In 2014 I visited The Berlin Wall for the first time. I found the whole experience kind of amazing and adored the way that a microcosm of creativity and feeling lived along it. It was like its own little ecosystem of art, music and ideology.
I was reminded of this when I spotted an old Buzzed article about the impressive work that adorns the wall, I recommend checking it out here if you fancy getting a glimpse of what some of the large scale works of art look like.
For me though, the parts of the wall that really spoke to me were the hand written slogans that passers by had left. I guess some people might argue that these little phrases are pithy or trite but I saw them as artefacts of real people trying to express their deepest thoughts or desires in a space they somehow felt connected to.
For instance, there was this one story that was written on paper and taped to the wall that I thought was properly, honestly, beautiful. I was absolutely transfixed by it. It read:
“Me and Melker took a walk right there our last night together, and if I remember right I think I told him about my dreams. I did not love my future sambo and Melker did not love his boyfriend. He still does not but the time goes by and it’s safe, for sure.” - Elektra T.
When I got back from my trip I decided to try and search out the writer of this story and through a bit of Max & Nev style Googling I found her blog. I tried to get in touch with her but didn’t get a response. Regardless, I’d recommend checking it out, it’s not been updated for a long while but she’s a wonderful, captivating writer.
Around the gems like this were the kinds of sentiments you might expect to find, as the one below, but even these simplistic and seemingly naive statements make you pause for thought at the wall. The Berlin Wall is a space where, for me at least, anything seems possible and we still have a chance of fixing the world. I don’t know why - but it’s how I felt.
My favourite bit of graffiti, if you can even call it that, was something written apparently in haste with a felt tip pen:
“Live without dead time.”
This is a statement that instantly grabbed me, the second I saw it. There was a time, when I first left University, that I found myself not doing a great deal with my time. I convinced myself that wasn’t the case but it most certainly was. I have long long regretted that wasted time and seeing this made me feel very vulnerable. It also made me feel inspired.
That trip I took in 2014 has been a springboard for the rest of my life and these moments still sit with me today. I continue in my quest to try and remove dead time, sometimes to my detriment, but I won’t rest and I won’t waste - it’s all about progress and making!