EDEN is the first project by FREI. (There are further ones in the pipeline, which I’ll start talking about when the time is ripe.)

I’m calling this a ‘concept narrative‘, because it may or may not be/become/befit any of a number of things, such as an experiment in publishing, a blueprint for a performance piece, a crossover creation, or something I haven’t yet thought of. So I’ve started it as a blog with attendant, dedicated pages on Facebook, Ello, and Minds, and there’s also a Twitter feed, of course: @by_FREI.

EDEN sets out from the simple, oft-posed, question: what do you say or do if, halfway through your life, you happen to bump into your younger self? It then goes off on wildly tangential meanders of observation and ponderages on meaning before reaching any sort of conclusion. (Though it does reach some sort of conclusion…)

And because it’s by nature a mash-up of invented autobiography and experienced imagination, I’ve decided to do this as FREI – frei in Swiss and German means ‘free’ and it’s also a serviceably apt acronym in English: Forget Rules: Explore & Invent. (There’s a somewhat less subtle way of putting it, but overall, EDEN has turned out to be quite a sensitive, multi-layered, often subtle undertaking, so I’m now thinking: why be crude when it’s not absolutely necessary.) It’s also my actual, official and original name: so now you could call it a metanym.

Perhaps, then, what EDEN by FREI is about is connecting with what was at the core at the beginning: a sense of adventure, of setting out to forge an identity with nothing to lose and no fear, an openness to discover through doing, through travel, through encounter; the unashamed, frivolous wonder of living and finding a way of losing yourself in our shared existence through simply creating.

First of August 2015 was the thirtieth anniversary of my arrival in London – that seemed as good as any a date to start EDEN. Since then, The Snowflake Collector has been published in hardback as a ‘poetic picture story book for grown-ups’, beautifully illustrated by Diego Cassia; and Spring 2018 sees the launch of EDEN miniatures – a series of texts from EDEN, published as small, compact and self-contained paperbacks that together will eventually form a complete collection.

Meanwhile, EDEN by FREI is still ‘live’ and will run till it’s done.


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