köpenickenstr wagenburg

I’ll try and remember where I began. It was last night. Was I searching for something for someone? Was I searching for someone? I am with someone in Berlin who is not here, yet follows with me, my aimless trails, and leads me also, because… what do you say of a home you decided to leave? And then through another, newly discovering, find it again?

I have walked up a street towards a bar that leads to Kottbussertor U-bahn often enough, maybe three times, for it to bear the resemblance of known. Each time until today I missed entirely the gallery. I decided after ballet, and having some spare time, and deeply anxious about my dwindling savings, to do mostly walking and looking, anonymous, and from the studio explore a little Köpenickerstr, which I saw through the windows across the Spree, warming up to dance another day in the past. And from there up this street with the amusing-to-me name to the gallery. In the streets are wagenburgs and in the exhibition, a small history of wagenburgs in Berlin.

I had to retrace my steps as Schwarzer Kanal was over this street I must turn down, mmm… what to say of old buildings left as they were abandoned, made into homes with flowers in window boxes, a certain kind of detritus and wilderness that is distinctly a squat. Fences I can peek through and like a magic garden of giant mushrooms, old wagens, trucks, delivery vans, even perhaps ancient train carriages all cluster, a herd come together. Also though I feel embarrassed to peer into someone’s home like this, as much as it does instill a feeling of home in me.

Up the street with the funny name, I mean Adalbertstr over the damms, Engeldamm and, I forget the other, past on one side a quite beautiful and empty building of red brick and white windows, the small oval leaves bright greys and oranges on the soft oh-so-European green. On the other more wagenplatz, and a kinder, I forget again how to say, a childrens’ farm, an old, thin but perhaps not unhappy horse and sway-backed black donkey, another horse lying in the stable, all munching on straw, horse wanders over, takes a shit, wanders back.

I reach the exhibition, Wagenburg – Leben in Berlin at the Kreuzburg Museum up many flights of stairs, oh is something special. I will take Daniel to it when he returns, and perhaps buy the exhibition catalogue… One video was of Schwarzer Kanal, women talking about the place, location, tenuousness of its existence, the bicycle workshop, and one woman, short hair, maybe a leather jacket, I can see her in my thoughts but describing evades me, she says about addressing sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and I thought oh… maybe coming to Berlin to find somewhere I feel is home, hoping that there is difference in places enough to make livable, all these thoughts, it is the right decision.

Later, in the rain and darkness, I move to Schönhauserallee, look from the balcony at the city in night.