Category Archives: Reflections on Family

About NearDeath,by Ben Breedlove

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G´morning!

Woke up 7.30 today, totally rested after 11 hours of deep sleep. (Okay, I was awake 0130-0330, coz I went to bed so early, 8.30 pm. So it´s 9 hours of sleep really).

But yeah. I love to wake up and feel finished with resting.

Went downstairs with my 5-yearold, made us tea, and he wanted as always to watch kids´tv, so. Then I enjoyed two cups of coffee and a roam around Facebook and Youtube. Sweet passtime activity.

And then I discovered Ben Breedlove. Never heard of him before, this Texas teen. He´s moved me to the core and I´ve shared his story on my Facebook wall today.

Do you know of him? 12 million people have watched his youtube videos, that he made a few days before he died. (He already had a youtube tv channel apparently, and a good following. But it went viral only after he died, as I read it).

Don´t worry about watching these, they are very uplifting. Moving. And joyful, is a word I will choose. Hear him (or watch his smiling face as he holds up written sentences), tell us about his near death experiences….

He was born with a heart disease. And cheated death age 4 and age 17…? I think it must be….

 

Here is a  news story about the phenomenon of young Breedlove.
They say in the end that after this farewell video, a whole wave of youtube videos were made, same style as his final one there, with text cards…

Here you are:

I have, since my own teens, read a lot about near death experiences, research made by pioneer Elizabeth Kübler-Ross and Raymond Moody, especially. And lots of books about reincarnation, people remembering events and places from previous lifetimes, and this shows agin and again  to be provable…

So.
This story is just one of many, many similar ones. But it is recent, and video is a unique, great communication tool, for giving insight and instant emotional understanding.

Watched 12 million times. Reported in 2013. Is like. Wow ? For the lack of more articulate expression…!

Right. Just watched now his sister Ally´s speech at his funeral. It is one of the best funeral speeches I have heard. Positive. In the middle of her grieving.
She´s also written a book about her brother, after he died.

Their family is obviously of Christian faith. I love the words of Jesus and what he stood for. Equality, peace and love. I´m not a christian. Or maybe I am. As well as a taoist and a zen buddhist. But it doesn´t matter to me, what language we use. Love is Love. All is One, Love. To me.

I end this with a video from his advice channel… so cute… !! And funny…

I will definately check out more from  mr. Ben Breedlove. Wise for his age, his thinking of high ethical standard. I even want his haircut now!
Hahaha…. Why not. I´m considering cutting it short anyways. His haircut is ace.

Or was.

Probably it´s even better these days, on the other side, grooving in a suit with his favourite rap star Kid Cudi….

I salute you, Ben. Your gift to the world is truely wonderful. Giving a lot of peace and hope for all of us, who without exeption will follow, when our time comes.

Namaste.

<3

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The African Me

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Hiya.

Lis´nin´to Mattafix. Fantastic album from… 2005? Great lyrics, dub rhythms, great melodies…

And I just realized, about four minutes ago, that I so miss my African friends!
I read a status update on the facial… 🙂 … My Namibian mate Jade wrote something about political resistance on the streets that he was part of as a student  in South Africa years ago. How, although he holds university degrees, he disagrees, with the system of bowing down to a head master or other authority that he sees as part of a system of surpression…

It made me remember how he and I used to sit together, and Sherif from Gambia, Baboucarr (also Gambia), the good Richard Asiimwe from Uganda… Eliman from Ghana… I had quite a few African brothers when I lived in Bergen. Some were lovers, for sure, but certainly not all of them.

Jade and I were not. He had a girlfriend. At least one. Haha… But he and I were “just” mates. Hanging out in my bedsit, passing pipes, watching a vhs tape I had, of a brilliant reggae concert, talking about southern Africa contra Bergen/Europe, we were both writers, and into philosophy (he studied philosophy in Bergen Uni)… we drank beer and went dancing into the early hours, and he would crash on a mattress on my floor… (We went to parties at his friends´ places as well, and hung out with Leela and Indian Namito… dancing a LOT)!

Big heart and a very wise mind, my Jade. I miss him a lot.
We´d both worked in radio stations as well. Activists in political ngos. Many things in common. And many thoughts to exchange, and so much laughter to share…!

That´s one of the main things I miss about hanging with my African friends, actually. The way they laugh. The total surrender into laughter, slapping one´s thighs and laughing with full power, throwing one´s head back……

There are parts of me that go unexpressed now that I don´t have these people around me! I have always felt very connected to Africans. The rhythm, somehow. The ways of being social. The sense of humour. Depth, honesty, open about personal issues…

I just now wrote to the only female true friend I have who is African. I know a few, but I don´t really know them well, they are mainly friends of Richard´s. Bless his light, he passed away from us in 2013…….. Yeah, I truely miss him too. But that´s different from Jade, as Richard and I were lovers at one point. Kindred spirits as well. But more than just mates. Long story. I wish it had been longer. I miss you, Richard. Your heart of gold. You taught me some important things.

I just wrote to my only female African friend, and she is very much alive, thank Goodness. Her name is Sunday. Even just her name brings a smile to my face.
To a white girl my age, her name automatically reminds me of one of my favourite books in childhood, Robinson Crusoe. And his only fellow human on the desert island; Friday.

Sunday is an incredibly interesting person. I have rarely felt closer to another woman. Although she is quite a bit younger than me. From Sudan, grown up in Usa. I met her om a train station in Denmark, and the ten minutes that passed before my train arrived, were just magical. Instant and total connection! I found her on facebook, and a week or two later she came and visited me and my family for a few days! How great is that?! I love it when people do stuff that I would do. I don´t know many that would just come and visit like that, apart from my crazy self. Haha! 🙂
We had a great time together here. She helped me out at an event called Diversity day, helped us with bartending, and suddenly it was clear she was a great singer as well…
So she joined the jam session on stage… Yeah.
And another day, we went in my car to my favourite place, which is the old cemetary (I have written a blogpost about it before, with lots of photos, you should go there, it must be in the category “Fano my home island”)…
Yeah, we went there. And sat and had “weird” conversations about clairvoyance, syncronocities, spirit…6.sense experiences…

I´ll have to find out where she is in the world now. Last time we were in touch, she was in Sweden… She´s an academically talented person. And artistically. And spiritually sensitive, or how to put it. My favourite mix. My blend, my tribe.

More to say about this?
Not really. Just miss those vibes, those people. That part of myself.
I´m working on getting a playlist together. And shoot/edit a video installation to fit the playlist, and then get it to a dancefloor near by. Not enough dancefloors here in rural Denmark! And not a single place where they play decent stuff, i.e. those reggae trip hop dub heart beat beats…

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Hmmm…. I was hoping the link would show the picture straight. It´s a link to Pinterest, which I have just discovered. I love it there! A wonderful tool for manifesting and visualization!

Text says something like;

Phone rings, and dad picks up the phone: “Eeeeh my broda!”

I miss that sound of “Eeeeeeh!!”  I miss the big laughs. The heartful authenticity. The slapping of thighs. The smiling and playful dancing.

I can´t find a suitable photo in my archives here and now, to make the full stop for this post. Let me see if I can find a youtube vid, then, to illustrate my thoughts.

 

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What travelling gives me

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It´s 05 am. Been awake since 04. Still jetlagged. Not badly but. Gone to bed last two days knackered at 8 pm. I then woke at midnight, slept on and off, and wide awake since 04.

I don´t mind at all. Returning home after a month in Asia, jetlag makes the transition smoother somehow. Dazed, walking from room to room in this castle (compared to having lived in one room the five of us, for 4 weeks)… emptying suitcases and filling and emptying the washing machine every two hours… It feels nice.

I will write another post about Vietnam impressions, I think. But I need to load photos into mac first, and.

Right now I just feel to write about the effect of taking a month travelling.
I think I will go for list form again. Helps me think.

1. It is relationship developing. Team building.
And strengthens both the group as a whole, and the bonds between each individual. I am a lot stronger connected to my 7 yearold now. And her and her 5 yearold brother too, have a noticably greater understanding for eachother. Our 12 yearold as well. A lot more peaceful after being heard and seen so closely in environment undisturbed by friends and school teachers.
There is much better balance between my husband and myself. And as we have had to resolve all ocurring issues in front of the kids, they also have a strengthened understanding of who he and I are, and how we work together.
Travelling for length of time and going somewhere where not everything is laid out from start and taken care of by tour guides… it is the best investment, in family life of parents with children, in my book.

2. I have changed.
My focus was shifted and hence I discovered new distances to some things, and a need to walk further in certain directions. It was very helpful for me to turn data roaming off and only relate to facebook in wifi free areas. (Reception area of resorts, and some restaurants). I discovered that reading about Danish politics stresses me. So I shall do as little of that as possible in the time ahead. Not because I don´t care, but because I care deeply and feel strongly, and it is difficult for me to accept I can´t change the grave mistakes politicians are making these days.

3. I met a mystic
who… taught me a lot in 2-3 hours in a small hostel lobby in Hanoi. He is an elderly man who travels in Asia 6 months a year, giving workshops in something called family contellations. A reiki master, tantra master, engineer (!), psychotherapist and philosopher. Of education. I can´t quite explain what he said and did and what it meant to me. But it… is a big deal. I will practice the exercises he showed me. And research a couple of thinkers´ theories. Most importantly, certain realizations just clicked into place within me, and… has given me… new perspectives to work from.

4. Learning about cultural differences
especially together with kids. Is so… eye opening. “They do it differently here.” Everything. And things we take for granted at home, simply are not part of these people´s lives. And vice versa. Bargaining the prices. Toilet routines. People thinking the kids look exotic and asking them to pose with them in selfies. People who are unfamiliarily helpful, warm and funny, or get offended without us knowing what the bleep was the issue. All very eye opening, increasing consciousness about the world and our place in it.

5. Leaning about nature´s variety
The sounds and the smells of a jungle. The heat of the sunrays. The huge ants, and beetles. If you leave something sugary out on the porch, there will be an insect party there in the morning. The humidity. Nothing dries, everything is moist and it doesn´t matter coz it´s warm and no one gets ill from the wet and cold combo. Taking a shower several times a day to cool off, and to rinse away sand, sea salt, pool chlorine. Washing feet before being allowed to re enter a ship after a trip to a beach. Water bottles brought along everywhere you go. Snorkling and sea food soup. Squid fishing and kayacking. Water such a central place in everything.

6. Returning home, realizing how comfortable one is in one´s own environment. Missing the sun, the sensual impressions and the meeting with people where we were, yet feeling so happy to reunite with close friends and family at home. To float in one´s sofa! To eat rye bread with liver paté! Milk! The freedom of making one´s own food, not having to find a restaurant and a menu and then wait before food appears…!

7. The great H.C. Andersen said that “to live is to travel”. I so agree. Both literally and metaphorically. It is my favourite activity in life. The most rewarding, education wise. Where I learn the most. And grow. Which I love to do. Expand my understanding. Increase consciousness. Diminish habitus to use Bourdieu´s phrasing. (Although I´m not sure he would agree with my using it in this context and meaning).

I feel I have turned a page in my life and am ready for a new chapter of self creation. Which I didn´t think of at all as a possible consequence before we went. Strange.

I´m standing in a position a lot different from a mere month ago. I have clarity of what to put my energy into. Very concretely. And I shift away from mind, to heart and body focus. No more politics for now. I will work on awareness, relax and relate, available in the now to the inspiring people I choose to keep close to me.
I will create some new structures for my clinic, and study and practice hypnosis, and start integrating the method into my vocal sound therapy sessions.

All whilst enjoying immensely my wonderful, empathic and playful, funny and clever children. Together with my amazingly creative, one in a milllion, funny and sensitive husband.

That is what this month in Thailand and Asia has done for me. Probably there´s heaps more, that I´m unconscious of.

Sun is up now. Birds in my garden. I think I will go outside and smell the air.

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Autumn routine is upon us!

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Gracious. Hi.

I haven´t updated the blog since 21/7!

It´s because two days after that, I attended the Fanø Free Folk Festival #7, and filmed a lot. Spent the following couple of days editing and uploading gig-vids to Youtube/Facebook. (I will write a separate blogpost or two about the festival). Here´s a picture from one of the outdoor concerts…

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Then I had to stop editing gigs to go to Germany and buy tons of beer, wine and soft drinks, snacks and barbecue goods, for my husband’s big birthday party coming up.

Back home same day, and next day, Wednesday, I almost single handedly tore down the kitchen wall! (With a little help from my friends, but. Mostly me. I will indeed claim that fame).

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Day after that, I was incredibly smashed. Cleaned up all the fine brick-wall dust. Day after that, Danish family members came and put up a tent in our garden, they were going to a party on the island. Lovely to see them and their two daughters again.

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That same evening, the first of my 21 Norwegian family members arrived in their campervan. So I drove out and had a hug and a short chat with them.

Next day was Saturday, and more Norwegian clan members arrived, came by for a hug and left again to settle into their rented summerhouses. My bonus-son and grandson arrived as well, and we spent the day in their splendid company. They stayed the night.

Sunday was my husband Helge´s 60.birthday, and we woke him up with a song and guitarstrings and presents. As is our tradition.

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In the afternoon arrived my 21 Norwegians, plus neighbours and friends. Sadly, son and grandson had to go back to Copenhagen as the newborn baby brother wasn´t feeling too well. But Helge´s cousin showed up with her Norwegian cousin, hence representing the Danish side of the family… a very lovely time was had in our garden. My mom had written a song for him, and so had I. Great presents, and laughs, and dancing on the grass, and 7 cousin-kids bouncing on the trampoline…

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The next day, my poor husband had to start work again. My family stayed for a week, and every day we met up and went different places all together or in smaller groups, barbecuing in the different summerhouses… It was absolutely ACE.

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Well. My grand dad then died during that week. Karl Normann Kaltwasser. Blessed be his Eternal Light.

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Luckily one of his daughters was there in Haugesund, with him and my grandma. He had been waiting to be allowed to die. So that was a relief, as well as sad, of course. For once I was not alone whilst receiving the message of someone in the family passing, so that was… nice… And my grandma sent me money for a plane ticket home for the funeral. Which moved me a lot. So I waved good bye to my mom and sisters on the Sunday, saying “See you Wednesday!” instead of “See you at christmas!”….

I have often been abroad when someone close died. And have not prioritized to go to the funeral. Thinking I could light a candle at home and be together with them in Spirit. What I have realized later on, though, is the importance of gathering with the other family members left behind. To be together in the grieving, to remember and honour the departed, and to learn about that persons life, actually, through the stories people tell at a funeral… So I wanted to go to this one. Even before my grandma sent me money. Plane made it a lot easier than my planned journey with train and ferry. (Which would have been much cheaper but taken a lot more time as well).

Tuesday was my youngest daughter´s first day of school! So that was a big day, and she was extremely proud and excited…

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Wednesday I flew to my childhood home town, spent a great evening talking with my mom and her fellow.

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Thursday was the funeral, in a beautiful chappel, where a woman played “O Mein Papa” on trumpet, which was a song my grand dad´s father actually used to play on his trumpet, hanging from a light pole on his way home from parties, goes the story….. It was very emotional to listen to that. From my seat, holding my sister´s hand, I could see three duos and a trio of family members embracing eachother. I will never forget that picture. Real care. Or how to put it. Seeking comfort from eachother. My pack. Proud to say I´m one of them.

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The round window, the cross and the dove are on the ceiling, right above the white, flower covered coffin…

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After the funeral we went and had coffee, sandwhiches and cake. Speeches. Lovely. Everyone from the holiday week was there, plus a handful more of us. Around 40 all together, I reckon. Fine hours.

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When that was finished, my childhood´s best friend picked me up, and I spent the night at her house. Fantastic to catch up, been way too long. Stayed with her until she took me to the airport next afternoon. (Annoying I didn´t take a selfie of us. Took a picture of her kids, though, to show my kids back home how much they´ve grown since we last saw them)! Brilliant children, I dig these three wonderful characters!

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On the airport I sat down at the gate and decided I now had time to check my Facebook messages. There, one of my good old mates said that she was sitting waiting for a plane to Copenhagen. As was I!! Just from a different airport! So of course we overjoyously agreed to meet at the airport in Copenhagen. Hahaaa…!

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How wicked is that?! We got an hour and a half together, a beer at the airport, and the train ride into town. Then I jumped off the train one station before her and swoosh, onto an other train back home. Arrived 21.30 (930 pm), and everyone was fast asleep. So I ate and went to bed.

Next day, Saturday, we dropped the kids off at our friends´ place to stay the night, whilst we drove to some other friends to celebrate the couple´s double 40th birthdays! Great food, great people, and great music with my husband´s Not Big Bot Band (I have written about them before on the blog)… Sadly I was so tired, I fell asleep in the middle of conversation on the coach! But hey. Forgivable after the weeks I had just lived through, huh?

Next day we picked the kids up and I just fell asleep most of the day.
Following day, up 0630 for school. And kindergarten. And then. Boom. Time to myself. To relax, be alone, do nada. Meaning doze and doze, until picking the kindergarten kid up again at 1 pm.

Wednesday and Thursday eve I had meetings with people and an ngo… Boy was I glad to see Friday arrive. Switch off that torturing alarm clock!

Today is Saturday and I have actually slept for 3 hours out here in my listening hut in the garden! So right now I´m feeling rather fresh. Just uploaded to Facebook an album of photos from the family week… wish I could share facebook posts straight over to my blog, but it doesn´t seem doable…

But yeah. So I put my 4-yearold to bed reading him a book and singing to him whilst scratching his back. And then I thought, NOW. I can finally update my blog again!!

So here I am now. Finding my feet after the eventful Summerweeks.

Now the blog is brought to the here. So I pause, and an other day soon, I will write that next blogpost, from the fantastic Fanø Free Folk Festival. Yup.

🙂

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Reshuffling

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Spring is here. Sunshine, yet cool´n crispy air, kids finding thinner garments to wear,  filling mom with sickness fear…

So there.

Easter holiday started last night. Our usual Friday rituals with candy (once a week only, in front of the Disney tv programme 7 pm), followed by X factor… I had some time by myself colouring and writing out in my listening hut in the garden, whilst waiting for X factor to start… we had easy food, fajitas filled with leftovers…

And today we have no plans. All of us just hanging out, kids went to visit neighbours, now they are playing with the new Roland Handsonic (drum machine) we got the two tiny-tots for their birthdays recently.

And us adults have solved a few technical issues that´s been on hold. And now we have moved on to next phase of our big furniture reshuffling project. Which in turn is a piece in our ginormous puzzle of making a big kitchen by tearing down a wall, and rebuild the wall in a new place so the front room becomes part of the kitchen.  There  will be a small walk through space with a sofa and a tv in it, still, though…

In addition we will turn a bedroom downstairs into a vocal sound therapy room for me. It will double as a guest room or kid´s sleeping space as well. This house is a bit small for the five of us. But I´m not worried. We will find solutions so everyone gets their own space to withdraw to.  And be flexible, find new solutions as times and needs change…

I have always loved to reshuffle furniture. Did it a lot as a child in my own room. I was lucky to have a big room that my grand dad made for me in the basement. All private and spacious. Away from parents and siblings. With all my pop and rock music posters. And a huge card board box full of second hand cartoons that I swapped into new wads down at the second hand book store. Reading was my favourite activity growing up. And listening to music. Playing soccer and playing the piano.

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Here are the kids a couple of weekends ago, when we set up a bunk bed some friends gave us. Well chuffed children.  🙂 We’ve all slept in that one kids´ room the last few months actually. Because I react allergically to our bedroom downstairs. I suspect there is mold behind the wardrobe that is built touching the outer wall of this old house (from 1789)… So I moved out, up into the two young kids´ bedroom. Which made my oldest daughter move in there too. And my husband. Haha… and then it was too crowded for me to sleep undisturbed in between all the kids, so I took my eldest daughter´s bed! Man, I sleep fantastic in there, all by myself, reading books like I used to before I got myself a  husband and children to consider… 🙂

Right now, my husband is preparing space for our double bed to be moved up into the space between the two bedrooms on the first floor. Quite a task. Once the bed is out of the bedroom we can tear down that wardrobe…. my God it´s gonna be chaotic here for a while. But. Worth it.

To get a dining table big enough for our five kids, two in law kids and soon two grand kids. A place to gather for meals and meal preparations. Piano in the kitchen. A comfy corner for reading books. Give it to me!

I should really have loads of photos from the house here now, shouldn´t I…

And woooosh, ten minutes later, a quick round of photos loaded into phone, onto email and on into the blog library:

Here is the family bed in the downstairs bedroom we have moved out of. It is hand made by a Swedish architect friend of ours; Adrian Crumhorn. (He used to live in New Orleans until Katarina came and washed away his home there. Before that, he lived in some African country. Lovely man).
The double bed has an extention, another single bed that brings the sleeping space all the way to the wall. A lot of cosy family sleep hours have been spent there. The mirror was my wish. I was pregnant at the time he made it. I thought the mirror would occupy the baby/toddler, so she or he could stand there and talk to her or himself while I could keep dozing a wee while more. Good idea, huh?! And yup, it did work as I had planned, as well. 🙂

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Here is “the in between space” as I call it. Where the bed will recide from now on. For a while. An open space between two kids´ bedrooms. Not ideal as a parents´  bedroom but. Hey. We will test it, and if it feels wrong then we will change the arrangements. Our house is a traditional Fanø-house, so all upstairs is like a tent, with slanted walls… not the easiest to furnish. But our garden is biggish, and private. And our neighbourhood is filled with friends, dead downtown yet very quiet… so… we don´t want to move away from here.

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Here´s a picture of my old room, which now is my oldest daughter´s room. So she can go in here and close the door behind her when she wants privacy. I still have my desk in here, though. Which will go into my new therapy room when it is ready.

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(Yes, it´s messy. Trying to organize different papers etc at the mo).

 

Here´s my daughter´s bed, where I sleep all alone so peacefully these days…:

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Downstairs, here is the kitchen. Taken from the door opening.

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Our kitchen table barely sits the five of us… and our kids often bring friends home… as do us adults as well… yeah, a big kitchen will really make our life easier.

 

And here is the living room. Which will become part of the kitchen. Be reduced to a sofa corner. Barely. But it is the right move for us. No doubt about that.

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My books will have to go into my therapy/office room. I have always wanted a library. The books I have, are either ones I have studied, and will read again, or books I have not yet read but know I will. So. Every time I´ve moved, I have gotten rid of some books (and tons of other stuff). But I know there are not many books left to get rid of.

This last photo, is from the other end of the living room. Where my husband keeps his old church organ. Which yes, he does play on it, and it sounds really lovely. So. It takes a lot of space but. It´s not going anywhere. The dolls house Viola is playing with, my eldest daughter Lava brought home from school a couple of days ago! She has made it all by herself! Bless her. Well done. It is big….but…. what can I do. Just enjoy watching them play with it…   🙂

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Yeah… I guess I should go downstairs and start making some dinner.
As a Norwegian saying goes; “Without food and drink, the hero is useless.”

Catch ya later, gators!

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Just…Positive Stuff

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Sunday. Both my daughters have a sweet friend over, hanging out. Nice and peaceful. I serve them apples and sandwiches from time to time and other than that the house is just quiet and harmonious, I can hear chatter and giggles from different rooms from my first floor office here. Lovely.

Feel happy today. Peaceful. Rested. Excited for the future, actually.

We have plans for renovating inside our house. Move a wall so the front room and piano will be part of the kitchen instead. No more front room, just a sofa and a movie screen. And a huge kitchen.
Also, we want to turn one bedroom into a clinic room or what to call it? For my massage table, and my desk and books. It needs a new floor, and wardrobe and. Yeah. A lot of work. But creative work, satisfying work. With very heartlifting rewards.
A big dining table that can sit all our five kids, two inlaw-kids and soon two grandkids… or our kids´ friends when they come round, or when grandma and aunties from Norway come to visit for weekends…

Yeah, A good project.

In addition I am working on two large social events.

First, 17.of April, my ngo is hosting a folk dance party for the entire island, to welcome all the new Syrian neighbours we have received. International music, trying eachother´s traditional dances, and an international, local cake buffet. Nice, eh? I´m very proud of the idea we have created. Now we just need to get all the work ready.

The second event is called Day of Diversity, and is happening 11. of June. Hosted by an other ngo I am a board member of. “The Incredibles”. There will be a circus show made by the island´s kindergarten children. And an international buffet of some sort. Local bands. maybe a soccer match between adults and kids. Maybe anything at all,  as we are inviting all social clubs and sportsclubs and local ngos in general, to come and strut their stuff so to speak, take part in the programme, come show us who they are or whatever they would like to do. We are hoping this can become an annual event, for the whole island to celebrate our community.

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This is from an art exhibition in Christiania, Copenhagen, that i visited in December. I love art exhibitions. Here´s some more impressions from the same one:

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Here is the house marking the entrance to Christiania. So beautiful.     I just adore this.

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Here is a positive piece of news:

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And here is something to help us surround ourself with positive people:

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And here… is a piece of reality, which made me laugh. In all its… darkness. We have to keep a sense of humour when times are tough. Is my humble opinion.

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Right… let me also share with you some positive songs.
This one I love! 🙂

And this one by the Kinks. So political. And true.

One more. For the road. Have a splendid Sunday out there. And treat eachother lovingly! 🙂

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My present daily life

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Morning!

Monday of the school´s winter holiday here. And me and the kids slept ´till 08.30! Historical new record. We went to sleep at 9.00 pm!

So. That´s just marvellous. And outside the sun is shining from a bright blue sky. We will enjoy this day, I can feel it in me boooonez…!

Yesterday we went skating in Esbjerg, the town on the shore of the mainland. Every winter they make an ice skating “pond” on the city square. A most brill idea. Here, look at this!

skøjtebanen esbj feb16

The girl in the orange ski pants, is my eldest daughter. The five-yearold, the three-yearold and daddy-o are also out on the ice there somewhere. (As was I, apart from the five minutes I took these photos from the seat at the side).

skøjtebanen esbj feb16 lava

On the ice, we suddenly met friends of ours. A drummer and his pregnant wife, and their two daughters (7 and 9 years old, I think they are by now). So we ended up going for lunch together, at Sunset Boulevard right next to the square. Here is the view from our lunch table, overlooking the ice:

skøjtebanen esbj feb16 fra sunset

Yeah… so that was a splendid day out. Valentine´s day actually. I wrote about going to spend it on the ice, in my post from yesterday; http://kaltwasser.dk/valentine/

Other than ice skating, every day life is running rather smoothly for us right now. Still miss our grandmother, who died 30/9 2014. She was the one to share our every day life with us. And she was the one who always came and spent a couple of days with us when we needed a helping hand.

But the children are growing, and it makes everything noticably much more easy. We are over the worst grieving. And we have consciously built bonds with other people who can help us when we need babysitting etc.

We have had influensas lately, coughs and colds and such. But that doesn´t really count as negatives. All in all, we are happy and healthy all five of us. Looking forward to the arrival of our grandchild no.2 this autumn! And looking forward to our Norwegian family coming for a week in the Summer to visit, they have rented three summerhouses, so they will be 15-20 people! I love them for doing that. It really makes living abroad away from them all, a lot easier for me.

Once a month or so, I go to a meeting in my ngos. Well, I´m a member of 3 ngos, so. But in the Music Club I´m only an extra, so I don´t have to go to all their meetings.

The two places where I go to meetings and together with the boards organize events, are:

Kulturelt Samråd;

a council office really, that is in charge of distributing 80.000 Dkr every year, to local people applying for funds for cultural projects and events.
Here are the board members, taken a month ago:

ks bestyrelse jan16

At present, our biggest project of own initiative, is an event we have named “People Meet”. Which will happen in the town hall 17.of April 2 pm – 6 pm this year.

It will consist of an international cake buffet; cakes from many different nationalities who are represented in this island´s population. And then we want there to be folkmusic – and dancing. Local tradition (which is a rich and strong one), plus Syrian music and dancing. Hopefully we will also have a jamsession where we all just play and dance as one group together, freestyle or…. I don´t know yet. I hope the participants will improvize and create magic. (I will be one of them myself, hopefully there will be more participators than bystanders… the idea of spontaneity really excites me. It “opens up” somehow, when everything is not planned into detail, when the happening is more an improvized workshop for all than it is set performances).

Yeah. So please do wish us luck with that! 🙂
We just want to welcome our new Syrian neighbours, collectively and in Fanø fashion. This island has received more Syrians than anywhere else in Denmark (related to its size of population). And we have great success stories from the past, of integrating Bosnians, and Burmese people… On Fanø people look into eachother´s eyes and nod and smile when they meet on the street. Strangers included. And if it is morning, we say good morning to eachother. It is a very good place to be a newcomer, one feels very welcome here. (I myself moved here in 2007 and come from Norway, so I have felt it myself. And my Syrian friends have told me too, how they think it is amazing that even children and teenagers will look them in the eyes and say hello when they cross paths around town here…)

The other ngo where I spend my time and energy, is called

De Utrolige. Meaning The Incredibles.

Inspired by that cartoon movie of that superhero family you know… (Check out and please like our Facebook page for all the information: “Foreningen “De utrolige” på Fanø” is what you write in the search field).

Here we are, the board members, this selfie was taken 4 days ago:

du bestyrelse feb16

Us, The Incredibles, we want to make an annual day of cultural entertainment, for all the locals to participate in. We have asked the kindergartens and sfo to help make a children´s circus show for the day, and they are happy and eager to take charge of it.

(We had on Fanø an annual circus show made by the school kids, for years on end, but the tradition stopped after 2009 because their house was torn down due to problems with moisture).

So we want to revive that splendid old children´s circus show tradition. And add to it. We want to arrange an international lunch buffet, which Kulturelt Samråd did for the first time in Fanø´s history, for the ngo´s 30.anniversary back in Nov.2013. It was super popular, a great hit.

Apart from circus and buffet, we approach all of Fanø’s many, many different ngos and spare time clubs, and we ask them all to come and do something that day. Like arrange a football tournament, or show us skateboard tricks, one wheel bicycling, dance shows, a baking competition… what ever people can think of. The sky is the limit.

We want “The Day of Diversity” to be a celebration of our local community, embracing all citizens. The more that participate and make themselves a part of the happening stuff, the better. A feeling of collective ownership, is our aim.
The Incredibles want to do the organizing and co ordination of all the practical elements. And help connect; stage builders (we will ask the boyscouts if they would like to take on this task) must be connected to  the circus group, maybe we will ask some ngo to stand for sewing circus costumes, and an artist to help decorate the stage… we have a so many rich and competent creative citizens here on Fanø. Truely a wonderful and important resource we have, on this score.

The Music Club will try to find local bands to share short, acoustic sets with us… we need a tent or two…. tables and chairs…. all the logistics. We will plan it and solve it, either by delegating the different concrete jobs,  or by doing some of them ourselves.

I DIG this project. I really do. It sparks my soul, to use big words, and why not use them when they exist and feel right?!  🙂

It is an ambitious and all inclusive project. It is integrating, both between individuals, between generations and between all the different ngos and interest groups on the island. It will create a lot of new ties everywhere. And ties, bonds… is the incredible superglue of a good community.

It will help people meet, basically.
Hahaha…
I didn´t mean the cultural event People Meet.

But in general. What we need, in a community, is occasions and opportunities for people to meet.
When everyone is a (half) known entity, then it makes for a really comfortable social feeling.
Fanø already has this feeling. We just want to celebrate it, and as a consequence, the celebration will enhance and strengthen it.

 

Yeah…

My present daily life… it feels like a present!

🙂

In addition to this voluntary work and my lucky family life, I am building up my “clinic” of vocal sound therapy. I have clients every week. I love that work. Making people feel better, by “singing on them”. Very strange, and strangely effect-full.

And last but not least, I have this blog. Which I am still hoping will make money in the future. I have plans of developing my Youtube channel. Add a vlog. (video blog).

I will stop here.

It has been a weird start of a new year this year. The refugee crises, and the European… failure to react to it in a compassionate way… The death of David Bowie, two days after his amazing new album… other great musicians and actors have crossed over as well… the climate news are not too uplifting, and neither is Danish social politics.

But on the microlevel. Thank Goodness. My life is really enjoyable.

At present. Coz that´s the nature of Life. Count your blessings while you have them. Suddenly new challenges take control and change your direction into a radically new one.

Once we accept this, it is easier to deal with. And let us just grab every positive moment and event that we can, and enjoy it for all that it can give us.

That must be the best piece of advice I ever gave, to myself and to all of us.

🙂

fredsmerke med notesirkel

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My parents´shoes

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There is this feeling. That I get when I put clothes on in the morning and find myself wearing my mom´s cool cardigan that she let me inherit, the nice skater shoes that were too small for my sister, and jeans my soul sister girlfriend used to own… It makes me feel closer to them all in some peculiar way.

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This is a painting of my “farfar”, father´s father. Whose house I grew up in, so I could actually climb the stairs up to his flat before I could walk! He was my daycare; when all the other adults in the house went to work, him and I hung out playing pirate ship underneath his frontroom table, playing Ludo with 12 dice (and I always won), picking plums and apples in the garden, mowing the lawn and weeding, taking naps on the sofa together, going out in his car to pick up grandma from her job in the telephone central…
He made me a doll´s house once, and stilts, and a wooden gun that could shoot rubber bands for real!
He was my superhero. With a capital S.

I also have an item of clothing after him, a dark blue and white knitted cardican that he wore a lot.
I have clothes after my dad as well, who left us in 2010. His red hand knitted woollen jumper that my mom made him, and the last pair of Ecco shoes that he bought for himself. I wear them for a month or two every autumn/spring.

Some weeks ago I was visiting my mother for Summer holiday, and I was in my car driving alone, whilst wearing a pair of expensive sneakers she´d just given me as it hurt her feet to wear them. Suddenly I had the urge to write these words on a scrap of paper:

Inheritance

My parents´ shoes are only
one small size too large for me
they fit me rather comfortably
both physically and metaphorically

I´d rather that their footsteps be
a size I can´t fill easily
an example to follow gratefully
to grow into step by step

glass refillable

With that poster I aim to move into saying that by no means were my parents perfect in my childhood. They were human, and they did the best they could. They have openly told me a bunch of times how they didn´t quite understand how to deal with me when I was little. I was just different to the other kids. I didn´t play in the sandbox, I watched as the others played… stuff like that.

My mother taught me to read age 4 and a half.
I read a lot ever since, and wrote short stories from age 5. (About how Santa cancelled xmas, for example, because the humans were too materialistic about it, all they wanted was new things).
They got me a piano. Which I played with a teacher for 6 years. So those were two very good things I am grateful for.

Although in some ways they were too strict,  too controlling and didn´t see my sensitivity or intentions…  they always meant well.  I don´t think there are many of us who don´t have issues we need to digest and forgive about our upbringing.
It´s a natural thing between parents and children, where one party has all the power and the other party is forced to obey… to say it in black and white, of course there are always many shades of gray in everything.

I told my dad on his deathbed. I thanked him for always trying his best for me.
I recognize his good intentions. He did really well in some ways, and less well in others. A man of his time and of his own life conditions. For example, he saw his own dad for the first time when he was 3 years old!
As his dad had been out to sea for that long. They did, back then, where I come from. Sailed to China, and Cuba, gone for years at a time… my mother´s dad was a sailor as well. Both were chefs on board their ships.

My parents had a traffic school that they ran together, and it was very successful. All the local 17-18-yearolds got their driver´s licences through them, and they always came and told me how wonderful my parents were. Caring and funny and helpful, both my dad in his car and my mom in their office. My dad touched a lot of people´s hearts whilst teaching them how to drive, to believe in their own abilities, to forgive themselves for making mistakes, to be relaxed yet alert at the same time…stuff you need to learn to master driving.
In his spare time when I was little, he started the first soccer team for girls in my hometown, and I played soccer there from age 8-16.

I´m very proud of them both.
And could tell you a lot more they did and do, that makes me love them so much.

I could also give a lot of examples of times I was hurt by their words or actions.

As  probably all of us can, about our parents.

I wonder how my kids will talk about their upbringing when they become grownups.
All I can do is to try my best for them. And hope that the wounds I cause, will be healable with the help of them knowing that I love them with all my heart.

broken men

But.
Broken (wo-)men can be repaired. The glass is refillable. We develope and grow and change all the way thoughout our lifetimes.

The Japanese have this really nice concept in their thinking, look:

image

And with that, I finish this post. And wish you progress, in whatever area it is you are choosing to grow at the moment.

May the force be with you.  🙂

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Letting Go

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To me, it is not so easy to let go.
Be it things or be it people, they hold value to me and so.
The luggage from the past continues to grow.
Making my dusting and tidying slow.

broken plate

This is a plate of mine, which I have had since I was little, 70s or 80s. Isn´t it cute?
My eldest daughter broke it on the kitchen floor yesterday. As happens. She wants to glue it back together. I said let´s just throw it away, this is what life does. It breaks things. Everything here is temporary, and with one old item gone, there is room for a new item, symbolizing the present moving into the future, rather than the memory of times bygone. New memories to be made.

We will see. She is crafty, my daughter. I have not thrown it away yet, will give her the chance to try and fix it. (Although glued I´m not sure it will be hygienic to eat from anymore… oh well. Probably I can throw it away in a week, after she has had a time limit and postponed past it).

She is a lot like myself, my eldest daughter. Sees opportunities and meaning in everything. Anything can be used in many ways. Give her a piece of bubble wrap and she makes a dress and a pair of shoes out of it in half an hour! 🙂 (That example actually did happen).

In the bathrooom we have her drawings on the walls. Actually her drawings are all over the house. As she is really talented! Her choice of colours… her drawing style… way beyond any level I will ever reach.

But our house is little, and wall space is scarce, so we actually need to put up shelves where we can. We are five people after all.

This art piece of hers has been hanging in the bathroom for a year or so.

skovmonster total

Its title is “Forest Monster”. I adore it.
But of late, it has lost two pins holding it up, and so today I decided to take it down. That piece of wall would be great for a shelf, for all her newly aquired make-up. Which it would be nice to keep out of reach of the 5 – and especially the 3- yearold.

I took her art piece outside in the yard and photographed it. I ended up taking pics of the details as well.
I think they could make nice backgrounds for a poem. As well as visual pieces for a video poem…

skovmonster detalje 1

Haha, I so love the way she has used the yarn…

skovmonster detalje 2

The butterfly up there…. makes me believe that the elastic band next to it, is a horse fly…
(Have to ask her, though. Not sure my interpretation matches her intention. Then again, such is art. Its meaning is up to both the maker and the receiver, I think art is better when it gives the “reader” space, for his/her own interpretation of its meaning…)

skovmonster detalje 3

Love the horizontal feather.
Love feathers in general. Symbolizing both flight, air, thought and writing. To me.

A third item I will try to let go of, is this beautiful lady here. Who my father´s father brought home from one of his many long trips at sea. From Cuba 1950 possibly. She used to hang on the wall in their hallway, I grew up downstairs from them so she has fascinated me since I could crawl up the stairs, she was somehow greeting me on arrival, next to the copper key cupboard with a raindeer on it. (Which yes of course, I have held on to that as well, it´s keeping our keys safe in our hallway as we speak…)!

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Isn´t she lovely… to say it with that nice tune from Stevie Wonder…

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Alas, she is broken. Made of plaster. Part of the palm tree trunk is missing. And the piece with her water jar, is loose, I just lay it carefully next to her for the photo…

Me I´m not a very practical person. Or I would just glue her, paint her… Maybe I can give her to an artist friend of mine. I have several of them, who may want to spend time and love on her.
I don´t even have a wall to hang her on if she wasn´t broken, though.

Can you hear how hard this is for me? To let her go?
She is valuable to me. Carries memories of my deep love for my grandparents, who now both have departed.
I thought these photos could allow me to throw the object itself away, now I have captured her spirit so to speak, in the picture. But I think I will have to talk to my artist friends and see if someone can use her in some way. She is far too beautiful to end her days in a dumpster.

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This next item, I have already let go of. I gave it to a friend´s daughter for her birthday.

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It´s a skirt that Viola found in a fancy store in Chantabury in Thailand, March 2013, she was almost 3.
She fell in love with this skirt, I think it was the most expensive thing we bought on our whole 8 week long trip! Hahaha…. She has always been so decisive about what she wants to wear and not. Much different from her older sister Lava, who would just wear what I suggested, until age 5-6-7 somewhere.

(I remember taking Viola to find a new dress for christmas, later that same year. She was in no doubt whatsoever, just picked the dress straight away and to all the alternatives I presented, she just shook her head. Then she found the shoes. And in 5 minutes she had chosen the shoes she wanted. No hesitation. Amazing to see). 🙂

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The inside of the garment. So well made. I almost regret having given it away. But hey.
I already have a chest full of baby clothes that I could not get rid of as they grew out of it. That I will give to grand children some day. I can NOT house much more of that stuff!
Also because I have in store inherited clothes for all three of them. I save a lot of money that way, and I save hurting the planet as well. An ecological as well as an economical consideration.
But it takes up a lot of room. That we basically don´t really have. So. Yeah. It is a nice skirt and it holds a wonderful memory, and now we can remember it when we see the picture. Basta! 🙂

Of course it is also nice to know it will make another little girl we love, happy, wearing it.

Here is one more thing leaving our house these days:

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It is a picture Lava has made. Well. She made the palm leaves and had not finished Jesus on the donkey.
And then she was at home ill the day they were to finish their pictures, so a class mate was told by the teacher to finish Lava´s. How stupid is that?! Who would want an other person to finish their picture?!

I have held on to it because I think it is such a clever idea to paint the scene from bird perspective, as we call it in Norwegian… to see something from above…
But it will leave us now. Lava hates the look of Jesus and the donkey, and I have to agree it isn´t… Well, it could certainly look better.

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This picture I took last time we visited my mother-inlaw´s grave.
“In the heart kept, never forgotten.”
It was herself that chose the stone and the words, back when her husband Paul Walter died in October 2007. She also made sure there was a little vase in the corner of the stone, just big enough for a small bouquet of wild flowers. Or the kind of pot that we always buy in the same shop on the way there, these days.

She died 30.of September last year. Suddenly and shockingly. We miss her a lot. But grieving luckily changes form and content as time passes. We cry a lot less now. It will make her happy to see that.

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One day each one of us will leave it all behind. All material things. Every gathered item and photo.
Take with us only what we have stored in our consciousness. And move on into the life between lives.

Let me finish up by sharing my favourite Leonard Cohen song.
The video is a bit odd, but. Nothing I directly object to in it, so. Let´s enjoy the interpreting of the added meaning.

This song is for you Ellen Leonhardt, my dear sweet wise mother-inlaw. I don´t think I got to play this one for you. I´m pretty sure you like it. 🙂

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Bottle of waterfall water, anyone?

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Langfoss på flaske

Check this out! Langfoss on the photo here, is the biggest one in Norway, and it is owned by my aunt Nina and uncle Øystein! How is that for claim to fame, huh ?! 🙂
Bit silly that humans by (human) law can own a waterfall, but. A nice illusion it is.
Especially when it is MY family it belongs to. Hahaha…

The waterfall has been voted one of the ten most beautiful waterfalls in the world, by CNN.

They have the plans ready now, to make a new, better plateau around the waterfall… It is one of the best places to visit if you go to Norway this Summer. Even the bus ride there, is spectacularly beautiful. Along the fjord… some enter by cruise ship…

The photo shows a bottle of waterfall water, which one now can purchase by the waterfall. Clever idea!

Here is their link and info about it all:

http://www.langfoss.com/

Sadly we don´t get to visit Eljervik this Summer. Schedule has to fit for 5 busy parties when we hook up with closest family these next couple of holiday weeks. But we will go back to Eljervik again as soon as possible. Lovely people, and truely a soul soothing place to be.
Plus I have always wanted to try that tractor safari up the hill side!

I will for sure be posting about Langfoss in Eljervik again in the future.
Right now I´m busy packing the car, getting ready for two weeks of roadtripping, staying at friends´and family in Bergen, Karmøy and Flekkefjord, and ending up in a theme park in Kristiansand, where Captain Sabertooth resides, in the bay next to Kardemommeby and a splash world and a zoo…

Three kids in the backseat. One iPad, one Nintendo and one dvd player.
Plus crayons, lego, books, dolls… aaaand some sweets and biscuits in the basket up in mama´s control tower front seat. Luckily the stretches to drive are interrupted by ferryrides. Tomorrow night we enter a huge ferry, and we arrive early afternoon next day, in Bergen. Lovely way to travel with kids. Cabin with bunk beds, and there is play spaces next to seated areas for tired parents who then can get to enjoy a book or just some uninterrupted daydreams…

Well. I better go continue the packing.
See you later, gators!

Ps:
Please add a comment if you have been to see Langfoss,
it would be great to hear your story from the visit!
Ds.

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