2019 was the year when I took time out to brood on my next steps. What do I really treasure, where would I like to be a few years from now, not just professionally, but also as a mother and a human being? In March I went traveling on my own, the way I used to do quite often before I had children. I wanted to submerge myself in unknown landscapes and cultures. This time I chose the desert landscape of Jordan, since time immemorial the domain of the Bedouins. Perhaps literally a journey into emptiness, to find new inspiration.
It was a magical landscape, with huge, centuries-old rock formations in different shades of red and orange, against an infinite blue sky. Day after day I walked across stretches of sand, to the calm rhythm of the camel, taking it all in. A few hours into the first day, I was overcome by the feeling of bliss you can have when everything suddenly seems to come together: nature, peace, wonderful weather and I myself, walking there. How beautiful, how wonderful to be alive!
This feeling quickly turned to dismay when we looked for a place to sleep at the end of the day, a sheltered place where the sun would wake us in the morning. Every rocky nook we entered was full of plastic waste. Every day we would fill numerous dustbin bags, a necessary ritual before we could set up camp. Mankind’s doing. I tried hard to focus on the landscape surrounding me, which was overwhelmingly present, and yet human nature kept disturbing my thoughts. Where did we go wrong? Could we find a way of living up to the simple nomadic saying ‘you can never take more than you give’? What can I myself do and what do I want to do?
My quiet time and my travels made me look for a new tone, a new language. I realised that I wanted to take a stand, and, strangely enough, it made me sing more softly, use fewer words, and do less. My new album and theatre production are about transforming yourself, about trusting inactivity: allowing for silence, letting go of language and meaning, losing your sense of time, daring not to know. Through my music and performance I engage in a public exploration that I share with my audience and co-creators, and through podcasts and interviews with experts in the field of science and philosophy. I hope you will join me in this undertaking. Ideally, it will make room for the question: who do we want to be as human beings?