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, and the whole of EDEN is now also being relayed in full to Medium.
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? From there it goes off on deliberately wide and frivolously unruly tangents, meandering through observations, self-contained short stories and philosophical ponderings to finally arrive at something resembling a 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 less polite 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 isn’t 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, with about two or three posts a month, in random order. 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 saw the launch of the EDEN miniatures series – twelve texts from EDEN, published as small, compact paperbacks (and their ebook equivalents) that together will eventually form the EDEN by FREI collection.
EDEN by FREI was completed July 2018 and starting 1st August 2018 is being reposted in its entirety, this time in sequence and a slightly sportier pace of about two or three posts a week: slow enough to be able to keep up, fast enough to not lose the thread. You can follow it here by choosing one of the subscribe options in the left hand panel (on a laptop) or from the menu (on a mobile device).