Aylward Vigors and American Thomas Horsfield in 1827, when they reported George Caley‘s early notes on the species from the Sydney district”. But clearly, I digress…
Getting back to Volkspark Humboldthain, where legend has it thousands of our cousin bats used to nest in bunkers, here now ‘nature’ has taken over and things are growing like they’re meant to. It’s thick and unruly, we (what they call nature) don’t have to be cut and bent to suit their needs and aesthetics. No Renaissance or Japanese gardens for Berlin 2045.
However, as I flew over it, I was surprised that there was an area still redolent with their pain. You’d think everything would have been reclaimed by now. You could feel it radiating through the ivy, a smoke of sorrow, no matter how doggedly the leaves had climbed all around it to close up the wound. You know how they used to make structures to separate off space; some were spaces to divide, which they called walls (and there was a very long one running through this city for some decades, then they took it down and inexplicably left some pieces here and there and started painting on a stretch of it). Some of these now ruins were spaces for ‘protection’ and they called these bunkers or shelters. This ruin here in the park it’s hard to tell whether it belongs to that very long cement snake they called wall (actually two parallel ones and in the middle a bunch of them with guns and equipment) or if it is the ruin of a bunker. So now protecting or dividing has ended up in the same mess of cement shards. Funny to think that in the past, some of them were all obsessed with pot shards, they even went under the sea looking for them. They stole them from each other and built buildings and cases to display them. Then migratory, seasonal humans used to ohh and ahh for hours in front of these glass cages.
Funny thing is that the Old Ones left a song about how, at a certain point, after a time when a bunch of them got shot trying to cross over the wall, others came up with the idea to dig a tunnel underground, which of course got filled with water within a week. Here let me whistle it for you… quite catchy… Yes, they may have been hard workers and all, used numbers and drawings but they sure were lacking when it came to figuring out how everything hangs together, they couldn’t perceive the chi between things, how you can’t move around one thing without causing something else to shift. It’s like when you have to land on the top branch of a birch tree in the dead of winter, and the wind is blowing and it all looks impossibly slim. How can you call that measly piece of bark, with no foliage on, a branch, max it could be a twig and you practically have no horizontal surface to perch on. That’s when the trick is to make yourself light as a feather and find the right angle. You know that landing on a birch twig in the winter it is different than landing on an oak, or on a birch when it’s sunny and it is summer. You have to feel it in your bones and you know the consequence of landing 50 grams heavier. That’s when you have to take the leap of faith and be one with the energy that surrounds you. You have to merge into it simply by knowing you’re part of it, forget about distinctions, the fine line where your toes end and the branch begins. If you think about you are lost and all the other ‘corvids’ around you split their sides with laughter. Maybe that is the very talent that the species ‘human’ forgot, or somehow lost their sensors, or allowed them to go dormant. Or maybe there was trouble with the genes and some got disconnected along the way….
Fragment from forthcoming novel by Pina Piccolo.