This photo starts the meditation on what I call my “space ship journey” in the mythology of my own life. My wife and I moved to Taiwan in January 2021, in the high times of Covid. Taiwan was a paragon of dealing with the crisis, its strict Zero Covid policy meant there was no pandemic on the island. It also meant we had to stay 15 days in quarantine, single quarantine with two separate rooms, that is.
The two weeks were a very weird and special time. I have never spent two weeks on my own in a single room (plus bathroom), especially not after uprooting my old life, moving to a different continent, and in the middle of a pandemic. At the same time, there is hardly a period in my life I was as conscious about… time. In advance, I had been very deliberate in planning what to do in order to not get insane. Once there, I of course counted the days and hours. Daily check-ins with the health administration and rigid eating times strengthened this impression. But I also consciously tried to “make something of that time.”
Mostly, though, it was the strange way my mind interacted with the room that made the time special. How the threads of my thoughts filled every inch and corner of the room, how they started to root and blossom. I still remember it as a very mindful time in a good sense, with weird entanglements, and I sometimes wish I could uphold some of the practices from that time in the rush of my everyday life.
All this makes this image a good place to start. It captures the tension between outer stillness and inner mind storms. And through its cinematic edit it fits my memory of this week as something slightly otherworldly.
(Some housekeeping: I took a lot of images and thought about doubling my frequency to two images a day to make it through in the single week that has set the rhythm during my last months. But no! This will be A Real Piece Of Art as we go through this in “real time!” Let’s see whether the boredom or intensity of the original two weeks will have the upper hand in the end. I hope you stay with me!)