Berlin streets, particularly Kreuzberg where I live, are filled with graffiti. Interestingly I often see scrawled here “No Nazis”. With the collapse of communism and reunification, there’s concern about a swing back to horrors of the past. So some write on the walls – Don’t forget. Nazism prides itself on certainty, on solutions. Possibility, on the other hand, brings uncertainty.
I’ve spent most of my life in Sydney – so while I know a little about racism, most of it is second hand, learned working with people from different backgrounds who didn’t fit the notion of Australian mainstream. It’s been enough to make me think about that mechanism in me – the propulsion to turn uncertainty and apocalypse into resolution and safety. My fear drives me toward comfort and begs the silence of no questions.
Giant is a track I wrote for illumineon (03) – chronicled earlier here. The title borrows from philosopher Thomas Hobbes and the cyclops from Homer’s Odyssey. When I re-made the track in 2010, I changed the chorus, referenced the groove from ‘When the Levee Breaks’ by Led Zeppelin (albeit obliquely), and added new lines:
Let’s talk about the chords twisted round my wrist, rope burn kissed
Let’s talk about the train, on the tracks again
Whistle hailing out again
What was it that you didn’t see, what was it that you didn’t know,
before you rescued me, and let me go?
The Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon imagery names a fear – what do I do once I have been saved? Is salvation always some kind of being let go? Of returning to face the two edged sword of unknowing? In a city that was divided, in a space often caught between, in a country and culture not my own, these questions return to me.
What will I do now I am no longer tied to the tracks? I will remember…
Giant, from west & lime (release date tbc), TJ Eckleberg trio: