In the Woods

Paradoxically, Skullface still feels secretly embarrassed
About the source of her passion for the forest
Yet she usually stands proudly for who she was
And what she’s done, even as radical as
Having a ferocious face tattoo at sixteen
When she was hanging with this Norwegian Black Metal gang
(After all, most people would have had it removed later
However painful, expensive or approximate the process)
She always claims that one can evolve and mature
Without having to deny their past
Also that the choices she made as a teenager
Are as valid as those of her adulthood
On top of that, she didn’t drift in some underground life
But just steadily aimed at and reached what she wanted
Studied, got jobs, relationships, family meetings
Though it was never smooth or easy of course
And she often had to travel on side roads
But that was good in the end
Yes, that was good
But somehow she wishes her attachment to the forest
Was more genuine
Rooted in her childhood or family history
But her parents were Viennese bourgeois hippies
Who went wild and joined the Friedrichshof Commune
Before turning into bankers together with some of their fellows
So she had an adventurous childhood for sure
Witnessing and sharing the intensely psychotic Commune life
She always took everything there for granted
As children do
And she is not so critical of what went askew
Because outside she found many other kinds of psychosis
But she thinks of it as a human jungle
Always saturated with rules, affects, desires, frustrations
With no room for contemplation
When she runs to Norway she has no clear agenda
But she needs space
She needs to expand
Even in some gloomy basement in Oslo
With a bunch of wannabe Satanists or inarticulate Pagans
Oscillating between apathy and bursts of hateful rhetoric
It’s easier for her to breathe
Then the gang runs to the boreal woods
Seeking for the true soul of whatever is there
While fleeing the Oslo police investigating church arsonists
And as the others’ enthusiasm fades away after a few days
Because of cold, boredom, discomfort and no more booze
She is still amazed at the quiet beauty
And slow tautness of late winter
When wildlife is not back yet but ineluctable
She doesn’t have words yet to put on things like this
But those rough and gawky of the metal kids
The few that stay with her then are a certain kind
Not as helpless or pusillanimous as the others
They somehow mean to live in the woods for good
Either to regain the ancient pride of their Viking ancestors
Or survive the collapse of Judeo-Christian capitalism
Or just having a life on which they would have
A minimum of control
It lasts a few weeks, until they really run out of money
Then head back to Oslo, then life happens
Skullface has to learn to live in the world with her face tattoo
Goes back to Austria, reconnects with her parents in Las Canarias
Where the core of the Commune relocated
And where suddenly there is an apartment just for her
Now she usually has a lot of room for herself
Since people tend to avoid her
And has plenty of time to explore alone
The beautiful but tamed pine or eucalyptus forests of Tenerife
Or the wild laurel forest in La Gomera (that she enjoys more)
But above all
She is now carrying her own forest with her
In which she learns to survive.