by markus mittringer

and then this oracle threw me back on myself, asked me whether my passions would also make me happy, whether i was in control of my heart and “do you feel concerned?”

all right, an oracle is not a cash machine that through its generosity or refusal always tells me clearly whether i am inside or outside the limits. and it is also evident that truth has many sides and is sometimes uncomfortable. and it was i who asked the oracle, i who was searching for a sign, indications how to prepare the ground on which my future decisions would be made. the hope brought into the temple that everything was in any case all right and would work out anyway was not confirmed. an oracle doesn’t confirm anything.

“become a farmer, harvest stars,” it instructed me. i like that: planting, cultivating, waiting, harvesting. good! and then every day a nose wash, pepper on the mucous membranes sharpens perception, and the daily toil in the field must surely somehow promote the inner peace that is supposed to be a stepping stone on the way to nirvana.

do i want to go there? will i feel at ease with the key in my hand that opens everything, that turns every object, every daily phenomenon into a revelation? am i willing to carry a sword that enables me to become part of a great whole? do i really want this at the price of giving up not only carefully learned but also favored analytical processes? do i want to be at one with my surroundings and to stop seeing objects as accusations so as to learn more about them, their properties and peculiarities? do i want to work out my own laws, stop waiting for my knight in shining armor, share the story of every tree? and how can i give free rein to my soul without leaving rubbish at the same time?

at all events the card i drew, 14, at the entrance to the oracle was perplexing: “stand upright and speak the following phrase three times in a loud voice: ‘i am entirely free!’” i’m supposed to do that? for me!?

is there no other way of understanding what this “i” is? do i have to chant a formula in this sanctuary, do i have to remove my eyeglasses, turn off my mobile, pack my telescope, leave my saw at home? isn’t there a joke to help me out, does irony suddenly lose its teeth and polemic become fuzzy? does dialectic suddenly fog everything over?

is it dangerous, as card “80” suggests, for memory to become independent and at the very moment when the public carrying of keys and the chanting of mantras becomes embarrassing, the anthem of my generation emerges noisily from my throat?

im zweifel für den zweifel das zaudern und den zorn im zweifel fürs zerreißen der eigenen uniform
im zweifel für den zweifel und für die pubertät
im zweifel gegen zweisamkeit und normativität
im zweifel für den zweifel und gegen allen zwang im zweifel für den teufel und den zügellosen drang
im zweifel für die bitterkeit und meine heißen tränen bleiern wird mir meine zeit und doch muss ich erwähnen
im zweifel für ziellosigkeit
ihr menschen, hört mich rufen im zweifel für zerwürfnisse und für die zwischenstufen

do tocotronic have it wrong? did camus and sartre, kubrick and tarantino, dexter and the sopranos harvest the wrong fruits? is the desperado mistaken? what sense is there in playing the “song of death” when there is a hereafter?

or, is there a paradoxical incense reaction? how else can it be explained that a high mass with medicinal herbs first of all evokes such unease? that the “and all the others” behind, in response to “i forgive myself” in the apsis, becomes a dark greek chorus that changes its position as soon as one instinctively attempts to escape towards the north gate. it burns the “i forgive myself” into the brainstem as one runs past “all the others” into the light. into a world with fixed rules, into the comfort of laws made by strangers:

“no smoking in the cloister!”

i don’t want to embrace anyone, chop wood, carry water. not for me, not for anyone else, not for the eternal flux, not for the run of things. i don’t want enlightenment. i want kitsch, i want finally to be able to hand myself over, liberated from searching. i want happiness to find me—and to have doubts.

last visit: “102” drawn and my position taken up on the board. i take hold of the key in spite of myself. standing up straight with the firm intention not to allow myself to be taken away from me. full of anger at the presumption that i am possibly the chosen one. convinced that i will not lose my composure. armed against all lofty thoughts that might undermine my own. heavily armed.

“can you make an exception for me?” asks the oracle, and i reply softly: “ok!”

i arrange myself, furnish my world with my thoughts, conceive a huge table. it becomes wooden and inspires me thankfully in turn. i have shorn my hair and wait tensely to see what transformation in myself the table comes up with next. dust warms my bare head. i finally feel at one with my prison.

sometimes i see myself in bekki’s film turning around my own axis and sending out phrases in all directions. one possibility would be to step over the arc that frames me, to stand up, to act. one of many. perhaps i will be ready in twenty or thirty years to start studying the kabbalah.