i am what i am (1986/1995)
is a document of my unity with my life-space. in fact, it shows that we cannot separate 'me' and my life-space. i use 'life-space' instead of 'environment' because 'life-space' shows connection, unity, identity. 'environment' is a general word. it signifies that what is around us. it can be everywhere. life-space is here, where i am. environment is around man, it is men-centralised life-space gives togetherness. men and environment are separated. life-space signifies the space where we live in, live with, live from its space we move in, are in, where we eat, from what we eat, wherein i breath, from what i breath, from what i drink. it's there where my excrements return. it's the space of my cyclic participation. here i do plant my mais, here i buy eggs, here i do collect nettles, elder berries, hawthorn, which i need for the continuation of my life. by them i do live, with them i live, from them i have life. what i take in me is what i am. my life-space is also my identity: "i am what i am".
the text contains the names of all the plants i remember to have taken in any way. most of the names are in german because i do live in a space in germany. the names of the plants which contributed much, the most, to my being conscious of this stand at the beginning: cannabis indica, psilocybe spec., papaver somniferum, peganum harmala, withania somnifera, atropa belladonna, hyoscyamus spec., datura spec., lophophora williamsii. they are the holy herbs of peoples and civilisations, more spiritual connected to their life-space as our bourgeois-industrialised barbarity can be, where these plants are put down, as everything, to consumption level. for their message our body has special receptors. now, these receptors are degenerating and so the message of unity will be lost.
eschenau, aug. 3, 1986
source: herman de vries, 'i am what i am', written in 1986 and published in herman de vries. to be : texte - textarbeiten - textbilder (Stuttgart 1995) 142-145.