Category Archives: Cultural Analysis

The Corner Bar on Fanoe (Hjørnekroen)

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hjørnekroen jam collage

This is a photo collage made by my bonus daughter Maria, from the jam session at Hjørnekroen (The Corner bar) last night. (Maria is on the middle picture top line, whilst I am on the picture diagonally down to the right from Maria´s, sitting together with my darling soul brother Benjamin.

There is an open for all jam session first Friday of every month, and it is always such a wonderful happening. Some times I sing on stage there, other times I stick to just drumming on the table, or dancing… I feel very welcome there, I know all of them from lots of different contexts, the man with the violin bow there for example, is our friend who builds violins that I mentioned in the post “the first soccermatch”… I think I have written about the jam sessions before on the blog as well, was it in the post “Goodness Gracious”?

Anyways.
It is sweet to have a local bar to belong to. I had The four crosses when I lived in Menai Bridge on Anglesey, Wales, and I had Finnegan´s Irishpub in Bergen. Where you come in and know the bartenders and there is always a big chance that friends will drop by and suddenly you´re in the middle of a party of 20 people, getting merrier and merrier into the sunset and beyond, moving on to a place with a dance floor…

Well.
Here on tiny isle Fanoe we don´t have a dance floor. Or not a club anyways. There are parties in the 3 different village halls, but mainly with folk music (Fanoe has a proud folk tradition, as I have described in the Soenderho-titled posts)… I have to learn the folk dances. Coz most nights, these folk dances is the only dance one can do, all night… I miss the dance floors of Bergen, with reggae and latino rhythms to jump around to… and some proper trance and dub, like in the student union in Bangor when I lived in Wales. And the private outdoor trance events in the countryside outside Bergen…
I LOVE to dance. But rather free style than set steps. Though I do enjoy that too.

Here´s a little video I shot at the 30 years anniversary of Hjørnekroen (The Corner Bar), back in April i think it was. Such a truely great evening. All the ex bartenders from the past had been invited to come and pour some beers, and they came from all over the country! The bar was full of flower bouquets and other presents… And they rigged up a karaoke machine! I think I sang duettos on that thing for several hours that night!

Here´s that glimpse of the athmosphere…:

I feel so lucky to have Hjørnekroen in my life. It´s located just 100 metres from my house. I don´t go there a lot, just for the jam sessions once a month, and special occasions like the 30 years anniversary or a quick couple of beers on the way home from a festival gig or an ngo meeting. Some times I go there alone, and sit by a table and write for an hour, then go homw again. But that´s very rare these days, I don´t have time for it.

Community building. New ideas shared. New friendships made. Yes I do appreciate a good local.

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Confirmations and Nonfirmations

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konfirmander 20 maj 2011

This photo is of a group of “confirmants” from 2011. Just a random picture from the net to give you an idea. I don´t know how international this tradition is. Of confirmations. Which in Norway and Denmark is a ritual where every 13 yearold makes a choice about whether or not to be a member of the christian religion.
Confirming one´s christening from one´s babyhood. Saying yes, as an adult I choose to remain a baptized Christian.

The children, or…youngsters… go once a week for about half a year, to talks with the priest. And then in May there is a big ceremony, where they go in white cloaks into the church and receive a speech and a blessing. Afterwards there is a big, big party held for each of the confirmants, with his/her family. They all have a beautiful dress on or a suit, and they receive a lot of money gifts, and telephones and other expensive items. Many hold the party in a rented location with hired waitors. And there are speeches and home made songs about the young person.

In earlier times, the ritual symbolized that the youngster was no longer a child but expected to go out and get a job and be self sufficient, now an adult person. These days school lasts longer. So. But it still marks the transition between childhood and youth-hood, the teenage years, where there are new, different rights and duties and expectations.

I myself was christened as a baby, and I chose to be a confirmant because everybody else did it. That´s the main cause behind most decisions that age. “The others do it and so I must do it too so I am normal”.
🙂
I was actually quite opposed to the meetings at the priest´s. I tried to provoke him into talking about the birds and the bees, a topic that DID interest me. Not all that dull bible stuff that I already was being taught in school several hours every week.
He was a nice priest. I was just in the wrong place. I used to compensate by every Wednesday, on my way to the priest-meetings, going into different bookstores in the city centre, stealing pencils!! I never actually stole in my life, apart from during that period, on my way to the priest. Lots of expensive, nice pencils… My apologies to the bookstores I stole from.

Anyways.
I did not baptize my children. As I don´t think I should make that choice for them. For my first-born, I held a ritual privately, at a clubhouse where I was a board member. My family and closest friends came from my hometown to Bergen for it, and my Bergen network came and joined them, so that my daughter´s network was gathered.
My friend Shahroukh from Iran created a beautiful buffet of dishes from all over the world. A friend of mine held a speech about the concept of baptizing, from a perspective of zen. Hahaha…. how to imagine that. Well, he did. And I videotaped it.
I also held a speech to my child, that I had filmed myself reading out loud (I had stage fright back then).
We had a notebook, that the guests could write or draw something in, for my daughter.
And she received presents. She was 18 months old.

With the two younger ones, we have not held an alternative baptizing gathering. It has not felt like a need.

Now.
Yesterday we were guests at the confirmation of our really good friend. They held the party in a tent in their garden. 45 people around the table. Three courses delicious food. Many speeches and songs. And gifts like tickets to a show with his favourite stand up comedian (together with his parents, restaurant and hotel included), and from his adult sisters he received a trip with them to Hamburg, Germany…
It was a lovely celebration.

I asked my daughter, now 10, if she wants to be a confirmant in three years when it´s her turn to make that choice. She answered that no, she does not want to have a confirmation. As she wants to choose for herself what to believe in, when she feels ready to make such a choice.
I told her that I could understand her reasoning. But that maybe she will feel different in a year or two, and that it´s okay if she finds out she wants to follow christianity, she doesn´t have to make the choice quite yet. But she replied that she has felt this way since she was little, and she does not think it will change.

In which case we will hold a nonfirmation for her. Which is to hold a party and celebrate her growing from child to youth, just without the structure of the church framing the day.

In Norway we have something called the Human-Ethical Foundation. They organize a “civilian´s confirmation education package”, så that when your classmates to to visit the priest, you go meet other youngsters at the foundation, learning about humanism, ethics, responsibility, and other issues to do with growing into an adult of integrity.
No such thing here in Denmark! Quite shocking actually.

I think I will email Human-Ethical Foundation and ask if I may have some of their material they use for their confirmations of non christian youth in Norway. And then when my daughter´s classmates go to see the priest, I will make a kind of home schooling programme where we use that material (or other things I feel would be good) and sit down and have talks together. Maybe I can also take her to meet someone… a philosopher og artist that has some kind of independent outlook on life and death… we will see…

Some people say that they don´t get it; why would a child get the party of confirmation for choosing NOT to confirm their belief.
What I don´t get, though, is that a child should be forced to choose to manifest its membership in a religious system, in order to get the party and the money!! That would be like bribing them into choosing a faith!! The party and the money should NOT be the reason for choosing to belong to a religion. Should it?! How can one do that to a child? “Oh, so you don´t want to be a christian? Well then there will be no celebration of you, no tons of gifts and speeches and that stuff. That´s only for the Christian kids.”

So of course there will be a celebration of her coming of age. A rite de passage.
They have them in every culture on the planet, why does the church have monopoly on this in Denmark?!
It is the time when she will receive her monthly periods, it is a time for great changes in a human´s life.

And I most certainly find a lot of meaning and value in celebrating a child´s ability to do something else than the crowd does, and to take her choice of faith so seriously she says “I am not ready to commit to a religion, I want to find out for myself what my faith is, when I know it”.
That takes reflection, it takes insight into her inner truth and it takes courage to stand up and speak out. Bravo.

It is a matter of being conscious. making a conscious choice. In my view, at 13… why doesn´t the church wait until they are 16 or 18 before asking their members to make this big life choice of which faith to commit to? Are they worried that if the question came later, more of the youngsters would say no to be a confirmant?

The video below is a short presentation by one of the course holders in human-ethical confirmations. He speaks in Norwegian, subtitled but no English I´m afraid. He says that it is intersting to meet young people who make the active choice of not being a member of a religion, and they teach them analytical thinking, they talk about bullying, morals and ethics, the earth´s climate challenges etc.etc., hoping they will come out of it a littlebit wiser and more mature than before they entered the course. And then, after the course, they hold a public ceremony in a theatre or similar building, where there is a speech and each confirmant´s name is called out and they come forward and receive a diploma.
(The last picture in the video shows a happy Norwegian girl in her “bunad”, which is a Norwegian traditional folk costume, showing off her civilian´s confirmation diploma…)

I am sorry for my daughter that she will not be able to attend group meetings with others like her, in Human-ethical foundation. The feeling of community, of being part of a group of similar thinkers….
Well. I will see what I can do. She is still a Norwegian citizen, so maybe we can hold a civilian´s confirmation for her in Norway, who knows. I will research and together with her (and her father of course), plan her big day.

Freedom of religion.
Such a deep, personal question. Spirituality. What to hold on to, for hope and comfort.
It is such a serious question.
I am proud of my daughter for her conscious attitude towards the making of such a choice.

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Mutiny of the Soul

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Dear Reader

I just read this article through a link on Facebook.

http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/mutiny-of-the-soul/

There is a WordPress share button there, but I just keep getting the message “Error 404 – server not found”. If you know how to help me move passed this, please let me know in the comments underneath the post here.

I have copied the text straight into this post, from that article.
It really inspired me. It talks at depth about so many central issues, and tie them together.
Very elegantly. And it resonnates with my own inner sense of truth. On the whole I agree with him. There may be parts where I want to ask a question or add a couple of sentences. But apart from that, I share this writer´s perspective.

Charles Eisenstein.

I stop here, as the word count of this post is already quite high. I found I could not stop reading his article, though, it had me engaged and enthusiastic. Doesn´t happen often to me, when reading an article.

I hope you enjoy it too. Here you are:

Mutiny of the Soul

By Charles Eisenstein / realitysandwich.com

Depression, anxiety, and fatigue are an essential part of a process of metamorphosis that is unfolding on the planet today, and highly significant for the light they shed on the transition from an old world to a new.

When a growing fatigue or depression becomes serious, and we get a diagnosis of Epstein-Barr or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or hypothyroid or low serotonin, we typically feel relief and alarm. Alarm: something is wrong with me. Relief: at least I know I’m not imagining things; now that I have a diagnosis, I can be cured, and life can go back to normal. But of course, a cure for these conditions is elusive.

The notion of a cure starts with the question, “What has gone wrong?” But there is another, radically different way of seeing fatigue and depression that starts by asking, “What is the body, in its perfect wisdom, responding to?” When would it be the wisest choice for someone to be unable to summon the energy to fully participate in life?

The answer is staring us in the face. When our soul-body is saying No to life, through fatigue or depression, the first thing to ask is, “Is life as I am living it the right life for me right now?” When the soul-body is saying No to participation in the world, the first thing to ask is, “Does the world as it is presented me merit my full participation?”

What if there is something so fundamentally wrong with the world, the lives, and the way of being offered us, that withdrawal is the only sane response? Withdrawal, followed by a reentry into a world, a life, and a way of being wholly different from the one left behind?

The unspoken goal of modern life seems to be to live as long and as comfortably as possible, to minimize risk and to maximize security. We see this priority in the educational system, which tries to train us to be “competitive” so that we can “make a living”. We see it in the medical system, where the goal of prolonging life trumps any consideration of whether, sometimes, the time has come to die. We see it in our economic system, which assumes that all people are motivated by “rational self-interest”, defined in terms of money, associated with security and survival. (And have you ever thought about the phrase “the cost of living”?) We are supposed to be practical, not idealistic; we are supposed to put work before play. Ask someone why she stays in a job she hates, and as often as not the answer is, “For the health insurance.” In other words, we stay in jobs that leave us feeling dead in order to gain the assurance of staying alive. When we choose health insurance over passion, we are choosing survival over life.

On a deep level, which I call the soul level, we want none of that. We recognize that we are here on earth to enact a sacred purpose, and that most of the jobs on offer are beneath our dignity as human beings. But we might be too afraid to leave our jobs, our planned-out lives, our health insurance, or whatever other security and comfort we have received in exchange for our divine gifts. Deep down, we recognize this security and comfort as slaves’ wages, and we yearn to be free.

So, the soul rebels. Afraid to make the conscious choice to step away from a slave’s life, we make the choice unconsciously instead. We can no longer muster the energy to go through the motions. We enact this withdrawal from life through a variety of means. We might summon the Epstein-Barr virus into our bodies, or mononucleosis, or some other vector of chronic fatigue. We might shut down our thyroid or adrenal glands. We might shut down our production of serotonin in the brain. Other people take a different route, incinerating the excess life energy in the fires of addiction. Either way, we are in some way refusing to participate. We are shying away from ignoble complicity in a world gone wrong. We are refusing to contribute our divine gifts to the aggrandizement of that world.

That is why the conventional approach of fixing the problem so that we can return to normal life will not work. It might work temporarily, but the body will find other ways to resist. Raise serotonin levels with SSRIs, and the brain will prune some receptor sites, thinking in its wisdom, “Hey, I’m not supposed to feel good about the life I am living right now.” In the end, there is always suicide, a common endpoint of the pharmaceutical regimes that seek to make us happy with something inimical to our very purpose and being. You can only force yourself to abide in wrongness so long. When the soul’s rebellion is suppressed too long, it can explode outward in bloody revolution. Significantly, all of the school shootings in the last decade have involved people on anti-depression medication. All of them! For a jaw-dropping glimpse of the results of the pharmaceutical regime of control, scroll down this compilation of suicide/homicide cases involving SSRIs. I am not using “jaw-dropping” as a figure of speech. My jaw literally dropped open.

Back in the 1970s, dissidents in the Soviet Union were often hospitalized in mental institutions and given drugs similar to the ones used to treat depression today. The reasoning was that you had to be insane to be unhappy in the Socialist Workers’ Utopia. When the people treating depression receive status and prestige from the very system that their patients are unhappy with, they are unlikely to affirm the basic validity of the patient’s withdrawal from life. “The system has to be sound — after all, it validates my professional status — therefore the problem must be with you.”

Unfortunately, “holistic” approaches are no different, as long as they deny the wisdom of the body’s rebellion. When they do seem to work, usually that is because they coincide with some other shift. When someone goes out and gets help, or makes a radical switch of modalities, it works as a ritual communication to the unconscious mind of a genuine life change. Rituals have the power to make conscious decisions real to the unconscious. They can be part of taking back one’s power.

I have met countless people of great compassion and sensitivity, people who would describe themselves as “conscious” or “spiritual”, who have battled with CFS, depression, thyroid deficiency, and so on. These are people who have come to a transition point in their lives where they become physically incapable of living the old life in the old world. That is because, in fact, the world presented to us as normal and acceptable is anything but. It is a monstrosity. Ours is a planet in pain. If you need me to convince you of that, if you are unaware of the destruction of forests, oceans, wetlands, cultures, soil, health, beauty, dignity, and spirit that underlies the System we live in, then I have nothing to say to you. I only am speaking to you if you do believe that there is something deeply wrong with the way we are living on this planet.

A related syndrome comprises various “attention deficit” and anxiety “disorders” (forgive me, I cannot write down these words without the ironic quotation marks) which reflect an unconscious knowledge that something is wrong around here. Anxiety, like all emotions, has a proper function. Suppose you left a pot on the stove and you know you forgot something, you just can’t remember what. You cannot rest at ease. Something is bothering you, something is wrong. Subliminally you smell smoke. You obsess: did I leave the water running? Did I forget to pay the mortgage? The anxiety keeps you awake and alert; it doesn’t let you rest; it keeps your mind churning, worrying. This is good. This is what saves your life. Eventually you realize — the house is on fire! — and anxiety turns into panic, and action.

So if you suffer from anxiety, maybe you don’t have a “disorder” at all — maybe the house is on fire. Anxiety is simply the emotion corresponding to “Something is dangerously wrong and I don’t know what it is.” That is only a disorder if there is in fact nothing dangerously wrong. “Nothing is wrong, just you” is the message that any therapy gives when it tries to fix you. I disagree with that message. The problem is not with you. You have very good reason to be anxious. Anxiety keeps part of your attention away from your tasks of polishing the silverware as the house burns down, of playing the violin as the Titanic sinks. Unfortunately, the wrongness you are tapping into might be beyond the cognizance of the psychiatrists who treat you, who then conclude that the problem must be your brain.

Similarly, Attention Deficit Disorder, ADHD, and my favorite, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) are only disorders if we believe that the things presented for our attention are worth paying attention to. We cannot admit, without calling into question the whole edifice of our school system, that it may be completely healthy for a ten-year-old boy to not sit still for six hours in a classroom learning about long division and Vasco de Gama. Perhaps the current generation of children, that some call the Indigos, simply have a lower tolerance for school’s agenda of conformity, obedience, external motivation, right-and-wrong answers, the quantification of performance, rules and bells, report cards and grades and your permanent record. So we try to enforce their attention with stimulants, and subdue their heroic intuitive rebellion against the spirit-wrecking machine.

As I write about the “wrongness” against which we all rebel, I can hear some readers asking, “What about the metaphysical principle that it’s ‘all good’?” Just relax, I am told, nothing is wrong, all is part of the divine plan. You only perceive it as wrong because of your limited human perspective. All of this is only here for our own development. War: it gives people wonderful opportunities to make heroic choices and burn off bad karma. Life is wonderful, Charles, why do you have to make it wrong?

I am sorry, but usually such reasoning is just a sop to the conscience. If it is all good, then that is only because we perceive and experience it as terribly wrong. The perception of iniquity moves us to right it.

Nonetheless, it would be ignorant and fruitless to pass judgment upon those who do not see anything wrong, who, oblivious to the facts of destruction, think everything is basically fine. There is a natural awakening process, in which first we proceed full speed ahead participating in the world, believing in it, seeking to contribute to the Ascent of Humanity. Eventually, we encounter something that is undeniably wrong, perhaps a flagrant injustice or a serious health problem or a tragedy near at hand. Our first response is to think this is an isolated problem, remediable with some effort, within a system that is basically sound. But when we try to fix it, we discover deeper and deeper levels of wrongness. The rot spreads; we see that no injustice, no horror can stand in isolation. We see that the disappeared dissidents in South America, the child laborers in Pakistan, the clearcut forests of the Amazon, are all intimately linked together in a grotesque tapestry that includes every aspect of modern life. We realize that the problems are too big to fix. We are called to live in an entirely different way, starting with our most fundamental values and priorities.

All of us go through this process, repeatedly, in various realms of our lives; all parts of the process are right and necessary. The phase of full participation is a growth phase in which we develop gifts that will be applied very differently later. The phase of trying to fix, to endure, to soldier on with a life that isn’t working is a maturation phase that develops qualities of patience and determination and strength. The phase of discovering the all-encompassing nature of the problem is usually a phase of despair, but it need not be. Properly, it is a phase of rest, of stillness, of withdrawal, of preparation for a push. The push is a birth-push. Crises in our lives converge and propel us into a new life, a new being that we hardly imagine could exist, except that we’d heard rumors of it, echoes, and maybe even caught a glimpse of it here and there, been granted through grace a brief preview.

If you are in the midst of this process, you need not suffer if you cooperate with it. I can offer you two things. First is self-trust. Trust your own urge to withdraw even when a million messages are telling you, “The world is fine, what’s wrong with you? Get with the program.” Trust your innate belief that you are here on earth for something magnificent, even when a thousand disappointments have told you you are ordinary. Trust your idealism, buried in your eternal child’s heart, that says that a far more beautiful world than this is possible. Trust your impatience that says “good enough” is not good enough. Do not label your noble refusal to participate as laziness and do not medicalize it as an illness. Your heroic body has merely made a few sacrifices to serve your growth.

The second thing I can offer you is a map. The journey I have described is not always linear, and you may find yourself from time to time revisiting earlier territory. When you find the right life, when you find the right expression of your gifts, you will receive an unmistakable signal. You will feel excited and alive. Many people have preceded you on this journey, and many more will follow in times to come. Because the old world is falling apart, and the crises that initiate the journey are converging upon us. Soon many people will follow the paths we have pioneered. Each journey is unique, but all share the same basic dynamics I have described. When you have passed through it, and understood the necessity and rightness of each of its phases, you will be prepared to midwife others through it as well. Your condition, all the years of it, has prepared you for this. It has prepared you to ease the passage of those who will follow. Everything you have gone through, every bit of the despair, has been necessary to forge you into a healer and a guide. The need is great. The time is coming soon.

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Added Feb 9th by Films For Action · 78,621 views

PS

🙂

Wasn´t that just an amazing read?
It kind of answers my reflections from a couple of days ago, in the post Politics and Upliftedness.
I feel we were taken into the seriousness of things, but came out of the read feeling uplifted.

See you later!
Best wishes!
from
Lene Kaltwasser

DS

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An animation about what science says about empathy

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These animations about historical processes, fascinate me. Many of them on Youtube.
This one talks about empathy, what we know about it thanks to the fields of psychology and brain research. Empathy is to me one of the most interesting concepts of all.

I´m not completely sure I get the point they make about the African couple being parents to all of us. Making the bible story …scientific…?
It moves very fast, this video. I need to watch it again to grasp more of it.

It doesn´t have to be all true and correct, though, to be of value to me. There is a lot of great information packed here, that´s for sure. And I find it fun to watch and listen and follow the drawings.

The drive to belong. An empathic drive.
We show solidarity with our compassion.
Empathy is the opposite of Utopia. Because it´s based on the acknowledgement of mortality.

Many big sentences here. And mind teasing drawings, and chains of points, building a theory that is very interesting I reckon.

Like he says, is it really that hard to see us connect our empathy to a single race writ large in a single biosphere?
We need to broaden our sense of identity, to start thinking of humanity as one extended family.

I like this animation. I hope you do too.

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Politics and Upliftedness

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This short video shows inhabitants of the Danish island Aeroe, as they welcome the arriving 20 young Eritreans, who come from a children´s asylum centre to settle and make their homes on Aeroe.

This, to me, is how it should be. This is politeness, compassion and proper welcoming of new neighbours.

It is sad that it is moving and special to see.
The tv pictures lately, from the coast of Italy…
And the reactions of the obviously ice cold hearted European politicians…
We are many who are ashamed of this. Believe me. Many.
They do not represent us, our politicians, I feel. They should be arrested, not elected.
All they seem to care about is more money for themselves, taking from those who already have too little, and giving to the rich. What kind of ideology is this?
Consumerism? The “holy gold calf-ism” from the story in the bible?

snake with fish

This is to me a picture of politicians and bankers, telling us they are saving us from drowning. Fully conscious that we can’t breathe on shore…
…and that they intend to eat us. (My friend Miriam added, this picure was on my Facebook wall yesterday).

Another clear cut way of saying it, is this one:

monopoly lazy losers

I like these crystallized slogan type grains of truth, not saying it is the full truth and there is no other truth also valid. But. When i find these posters that ignite my … soul…? or heart or whatever… it gives me a jolt, like I recognize my own view in the words and images I see before me… I treasure that.
I also have several notebooks full of English and Norwegian phrases, that I used to write down when I encountered them on my path as a teenager.
Like “Don´t sell the skin until the bear is shot”…
“Every man should keep to sweeping his own doorstep” …
A lot of wisdom gathered in those old phrases. And in some of the facebook posters as well, I reckon.

inner peace from within

This one reminds me of the famous words said by Mahatma Gandhi:
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

I am very careful with how much tv news I watch. The melodrama, the extreme images… it disturbs me, it makes me…stressed… I will watch a documentary, or a debate.
I know there is a lot of suffering on our earth now. I get the news, filtered through friends and chosen newspapers on Facebook. I read the headline, and then I open the link if I feel I want to.

I reckon I don´t help increase world peace
by falling apart, or by filling myself with fear.
(I wrote more about this in my post Freedom of Expression)

A line from one of my video poems:
“There are plenty of people who tell of the wrongs, we need more of us singing out positive songs…”

I desperately want to help humanity rise above this crises we have gotten ourselves into.
At the same time, my perspective is that I have to accept what is. And that status quo has its reasons.

The end result for each of us, is known.
It is the only thing about life that we actually DO know.
Yet we pretend it doesn´t exist. Death. We hoard money as if we could take it with us into afterlife.
We allow a very tiny group of people to pollute our oceans, cut down our forests and steal from the poor, they do this so that their own bank accounts hold billions of dollars/pounds/kroner/yen…any currency.
Is this sensible? No. It is actually madness.
They rule! The law, the parties, the police, the huge corporations, the media.
They are very few, but still they get away with it. They have the steeringwheel, and they go in a direction that is sure to make us crash. This they know, and yet they just continue.

It is fascinating how they think they can just go on with their selfish behaviour, and never be stopped.
If we don´t stop them, this planet will go under. Or. No. Humanity will.
There will be no food and no air. Already there is a lack of drinking water. Yet they still in many countries allow fracking, that destroys the water supplies. (A French company is about to start fracking in Denmark now, God knows how they got permission to do that, totally against our nation´s wish)!

Madness.

usa tax

MADNESS !!!

Right. How do I now move us from inner despair to upliftedness?

My aim in this blog is to talk openly about what I feel about things, and leave the reader feeling uplifted. That is not an easy thing to aim for, when the issue is the state of the world today.
We started out good, with the asylum seekers being welcomed.

compassion necessity

Dalai Lama. Such a wise man. So much to learn from him. How I wish Tibet would have been left alone, respected as its own country. No, this is not helping the uplifting, is it…

Maybe I am being ridiculous for even thinking it is possible to enter political subjects like the ones we face today, and coming out of the read feeling uplifted…

rather ridiculous than boring

Yeah. I will much rather be ridiculous than boring. 🙂

I think I will try to finish this post with a song. Music always helps me get emotionally unstuck.

First, one that I always used in my twenties, when I was very angry about something or someone.
I remember once this man broke up with me, I had never loved anyone as much as I loved him. I turned this song up full blast on my stereo, and on repeat.
Then I took my samurai sword (I trained iaido, see the post Temple Zen la Gendronniere for more info on that), and I ran around in my apartment, jumping on the couch, slashing invisible enemies with my sword, really expressing my vivid anger to this very apt soundtrack. I got sweaty, so I threw off my t shirt and bra. I was frantic in a frenzie, totally focused on ridding myself of the pain inside of me…and suddenly!
There stood my neighbour in the middle of my front room.
That old, old man from two three floors upstairs from me.
We both froze.
He shouted “turn the music down”!
(I think, I couldn´t hear him but he waved his arm viciously and I interpreted it as having to do with the volume, hahaha…)
Then he ran out of my flat, as quickly as his very old legs could carry him.

Ooooops!

🙂

Here´s that tune. Very useful one.

Now you do what they told you.
Now you do what they taught you.

Why are we being so obedient to those crazy greedy compassionless antisocial politicians?!

Moving swiftly on, into a soundtrack to fill the now empty space where the anger has been cleared from:

Hahaha…. I never knew this one, I just searched for “peace and joy song”. Incredible what is out there.
But they are nice metaphors, used in this short tune, and as I sang along, I felt both sadness (for the future of our children here on earth) and I laughed, at the slight kitchiness of the palmtree still image with the moving waves…
Water is the perfect image for human emotions…
Emotions is energy in motion someone said… so is a river, an ocean and a fountain. Energy in motion.

The tune also reminds me of the gospel genre. The power of gospel. Made to uplift the hearts of slaves, inject hope and faith in a better future…. very powerful. Don´t underestimate the power of music.

Okay, one more before I go. A more serious feelgood song perhaps, for grownups… (although every grownup is just a big child, so I don´t see why a children´s song shouldn´t be of value to all of us).

This song always lifts me up. Both melody and lyrics. All those descriptions of direct sensual sensations, the feeling of feet in the water, the smiling faces in the car windows passing…
“Stick around, laugh a while”… Be in the now, present… drop the mind for a bit… take a break from the thoughts and worries… it pulls me back to earth, gives me grounding, makes me remember the joys of being alive…

(If you don´t know Eckhart Tolle, get to know him, he is the master of teaching how to live fully present moment by moment…)

My favourite line in that Hot House Flowers song, will be my exit and farewell to you. I hope you feel better now than you did further up in this text, where we went into the gloom of politicalities.
Here;

“And the black cat tells me that Luck is on its way”.

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Dane-land in the Usa; an immigrants´community

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Oh I simply HAVE to share this one with you as well. A very charming documentary indeed!
Don´t worry about the Danish voice-over in the start, the film is 95% in English.
(They should have subtitled the Danish voice into English, I reckon. But the film must be meant for a Danish audience, and they didn´t think any further. Which. They should have thought about, as they have loaded it up onto Youtube)!

Anyways.
This is a charming documentary about Danish emigrants who settled in the Usa.

A lot similar to stories I have heard from Norway.
I have a lot of family over in the Usa.
My grandfather John Andreas, was the only child of my great grandmother Lava, who stayed behind. He was the only child that his mother got to keep close. All his siblings left for the states.
It must have been so hard for her.
But they were so poor. And “over there” was opportunity, a chance for a good life.

So “America” has been a part of my growing up always. Some old aunties and uncles whome I never met, sent dollars to my grandparents from time to time. There were letters read out loud every christmas…
My cousin Roar, went to the states as an exchange student in his teens, and then he travelled all over that amazingly large country, visiting our relatives.

I would really like to do that too one day. Travel around and visit relatives in the Usa. Bring my kids. It´s too late for me, but maybe my kids would like to be exchange students when the time comes.
I would for sure encourage it.

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Usa vs Denmark; why Denmark has the happiest citizens in the world (acc.to a UN report)

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Very interesting comparative analysis, this, between social economical factors in Denmark and Usa, that might be the cause why Denmark is said to be the happiest country in the world (or maybe rather the country with the happiest citizens)… and Usa is not.

In the end, the man talks about “hooogah”. What he means is the Danish word “hygge”.
I have written a blogpost called Danish “hygge”, where I make my own reflections on why it is that Denmark ranks so high on the scale of happiness. (Which makes me a bit proud to say out loud, I must admit, it is a very vital scale to rank high on, isn´t it really).

In my post, I also refer extensively to a documentary I watched, made by a Brit, who visited Denmark to find out about this same question; Why is it Denmark that tops that statistic? So in my post “Danish “hygge””, you get a look at the issue through British and my Norwegian eyes.

I wish Denmark would start measuring its life quality in degree of happiness, like Burma does.

And I want to add that the report doesn´t mean that people who live in Denmark are in a better mood all the time, or smiling more than other people around the world, far from it in my experience…

I have not seen the survey that has led to the UN report. Maybe it is a measure more of the degree to which we feel safe here, taken care of by the state, and respected as equals. Big factors. Yes. Very.

But I think I also have read that Denmark scores pretty high on the scale when it comes to loneliness, people feeling lonely.
And Norway (Denmark´s sibling neighbour) tops the list of the most suicides in the world!
(Or at least it did a few years ago, I can´t guarantee it´s still like this, I hope it isn´t).
We say that it might be because of the cold and dark winters, we don´t get vitamin D enough, and we get isolated in our homes a lot… These to me are very central factors when we talk about whether we are a happy nation or not…

But okay. Let´s dig deeper into complexities another time.
For now, I just found this interesting video and it inspired me to comment.

Wish you, dear reader, “en hyggelig dag”,
which is Danish and means “a…hmmm…a day of social goodfeeling-ness” ?
Something like that.

🙂

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You speak English?

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Yesterday my two youngest were invited to visit two siblings that are friends of theirs from kindergarten. A twoyearold girl and her fiveyearold brother. And I came with them. SInce it was the first time, and my son isn´t used to visiting alone a lot yet.

It´s always nice to see someone´s home, it shows one of their skins. (As Hundertwasser calls it, see my post called Clothes for more info).
I also invited them back to ours in the weekend. They are lovely people whome I really would like to get to know. They come from Burma. I think the parents are in their twenties, maybe early thirties. They have been here quite a while, but they don´t speak much Danish, although they both go to school to learn the language. It´s just not that easy. First, Danish is actually a very hard language to learn. Second, there are many people in the class, she told me, and from many different countries. So it´s difficult for the teacher to reach each one on their level.
Third, they sail from the island 07.30 in the morning, sit at school for 5 hours, then sail home, pick up kids and groceries, cook, eat and sleep. They don´t get a lot of Danish language practice in a tight schedule like that, do they?

I have met them many times before, on the ferry and in the kindergarten, so I knew there was a language barrier. But I find that fascinating, not annoying or scary. How can we understand eachother when we lack words? It can easily become quite funny, in my experience.

It took me an hour or so to realize how much they did and did not understand. Then, at one point, I stopped thinking about words and started using my feelings instead.
What do I mean?

Well…when I lived in bigger towns in Norway, I used to know a lot of asylum seekers, refugees and foreign students. And I used to be good at a type of simplified English, that I guess maybe I learnt from the foreigners, or rather, we developed between us in the gap of missing words…
I used the simplified English when I lived in Bahrain as well. My then English boyfriend would tell the taxidriver where we wanted to go, and the driver would say “What? Where you want?” and then I wouild take over.

The clue is simply: Simplify!
What is the essence of what you want to be understood?
Cut down to nouns and verbs. Then add gesticulations.

For example “Elite residences numder 2. Al Jazeera avenue.” Then I also had learnt the Arabic words for left and right. And if I wanted to continue straight ahead for a while, I said “straight, straight”, whilst pointing forwards with my entire arm 3-4 times, so he knew it was quite a distance… So much can be said through tone of voice and body language.
If the driver dodn´t know the address, I named Pearl Roundabout, or an other landmark on the way to our appartment. (In the beginning, before we knew the way home, it took some time for the driver to discuss with other drivers where this Elite Recidences was. Interesting to sit back and wait, watch them discuss in Arabic. Never be in a rush! Hahaha…)

An example from yesterday (only in Danish words) is
“What time (pointing to watch)… kindergarten… (That´s a word they would know from everyday use)…you pick up kids? (pointing at her kids, then showing with my arm a gesture that could mean to bring back home)…

Not that I think this is hocus pocus or difficult artform in any way. The reason I choose to write about it, is because I so often see people that are afraid of speaking English when they meet a foreigner, because they feel they don´t master the language. This is because we have been given grades in school, and told we are not very good in English.

But communicating isn´t about grades or mastering perfect grammar. It is about making oneself understood. And understanding the other, being willing to listen and to guess, and to admit over and over, in the end with a smile, that “I`m sorry, I just don´t get what you mean!” Or maybe rather; “Me no understand, no…” with a troubled headshaking.

Success, in communication, is yours as soon as you dare to try! It is a lot of fun to improvize languages you don´t master. No one should go a lifetime without experience the joy of that. The laughing together about the hopelessness, and the enthusiasm, and the great relief when understanding is finally achieved, through great common effort…

I wrote a song about it once, and made a music video for it.
Here it is:

Mother Toungue

Lyrics:
If you can communicate
in a different tongue than your mother´s:
Be proud! Feel proud!
No matter what mistakes you make.
(Repeated)

´Coz it´s about communicating, getting together and celebrating this mystery called life, and none of us do remember why; Why are we here, and should we care about the reason for the changes of season…?

(Yes I wrote the text, did the filming and editing, and it is me singing. The visuals are from Hastings, UK, from a beautiful museum there, and from the home of my dear Servas friends Alan and Fiona Wright, he is a very talented stained glass artist).

It is fun to communicate. There is nothing to be embarressed about. That´s why, when our Servas guest from Taiwain a couple of weeks ago, went to my daughter´s class and held a lecture about Taiwan and travelling for them… One of the best things about it, was that her English was far from perfect. She added a German word here and there that she knew, and she laughed a lot, and the kids were all eager to help her explain what she meant, so they were all ears, guessing for words, and talking English back to her, forgetting their normal shyness about speaking English.
Wonderful.
(Read my two posts about Servas for more info about when lovely Yi Ping visited us on Fanoe).

English is a wonderful language. So many nuances, so lovely sounding in its melody and rhythm.
It is also grammarwise a simple language, and the one that people use to reach out internationally to eachother.

Just simplify English, add body language and eye contact and a sense of humour, and you´ve got yourself a real interesting and fun time talking to people from anywhere.
I love it.

I hope the Burmese family can come Saturday. And if they can´t, then we will find an other time. There is so much to learn from having friends from other countries. I look forward to getting to know all four individuals in their family, and to experience how the Danish language becomes easier and easier for us to use in our communication, as they get to practice using it, not just sitting still listening and writing things down in a notebook.

Language is first and foremost a practical tool between human beings, not a fancy theory
to master to perfection on paper.

This is funny. Seven minutes long, but pretty funny minutes.
I think you will enjoy them. 🙂

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SERVAS; A FriendMaking NGO

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Hello everybody! I am very happy to see that yesterday my blog was read by more people than ever before! Especially in Russia, Ukraina, France and Switzerland. Welcome to you new readers. Some of you have shared my site on a place called “Delicious”, and I think that´s why my blog has reached these great new heights. Thank you very much for sharing my blog around, I really appreciate it!

This post will be about Servas. It is an organization which was started in Denmark soon after the 2.world war. Its intention was to help increase world peace. Through the method of helping people find friends in other countries!
To become a Servas member, you must be interviewed by someone who is already a member. After that, you write a letter of information about yourself. Then your name and contact details go into a central archive. When you as a Servas member want to go travelling, you simply ask Servas to send you the list of Servas hosts in the country you want to visit. Then you receive by mail a book full of names and the people´s addresses and phone numbers, email addresses…plus a little info about what the hosts can offer, some say no pets, or max 2 people, or bring a sleepingbag, or they only want to be a dayhost, no overnight visitors.
The rule is that if a host would like overnight visitors, you bring the self presentation letter you wrote, including your photograph.
(Your interests, hobbies, your work and education, whether you have children, why you like to travel…stuff like that. As you choose it to be). You bring the letter, and then you just contact people and ask can I come stay two nights in your place on such and such a date? The rule is two nights only.

It is an incredible idea. My husband has travelled using Servas hosts in Italy, Turkey, Usa, SPain, Greece, U.K. … we tried to contact Servas hosts when we were in Thailand, but we could not get hold of them… But to get to visit a local home in a country you are visiting… you learn so much more about the place. You see cultural ways of private families. When else do you get to stay in people´s private homes like that?! And of course, the host is happy to show you around town or tell you where to go and what to see and how much you should NOT pay the taxi driver… 🙂

We actually have a Servas guest right now. She´s sitting in the kitchen drawing as I type away here in the front room. We have just been for a drive around the island, after she came with me to drop off the kids in the kindergarten this morning.
She comes from Taiwan, she´s in her late twenties, and works as a physio therapist with children. She has spent 6 months learning German in a language course for international people in Germany, and now she will travel around Europe for 6 months before she goes back to Taiwan. Her husband will come meet her for a couple of weeks in Italy in May. He is perfectly okay with her wanting to do this trip. He must be a lovely man.

And this woman is incredible! She arrived yesterday, and immediately she brought out a sketch book where she had made beautiful drawings showing facts from Taiwan´s history, demography and geography.
My tenyearold girl and her classmate were listening intently as she told them in English what the drawings were about. She is a true artist, these amazing drawings! And she has a natural gift for teaching as well. I told her so, and she laughed and said that it´s because she works with children who are sick in hospitals, asking them to to physical things that they don´t want to do. So she always has to find ways to entertain them and get them to co operate with her…
She loves to cook as well. Just like my eldest daughter, she too loves drawing and cooking… tonight she will teach us how to make a meal containing seaweed and mushrooms and glass noodles…. and tomorrow for breakfast the two of them also have a plan together, something involving sticky rice…

I have written to my daughter´s teacher, and told her we have this amazing, very interesting and skilled person visiting us, and if the teacher wants, our guest can come and visit my daughter´s class tomorrow morning before she travels on to a new Danish town… I hope the teacher says yes. Meeting a person like that is a gift for children and adults alike, we can learn so much from meeting people from other places, who are interested in talking about the differences and similarities in languages and cultural traditions.

I feel so inspired by meeting her. So many things I didn´t know about Taiwan! Like the fact that it has only been a separate state from China since 1949, and only since 1986 have they been allowed freedom of expression. So most Taiwanese people are still reluctant to discuss their political opinions openly.
In 1996 Taiwan got two different parties to vote for, until then there was only one party. It is, in other words, a very young democracy.
I´m used to thinking about my own homeland Norway as being a very young state, we reached independence in 1905…
The U.N. does not recognize Taiwan as a country, they see it as a part of China. The Taiwanese want to have a direct people´s vote and change their official name into Taiwan, but the China-friendly-party has changed the law so it´s now illegal to make direct people´s voting like they used to do…!

Taiwan has been occupied by China, Spain, Holland, Japan, China again… it is an island nation same size as Denmark, and it has four different kinds of coasts (rocky, sandy, coral reef and steep hill), and in the middle there´s a mountain 4000 metres high, which gets higher all the time due to earth quakes, the earth “flakes” pushing against eachother…(I don´t remember the correct geographical word for that, I trust you still know what I mean…) Taiwan lies on the middle of the equator, so they have tropical climate. Yet on the top of their mountain, there is snow!

We discuss anything from political censorship versus freedom of expression, to child raising to how everyday life is structured, we share stories we have heard from people in exile we have met on our way, like an Egyptian doctor she met in Germany, who is very sad about the Egyptian army having thrown his elected president into jail…
And “cross cultural identity” people, such as one woman she met in Germany who has Russian parents but is born in Latvia, she feels Latvian but because her parents speak Russian it is difficult for both them and her to get work…and she feels the Latvians critisize Russians a lot, which is upsetting when your parents are Russian… yet she can´t just move to Russia either, because she is born Latvian and she needs a visa…

We discuss how it seems many people believe that whole nations of people are not worth communicating with. There seems to be a somewhat strained neighbour relationship these days between Macedonia and Greece, but when they meet in exile in Germany they are good friends, they have so many cultural traditions in common… Cyprus, which is one small island, divided into a Greek and a Turkish part that just don´t get along…
Some Arabs will never talk to an Israeli person… which is understandable when one comes from a warzone like that with so much pain suffered for so many years. But still, the ordinary Israeli persons are not to blame for this, they too suffer from the conflict and don´t want it to be the way it is for the Palestinians…
We discuss how having a vacation is not a normal tradition in every country, life is primarily about working. And how it can be difficult to know how to connect with strangers and build friendships, when all your life you have spent all your time with colleagues and family members…
Normal people everywhere all have in common that they want to live in peace and feel happy. The rulers, though. Many of them seem to just want profits. At any cost. They go to war to get oil. Or to sell weapons. It should not be allowed. It should be illegalized!

My children adore her, our new Taiwanese friend. She sits down on the floor with them and tries to learn their Danish words. She´s also shown me the Taiwanese alphabet, both in sounds and in writing. Such a beautiful melody. Very fascinating!

She says it has surprised her that me and my husband are not strict with the kids, we allow toys everywhere and we don´t tell them what to do and what not to do all the time. I told her we are probably not representative of Danish families though. Most people have more rules and regulations than we do. But we do have our theories, we are conscious about why we bring them up the way we do.
I told her about the Danish family therapist Jesper Juul, who has written many books, one on them is called “Your competent child”. There he says that a child is born finished. It is a finished human being. You don´t need to make it into something. All you need to do is nurture it, water it like a plant and give it good fertilizer, nourishing soil to grow in. Treat your child like you treat a friend, with respect, show the child what it feels like to be respected. Show it trust and responsibility. Trust the child. Give it responsibility. And give lots of positive attention, lots of praise and encouragement. Whilst the negative behaviours you give no attention.

Of course I make sure my children are safe and don´t hurt themselves. That they get good food and brush their teeth. That their clothes are warm enough. And that they feel loved, given lots of hugs and kisses
I also focus on how they treat their siblings. That it is not allowed to kick or bite, and one says I´m sorry when one has hurt an other´s feelings. And when someone says no, or stop, it is to be respected, no question asked.
Apart from that, there is very little “no” from my mouth.
I may say “Try this one instead!” … giving them a better choice option…

Anyways. I guess that´s an other blog post issue for some other time.
I have to go to the kindergarten and pick them up now. They are there from 9am to 1pm. Because I stay at home, they can come home early.

People, you should all check out if there is a Servas host nearby, who can recommend you so you can become a member. It is a most brilliant wonderful way of travelling. And also it is such a gift to receive a Servas guest into your home.

Travelling in the physical reality or travelling inside my mind… the meeting with other people, realizing there are other ways than what I`m used to, other ways to think about religion, power, economy, family… it increases my consciousness, my self awareness, it shows me alternative solutions to life´s challenges. I love the feeling of understanding more than before.

“At rejse er at leve.” = “To live is to travel”,
said famous Danish fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen,
about a hundred years ago.

And with that quote, I will wrap up this blog writing and go back to the kitchen, where my Taiwanese Servas guest is now talking with my 3 year old son and taking his photograph.
Because he is wearing a green dinosaur jacket from H&M, which I gave him, and she has given her 3 yearold nephew back home an identical jacket, that she bought for him in Japan!

It is such a small world.
And we are so much alike, us human beings.
We all smile in the same language.

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Migrator Me

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I´m out in my hut behind the apple tree in the back garden. Sun is shining, sky is blue, the birds are apparently about to return from Africa and the other nice warm places they have spent the winter…(lucky featherbeings)…
And me, I have just said goodbye to one of the best best friends in my life. She´s just been here to visit me Thursdag ´till Sunday. Haven´t seen her since autumn 2013. We used to live together in the nineties in Bergen, work together, party together and grieve together… It is always heart shattering for me to part with her again after having had the gift of spending time together…

So I´m sitting here in my ListeningHut, and Marianne Faithfull is on my minidisc stereo, a mixtape of my favourite tracks which I used to listen to a lot when I lived in Bergen, the tape was made in… 1999? I think so.

I moved to Bergen, west coast of Norway, when I was 20, to go to university and study social sciences. I grew up in a fishing town 3 hours´ drive further down the west coast. I never felt at home in that town. People were either into drinking or the bible when we got to our teens. And I was into soccer and pianoplaying.
But in Bergen I felt at home. Living together with other students, sharing a house… wonderful years. 15 years all in all.
Although within that periode I also had a house in Wales for six years, as my main home base. And I lived a year in Bahrain, and a winter in Lysoysund, further north on the Norwegian coast. Spent some months in Stavanger as well, on the coast, south of where I grew up.
All this was because I met a Brit and fell in love with him in 1993.
He was a quality control man in the oil industry. So I would go and be with him where he was working. And we´d spend time at home together on Anglesey in Wales when he was between contracts.
But still, in between all the travelling and living in different places, I would go back to Bergen and pass another exam. I have finished every exam I have started to read for. I have a bachelor degree with two extra semesters added on. Because the subjects interested me, and it was financially possible to read on, on lower degree level. So I have a good width to my subjects of study.
I have not moved on to a Masterdegree. At least not yet. I can do one in either social anthropology or media science. But. Work is scarce in these fields, I will have to invent my own job so to speak, tell the potential employers what they can use me for… sell myself… which doesn´t feel tempting. Right now at least.

Also, the passing of exams is very hard work. And even more so when you have children. Not that easy to concentrate for hours or days on end, then.
Plus, I´m not as patient as I was, with the scientific code demands, the dry way of writing, building your thesis in an almost mathematically strict way for it to pass as valid science…
I deeply cherish what I learnt in University, it has a profound impact on my thinking and I would not want to be without that knowledge.
But now I am developing other sides to myself, the sides where my 6.sense gets to stand at the steering wheel… studying to be a vocal sound therapist… it makes me feel extremely happy and satisfied. I know for sure that I am doing exactly what is right for me, with this education. It is such a tremendous and liberating feeling.

Vocal sound therapy. And blogging. These two things lift my heart. Fill me with passion and joy. Finally I feel certain of a direction. Great relief, as all my life I have been sitting writing poems like this one:

Survival of a Misfit

What and how to do on earth, you´d think we would have known from birth! Searching for my occupation, giving love and exhaltation.
Reading, writing, song and dance, always been a true romance,
so I will just carry on enjoying them until I´m gone.

Endless Eneergy, please do show, me just where I have to go,
to make some money for my living, balance taking with the giving,
can´t see why I should be pooor financially for ever more!

Yes…
all my life I have been writing texts about that issue. Finding my purpose, my path, the certainty of how I can be of service to the light.
And now I feel it. It´s still fresh. It happened at my course in January. (It´s described in the post My SoundHealer Inauguration).

The Migrator Me.

I love to travel. I will tell you later about my year in Bahrain, and my years in Wales. I guess I´m an anthropologist at heart. Curious about people´s social ways and their…thoughts about the meaning of life…
In Bergen I had friends from many countries. International students. Growing up in Haugesund and Karmøy I was the leader of a local goup of Sos Racism. We held evening meetings with the asylum seeker women, for example, locking the door and drawing the curtains before they took their abayas off (veils), and the newborns where put to sleep on the pool table once they had been fed, and us girls cooked something tasty together in the kitchen, then afterwards they taught us their traditional dances, and sat telling dirty jokes!! I´m not kidding, these Arab ladies were great personalities, wonderful company, I was only 18-19 years of age but I did not feel looked down upon for being younger… I guess I will have to write about my Sos Racism work in a seperate post…

Yes I always felt attracted to people from other countries. My first boyfriend was from Kosovo, ex Jugoslavia. The men I have lived with have been from the U.K., Holland and now Denmark.

So I am a migrator. I felt at home in Bergen. And I feel at home here on Fanoe where I live now. I feel comfortable most places. Because I like exploring the unknown, and I am aware that home is where the heart is, which I feel free to interpret into meaning my heart is within myself. I am at home inside myself. Where ever I journey, I´m always at home.

Like a turtle. Or a snail. No. Not that slow moving. Haha… and I don´t need a shell, a shelter, house, to have my home with me where I go. My body is my temple, isn´t that what they say? My body is my house. My space ship.

So I feel safe in the unknown, trusting in trust like I blogged about the other day. (In Trust I Trust). And I feel curious, love to explore and learn, increase my understanding.

But what is the cost of being a migrator?
It is the saying good bye. To people dear. Living without regular contact with those I used to spend a lot of time with. Those who know me well, those who have stood by me in times of crises. Who have shared my happiest moments. Who have held me as I cried, and allowed me to hold them in their pain. The ones I have sat talking about life with through long nightly hours, sitting mirroring eachother, together gaining insight, finding out the best way to move forward in a situation in which one feels stuck…

I do miss my family in Norway. Especially the children. I grew up close to a lot of cousins and aunts and uncles…
My pillars in life from my childhood are mostly dead.
My grand dad whome I spent the days with instead of kindergarten until almost age 6, him and grandma lived upstairs from us, and I would be at home with him whilst my parents and grandma went to work… He died in 1995.
And my great grandma on my mother´s side. Died age 96 in 1999.

As a kid I used to go visit old people in my neighbourhood a lot. I adopted myself an extra pair of grandparents too. I didn´t connect very well with children. I preferred old people. With gentle smiles and plenty of time for listening conversations, teaching me to do cross word puzzles, and asking me if I wanted half an orange with a lump of brown sugar stuck into the middle of the sun coloured, juicy fruit…
They are all gone. As is my sweet darling motherinlaw.
And my wise, warm hearted father.

I still have lovely family members. Whome I love dearly. And they showed up 14 here to visit me last Summer and to celebrate my mom´s round birthday… how moving is that. It really touched me deeply. They rented two summerhouses and we just hung out for a week. Including my grandmother, in a wheelchair after her cancer treatment… I am so lucky to have them. It is truely a blessing to be born into a loving family. I probably owe them my ability to trust in trust. My openness, my feeling safe and at home inside myself. My curiousity and will to explore the unknown.

The cost of being a migrator.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. Which is a saying that pisses me off. How much absence is healthy?! I miss the people from Norway. My family and my friends. Because I have had two children with such little time between, I have not been able to go visit much. Some of my closest friends I have not seen since 2011!!

I think that one of the absolute worst destinies one can have, is to be a refugee. To be forced by war or famine to leave your homeland and your beloveds, your everything, behind, and run away to survive. End up somewhere alien, cold, not understanding the language, feeling they don´t understand you, feeling maybe they really don´t care about even getting to know you…
Trying to find your feet in a brand new culture where everything works differently to what you know. At the same time as you have traumatic recent experiences in your soul, and you worry about the people still left at home, you call them there is no answer, and you know that all you really want is to go back and you can not go there because you will go to jail and be tortured if you show your face there… … …

Can it even be imagined?
I have sat with asylum seekers, listening to their stories and their worries. One young man from Romania set fire to himself one day, outside the asylum centre. I was there. I was interviewed on the radio about it afterwards… he was hospitalized. Good looking young lad in a leather jacket. Alex. He recovered. And he was sent back to Romania. No mercy.

I do miss Norway´s mountains. The woods. And talking my mother tongue without having to think before forming my expression.
To come home to my mother´s for christmas and share that life long ritual of traditional christmas meals… Imagine if Norway was a country run by fascists and I had escaped and I could never return. To MY country!!

Refugee. A victim of other people´s cruelty. Even if the reason is famine, this is still because of people´s cruelty. Someone is not sharing. Our earth has got plenty of food for all of us. Seeing famine victims makes me ashamed to be a westerner. If we cared. They would not starve. It is as simple as that. We fail them. The richest people on the planet rule the economy. They are called leaders of the first world. Well. Empathywise the west is most certainly not the first. Every day we throw away thousands of tons of food. And millions of people on this same little planet, die of starvation.
Where is the solidarity within the human nation.

?

The Migrator Me.
Has just waved goodbye yet again to my soul sister friend from Bergen.
Friday we sat in the local bar here, listening to a jam session, whilst eating sushi that we picked up from the tiny sushi place down the street here…
It was a fantastic night out. Next time I go to that bar, it will hold the memory of our time together there. The memory. Past tense. While I can only look forward to next time I´m in her presence.
Now by now. One here at the time. Such is the rhythm of the dance of life.

I have friends on Fanoe too. I have a couple of people I can talk openly with, about the challenges of everyday life. Thank goodness. I really need to have close friends to be heart to heart with. Of course I have my husband. But I need friends too. Who can see things from different angles.

I love being a migrator. Love that I have been allowed to live in Wales and in Lysoysund and in Bahrain. And that I have several places where I feel I come home when I go there.
And I love the fact that the place where I now live, I feel better than ever before. This little island of Fanoe is very both exciting and soothing to me, on many different levels. (I have written about it in other posts, especially in The Incredibles on Fanoe).

More than anything, I am sincerely extremely grateful for not being a refugee. A forced migrator, not able to return to one´s land and beloveds.
Yes the cost of my migrating is to miss people and places that I love. But I can go visit. Even move back there if I want to.
That is a freedom of movement which I don´t want to see taken away from me.

Well. Now this migrator feels to leave this pc in this little hut behind and migrate into the sunshine outside, joining the migrating birds and tell them I´m so happy to see them again. Soon I will hang my hammock up again. And lie listen to their chirps and joyful sounding tunes.
Spring is such a hopeful time.
I wish my brothers and sisters luck with their springtimes around our globe.
May Peace and Freedom be given to each one of us soon.

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