In Search of A/The Point of Life

GETTING THERE THERE

KAIDIE TRANS-MIGRATING? 5

Cabled-up, taken a deep breath, pink-socked, wobbled, ready to take off, to re-turn, to life, on earth. Thummmmpppppppppppppppppppplunginggggggggggggggggggggfreefalling.................. (tbc)

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WHY RUNNING ALONE IS THE BEST/ONLY WAY TO RUN: Like Murakami, Turing and Colin, we run because we seek solitude. We are solitary beings; hence we run long distances. Go on, call us selfish.


We (prefer to) live, run and die alone: in the plastic dustbin of history. Nonetheless, nice to meet you. Nice to have met you. Nice meeting you. WC1 Nondon Spring 2011.

The narrative of human beings is (or, we should say ‘the narratives of human beings are’) populated / infested by wandering hermits – St Jerome, Anthony of Egypt, Basho, Jesus Christ, Lao Zi, Buddha, Confucius, Mencius, Chatwin, are but some of the named itinerants who have been recorded and mythologised, and have captured our imagination. There have been many more unnamed. As they traversed the world(s), they meditated, wrote, spoke, sang and came to terms with their being, in one way or another. (Or not – and spend their lives making tours and detours, making false moves and dying pathetically, rotten, sickly, unenlightened, bitter, as sickbags, like the rest of us). To be sure, the story of mankind (which sounds rather grand, does it not?) is also populated by the gregarious, the socially-adept, those who prefer direct action, so on, and so forth. Which is exactly the/our point – the so on and so forth-ness of things – that there are different paths each prefers. Each of us has different means of getting there; each of us has different paths that works for us. We respect yours, and you, presumably, ours. When we cross paths and run into each other, we may fight, have a tussle, a tumble, or two, or more, a war, civil, or uncivilised, or cold, or silent, or ongoing and unresolved. Or, we may sparkle, together, shine, tango constructively and powerfully, like the clash of civilisations, meeting of 2 different chemicals to produce a third, new, synthetic (in all meanings of this word) possibility. Or, more mundanely, it is the combination of the above 2: a process, of a mixture of curiosity and argument, debates and agreements, hits and misses, fall outs and make ups, negotiation and mediation (‘compromise’ is a word we loathe, for it is less constructive but a giving-in, a weakening. The best, or rather ‘best’ encounters are not weakenings, but processes of strengthening. In the ideal world). At the meantime, we blame each other for intruding into our lives, as we confusedly try to work it out, yet, also, perhaps, at the back of our minds understand/believe that something interesting, something larger than each of us alone, something more wonderful and further than what each alone can achieve or where each could travel/go. Hence we work on it. Or not, should we run out of stamina. (Or faith? If there is such a thing, that is! Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.)

Screw this – this thread sounds romantic, old-fashioned, esoteric, irrelevant and plain silly.

Enough rambling.

Let us get back on track.

Restart (contemporarised, main-streamified):

The nature of long-distance running over hours and hours almost demands that it is a solo undertaking. For world champion marathon runner Paula Radcliffe, while there are times when running can be ‘a big social thing – go for a run, catch up with friends and have a really good chat’,[1] running for her remains a primarily solitary activity, ‘during which I just […] have my time.’[2] To be sure, we can run with pace-makers or pacers, whose task is support runners to ensure that we are not over- or under-exerting ourselves. In particularly demanding races such as ultra-marathons, during which runners can become so exhausted as to encounter hallucinations or lose consciousness, such collaborations can be a matter of life and death. As Christopher McDougall says,  ‘a tough pacer can save your race; a sharp one can save your life’.[3] Yet, the writer and ultra-marathoner also refer to pace-makers condescendingly as ‘mules’, adding that ‘[p]acing is so gruelling and thankless that only family, fools and damn good friends let themselves get talked into it.’[4] Hence, if we wish to make (sporty) new friends, the conditions circumscribed by activities such as soccer, aqua-aerobics or the physically-gentler activity of walking seem more promising.

The solitary nature of long distance running in Life 1.0 is epitomised in (and mythologised by) the title of the book and film, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. In this ‘Kitchen Sink’ classic[5] written by Alan Sillitoe in 1959, it is during our protagonist Colin’s solo runs that he is able to have ‘his time’, away from the physical, emotional and economical confines of his reality, including the Borstal prison to which he was confined to. Indeed, running was said to have been the ideal activity for Alan Turing, as it mirrored the loneliness of his journey as a scientist.[6] Given that such intellectual and creative work demands intense concentration, there are scientists as well as artists who may prefer working in isolation. (That said, there are clearly many who prefer to work collaboratively.) (Clearly, too, is that there are not so many artists who undertake endurance sports, apart from enduring many hours of debauchery, which we excel in as well). The same intensity required of a scientist’s creative process is not dissimilar to that of an artist or writer. As a matter of fact, novelist and marathon runner Haruki Murakami admits that he actively seeks out solitude, and grants that ‘especially for someone in my line of work, solitude is, more or less, an inevitable circumstance.’[7] Running suits him perfectly, as ‘[a]ll you need is a pair of running shoes and you can do it anywhere. It does not require anybody to do it with […].[8] He adds:

I’m the type of person who doesn’t find it painful to be alone. I find spending an hour or two everyday running alone, not speaking to anyone, we well as four or five hours alone at my desk, to be neither difficult nor boring. [9]

This is our chosen way of life. This is how we run (navigate, negotiate and manage) the/our world(s). We are neither Buddha nor Jesus (in case you didn’t know), but Christ!, to each her own. Just as there are those who prefer to travel alone, there are those who love it communal; just as there are lonely long-distance runners, there are sprinters who fear loneliness (and then of course, there are those who prefer other modes of locomotion to running, and then those who prefer not to move at all. Which is all fine. We say ‘fine’, though it is of course not up to us really. Not at all. Nor do we bother, though our job is to spread the gospel of our world-shattering thesis of trans-dimensional running, which is what we have been going on and on about, though of course, that is an other story, and we may not want to go into that again, not just now, any ways. Which we ourselves are getting extremely tired of as well. In any case – which ever ways. What we want to say is, at the end of the day, to each her own).

Go on, call us selfish. Like it or not, we are moving on. Take it. Leave it. Which ever. May we cross paths again. Or maybe not. See you later. If ever.



[1] Patrick Barkham, ‘Patrick Barkham Goes Running with Paula Radcliffe’, The Guardian, 16 December 2008, section Life and style <http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/dec/16/paula-radcliffe> [accessed 25 September 2010].

[2] Barkham.

[3] Christopher McDougall, Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (Profile Books, 2010), p. 88.

[4] McDougall, p. 89.

[5] The Kitchen Sink genre refers to the British cultural movement of the 1950s-60s. The social-realist works, created by filmmakers and writers called ‘Angry Young Men’, are anti-Romantic, often featuring (anti-)heroes of the working class who are anti-establishment. ‘Author Alan Sillitoe Dies Aged 82’, BBC, 25 April 2010, section Entertainment <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8642720.stm> [accessed 31 October 2010].

[6] Anish Chandy, ‘Alan Turing Biography’, Buzzle.com <http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/4-5-2005-68126.asp> [accessed 12 July 2010].

[7] Like Murakami, Turing was also known to be a loner, although it could be argued also that this is in part due to his inability to live as he wished because of his sexual orientation (homosexuality being a crime in the 1950s in the United Kingdom).

[8] Yishane Lee, ‘Haruki Murakami Interview from Runner’s World.com’, 2004 <http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-243-297–8908-0,00.html> [accessed 26 September 2010].

[9] Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Reprint (Harvill Secker, 2008), p. 15.


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INTERMISSION: RUNNING AWAY FROM NONDON FOR A DAY OR TWO. WHERE TO?

Hair 6 June 2010, split till Kaidie's end (uncut 12.12.2009 - 09.09.2012, after Tehching Hsieh)

In Life 1.0, Kaidie lives in Nondon. Yet, as we know, any peripetetic runner must deny herself allegiances, and must attach herself to the ethos of non-attachment. Instead, she traverses multiple terrains at the same time, double-triple-crossing, happily crisscrossing her eyes, splitending her hair and curling her toes while dipping curly fries in pig’s cheeks at the same time. So, while Kaidie always insists that she loves Nondon (and that Nondon loves her?), every so often, she must run away from her, to an other place in Life 1.0 that is non-Nondon, non-non-London. We love the city, but the task of the trans-dimensional runner is to resist liking any one place or thing too much. Also, it is Summer just now. Kaidie and her all-consuming love affair with Nondon could do with a little break.

Hence, our Dear Reader, where can Kaidie run away to, for just a day trip, this Summer? Somewhere nearby, but somewhere that looks/sounds/smells/feels different enough from our lovely Nondon. A different terrain to run, with a different scenary, that would give Kaidie a different gait and different rhythm of breathing, and to urge – ever so gently – that stubborn flu of 3 weeks to please leave her system, if not for good, for a little while.

Kaidie recalls a particularly invigorating Summer in a previous life, during which she spent a month in Suomenlinna, in Helsinki, Finland. The weather was extremely crisp, dry and sunny, the flat splendidly spacious and bright (Kaidie was retrospectively told that that was an especially brilliant Nordic Summer). Upon arrival, she was filled with a dread, assuming at once that as a lifelong urban denizen across many lifespans, the fortress island would be unbearable and boring. What arrogance. For, within a couple of days, Kaidie began a month-long routine of walking along the coasts for hours at length, as well as exploring the many tunnels. Although a tiny island, the place opened up the more Kaidie walked it, as if an endless Escher print full of surprising rabbit holes. She would return to the studio to type some notes with no particular intention. In the heady mixture of liqourice ice-cream, squeaky cheese, canons facing generations of enemies, picnics at sloping hills, dipping into the sea, rocking in ferries, blond hair, blue eyes, green eyes, blue-green eyes, and midnight suns, the seeds of Kaidie’s current life, and life story, and task, were planted.

This, of course, was before Kaidie became ‘Kaidie’.

Foam with (foamy) memory. What does it recall? What does it forget? What does it selectively memorise?

Travelling to Stockholm from Helsinki on the trashy Viking Line that Summer, Kaidie recalled Ingmar Bergman’s Summer With Monika (1953). (Kaidie’s favourite work of the great auteur, however, is the shattering Wild Strawberries). This summer, one of Kaidie’s virtual running buddies, James Odling-Smee, tells Kaidie about another Summer with Monika, by Roger McGough (Liverpool, 1967). That summer, Kaidie’s hair was slightly longer than it is now. After she left Suomenlinna, to return home, or ‘home’, she had much of it cut.

In the spirit of summer, with Monika, Monikas, in Stockholm, Suomenlinna, Liverpool, London, Non-London, Nondon, Non-Nondon, Non-non-London, 1953, 1967, 2006, 2010, we reprint McGough’s poem here.

Summer With Monika

They say the sun shone now and again
but it was probably cloudy with far too much rain.
They say the greatest train robbery in history took place,
probably students,
who else wants to steal a train.
They say cabinet ministers and osteopaths
were particularly vulgar about this time,
they say babies were born,
married couples made love,
often with each other
and people died, sometimes violently.
They say it was an average, ordinary, moderate,
run-of-the-mill, common-or-garden summer,
but it wasn’t.
For I locked a yellow door
and I threw away the key
and I spent summer with Monica
and Monica spent summer with me.
Unlike everybody else we made friends with the weather,
most days the sun called and sprawled all over the place,
or the wind blew in as breezily as ever
and ran its fingers through our hair.
But usually it was the moon that kept us company.
Some days we thought about the sea-side
and built sandcastles on the blankets
and paddled in the pillows
or swam in the sink,
and played with the shoals of dishes.
Other days we went for long walks around the table
And picnicked on the banks of the settee.
Or just sun-bathed lazily in front of the fire
Until the shilling set on the horizon.
We danced a lot that summer
bosa nova-ed by the bookcase,
or Madisoned instead,
Hulli-gullied by the oven,
or did the twist in bed.
At first we kept birds in a transistor box to sing for us,
but sadly they died,
we being too embraced in each other to feed them.
But it didn’t really matter
because we made love songs with our bodies.
I became the words and she put me to music.
They say it was just like any other summer,
but it wasn’t.
For we had love and each other and the moon for company,
when I spent summer with Monica
and Monica spent summer with me.

Ten milk bottles standing in the hall,
ten milk bottles up against the wall,
next door neighbour thinks we’re dead,
hasn’t heard a sound he said,
doesn’t know we’ve been in bed,
the ten whole days since we were wed.
No one knows and no one sees
we lovers doing as we please
but people stop and point at these
ten milk bottles a-turning into cheese.
Ten milk bottles standing day and night,
ten different thicknesses and different shades of white.
Persistent carol singers without a note to utter
silent carol singers,
a-turning into butter.
Now she’s run out of passion
and there’s not much left in me
so maybe we’ll get up and make a cup of tea.
then people can stop wondering what they’re waiting for
those ten milk bottles a queuing at our door.

I have lately learned to swim
and feel more at home in the ebb and flow
of your slim rhythmic tide
than in the fully dressed,
couldn’t care less
restless world outside.
You squeeze my hand and cry a little
You cannot comprehend the raggle taggle of living
and think it unfair that death
should be the only one
who knows what he’s doing.
You are afraid of the big bad dark
which loiters in our room
the night it prowls about the yard
the wind howls in distress
The Tom-moon peeps through the window
waiting for the table to undress.
It will soon be tomorrow
there’s nothing to fear
You whisper,
‘ever leave me?’
and put your tongue in my ear.
Sssshhhhh…….
don’t open it,
it can only be
the enemy.
____________

Said I trusted you, spoke too soon
heard of your affair with the man in the moon,
You say that it’s all over, then if you’re right
why does he call at the house every night.

Once I paid the piper and called the tune,
but one afternoon returning home early from the office
I found you in bed with the piper.
You call the last waltz
and now I dance sadly out of your life.

Monica who’s been eating my porridge
while I’ve been away?
My Quaker oats are nearly gone, what have you got to say?
Someone’s been at the whisky,
taken the jaguar keys
and Monica another thing
who’s trousers are these.
I love and trust you darling
can’t really believe you’d flirt
but there’s a strange man under the table
wearing only a shirt.
There’s someone in the bathroom,
someone behind the door,
the house is full of sexy men,
Monica,
Don’t you love me anymore?

You are a woman of many faces
and the one that suits you best I fear
is the one you wear when I’m not here,
for when you wear your marriage face
boredom lounges round the place

Your finger sadly has a familiar ring about it.

Last night was your night out
and just before you went
you put your scowls in a tumbler
half filled with Sterodent
so they’d keep nice and fresh for me.

Monica,
the tea things are taking over,
the cups are as big as bubble cars
they throttle round the room,
the tin-openers skate on the greasy plates
by the light of the silvery moon.
The biscuits are having a party
they’re necking in our bread bin,
that’s jazz you hear in the salt cellars
but they don’t let non-members in.
The egg spoons had our eggs for breakfast,
the sauce bottle’s asleep in our bed,
I overheard the knives and forks
it won’t be long, they said
it won’t be long, they said,
and it wasn’t.

It all started yesterday evening
as I was helping the potatoes off with their jackets
I heard you making a date with the kettle,
I distinctly heard you making a date with the kettle,
my kettle.
Then at midnight,
In the half light,
When I was polishing the blue speckles in a famous soap powder,
I saw you fondling the frying-pan,
I distinctly saw you fondling the frying-pan,
My frying-pan.
Finally at mid-dawn,
In the half light
While waiting in the cool shadows beneath the sink,
I saw you making love with the gas cooker,
I distinctly saw you making love with the gas cooker,
My gas cooker.
My mistake was to leap upon you crying,
Monica, spare the saucers.
For now I’m alone,
you having left me for someone with a bigger kitchen.

In, October, when winter the lodger the sod,
came a-knocking at our door,
I set in a store of biscuits and whisky
you filled the hot-water bottle with tears
and we went to bed until spring.
In April we arose,
warm and smelling of morning,
we kissed the sleep from each others eyes,
and went out into the world,
and now summers here again regular as the rent man,
but our lives are now more ordered, more arranged.
The kissing, wily, carefree times are changed.
We no longer stroll along the beaches of the bed,
or snuggle in the long grass of the carpets,
the room no longer a world for make believing in
but a ceiling and four walls that are for living in.
We no longer eat our dinner holding hands
or neck in the back stalls of the television
the room no longer a place for hide and seeking in
but a container that we use for eat and sleeping in.
Our love has become as comfortable
as the jeans you lounge about in
as my old green coat
as necessary as the change you get from the milkman
for a ten bob note.
Our love has become as nice as a cup of tea in bed,
as simple as something the baby said.
Monica, the sky is blue, the leaves are green,
The birds are singing, the bells are ringing,
For me and my gal.
The suns as big as an ice cream factory,
the corns as high as an elephants eye
could go on for hours about the lovely weather
we are having,
but Monica,
they don’t make summers like they used to.
- Roger McGough

** Do continue to watch and vote for CLAUDIA TOMAZ‘s film, Kaidie and The Meaning of Life 3.0, Episode 1. Episode 2 coming up. **

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THANK YOU for attending Kaidie’s gig last Monday. She has resurfaced – right behind my back, as KAIDIE ABSENT in Second Life. Now that she is re-located, shouldn’t I leave?

Music by Philip Tan.

Thank you very much indeed for attending Kaidie’s gig at Off The Shelf at the Slade School of Dine Art last Monday. Blind and nearly-blind dates are always thrilling, so it was nice meeting some of you in Life 1.0 for the first time. Do note that I mean ‘nice’ in the most ambiguous, generic manner. I am sure you would agree that meetings/encounters in Life 1.0 (offline, face-to-face, material world), Life 2.0 (online, imagination, internal world) and in between – Life 3.0 – are all equally valuable and meaningful (if they are meaningful at all) – for Third-Lifers, who are restless travellers on the move, this is about the only way(s) to meet, ie, halfway, or half of the half, of half of the half of the half, and so on. The notions of eternity, forever-ness and everlasting-ness are but romantic mythologies; a Third-Lifer necessarily runs/travels/migrates/transmigrates alone, and seeks/creates fulfillment in every single moment, however transient. During each of these temporary encounters, the Third-Lifer finds/invents her own drama/climax/closures, and locks them up as happy memories (even if she forgets, they will remain safe and happy, happily ever after). And moves on. (If anything else is forever/eternal/everlasting at all, it is one’s Sisyphean cycle of births-deaths-rebirths-repeated-death-looped-fast-forward-press-play-rewind-press-play-re-press-play-again-in-different-speeds). Lest you think this is a cynical worldview, I suspect that the contrary is true – that Kaidie is yet the most idealistic and romantic of us all. Which was why the invention of a Life 3.0-mixed-reality-goggles (as if life itself is not complicated enough?), as self-delusional and naive as Don Quixote on his grand(iose) quest.

Regardless.

I was hoping that Kaidie, who had been missing for nearly 1 month, would stop running about/away, and return to Life 1.0 for her gigs. She did- briefly – on 14 March, during her 10km charity run for Medecins Sans Frontieres. Fearing that she would not turn up, I had begun the race (for, someone had to answer to her sponsors!). However, halfway through the run, Kaidie appeared. And was she hostile, as she kept trying to trip me and outrun me! Whatever she had eaten while she was away must have been really good, as she was much faster than me, and soon ran past me. The snapshot on the left at the bottom of this post captures that moment that the two of us, Kaidie and Kailives, are locked in a fierce battle, in the same spatio-temporal dimension. But like before, she ran off,  and could not be relocated.

On 22 March, I was hoping that Kaidie would turn up for her own gig at the Slade. I went on stage to do what had to be done, hoping that she would join me at some point. And she did. Not in broad daylight, as it was nearly 22:00hrs, but right behind my back! This photograph on the right shows myself speaking in the foreground, in front if the audience, and Kaidie behind me, in the form of video pixels. It was a black-and-white video (see above) of her in the metaverse, the world-within-world of Second Life. There, she is called ‘Kaidie Absent’.

One would have thought that this is the grand moment of cathartic clarification, of disentanglement and denouement, where all loose ends of this long-running tedious (melo)drama are tied together. But this being (Kaidie’s) life, gosh/no/never/dream on/fat chance/what are you talking about/get out of here. And, this being Kaidie’s life, there are now even more questions than the number of hair in your nostrils (when did you last tabulate the results in your Excel sheets?). Some of the ones sticking out include:

Has Kaidie been in Second Life all this while? Isn’t that too easy! Was it The Good Pirate who kidnapped her there? Was it the Good Pirate who kept the promise of releasing Kaidie for the charity run? What does the Good Pirate want? What is the ransom? After the run, did Kaidie return to SL? Where in SL is she? What is she doing? Where is she visiting? Who is she meeting? Are they like her Life 1.0 brief encounters, or briefer still? Is Kaidie on the ‘Always Run’ motion mode in there? Does she have blisters in SL? She looks like she’s enjoying flying, but does she get (e)motion sickness from flying, like she did on the day that we first met? Has she found the obscure object of her 1000-day quest, the Meaning of Life 3.0? (Must she find The Meaning Of Life 2.0 [?] before that?) Did Kaidie upload the video on her Youtube channel herself? If so, does this mean that she is coming back, to communicate with us, to run her own Facebook account and other Web 2.0 accounts?

If she comes back, shouldn’t I go? Surely I was just Kaidie’s temporary stand-in in Life 1.0 and Life 2.0 outside of the world-within-world of SL while she was in there. Surely I should not figure in the logic of the world of Life 3.0, for the whole point is that Kaidie runs to-and-fro between Life 1.0 and Life 2.0, and that Life 3.0 is an in-between and even transcendent spatio-temporal dimension. Surely only Kaidie should be the real deal, our first guinea pig for the theory of Life 3.0. (Unless, of course, when Kaidie needs a helping hand – Kaidie  did dis-locate a part of her body. I am also an avid reader of her blog, so I would have been disappointed if it was not updated. As Kaidie’s firm Facebook Friend, it is right that I help her keep up appearances.)

But enough already. When will Kaidie return to write this blog herself?

Dear Friends of Kaidie, wouldn’t you be so kind as to go locate ‘Kaidie Absent’ in Second Life? Talk to her. Ask her to come back. Coax her to leave her kidnapper. Remind her that Second Life is not the only life, that there is First Life as well as her Third.

She knows it.


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DAY 101: LOCATED: 2D REPRESENTATION OF ONE OF KAIDIE’S 4D MAPS FOR HER TRAVELS IN METAMULTIVERSES. CAN/SHALL/SHOULD WE USE THIS TO GO THERE THERE WITH KAIDIE?

Did Kaidie use this map to run to Second Life? What is the orientation? What scale are we looking at? Does this map take us there there? What are the hotspots? Where are the in-between areas within the in-between areas? Are there no-go zones? What/where/when are the zones of conflict and contact? If we use this map (in whichever way we deem fit), can we finally locate Kaidie and ask her why she had run away for the past 20 days? Does Kaidie have 'frequent traveller miles' for her restless running about?

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WHO/WHERE IS THE VIRTUAL PIRATE? WHERE IS KAIDIE? WHERE IS KAILIVES? WILL THEY ALL MEET IN THE SAME SPACE-TIME? WHO WILL RUN THE RACE TODAY?

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BREAKING NEWS: LOCATED: Kaidie’s ‘plan of attack’ for Sunday’s run. KAIDIE’S SPONSORS, I hope she does NOT run/crawl THIS route!!

I HAVE TO SHARE THIS WITH YOU! I have just found this while sifting through Kaidie’s laptop, which comes in the folder named ‘Plan Of Attack for MSF Run’. Immediately, this sent a sharp, deep chill down my spine – instead of the official running route outlined by the Friends of the Medecins Sans Frontieres for this Sunday’s run, Kaidie was going to run in all the in-between spaces in between the route drawn out, as well as running in between other runners, on top of making several detours to visit her friends at the zoo and the pond (Kaidie’s even packed her swimming togs! AND GOGGLES!), as well as running on and on, looped, until the Fark closes. We know that Kaidie is a non-linear in-betweener and that she is a restless traveller of lives and across lives, blahblahblah, but this is just a little bit too much, for she will NEVER reach the finishing line. And how is she going to report to her sponsors?? KAIDIE, IF YOU ARE READING THIS, I’M TELLING YOU THAT I AM DESTROYING THIS MAP SO THAT YOU CAN’T USE THIS ON SUNDAY! … But I don’t trust you – maybe I should do the run instead? … But your shoes are way too tiny for me… I am not convinced why I should get blisters and runners toes on your behalf, Kaidie.


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DAY 80: KAIDIE FALLS (her 3rd in the last 80 days) HEAD OVER HEELS RUNNING ALONG THE PAVEMENT OF FUSTON ROAD. SHE IS TRANSFORMED.

Kaidie's Life 3.0: topple

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DAY 54: RE-STARTING NONDON, AGAIN. A TASTE OF NONDON TAP WATER INSTANTLY TRANSPORTS ME BACK TO THIS REALITY.

gum_butts

Shall we sit on this, or chew it?

A taste of Nondon tap water, and being just an other anonymous ‘other’ in a large city of others, tells me that I am back in this reality, in Nondon.

Happy to be away and enjoying an other city when I am away, happy to be home when I am home.

Usual for new or ‘new’ beginnings, I had a haircut. I had promised to not cut my hair for the duration of my life. So I have, and haven’t – alright I have HALF-KEPT my promise. Or half-broken it (Is a glass half empty of half full? Is a mixed-raced kid a ‘half’ or a ‘double’ in Japan??) I tried. I combed my fringe to the left, right, back, front, jedw**d style, amy whinehows style, and zz top style, covering my eyes, my brains, my nostrils. It just doesn’t quite ‘work’. After my easy bus dropped me at Faker Street, near the famous Museum of Fakes where Kaidie will one day be (if she cannot get a stool next to Jeremy’s auto-icon), I went straight to the local butcher, borrowed his (are there any women butcher in Nondon?) large knife, put my head on the chopping board, and chopped off the front bit. Then, I packed the hair that dropped to the floor and fed them to the pigeons in Frafalgar Square. Though already obese due to nonstop feeding by ‘kind’ Nondon tourists, they gobbled up my hair; I can see some of which sticking out between their teeth. Alas, my short absence from Nondon has made me forget that it is illegal to feed these winged rats. The cops tried to handcuffed me but fortunately the Save The Pigeons people saved me. They believed that I was a pigeon with my new haircut.

PS 1:

A quick update – and this goes to show clearly that I DO KEEP MY PROMISES. I had promised to run 155.0km to as a gesture to compensate the 1550km  Nondon-Zurich-Nondon flight on 19 January. Since then, I had acted according to Rainold and his several terrific advice, by wearing comfortable cloths, and tried my best to feel positive emotions. I also gave myself no pressure, only pleasure. With the positive emotions and pleasures, I have covered more than 120km so far. I am currently trying to tabulate my results and will update you soon. So, I will say what I have said before, but I will say it again – WATCH THIS SPACE!

PS 2:

THANKS SO MUCH RAINOLD! I will have to come back to you to ask you how I could ‘be myself’ and ‘be a unique individual’, as I have been born with nothing. How could I be, then? I am rather puzzled and need some more advice on this, if you will!

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KAIDIE WOULD LIKE TO ABANDON NONDON FOR WINTERTHUR (FOR GOOD). OR, WE (WHOEVER WE ARE) SHOULD/COULD WRITE KAIDIE OFF (ALREADY).

garmin

Kaidie no longer travels alone, but has a new travel companion, called 'Mini', who has an untrustworthy and unstable personality, or is simply temperamental, but is essentially a nice guy (I guess. We will find out. Watch this space).

To make the effort to leave; to make the effort to go; to be transposed and disoriented; to have one’s routines upset (only to desperately attempt to construct new ones, but haha, the timeframe is too short to allow one to do that); to take temporary breaks from my (step)mother tongue; to feign ignorance since I do not understand, which is, no doubt, my own fault but ignorance is blissful yes the cliche is true, so perhaps I deliberately do not want to understand; to have to start somewhere and hence say ‘greuzi’ to the immigration officer; to hear variations of the german language, including subjective, rusty ones; to not mind embarrassing oneself in order to show that one attempts, that one is making an effort; to doze on/off and drool while semi-asleep/awake in the constant rhythm of the near-empty cheap bus on its way to the cheap airport but to feel extraordinarily happy, happy not of dreams of arriving at a destination (no, no one looks forward to arriving at that tragic, cheap airport – and when there, cancel and zone off by replaying in ones head the 2nd movement of Gould’s rendition of the Emperor’s Concerto again, and again, and again, until the gates are open for boarding), but happy at the act of travel itself, the same happiness when in the middle of a run that is neither fast nor slow neither breathless nor breathful, and to feel happy knowing that one is happy; to have a new travel companion of a digital navigator; to undergo the tedium of travelling with a travel companion; to undergo the tedium of travelling with a travel companion with conflicting interests; to run an imaginary race with the digital navigator and to win it, because I arrived in Winterthur and am acclimatising to it but poor ‘Mini’ (which is the name we have given the navigator, – do not inquire why ) is still looking for his bearings and attempting to locate the Winterthur satellites; to have conflicting plans with this new travel companion, because he prefers / needs outdoors while his user detests cold; to forge temporary bonds with fellow trippers; to eat not knowing if it’s breakfast/dinner, or if one is even hungry in the first place; to go across time zones, climates, cultural barriers, stereotypes; to be shocked; to be gratified (temporarily); to feel repulsion that one is reminded of one’s otherness, even though one has long moved on from the tedious identity/sexual/gender/cultural/racial/power politics, but if the other has not, should one grin and bear it or ignore it or re-question one’s identity from scratch, but why should I, since I have long addressed their problems but they have not theirs! so it is not my problem if they (still) see me in a certain way; to be excited by difference; to be excited by exotica; to be judged exotic (again); to be judged different (again); to be judged exotic and different and to be angry about it and wonder why one should feel anger; stop looking at me, stop looking at me thinking you know what I am; go ahead and look I have long worked through this; to be anonymous; to stand out; to not stand out; to stand out for the wrong/right reasons; to compare; to not compare; to not have preconceptions, to start afresh, to screw up, to have false starts, to try again; because otherwise why come/leave/go?

So I do love travelling. Travelling as a noun/end, as well as a process/methodology/tactic.

Look at the images taken of my studio in Winterthur. For the past 4 weeks I was reading and writing at my desk for 15 hours a day in Nondon (sleeping 6, and then using 3 for exercise, showering, eating, defecating). I could kill Kaidie from Nondon and start afresh here. I could live here and read and write for 15 hours a day.

Kaidie was conceived in an other residency, in Summer 2006 in my previous life, in the beautiful, beautiful fortress island of Suomenlinna at Helsinki. I did not plan it, but being away allowed me to create the Kaidie that I am living now, 3 years later. My current residency has also afforded me the critical distance to slaughter Kaidie.

Also, Swiss tap water tastes awfully delicious. Not Nondon tap water, no.

VS

Top, middle, ground (plus kitchen and dining). I love the middle bit.

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