Devils Bush

Here is a little story!


So I went to Kerkrade in Netherlands for a recital a few week ago. Was a nice Saturday when I got off the train in Herzogenrath which is basically the same city but on German side. My great companion “Google Maps” showed me there is just a twenty-minute walk to my hotel and since it was sunny and nice outside I decided to walk. I only had a backpack and suit in my hand so it was quite comfortable. Just a couple minutes in my journey I entered what seemed to be a forest with tall trees and little roads. I thought this is nice, Google is taking me to this short cut I would never find myself. Forest gets more dense and little roads gets smaller and smaller as I walk, at this point it just starts to be funny because I feel not very well suited for this environment. I reached the point where the road stops and Google says go straight. Probably most people would have turned around, but I already went a long way and even though it was probably wrong, I thought, I’ll see what happens if I follow directions.

Here is the picture: a pianist is walking with a white shirt and black coat, carrying a backpack and a concert suit, in the middle of a forest with no road between two countries. All of a sudden I hear thunder and a minute lather little ice balls start falling from the sky, so now I have to carry umbrella too. The best thing about being alone in the forest is that no one hears you swear. This bizarre scene  reminded me of Jungian symbols. I looked them up and started wondering what to make of all this.

“Forest – unconscious projections, unknown and mysterious”

 “Thunder or lightening – anger of gods, destruction or punishment”

I thought to myself, there is no way I could have angered the Gods. Perhaps it is illegal to cross the German-Netherlands border on foot, could they be mad for that? Or is this some sort of warning for what is about to happen? (I have a recital tomorrow – I really hope it goes well!)

Five minutes later I see this nice lake and some people who are fishing. Never in my life was I more unsuited for the environment and yet felt absolutely comfortable. The fresh smell of the forest, big tall green trees and misty lake – it felt like a mysterious dream, but all was real.

“Lake – mirror for self-reflection and to see unconscious fantasies in its depth”

I do agree being alone in forest makes you dive in to the depth of your conscience. Perhaps I have to realise something before my concert. I will play Mephisto waltz, I guess Gods don’t like that guy very much. Should I be Mephisto while playing or curious Faust who constantly tries to find answers. Or perhaps I should take a cab next time.

A minute late, the rain stopped and across the lake I saw a big gate leading to a beautiful monastery which was my hotel.

“Gate or Door – initiation or transition from one state to another”

It’s quite obvious I am going from a wet state to a dry one, but perhaps after this journey I will never be the same again? Probably every idea changes the mind and every experience makes you a different person.

Later I was told locals call the forest “devils bush” so playing Liszt’s Mephisto waltz was a totally different experience this time.