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Who I am. And why me?

 Now this is the hardest part. I'd love to tell you about me. Thing is, I'm a little sheepish. But okay....->

How it started...

At five, I didn't care who I was, as long as there was a buttered toast in my hand and a dog or pony not too far away.
At nineteen, I was cocksure of myself and certain to find the ultimate unified theory of the world at any given second now, just around the corner. Let me only finish my Nutella roll first.
At twentysix, I began to feel some doubts about myself and my superpowers. Why doesn't the cool shorthaired girl I met at the bar show any interest at all in me, even though I invested a fortune in this new and really really cool hooded sweater just the other day?
At thirtyfive, as a (really very) single mom, I couldn't afford feeling anything about myself at all.

How it's going...

Now, in my forties, I begin to find things funny, and what a hilarious view of myself in the mirror every morning. My superpowers rest in my cups of TGFOP Assam Tea with milk every morning, in my iPhone cameralens bottles and in the pots, bottles and tubes hidden in my bathroom cabinet - if only I weren't too lazy to use these regularly.

And that's supposed to mean what?

So here I am. I draw, I paint, I write (for a living as well), I get funny ideas in my head, I mint, I read, I go for runs, I walk the dog, I try to get by. And I gave up hoping to make sense of what happens around me and around the globe. Which would have been quite a long way to go anyway. Join me for a cup of really good TGFOP Assam tea? I'm your typical introvert in the disguise of an easy going extrovert.

But wait, there are still important things I'd like to tell you. For example, when I was a kid, I was able to throw any berry really high up in the air and catch it with my mouth. I mean, every time, and really really high. In my grandmother's garden in summer. There were loads of berries of all kinds in the garden, redcurrant, blackcurrant, gooseberry, raspberry. The summers were endless, the  afternoons were endless too, and there was nothing else to do at all. So all I did was throwing berries up and catching them with my mouth for hours. Sadly, no one took any notice of what I was able to do after weeks and weeks and years of practice.

The wind in the poplar tree

Or another thing: I liked to climb up trees. Once I was really high up in a narrow and tall poplar tree on a windy day. I thought it could break from my weight and the wind, but I wasn't afraid. Then I saw my father walk by on his way home from work and called out to him. He turned around several times and couldn't make out where my voice was coming from and got really mad. First with himself and then with me when he realized where I was and that I was in a dangerous situation. 

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And what else is there to say?

Well, not too much. Except I once got cornered by a wagonful of men on an overcrowded commuter train in Tamil Nadu, India. I was travelling on my own. I thought I was going to get raped and murdered until a uniformed police officer miraculously showed up and told me to sit beside him. And after another while, he put his hand on my knee and began to make smacking noises with his mouth.

Longing for - loads of things

One thing that has always been in me: I want things. I mean, not things as in physical consumer goods. I'm talking about things as in what I want to achive, who I want to get to know, what art I want to master, what skill I want to acquire. Sometimes I want things so much it hurts inside. Know that chestburster scene in Aliens when she gives birth to a baby alien? That's how it feels.

It's a.... oh but sorry, there must have been a mistake

And something else maybe. I was born a biological girl. Still, I was convinced from my earliest days that that was no more than a mistake. Some fine morning I'd wake up a physical boy to match my interior. Still waiting though.

Oh, hi there!

I see faces in everything. In pebbles on the ground, in marks or stains on fruit, in the way jam is accidentally spread on toast, in tree bark. Just recently, I read that that's what babies do as well as a means of bonding and securing their survival.

When the chair talked to my legs

I never was a genius at sports. I'm doing okay, but I was never really at anything. One day when I was a teen, I was in the garden, jumping and playing around. My eyes caught the garden chair, a solid and quite large wooden structure in the style of an Adirondack chair.  The same second, I decided to take a short run-up and jump right over it. That's what I did, and I just flew over the thing as if that's just what I have been born for. Next thing I knew, I stood in awe on the lawn on the other side of the chair, looking back and having no idea how that could ever have happened. When I see the old big chair these days, much too high and wide for me ever to think about jumping over it ever again, I always wondered where this moment of certainty, clarity and ability came from. And where it went afterwards.

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That one time I was too excited about meeting Martin Parr

I know I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I just can't get over that one time I met famous British photographer Martin Parr in 2014. He was supposed to take photos at an event I was responsible for as a spokesperson of the company. I was wondering who the man with the professional camera was who was just getting his accreditation at the entrance. I didn't know the guy, and all registered journalists and press photographers were alreads inside, but the assistants at the door obviously knew what they were doing.

And it was him...

When I walked over, I recognized Martin Paar's face, but I didn't quite trust myself in this. I had looked in awe at his photographs many times, I have seen them in exhibitions, I possess several books with his name on the cover, but I wanted two or three more. I couldn't make sense of the situaition though, why should a famous photographer be present and take photos at this relatively large but private event for invited guests only? I walked up to him and asked him if it could really be him He didn't seem too amused, but he nodded. My blood shot into my head, my heart raced, and suddenly I was really very excited. While he looked down on me not saying one word, not smiling, not showing any reaction at all (except maybe a little stiff upper lip), I stammered "Oh how incredible to meet you here.... I love and admire your work so much.... I have known you for many years now.... I love your photos and it's just such a surprise... and you know, I even have a couple of your books in my Amazon shopping cart....!"

So I had just killed myself

Well, and of course I knew that this last sentence ended the situation. He nodded semi politely and turned around. I could have bitten off my tongue for telling such bullsh***.
The books aren't in my Amazon shopping cart any longer, but on my table, just to show him I do not bear grudges. And afterwards I learned why he was present at the event. I should consider myself lucky he didn't find a way to turn my stupid words into a picture.

A great moment turned rotten

I was walking through the park a couple of years ago. It was a perfect spring day, one of the first of the year, which always seem to be a bit even more perfect than the others. A mild and warm sun was shining and the trees had just turned into a bright young green. The birds sang a lazy late afternoon song. As I was walking down the path, an old man came my way. It was obvious that he had some kind of grave physical impairment. He walked with a very peculiar limp that affected his whole body movement. And I saw that he was wearing a contraption, a cord that came out of his nose and went into some kind of container he wore on his back. He radiated happiness, he was great, he thoroughly enjoyed the moment, diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt. He was beaming at the blue sky and the foliage above us. I thought maybe he is grateful for an unexpected moment of good life he had stolen from some terrible disease. I smiled at him even though he didn't look my way, happy for him. Behind him, two young and pretty girls came up. They kind of danced on the path, they looked happy and at ease, well dressed and made up for the afternoon outdoors. Oh what a moment, what a day, I thought. Keep this forever. As I came closer I realized one of the girls was mimicking the old man's walk, and they were both giggling at him from his back. Their laugh was a contemptous and unkind one. Just that moment, the man passed my by, he nodded at me and motioned his exacting body in a way to say wasn't it a georgeous day, a georgeous moment in life for all of us...?

Thanks for reading all this. I'd like to hear your opinion.


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