We Are Thinking Of You

18 Dec

On the 10th December, we all turned TWO years old! MY DEAR AYLLU, HAPPY HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

Happy Blog Anniversary everyone! Drinks all around!

Drinks all around!

A reader sent me this especially wonderful email:

Hello Ritti, before the day is over I wanted to give my thanks and congratulations to your 2nd anniversary of your wonderful blog. Over 65 blog posts is an incredible number of a hopefully never ending source of intellectual and inspiring words/poems/histories/pictures/videos about things that you want to share with your audience. Thank you for that. It means a lot for me and I`m glad I explored it.

Have I said enough how grateful I am to know you are out there? That I’m not just a dusty writer on a dusty computer at a dusty desk – but that I’m a dusty writer with a clean and shiny readership! This modern age of twitterage, tumblrage and bloggage is fantastic. A good friend of mine shook me the other day: “Do you REALISE that other writers didn’t have the fantastic opportunity of reaching their audience immediately?? All the writers YOU admire didn’t have the opportunity YOU HAVE!”

So I just want to say:

The last month has been intense in terms of feedback, especially surrounding my poem “2013”. A reader in the States has been working on turning it into a song, playing around with the lines and interpreting them differently. She sent me a written version of her changes, and I really liked it. I hope she sends an audio of the poem as a song…

Another reader sent this email:

This will be printed out tomorrow and hung up in my apartment. It’s a manifesto, almost. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for it.

And then sent this:

"2013" framed by Sarah

“2013” framed by Sarah

She passed the poem on to her friends around the world… and to my utmost delight, her friend in Colombia said he would like to hang up it in his bar, so she translated it into excellent, exquisite Spanish! For those who speak it, those who desire it, here she is again, this time in Spanish:

2013

Esta vez… Quisiera dejar EL TIEMPO de lado

Porque esta vez quiero amar con EL CAMBIO en mente

Quisiera olvidar LA ETERNIDAD y arrojarla a mi ignorancia

Y aceptar, en vez de ello, que me equivoco, muchas veces ME EQUIVOCO

Esta vez, amaré, sabiendo que todo termina

Y creeré que la pérdida es una de las mejores maneras de convertirme en mí misma

Y que han sido los corazones rotos y las ilusiones

Los que han creado la mejor versión de esta mujer.

Cada razón por la que solía gritar, es ahora una razón para mantener la calma

Cada promesa que finalmente se rompió, me ayudó a recuperar mis cimientos

Y cada ilusión por la que luché, con el tiempo vino a enseñar:

Yo seré todo lo que necesito

Esta vez, voy a abrir mis ojos y ver

Que cada giro erróneo tiene un ángulo correcto

Que todo lo que he dicho, ocasionalmente lo volveré a decir de nuevo

Y que moverse hacia adelante tiene mucho que ver con dar vueltas en círculos

Y que cada vez que dije: “PARA SIEMPRE”

Olvidé que yo NUNCA fui la de los planes.

I love it when my work is taken and transformed by you. I love it. THANK YOU SARAH, for transforming.

Most of you know about my Tumblr by now … excessively, I’m sure – sorry about that. I recently gave it a new header:

tumblr header small

This photograph was taken by Miss Jennifer Collins almost two years ago, when we did a photo shooting that I had hoped would produce some official pictures portraying me as a writer. As they sometimes do, this photo shooting got a bit out of hand, and ended up with me lying au naturel in a pile of potatoes… feeling quite amused that potatoes keep sneaking into my life… and feeling altogether very comfortable and connected to the earth.

The photos have been lying around my computer since then, while I try to figure out in what context to publish them. I’m not really sure where they belong. I know what I want to make more, and I know that they have something to do with my work. But what? Until I’ve figured out how & where to publish the series, here is the Tumblr header, in its complete (-ish) form:

tumblr header

There is so much more I want to explore in the arts, so much more I want to incorporate into my performances. This photographic series are an example, but there is more I want to incorporate into my writing. I think my writing should be for the reading, but my performances should be for the experience!

I’ve always concerned myself with how to make writing “more alive”. So last week, I advertised my spontaneous reading on my Tumblr, and at this spontaneous performance, I began experimenting with a new field of the arts: singing.

The Spontaneous 12-12-12 Performance

musician & sound artiste Friedrich Glorian organised a multi-disciplinary performance at the Nikolauskapelle on 12-12-12 ... and took this beautiful picture of the location

musician & sound artiste Friedrich Glorian organised a multi-disciplinary performance at the Nikolauskapelle on 12-12-12 … and took this beautiful picture of the location

c.t.r: Friedrich Glorian sitting in his Tibetan Singing Bowls altar, and Japanese artist miu painting to the music

c.t.r: Friedrich Glorian sitting in his Tibetan Gong and Singing Bowls altar, and Japanese artist miu painting to the music

There’s a shaky little video I can show you from the Nikolauskapelle on our 12-12-12 performance. I doubt the audio is very good (apologies) so here’s the setlist (how exciting to say “setlist”):

  • Sail by Awolnation
  • extract from Qayqa by Ritti Soncco
  • poem “2013” to melody Colorblind by Counting Crows

Enjoy the shakes. Sorry it’s long: it was recorded on my iPod and I’m not yet sure how to edit it to minimise / enhance. The video is in German.

I sang Sail because I have come to love this song, and the people it connects me to, but from the start, I was fascinated by how wretched and painful the lyrics are. Yet if you know the original song, you’ll know it’s upbeat and delightful.

I wanted to strip it down to only its lyrics, and concentrate on the original emotion behind the words. 2012 was a very difficult year; one in which I fell to the bottom of my soul – and that, ultimately, made it one of the best AND STRONGEST years of my life. I learnt a lot. I came back older. I opened my performance with Sail, to bid all those hard moments in 2012 goodbye, and ended my performance with the poem “2013”, to thank this year for all it taught me.

Friedrich Glorian accompanied my reading of Qayqa with his Tibetan Singing Bowls. It was spontaneous idea: I asked him shortly before I took to the stage if he’d accompany me with some sounds, and he immediately agreed. The result was powerful. I adored it, and the feedback from the audience was very positive. After the performance, I asked him if he would teach me how to play them, and not only did he agree to that, he also agreed to occasionally lend me a few of his Singing Bowls for my future performances! THANK YOU FRIEDRICH. I think they would be perfect for when I give solo readings of Qayqa in the future. They set the mood, and yes, spiritually, emotionally, I think they fit very well too… I hope you will agree.

A freezing troope:

l.t.r:  Ritti Soncco, Friedrich Glorian, miu, freezing. Photo courtesy of Mr G Jerg, the only one in the audience with a fully charged camera phone

l.t.r: Ritti Soncco, Friedrich Glorian, miu. Photo courtesy of Mr G Jerg, the only one in the audience with a fully charged camera phone

This was the first time I shared the stage with Friedrich and miu. The energy was powerful. We received great feedback from the audience during the days that followed, and I was overflowing with the energy from sharing the stage with Friedrich and miu. I can’t explain how powerful their energy was. I soaked it up and afterwards, couldn’t stop hugging them.

I spent the following few days finally moving my books into my new apartment. It’s not until my books have moved to my new pad that I feel I actually LIVE there. What a joyous moment to acquire a bookshelf! What a joyous moment to get my babies out of the moving boxes, where they spent the greater part of 2012.

my new bookshelf, already overflowing

my new bookshelf, already overflowing

And because I’m such a fun nerd: close-ups from my bookshelf today:

rum Flor de Caña from Nicaragua, hanging out with Hunter S Thompson, Charles Bukowski and Allen Ginsberg

rum Flor de Caña from Nicaragua, hanging out with Hunter S Thompson, Charles Bukowski and Allen Ginsberg

my father bought this ayahuasca vine in the witch market of Chiclayo for me. Here is she, where she belongs: with the ethnobotanical essays

my father bought this ayahuasca vine in the witch market of Chiclayo for me. Here is she, where she belongs: with the ethnobotanical essays

this one is deeply intimate: my duckie from when I was 2 years old, now hanging out with Oscar Wilde, Sainte-Exupéry, and Joseph Heller's delightful "Catch 22"

this one is deeply intimate: my duckie from when I was 2 years old, now hanging out with Oscar Wilde, Sainte-Exupéry, and Joseph Heller’s delightful “Catch 22”

And what a sentimental moment when I emptied my backpack. I couldn’t bear to put it in the basement. You never know when I might need her again. She’s in the closet, hovering over my clothes, next to the hammock I slept in when I sailed up the Amazonas.

The rest of the week wasn’t so fun. If you’ve been watching the news, you know why.

"I'm not afraid if the world ends in 2012... I'm terrified that it could continue the same way"

“I’m not afraid of the world ending in 2012… I’m terrified of it continuing the same way”

I’m not a fan of Christmas, I’ll admit it outright. To be perfectly frank, I’m just trying to get these days over with. Christmastime has always been a very dark time for me, and with my family on the other side of the planet, I will be celebrating alone. This is very difficult for me. I just want to hibernate and wake up in February. But I promised myself that this year, I’d do something good. That I wouldn’t just try to lose these days; that I’d try to use them to create something

And then Jacintha Saldanha committed suicide because of a terrible prank call, and now her family doesn’t know how to celebrate Christmas. And then the shootings in Newtown with 26 victims, and their family members don’t know how to celebrate Christmas. This year, there are so many people paralysed at the thought of the upcoming holidays.

I remember, mid-2012, I was speaking to some friends, and we realised we were all going through a hard time. And I remember saying (and this being echoed by some friends): “How much more?! How much MORE am I supposed to take?!” And now, in the end of 2012, I find myself thinking that again: How much more??!!

howmuchmore

And I KNOW the wars elsewhere are being ignored while Newtown gets all the airtime. I KNOW it’s “only” 26 victims while more die every day thanks to wars waged by this very first world nation. I know. To these facts I say: fuck that. NO WAR MAKES ANOTHER WAR SMALLER.

I think it is an artist’s obligation to react to the things around us. I want to thank Madison for her instant, beautiful and poetic reactions to the Newtown massacre, on her blog. She immediately began digesting the news by writing. An inspirational reaction. Please read her beautiful poems / thoughts here.

me

I’m terribly emotional these days. Everything makes me cry. And I don’t know where to put it. Last night I watched the inter-faith vigil held at Newtown until 4 in the morning, and was especially moved when a young boy from the Muslim community sang for the dead.

I don’t know how to get out of this stagnant suffocation, and I know that people around the world feel the same. Christmastime can be a very difficult time for so many people – and these people are usually forgotten by the colourful pop songs and confetti, the general consensus that we all are surely joyous on this wonderful occasion. We are not. That’s okay. Just don’t make us invisible.

And this year – it’s very visible.

And it’s horrible.

Why o why am I telling you this? Well, firstly, yes, it’s deeply private, but! If we don’t reach out to each other, then we all suffer in individual silence and where is the sense in that. I won’t be the superficial blogger who only blogs when she’s happy and bouncy.

me again

And secondly, I am meditating on why 2012 is so difficult. A friend said to me that when she looked around her in mid-2012, “all I saw was chaos”. Late 2012, I thought it was getting better. And now the latest tragedy. Why did 2012 send us through such dark valleys? Why are so many people asking themselves this year: “How much more am I supposed to TAKE?!

I pray that there is a reason to everything that occurs. I pray that there are no coincidences. I pray that we’re suffering so much in 2012 because the prophecy will come true: because 2013 will be the dawn of a new consciousness: one of greater harmony with ourselves, one another, and the world around us.

frog heart

frog heart

One where we accept that the visible world isn’t all there is. One where we tune our senses to the energies around us, and accept that there is more to life than what we have, until now, accepted.

Perhaps the Universe is speaking. Perhaps we’ll somehow change. Gun control regulations. Living closer to nature. Realising SILENCE is a holy gift. Regarding a SIMPLE LIFE as the greatest treasure. Understanding that being tranquilo (calm) is the greatest wealth a man, a woman, can have.

It doesn’t surprise me that the end of 2012 is so dark, but I hope that this is the darkness before the dawn.

universe

I don’t want to leave you in a dark place, but I’m not sure what to say now either. So I’ll leave you with the simplest picture of joy that I have. In its simplicity, it touched me so much, and I’m going to draw this on my own fingers right now and walk around with it for all the upcoming days. And I’ll lift it to the sky every now and then, and send its simplicity and love to Jacintha’s family, to the Newtown families, and to everyone else out there, wherever you are: we are thinking of you.

We are thinking of you.

smalllove, stillbig

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2 Responses to “We Are Thinking Of You”

  1. Gerhard December 18, 2012 at 3:09 am #

    Chapeau-Ritti

    For me it is the greatest post in your blog!
    It`s not just that it touched me deeply but with your talent of bringing words, pictures and emotions so wonderful together is the expression that I was looking and hoping for the last days. We`re all deeply sorry of what happened in Newtown which was the outstanding peak of a lot of tragic moments the last months where people that are silent heroes for me lost their lives so useless.
    It is absolutely breathtaking watching the speeches and statements in Newtown, seeing the signs and memories that relatives, friends, witnesses gave to their loved ones to honor and remember them. It is absolutely heartbreaking.Especially when you`re a parent.
    It made me speechless, that it happened, how it happened and what happened after.
    We intend to displace what stopped the world turning for those minutes of the shooting because we have to function again the next day in our superficial world and over time we will forget it because other incidents will overlay it.

    BUT IT HAPPENED AND YES WE`RE THINKING OF YOU!

    We`re delighted that we can get together at Christmas and celebrate the birth of JC, we can look forward and hope to a more shining year 2013. Are we grateful in the right sense? The children and teachers can`t experience that anymore with their families which makes us so sad and sorrowful.

    Ritti-Thank you so much for having the courage to write it down!

  2. Tom December 18, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Love this, you’ve read my mind and probably a lot of others about 2012

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