art by Marije Berting

The last six months feel like a kind of cauldron in which we’ve been boiling. All of us, undergoing some alchemical process. How much say do we have in what is bubbling into being?

When playing around on an instrument and a rhythm or a phrase shows up, and you’re trying to tune in to the feeling of the time and the whispers of what’s coming – sometimes a pattern is suddenly there, as if it had been all along. And the pattern soothes some grooves in your mind that a moment ago you hadn’t known were there.

We’re live streaming the raw live scripting process of new songs because we’ve been feeling this alchemy thing – well, that it’s real – and we’re a bit in awe of the beautiful brightness of the hearts of the souls we’re connected to right now, in this wildly hyper (dis?) connected time.

Paulo Coelho writes:

“There’s a motto in Alchemy: “Concentrate and dissolve.”

As you may know alchemists would, through laboratory studies, try to distill the mercury from the sulfur and then refine the mercury until it converted into gold.
This quest would lead them to the Philosopher Stone (which was the solid component) and the Elixir of Long Life (not the Elixir of Immortality – because the longer you live, the chances of an accident increases).

Through this routine, alchemists are also training their patience and thus transforming their perception of the world.

They respect the main teaching of the I Ching: ‘To persevere is favourable.’
Perseverance is not the same thing as insistence. There are times when battles go on longer than necessary, draining everybody of strength and enthusiasm.
A prolonged war finally destroys the victors too.
We must know when to insist, and when to withdraws our forces from the battlefield.
Solve (dissolve) means: time to rest
Coagula (concentrate) means: time to act

The two worst strategic mistakes are: acting prematurely and letting an opportunity slip.”

I missed out on learning strategy, or maybe I was daydreaming during those lessons. Perhaps there’s a chance that the elixer’s recipe doesn’t have to be quite that precise?

I know, the probabilities are low.

But new patterns are bubbling into being. Our perceptions of the world are or soon will be transforming. Remember the times when we would walk each other home? Do you long for them again? With the music streaming on the waves tonight can we at least pretend?

Let’s walk each other home.