I’m sitting on the soft forest ground of Dungen, around me kids and grown ups who are gently filling the air with the sound of relaxed chats, hammering on wood and some screwdriver buzzing. I’m cutting golden fabric into triangels and am still clueless about what I’m actually going to do with them. I’m fading away and disappear totally into what I am doing. It suddenly hits me with intensity how deeply satisfied I am, and as I start thinking about the reasons for my crafting, I can’t really find any, except that I could easily come up with a thousand reasons for not doing it. I’m both frowning and smiling out of amazement: W H A T I S T H I S ???
This little forest area holds a very strong vibe which I had sensed immediately, even before I had crawlled up the hill entirely. It allows me to simply follow my pleasure of creativity in the process, it leaves me free to do pretty much anything in whatever way I choose. How long have I possibly been sitting here?? Trying to find orientation from the sun turns out to be pointless since it is still shining high over the horizon, it’s typical for me to lose the track of time during summer’s peak up here in the north. Far far away seems everything else; past and future have faded into nothingness and stopped existing. Time has totally disappeared, and the same has happened to my striving to achieve a good result.
Both of these things are usually ever present companions of mine: I ALWAYS have an eye on time no matter what I do, and I’m also ALWAYS under stubbornly persistent pressure to perform – if nothing is demanded from without, it would eventually come from inside myself.
I started to wonder whether it is an impossibility or simply a paradox to pursue this state of non-striving!?
It was enough to know that I deeply enjoyed what I was doing, through this it became somehow valuable. The joy during the process would feed the result eventually, and I fully stopped caring what others were thinking. With ease, I was moving away from the world of right and wrong, good and bad, away from definitions made by mere opposites and entered into another world, a wilder one, which contained new distinctions and more directions.
Already in my early hours after arriving, I noticed that I was feeling so at home that I started to wonder why I hadn’t brought my tooth brush along so that I could stay over night for another day of play, hang out and creativity boost… So I came back a day later, and all doubts whether I would get bored or would manage to come up with something new disappeared quickly. I got once again reminded that creativity is an unpredictable companion which has its reliable features nevertheless: It’s an endlessly bubbling and ongoing infinite source, if only we put ourselves into relationship with it.
There was a young girl who asked with curiosity what would happen to the fire if it started to rain. Not long after that, she was soaked to the skin as a thunderstorm with heavy rain and some hagel had hit us. She was standing and shivering by the fire that she had helped to built, trying to get warm. She probably had found an answer on her own – without having had a grown up who gave her a quick answer. The fire survived the rain, it was burning no matter how hard the rain had gotten, it had resisted the storm. It became more palpable that we were somehow in the wild, the sun tarps in the trees above us did their very best but didn’t really protect us from the rain, some spontaneously constructed ones collected water reliably until some adults tried to push the water to the sides in order to relieve them from the weight of the water masses. In the midst of it, two kids happened to get hit by that whole waterfall at once. That was hilarious and awful at the same time, one of these moments where I couldn’t help it but laugh even though I felt sorry for the little wet young ones.
YES, YOU CAN!
If there’s one pedagogy, it should be as simple as strengthening a human being by trusting in his/her capacities, no matter if young or old. The little brave girl looked confused at first when she was being told that she had filled the space with so much sunshine during all the days, as if she couldn’t believe that it was actually her who was meant. But it became visible that it touched and reached her. And so her eyes lit up, just like the fire she had built.
I, too, returned back strengthened. I travelled home lightly, with new connections and more awareness. Having left fatigue somewhere else, created space to reconnect to the feeling that I have something valuable to give to the world…
As I was about to put my favorite blue hoodie into the washing machine, I discovered some turquoise color stains on it. „Hehe, yeah!“ I heard myself saying out loud with a smile. Rarely before had I ever reacted like this to some color stains on my clothes. These ones are permanent for sure, it will survive the upcoming spins in the washing machine and makes a good reminder and great memory, besides many beautiful photos I took and countless inner images that will reside lively within in me.
Before I first went to Västerås, I had felt scattered in a thousand pieces so that I didn’t know what direction to look or where to search for myself. I felt broken and it hurt. Then, it started to feel like I was being put together again. I became whole and piece-fulness transformed into peacefulness. Having been there felt like potent medicine for the otherwise partially sick world we currently live in.
Dungen turned out to be a life enhancing space of virtues that showed me once again the preciousness in having set intentions but no fixed plan, leaving room for things to evolve naturally. And it also showed me that the good life is yet so, so simple.
It is still a bit of a mystery to me how all the intentions behind the project became so incredibly tangible during these days. I’m grateful for all the hard work that has been put into it during the previous months, for having experienced the realization vividly, for everything and everyone I’ve come to meet and all the excellent moments, of which some only lasted a split second but were either so intense, awkward or beautiful that I will keep them with me for a long time.
Ruben och Lucas och alla andra som bidragit till att skapa denna värdefulla och vilda varelse: Stor Tack & Stor Chapeau!!!
“Dungen” was a 4-day temporary creative wilderness that took place in a little beautiful forest on the outskirts of Råby in Västerås.