We are nearing the end of spring, 2015. Arrived Macedonia with one euro in pocket, good friends watching my back and a mission to join the river and put an end to this fence craving warmongers ruling the planet.
One januari afternoon of the year 2016, outside a storm wind is raging.
Ninja the dog is sleeping by the door. I am in Vojvodina, there is still hope.
An ex Macedonian soldier who toured duty in Afghanistan and is now washing baby clothes for people seeking refuge just called me: “Where are you, can you call all your volunteers, there are thousand refugees arriving at the border and we need help”
I hope the phone didn’t wake my sister, she has University symptoms.
It is 11/1 … two thousand sixteen, the Belgian independent volunteers who are not at all so independent due to governmental regulations are going to the border, they will take the Russian.
I wonder if they will bring their cats
January the third 2016, now there is no doubt in anyone’s head,… there is a storm raging over a river of souls who left all behind running from the excesses of greed. I am at the border with Serbia and Macedonia, I explain the water-drops in the river where they are, so they can better orient their dreams about an ocean.
My sword is a doctor scissor and a first aid kit, my shield (UN ?) -orthodox medicine. My trauma support is my in-dependency as a volunteer. The nights are long here. When the transit camp is empty and the volunteers gone home or sleeping in their cars, all what moves here are local cats, cleaning staff, law enforcers and logo-people killing time. They make good coffee and really care about the ones they call “migrants” or “refugees”, I like them.
I had seen this storm coming long time ago. It was back in 1990, we received tidings of a desert storm far away from home, where I was brushing my teeth and listening to the morning news on the transistor radio. What I remember most is that no one in school showed even a remote interest in the events, and where all very surprised, … I was crying.
As years passed by, the days appeared sunny, and there where days everyone forgot about the advancing storm, everyone except those feeding the thunder and those taking the blows of rain. There where other days a wind struck us from afar and woke many of us up.
There where other days the sky was so clear we could all glimpse the storm clouds approaching from behind the horizon.
It was around May 2015, someoane in the South East of Mexico started speaking about a storm, they could see it coming now, they could hear the thunder roar in the distance. If a dignified dreamer from the Laconda jungle mentions an approaching storm, forget about poetry, just dig in and get ready.
August . fai. cnt .. 2015, found myself in Iberian Anarchist Federation’ territory, near Catalonia. The masses of people seeking refuge started increasing at the South European border regions. I left Spain for the Balkan. Not to help but to experience the exodus, to understand the reality in order to join those waking up dreaming of another world. Not that I would not help along the way if help is required, but help would not be the aim of going there.
One thing gained working at the border is true humbleness. To learn to look in the mirror and feel embarrassed, then pick up the pieces and go on. That human values as we know them end at the space in-between borders, and how to recreate them. The storm has been raging all the time, to see trough the veils that have been clouding judgement. That what one has been thinking is not the reality and the reality is too big to be thought.
What does it mean “working at the border”.
One thing is to be in the border region and spend work in that location where they put up a fence. You might be controlling passports, cleaning up after the authorities or doing humanitarian missions.
But there is a wider meaning. The border is not just the fences people put up to separate one nation from the other. There is a border to our consciousness. Our awareness of reality is limited. It is limited by ourselves, how we see things depends on our interest, on how we create our daily lives. It has to do with education, where we grew up, how we where explained creation and the world.
These consciousness borders are cultural as well as regional.
Not long ago in our civilized lands we considered the earth to be flat.
These consciousness borders are controlled as well, not by passport controls but rather by social and psychological border control mechanisms, external and internalized.
Take the example of a flat earth.
In those days any scientists claiming something else will be directed to the mad house.
They cross the line.
The fact that today everyone thinks the world to be globe, is a prove that certain consciousness borders can be crossed, and even deleted.
The reaction you may experience if I now tell you that the earth is not a globe -we got it all wrong- is an opportunity for you to feel this internalized border control mechanism. The internal referee will most likely whistle in your head. You will not be easily convinced that the earth is not a globe but something else.
All this is interesting study material in the work at the borders today.
Do you understand those words?
The border, as a physical barrier between nations, is not just the location of that border. If you do not possess papers (identity card) the border is very present in your life. When you will go out for a coffee, authority servants can arrest you at any given moment, detain you, deport you, submit you to inhumane treatment and demand you to give information on whatever you may like to do or wherever you may like to go. When you will break a leg, you may not be accepted to hospital, or be given a second class reception (I have witnessed this in hospitals while assisting ‘people without papers’, in Belgium, in 2011, the center of the EU).
Since September 2015 I had been staying at different places along the so called “humanitarian corridor” or “Balkan route”. My goal was not to “help” but to ob-serve, to study, with a mission to contribute to a solution. A solution not only to this refugee crisis but to a return of human values to this planet, based on truth, simplicity and love. To learn to be a guardian of our mother earth. To bring back the ancient Sanathan Dharma and continue steering this space ship earth with dignity as a united earthling.
To understand those words echoing since Columbus walked his humanitarian corridor:
“Patria es humanidad”
This “humanitarian corridor” has appeared more often lately to me as a “linear prison”. A prison that stretches all the way from the East up to Northern Slovenia borders. The never ending river of people passing trough has been amazing. I never imagined seeing so many people from such unknown places in so little time. I have found myself in a fortunate observation post able to speak to a great deal of them. Often lost my voice after hours and hours walking up and down the border speaking thousands of people. It has been these people that gave me hope, that made this soul regenerate. I don’t think they are suffering so much. Having lost every material thing they owned, … many are in an energetic condition of light and adventure. Sometimes I fear they will not settle after this adventure but want to keep going, facing challenges of cold and snow, waking up at crystal dawns, huddling around camp fires at night, following that bright star overhead.
Settling in Europe must be boring after this.
Will there awaken a new gypsy species on our planet?
There where other nights and moments of suffering. Having to leave old people with big bags continue on a 4 kilometers walk trough rain and mud because not being allowed to cross the border at this “humanitarian border crossing”. Night after night of endless amounts of crying babies inside cheap grey plastic IKEA tents. Not being able to play with the street dogs any more after Paris attacks closed the border area formally.
I wonder how is Ahmed, the little boy that cried and did not want to get of the train until I made a funny face and helped him on the platform. The terror in the eyes of a girl when the doors of the old dirty train opened in the dark night of the Serbian border. What happened to the Kurdish kid that lost all her papers and had to travel back to Greece to be identified. How would it be with the lady traveling alone with a baby and 3 children.
When they arrived one of them was pulling a bag 5 times her size. The bag was in pieces from kilometers of sledging over gravel. I helped them put their belongings in other bags, but they carried so much, the oldest kid was not even 7. They came from Aleppo. I would also rather pull heavy bags over gravel than spend my days in Aleppo.
I can go on for a while, so many stories, so many people.
I am grateful for other volunteers and compas who are so good in describing peoples stories along this “humanitarian corridor”.
Smells like doublethink: … humanitarian corridor.
Pictures of Syria haunt me. How foolish to blame Assad, US or Russia. How ridiculous is that finger pointing once you had a glimpse down the rabbit hole. How much do we know? And we must know, the root of this terror. Without attaching to it. Gazing past it, like a hunter watching its prey. And we must keep our compassion alive. Crying is very important in this border work. If you stop crying you must take a break, not to loose hearth. Because to be part of the solution to this humanity crisis is to become an expert of love. We must simply understand the truth and find that in love.
I am aware of the global machinery fueling this nightmare of never ending war. If there is a tree, there must have been a seed, soil, oxygen and water. Otherwise the tree could not have been. Who’s dream are we living now? When will we wake up?
November 2015. We start renting a volunteer house in the village by the border.
We are even searching for a bigger one.
We dream big.
Volunteers I met here became my teachers.
A girl from high up in the Alps taught me to … well … mind the border.
But with hearth.
A volunteer from Russia taught me to just drop everything and play with the children here. Some of these kids passing by are amazing. Like if the fact they left all behind and are on such an adventurous journey made them much more aware of everything. Angels both side of their shoulders.
An Italian volunteer, a dear friend who was kidnapped by gypsies, cleared the path for me to be here. I met Albanian heroes, true heroes and no one will ever know who or why. I have witnessed the force of Macedonian woman and that gives me hope.
January 10, 3:00h night .. refugee border transit center
Sitting with logo people and one police guy in their Ikea tent, drinking coffee. Blankets on the wall, Christmas decoration, teddy bear hanging from the ceiling… it starting to look more like home every day, 2 months ago this place was just some dirt alongside the railway.
What if we grow used to this river? What if we wake up one day and think it has always been like that. What if we will start to limit our border consciences around an implanted idea such as that people from the East have always traveled West and have always counted on handouts that where made in China. They have always passed the Balkan and Red cross has always given out tablets. What if this becomes a habit? Will anyone still remember to work the land? I should go to sleep, my mind is numb and the police officer sitting in-between logo-people started singing.
I will not speak about the spiritual aspects of the events here. Spirituality in crisis situations has the risk of evading the facts, because we simply have not enough experts around on this planet. It has a risk of serving as a way of not seeing what is in front of us and of seeking imaginary protection from man made institutions and man made illusions. Manomaya. Made by humans, can be dissolved by humans.
It could feed cowardliness under the veil of non violence.
I did however mention in this writings a few scientific facts that may help some of you, who are still reading.
Destruction must happen because everyone wants to be big, no one wants to be small.
January 12 twothousandandsixteen I am in Ruma train station somewhere near the border, the border that is always near. It is a beautiful train station, you can see the past glory it must have known, one of those places you dream away easily. I hope they will not streamline it to EU standards. Then again I guess no one cares about an outback like Ruma, not like the train stations at the borders who are all receiving an extreme makeover with EU funds, wire fences inclusive.
7 January 2016. Orthodox christmas and post packet in the small village post office waiting for me. They don ‘t have street names in this village but the postmaster knows I am expecting because I had been harassing him for some days. A good friend and surfer send me first quality coffee beans and medicine to drive the panema away during long night shifts and smokey wifi spots.
one time.. Another dear friend and singer artist just gave me hope he is working on a project to find musicians in the river that keeps passing trough the Balkan, and record songs from them.
Dear friends in Novi Sad gave me hope and made me go on with their simple gesture of knitting gloves, hats and scarfs for cold water drops in the river that flows along the humanitarian canal.
So many friends pushed me forward, they one after the other keep on showing that humanity has never died and human values never will.
January 13, 00:02h sitting in a nearly empty train hobbling trough Serbia. While taking a break from writing a project for support of people seeking refuge and volunteers working along the balkan route I walk up and down the train. I come to the last wagon. There are actually more wagons behind but the door is locked. I look trough the window. It is full there. Afghanistan people. They are hanging behind the nearly empty train, a few wagons. I cannot reach them, the door is locked, the door is a border. I go back to my comfortable space, check if I have my passport, and continue writing. I go back to the nearly empty wagon, check my identity status and continue writing. I can sit in a nearly empty train. Tonight I am allowed on this side of the border, but not on the other side, when we cross the border the train will leave it’s border behind the border, to be processed.
I value freedom a lot. And I know there is no freedom as long as the others are not free.
Godspeed, know that light is not the opposite of dark, and that in this world there are many worlds. Know that we will win, there is no doubt about that. With the growing of the moon things will get better and the dark days are soon over.
It is time to disappear into the mountains for a while.
It is time to speak to the