♫ – “Koan – Klaus Wiese”
People have called me many things, given me many titles, accolades, nicknames and honours. In fact I have called myself many things. An artist, an Aesthete, a pilgrim, a wanderer, a muse.
Truth is I am not any of those things – no Christopher Columbus, Byron, Dorian Gray; not an expert traveller, adventurer, ‘nomad’ or gypsy. Neither am I a Prince, a Lord, Earl or King – yet less than that am I a peasant, a workman, vagabond or slave.
I am neither an ‘ill man’ or a ‘well man’.
I do not belong to the land I was born, as much as that land doesn’t belong to me. The blood of the English, Welsh, Jewish, Romani have passed through my being – yet they do not possess me, as I do not possess them. Many other dna have surely passed through me, and I will probably never know it… and it matters not.
All these things I have once claimed as my own – you may have seen it in my writing, in my songs or my images – but that was then, the past, this is now…
And now is all I have.
Now, here, today, in this moment, all I have is the present, this moment, and the things that manifest around me. The present energy, the present state of the world, the present state of my body, and the present state of time.
All I have are the clothes that the Journey has given to me, the cloth the Story of Life has laid gently across my shoulders, the People around me who call me their family, the food on the table that God has set aside and gifted unto me to nourish my body.
Can anyone really claim more than what exists in this moment?
Can a man really claim anything for himself that is, presently, unseen or unfelt… something of a past or future time… something of the mind, the ego, the separate ‘self’ we have decided we are, the image we have decided suits our current taste for fashion, or style…
Can anyone really claim to be constant, unchanging? Can any one thing in this universe remain totally the same for all the time it manifests as that thing in this life? Does the flesh of the physical world really represent who we are, or just an image of what the rest of the world wants to see in us?
Am I really this man you see before you, am I really this flesh, this curly hair or this tanned skin? Less and less I feel a part of the past, and less and less I feel a drawn to the future.
It is a time of great changes in my life, yes, many things, times, eras, cultures, dates, planes, voyages and landscapes passing around me, and yet one thing does, in fact, remain constant… I can see it now.
There is one thing that does stay the same, that changes not even a flicker…
I Am What I Am.
The stories you will read on this blog, the images and the tales you will see portrayed and played out – please, do see these things, let them pass through your being and enjoy their worth, but observe with a little caution, and an open mentality.
I am never these things – I do not have an ‘Italian soul’/’Moroccan heart’/’English mind’/’Indian Spirit’ or whatever else people might claim… I have only what I have at that given time. I do not belong to these places, this time, that race, religion or mentality.
I am simply an energy now – everyday losing feeling of the body – an energy passing through many cultures and landscapes – on some kind of journey, accepting human generosity wheresoever it can find it, accepting shelter and love wherever it finds refuge…
You covered my body in oils, dyed my hair with henna, doused me in musk – but my friend you made a mistake when you thought that I was yours, that you could keep me, that I was something to possess… you made the same mistake that I made myself. This body is not mine, no matter what chains of ‘civilisation’ I cast upon it, no matter what guise I put upon it, it cannot be held down… for it simply disappears. Every time I tried to keep it behind glass it quickly began to fade, and later would suddenly reappear elsewhere, all renewed and clean again, with not a trace of those past lives on its shining form. Now I have set it free. I’ve realised it was free all along, only I was keeping it too tightly in my grip… You can put me in these jewels, these robes, perfume me and shower me with your gifts, and in that moment I will be that thing you want me to be… but only for that moment. Only ever for that moment…
Then later, as I run, these earthly things will slip away, as the wild winds of the deepest desert set a fire in my feet, a drumming in my heart, and blow savage sands across my lean body – calling me to run, run and not look back. Your time with those people is over now, your moment to shower gratitude and love has passed ~ now you must run on, to the next horizon. It is calling you, pulling you with magnetic force towards it. You have no choice but to go… to continue. To evolve like time itself – always forward, never turning back… you cannot go back now, even if you wanted to.
Speaking to Suliman, a bedouin of the Negev Desert in Israel, I had to explain this to him ~
“I am coming to experience your way of life, to live how your people live, to show people who follow my Journey that there is a different way to travel, that you can be a different kind of ‘tourist’ – one that doesn’t bring the heavy baggage of its past lives and experiences along with it, but comes with an open mind and open heart, experiences your ways without prejudice or prejudgment – one who comes proclaiming nothing but to be a seeker, one who comes with hope to be enlightened, in some way… I have never fasted for Ramadan, nor am I a Muslim, but by the time I have finished in Jerusalem it will indeed be Ramadan and so why can I not fast with you before we explore the desert together? If you can do it, then I will do it with you… and if we are too tired, we will simply not go. No sunset photo is worth half as much as sharing and exchanging cultures with a stranger from distant lands… If that is what life gives me to write about, then that is indeed what I will write about… As God wills. Inshallah.”
If you are following this journey, I thank you, and I hope it brings some illumination to the dark places of your mind. But I cannot promise to be anything you might expect of me, I cannot promise this journey will continue to be anything it has already been. I can only promise to be a witness to what Life decides to bring before me, and to share whatever I can with you all, whenever I can.
But I can promise you one thing ~ that I will be me, whatever that ‘me’ decides to be in that moment. I can only be constant in that one thing,
for I Am What I Am… no more, no less…
Peace Be With You.
Wherever you are, whatever you are.