Mark

About the ground, borders and breaking stones


07.09.2016 / Oslo, Norway


This summer I have a recurring dream, images of nude people crawling in the mud by rail tracks. They seem to be committed in an endless strive uphill, grinding their bodies on an infinite trail. Bare limbs are rubbing against each other in the cramped hordes, but no one seems to notice the other bodies intertwining with their own – each one fixated on their own struggle. Heavy chains are hauled in the slippery dirt along the tracks. They rattle with every pull and scrape cold against sweating skin. I cannot figure out if the vision is speaking of sex or about God. I am not sure whether there even is a difference. I think, I would like to talk this through with someone. Then I think, I should be ashamed of myself. / There is a rhythm to the pull and a beat to endure the grind. I tell a friend about the dreams, about the nude crawling and the infinite rail tracks. He thinks that I am speaking of hell. My words falter as I try to explain the difference between hell and love and labour. 

I have spent the summer of 2016 up north. The days have been imbedded in cold drizzles and dim shadows reflecting the grey clouds. But just as I had given up hope on feeling the sun warming my face, September brought an Indian summer. Blue skies make me forget and forgive all of July and how you-lie.
I believe that an apocalyptical worldview is just a trait of collective human consciousness, with each generation dreading a moral collapse as if the world was ever better before. I do not think that we are on a downward spiral, but this summer I feel that the ground is somehow shaken a bit of its axis. I follow the news. This summer I see Farage captaining an island to pull up its anchor from its harbour, only to jump overboard as the ship sets out on uncharted waters. I remember waking up in London on the sunny morning when Brexit was announced, to the unease of a country splitting up from a continent and possibly splinter within itself. This summer I hear Trump speak of his inability to smash up the lithosphere from his position on top of his tower, and how he would compensate his shortcomings by constructing a cleft raised above ground. This summer Sweden has changed their migration laws to limit asylum seekers rights to family reunification, calling it a solution to a crisis; As if the real crisis was not actually happening on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea – where vicious forces stone people to death and hang the corpses up to display, while turning homes and cultural heritage into desert gravel. It is all new borders, new cracks. If I put my ear to the ground, it seems like I can hear the continental plates cracking under the pressure of billions of feet trampling them. The earth seems as fragile as an eggshell. It appears to be a strong arch, but with a hit on a softer angle it will split open for the magma to pour out into a heated frying pan.

I go out to the woods and pick a rock of a size that I can just about hold with one hand. A red piece of granite, inclusions of quartz resembles fish scales glittering in the sun. This type of stone is tough and withstanding, massive blocks of it is used for constructing buildings - but its grainy texture creates softer angles where a crack can occur if it is hit. I use a hammer and a nail to break the stone into smaller pieces, turning it into a pile of pebbles and sand. It lies by my feet as an intricate puzzle. Every piece of stone belongs to another and I wonder if I would have the patience to fit them back together again. There is a rhythm bouncing with every crack brought down in stone, and it takes a beat of a heart to mend it.