Slogans & short advice on parenting


raindeer and sleeping child

I feel… between-ish today… like a space between words… a kind of blankness… Neither pleasant nor unpleasant, I have shared some good conversations about important issues… I feel to just share with you some good posters about parenting right now.

encourager, not dictator

breast feeding cover yourself


children are more than raising them

gentle your children

These posters say a lot… so much food for thought in just these 5 posters…
So I just leave them with you, uncommented.

I think I will just go to bed now and drift off into a dream.
It´s 11.11 pm this moment, on my pc clock.
Must be the perfect place to proceed into post blogpost posting.
I wish I could have a nap like that kid, leaning safely on a friendly white raindeer…


Soenderho Harbour Poems


In 2011, I took part in the making of an anthology. 5 writers and an illustrator. Decided to make a small booklet and print it, and give it to the ngo “Soenderho harbour”, to sell at their opening of an exhibition of Soenderho´s history. This as part of their process to get the straight escavated, remove sand so that ships again can sail into the harbour of the little village in the wadden sea there…like ships used to do…

Soenderho is the village at the south tip end of Fanoe. 2-3 Summers ago it was voted on the web to be Denmark´s most beautiful village (Danmarks smukkeste landsby, in Danish).
it is a quaint little place with 300 citizens, and it has a very thriving folk scene, where they play old, locally created songs on their fiddles, and dance the local dance “soenderhoning” to the music, wearing old costumes as they were worn a few hundred years ago.
Not all the time. But quite often they get together and do this, celebrating their traditions, passing the skills on to the younger generations.
There is an event every Summer called “The Soenderho Day”, where they make a parade with the costumes, songs and dancing… many tourists come to see it. A lovely event.

Here and now I just want to share with you the two poems I delivered for the anthology.
As they fit so well following the blogpost I just published minutes ago, called At the old cemetary.

Here are the poems.


A Sailor´s Sentiment

Endless ocean
your salty waves
washing my face

Longing to be
back on shore
leaning lovingly
just once more

Endless ocean
you are calling me, though,
calling my soul to fill up yet again
with your freshness

The sound of your continuous movement
the smell of ship railing and sea breeze

A sailor´s heart is lined with salty water
and a yearning for the great wide open field
of foaming blues

Surrounded by the far away horizons


Faith, Hope and Love

On every side of my little isle
water washes the edge of the land
there´s no escaping this little isle
no way but by boat

I sit on a rock in the sand on the beach
and slowly dismantle an old yellow straw
you have been gone such a long time now
my love, whome I achingly miss

I cannot forget how you held me close
your eyes so sad when you asked me to wait
I´m faithful and hoping and loving you so
though they think that your ship has gone down

My straw is stripped naked, its husk torn asunder
it mirrors the feeling that lives in my chest
I´m stuck in the Hope of your happy return
while Fear and Despair eat away at my breath

How can I laugh and live and be young
when all my inside is crying for you?
How can I mourn and move on and be free
when your ship might still be asail?

I rise from my rock and start the walk home
home to my hut where you visited me
I take the straw with me and stick it in my roof
another day closer to you

Maybe you will come walking ashore
or maybe it´s true you are buried in the waves
I know that I love you with all that is me
I know that I cannot let go

One day we will meet again, this I believe
one day on this side or the other
Today I am one more day closer to you
in life or in death I am yours


Myself I grew up in a town on the Norwegian west coast, called Haugesund, 30.000 citizens big.
There is a saying that Haugesund was built on herring bones, as the amount of herring in the straights outside of Haugesund is the reason the town came to be. Everybody worked in the herring business, and when the smell of fish oil filled the air, the grownups said it was the smell of money…

Both my grand dads were chefs at sea.
My father saw his father for the first time when he was 3 years old.

The women left behind for years and years on end, got together in their group they called “The mermaid club”, and helped eachother out as best they could, all being “single mothers”…

So my background is not very different from the background of the people here on Fanoe.

My mother´s father ran away from home age 15, he wanted to be a sailor and shoot lions. His first trip ended in Norway where he met my grandma!
Then he was to sail on Norwegian ship, but this was just after the war and it was not easy being a German boy on a Norwegian ship. The chef on board took him under his wing and told the crew to leave the kid alone, he was just a teenager and had nothing to do with the war.

The chef who protected him, was my father´s father! I have a picture of the two of them on a ship heading for Cuba in about 1950. (I will paste it here once I find out where it is).
A black and white photo of my two sailor grand dads, just them two, leaning on the ship´s railing together… my dad was 5 at that point. My mother was to be born four years later.
Imagine how they must have felt the day they found out their kids were boyfriend and girlfriend!


I finish with a picture of Soenderho Harbour (Sønderho Havn).
The ngo is still working on the removal of sand.
They have recently received permission to start a first dig-out.

sønderho havn


At the old cemetary


As I told you in the last post that I would, (titled too tired for fun), I drove to the old cemetary just outside the village in the south end of the island where I live. Brought coffee and a packed lunch, and notebook and pen.

I have known for a long time I would go to that place and feel it was special. I drove up to it about a year ago, but didn´t dare stop the car, because it was having starting problems at the time. Finally, Friday, the time was right and I parked my car and entered through this side entrance:


You can already feel it, can´t you? I hope so. Old cemetaries are often such moving and beautiful places. I remember one in Wales when I lived there, shame I don´t remember exactly where it was placed, as I´d like to go back one day. (Was it on Anglesey? If you know of a special cemetary, please let me know).

Anyways. Now we are here.

After entering, I immediately discovered the stone circle with the statue of the mother and her son and daughter. (Or woman and two children).



The inscription is a rhyming poem. (Possibly a song lyric).
Let me give you a translation. Not an authorized or perfectly poetic one.
But so you can understand the content of the message:

In memory of Soenderho Sailors who died at sea OR died in harbours unknown

They set their anchors all around the world
were lain to rest in every zone
One sleeps beneath the snow way up north,
another underneath the southern flower carpet
where the wind whispers between palm tree crowns

On every coast by the open sea
a friend´s anchor place is nice to find
As no one knows where he found his grave,
and no one gave him flowers for his coffin
on homely ground this memory is raised for him

From the main gate one would enter the cemetary like this…


Someone really knew what they were doing when they created this monument. Striking. Awe inducing.
On each stone in the circle, are written names of seafarers who never returned home. The year it happened and their work title on board their ship. So many stones, I think I counted 19. So many names.
So many women and children on this island lost their father and beloved husband to the ocean…



I walked around the grounds, reading inscriptions… grass ancle deep, wild flowers in purple, yellow and white scattered around, growing freely, undisturbed by lawnmowers, ground uneven, all natural…as a resting place for dead ancestors should be, maybe… very soothing to the soul, I felt so peaceful walking around there all alone, discovering stones half hidden in the grass, placed underneath trees…
Pure poetry…

I found this far corner…seemed…set apart…soon realized why…




11.November 1923
Initiated was this church yard, based on the revelation of St.John the Divine 21.11 21.4
and (here) was earthed as the first an Unknown Sailor.

I am the resurrection and the life!






There were three benches at the cemetary. Which was a bit odd, I expected there to be four, one facing each direction so one could always sit with one´s back against the wind. But there were three, and I went to the one that attracted me the strongest:


My view from the bench:


I sat down, poured myself a cup of coffee, took a photo of the view… ate some of the lunch.
Then I opened my notebook and found my little girl in the cottage in the woods, where I left her a while ago. Took a deep breath and brought pen to paper. Immediately came “Elvira was dreaming. She was sitting on a bench in an old cemetary, where the gravestones stood ancle deep in green grass, and there were wild flowers scattered everywhere, in yellow, purple and white…”


She is dreaming, and her mother who has just died, comes and sits next to her and tells her she is fine and happy on the other side, and that she will remain by her daughter´s side and they will meet again…

Elvira then wakes up and just remains lying still, looking up into the ceiling of the little cottage, feeling a new firm warmth within… and then she falls into a deep sleep again.
“She didn´t wake up again until many, many hours later. She could hear birds singing. It was morning.”

It is the perfect next scene. Like I told you in the last post, I was afraid I would be unable to move her forward. Well. She has moved. But not a centimetre physically. She has made a big move spiritually. And she is still lying in the very same spot. So the physical action challenge remains the same. What will happen now?

Will there be a knock on the door?
Will she go out into the woods to find food?
Will she go back to her parents´ house and her strange father?
Will she go to her mother´s funeral?

I have no clue. And I don´t want to have a clue either. I want to sit with the pen and paper and follow the flow. I plan to go back to the cemetary soon and continue the story.

Let me share with you some more images from the beautiful cemetary:







(Mormor. Just mormor. Means Mom´s mom in Scandinavian languages. Mother´s mother. Grandma).


(Love never ceases to exist).


Anton. Just his forename. Who is he? And why the choice of just his forename on the stone?
What also caught me and stopped me in my tracks, was the dates. His date of birth is the same as mine. And his date of death is the same as my motherinlaw´s. So to me Anton comes to symbolize the connection between my life and Ellen´s.
And also the connection between life and death. Which is birth. Entrance into a new, unknown realm. Passing from one dimension into an other. Born into earthly life. And then born back into “death”, our life between lives. Maybe. 🙂

I looked at the clock, it was time to rush back to pick up my son from kindergarten, I had 12 minutes and the drive takes about 10… Last two hours had passed like… unbelievable…

I hurried to the car, and looked back at the graveyard one last time. And had to take one last photo:



Too tired for fun


todo-list, calm, light.listen within

Today my husband is making a samba parade with his bigband, for a load of school- and kindergartenkids in Esbjerg. I could bring our fiveyearold and threeyearold to see the parade. It is a rare opportunity. I really feel I should make the effort, for him and the children and also for myself. But I just don´t have the energy for it! I really just don´t feel I can manage such a programme instead of leaving them in kindergarten and getting some quiet time alone.
I feel…well, I tell myself not to feel guilty about it. And my husband certainly does not put pressure on me in that way. I feel sad that we are missing out on this opportunity. At the same time I guess I also feel grateful to myself for making the decision that allows me to rest.

We are also invited to friends for dinner tonight. My husband said he can make it, we can go straight to theirs after he comes from work. To me it just sounded like stress. Fridays the kids get sweets and watch children´s tv 7pm. The only time a week they get candy and chocolate. Of course we could bring it out to our friends, we have done that before. And we love those people, and hang out with them happily any time. But I just felt I need to relax at home. My eldest daughter too came and asked me; “Can we not just stay home Friday?” I think it´s the last weekend, 4 days of non stop outings, that is catching up with us…

So I asked myself, what DO I feel like doing, these hours that I now have to myself, until 1 pm?
And immediately came this thought that I want to realize the idea I have had for a long time now, to go to the old cemetary outside the village in the south end of this island, and bring a packed lunch and some coffee. And most importantly bring the notebook in which I am writing a story about a 9 yearold girl whose mother dies of cancer. It is a story inspired by my late motherinlaw´s life. A story in which I have room to grieve losses, and to heal some of my own relationships. I discovered.

I don´t know if that story will ever be published. Maybe yes. But that is not why I am writing it.
The girl has been left in a small cottage in the woods for a long time now. I left her there and I have no idea what she will do next. So I feel curious! But also a bit scared of the possibility that I won´t be able to move her forwards! Hehehehe…. the joys of writing…. I clearly just need to sit down and listen within and see what comes forth. If nothing, then nothing. Nothing is something too.

So yes. Once I have finished this blogpost, I pack some food and coffee, and drive the 15 minutes to the old cemetary. I love old cemetaries, always have done. To read the inscriptions on the stones. To sit on a bench and hear wind in trees, there´s a special kid of quiet in cemetaries.
I never actually sat writing in one before.
But I have this thoughtfeeling, that there is a good spot there for me to just be in writing,
supported by the cemetary tranquility.

Let me finish with a song that I love. By an artist that I love. Nick Cave.


Rainy gray weather & festival holidays


Hello people!

Goodness gracious, it is hailing!! Just started this instant, tapping vigorously on my home office window here now… It´s past mid May, for crying out loud!!

Well, that makes my improvized post title even more relevant then.
I don´t know what to write about today. It´s been a whole week since my last update! Because I have been too busy partying. As in partying with the kids, mainly, though.

We had this 4 day long holiday, because Jesus showed himself to the disciples after his death last Thursday, a few thousand years ago. So Thursday we went to the opening of “The Art Festival”, where about 30 local autodidact artists exhibited and held workshops, in the school cantine.
They had gotten a cake made with their logo on it!
Here´s a picture of my two littlest trolls, contemplating whether they may have a piece. 🙂

opening art festival 2015

After the exhibition we drove down to the harbour, where the library for the festival had placed a tiny little cute book-bus. And an ngo I´m a founding member of (The Incredibles, it has its own post on the blog, under the category Fanoe my home island), we had a stand there, sharing space with the library, handing out flyers and showing a local tv programme on a dvd screen, of the children´s circus we used to have on Fanoe, and that we want to help rise again.

It was windy and cold. One of my co ngo members did magic tricks, and sweets appeared, so my little ones just did not want to go home with me! I had to force them into the car so I could get home and warm up again, haha…

Friday, we went to a drum and dance workshop, at another festival, Oriental Dance. It was so great. Children and adults together, we learned some rhythms on the Arabic drums, and some bellydancing moves… perfect fun for families. My little boy got a bellydancing cape around his neck, and he ran and ran and ran, circling the big sportshall floor, shouting “I can flyyy! Look at me, I can flyyyy…!!”

In the afternoon he totally crashed out on the sofa, and my husband took our daughters to see the dance and drum group do a performance up in the art festival space at the school. In the evening I saw them perform, at the local corner bar. And as I love to drum and dance myself, and we were invited to join the dancefloor after the performance, it got quite late. Great fun.

Saturday, we went to a third festival. (I call Fanoe “The Island of Festivals”, I think we should use that in its branding, as there really are so many festivals here in the tourist season, from easter until end of autumn holiday in October).
This was a music festival, called “Fanoe Rocks”. Down at the harbour. My bonus son Kasper was playing guitar and singing, with his band The Grenadines on the P4 RadioStage. Here´s a video I shot:

(The disturbance of the sound is the wind blowing into the iPad…)
The toddler is my son Linus-Ferdinand. And Kasper is the guy to the right. (They are four guys, but one was ill that day. You should check their music out, they have an album out, and a facebook page).

Shame it was so windy and rainy. Ice cold on the harbour of an island when there is wind and rain.
Apart from The Grenadines, I saw a john Lennon tribute, with different Danish artists, and I discovered Kira Skov and Soeren Sko. Names previously unknown to me, which I will youtube. Great voices!

Kira sang A workingclass hero. Giving me goosebumps. Well done. I´m sceptical to cover versions. To me, if you want to do covers, then make sure it is a version that has its own identity, that it has something to add to the original. I HATE when people just sing out someone´s classic without total presence or soul, making it a poor copy of someone’s masterpiece, it agonizes me, it makes me livid!

After that act I went home and joined the rest of the family who had left the cold site after brother Kasper’s show. My husband went back to the festival while I fell asleep on the sofa next to our son. Our daughters were over at their friend’s next door, planning to stay the night there at hers.

After a couple of hours, us two sleepyheads went and joined dad at the festival again. After an hour or so, of enjoying being just us two and one child, Linus-Ferdinand and dad went home, and I stayed for another concert, with Loveshop, a pretty good Danish band also new to me. Then I went to the corner bar and found lots of other cold festival escapers there, happily removing their rain gear, scarves and hats.

Well so that was the Saturday of our holiday.
Sunday I was pretty tired. But it was Norway’s national day! A huge event back in Norway. And on Fanoe, us Norwegians always meet up and eat pancakes with icecream and sing some of the songs which are sung in the big parade by all the school children all over Norway, celebrating us being a free and independent nation. (Which Norway only has been since 1905).

We brought the booklets of song lyrics, and the guitar, and the kids reasonably well dressed, and off we went to the pancake place. A local woman recited a famous very long poem by Henrik Ibsen, about Terje Vigen, a man who travelled from Norway to Denmark in his rowing boat (!)…

Here´s a short video glimpse of her recital. Excuse my daughter there in the foreground, posing for the camera! hahaha… she is only five. No harm intended. (I hope the quality of the video looks better on your screen than on mine. It´s perfect on my iPad…hope it´s just my screen or I will have to delete it from my youtube channel and try to upload again I guess…mysterious).

Here’s a picture of the flagpole of the restaurant. Normally we sit outside in their garden, underneath parasols. This year there was hail on our return walk home! Rainy grayness.

17 may fanø

Five pm that Sunday I was on my sofa, refusing to move another millimetre until Monday morning! Hahaha…. not quite that bad. Not hung over actually, I managed to not drink too much at the music festival, thank goodness. But just the lack of sleep, and the busy programme of moving our five piece self from place to place, for set times…. yeah. Parents need a holiday after kids’ holidays! 🙂

Good fun though. Wonderful art seen, and drumming done, and bellydancing show, and big brother’s gig, and other gigs, and Norway’s 17.of May celebration enjoyed.

Now we have Wednesday, and our son started in kindergarten Monday.
Had his last day in nursery last Wednesday before the holiday.
I have spent these last two days mainly in the kindergarten together with him.
Leaving for an hour or two. Today I left 09.15 am and will go pick him up at 1pm.
So finally I have the space and time to update my blog.

While I’ve been gone, the blog has set a new record of amount of reads, on May 18.! So that is encouraging. That there are still readers, even when I don’t manage to write every couple of days.

I stop here. Lots of things awaiting my attention in our house now that we have had a busy holiday, and I have spent the last two days in kindergarten! 🙂


Sound healing course no. 9 (out of 12)


same mission as u

Myself, I´m a kind of lone wolf, or wolverine… moving solo, mixing into many different set groups and cliques, yet not belonging to any of them, never felt the probably comfortable inclusion of identifying with a set group… Which suits me fine, it´s who I am. I prefer to move freely, swiftly, going with my feelings rather than with obligation.

Well, now I am part of this education group. In vocal sound therapy under the eminent leadership of Githa Ben-David. We are about 30 people. All strong personalities, distinct individuals. No one is asked to conform, and surely none of us would be willing nor able if we were asked to, I suspect, hehehe…
But we share these intense experiences. As we are taught how to help people free themselves from trauma, using sound. through the human voice. And we are shown the methods using ourselves. So most of us have been in the middle of the circle on a massage table of chair, being led through the release of old stuck memories, expressed in sound. Blockages in our systems, hindering energy flow. Removed.

It is so interesting, fascinating and wonderful to see, and to experience. Yet very intense as well.
Unique bonds develope. Between all of us, collectively. We are all in this together. We all stand there vulnerable and shaky, in turn, and feel the loving quiet support from all the others. A circle.
I don´t know what else to call it.

It is….I feel so grateful to be part of it. To experience this unity. This sheltered warmth…
I find it hard to believe in, some times. But every time when I meet the group again, the feeling is there. Acceptance. Belonging. Support and understanding. We are in this together.

I dread when the course if over. December. It´s been two years.
We are planning to meet up again next April/May, for a weekend, to share our experiences as fresh vocal sound therapists. I hope we can make that meeting a reality.

Once the education is finished…I lose that group belonging. It is going to feel… empty… I have lived without it all my life until now, but now knowing what a group belonging feels like, it will feel empty in a way I don´t know yet.

Yes, I will keep in touch with the ones I feel closest to. And hopefully we can all meet again once or twice, maybe more. But it will not continue like it is now. I´m going to have to let go.
I´m not always so good at letting go. I attach and hold on. I´m good at that. Grow intimacy. Share personal views and emotions. To let go of something I appreciate and value, though… A challenge and a half, that. Not something I choose freely.

But now I´m all into the future, worrying. No good that. The future is an illusion, it only exists in my mind. Better be present in the presence.

Wrote a short piece about that after the lunch break at our course last Saturday. I told the two fellow students I sat with, that I was getting impatient with the process of receiving a source of income. It is actually not easy to remain calm and feel certain that things (read: Money!) will come to me.

One of my fellow students replied that there was no use in worrying, and she asked me, what is actually the worst that can happen?
She advised me to choose to be in the present tense only, so that I could see the signs and receive the inputs from the universe clearly, not be fogged by worries of the future…

After lunch, I ran to my notebook and scribbled down these lines, I think they are quite charming… 🙂

The Unknown

moving into and through
moment by moment
here and here
now and now
then what will be

What is the worst that can happen?

Immortal Soul
Non damagable Spirit
Have No Fear
Just Be Here
is One with You

Through and through and through
more and more and more All You

This song just appeared in my head, so. Let´s go along with that. It´s a kind of meditation song. Lyrics repeated. Important lines of truth. Which have touched me deeply. Connected me to old memories of hurtful situations in my younger years. Allowed release of tears. Cleansing.

And while that one seemed pretty mushy-hearted, I just fell in love with this next video made to another song by Shaina Noll…! All these photos of happy children from around the planet… irresistable. They just make me feel happy. Isn´t it strange how impressionable we are, us humans…? (Or at least I am)!

I do feel a bit mushy-hearted today, you see. More than usual.
As I had a client on my massage table today, who introduced herself by saying:
“I am dying. I know you can not fix me. Also I am ready to leave this lifetime. But if I could just get some soothing for my lungs, so I can breathe a bit better… I saw a video of Githa doing sound therapy, I contacted her and she sent me to you… will you please try to help me?”

That´s when everything is put into perspective. No space for jokes or critical discussions. Just an open enquiry. Can we just try and see if this hopefully can have an effect?

I felt so humble. Moved.

Tones came through. And the overtones were softer, somehow dimmer… intuitively I did less of the high tones and spent more time giving deep ones… I spent a lot of time sending rather deep, mellow tones onto her lungs… She fell asleep a couple of times during that hour, which is a good sign.

Afterwards we both felt it had been a good session. She will hopefully notice an effect in the coming days. We talked about how the resonnance sounded different, weaker or kind of dimmer, than usual, and agreed that maybe it has to do with her life energy being low…her departing… She scheduled another appointment in about two weeks time, and casually said that if she was dead, her husband would give me a call and let me know she would not be coming…

I asked her if she has heard about Elizabeth KĂĽbler-Ross (See my post dealing with death). She had. She knew as much as myself. She had her convictions and she was resolved. She would like to stay, but with the condition her body was in, she just felt like sleeping.

She touched my heart. I hope I see her again. On this side, I mean.

Special day today for me. So grateful to have met her in this way.

garden path

I end this post with this beautiful image. The path.



Litteratur Salon no.15


“….Just breath.
Birth ´till death.
Nothing serious.”

Sorry the filmclip ends so abruptly.
I got a friend to film it. Wanted the clip to cover the entire 20 minutes in one piece, but there were technical problems. Such is life. It is primarily an analogue experience after all. At least this snippet gives you an impression.

Of my reciting poems from my book last Wednesday night. In Gallery Henneberghus in Esbjerg. (As I talked about in my last post, that I was going to).
It was a great event. There were four men reading out their stuff too. Two read out a poem each, one read from a story about a man who is travelling in China, and the last one had translated a book of stories written by Spanish anarchists 1890-1915. They were all interesting people with interesting things to say, a very pleasant athmosphere indeed, in the small gallery, filled up, with 30 people in the audience.

In between the read-outs (Is that what it´s called? Like hand-outs, hahaha… no. Recitals, isn´t it). In between the recitals, a young student from the Music academy played for us on his instrumentarium; a self built installation consisting of a sampler, laptop, a shaman´s drum which he played with a foot pedal, and two cymbals plus a mike into which he sang these slow, melodic short sentences…. very poetic. He had also made a piece using war sirens, mixed with noises that to me clearly visualized tanks and bombs, suffering, anxiety, despair, grief…. quite impressive.

We got 20 minutes each, to recite. I had made Danish translations to 14 of the texts in my book of poems and reflections, written in English. (If you want my book, go to the blog´s page “Buy my book?”).

Here´s one I recited:

What I want

I´m a sucker for love
seeking the ultimate mellow fellow
I´m well tuned in to what´s above
yet my soundtrack´s ruled by cello

I don´t want no macho mouse
I don´t want no pessimist
He´s gotta be good to share my house
He´s gotta have the strength of the optimist!

I´m a lover of good times
laughter, dancing, food and drink
enjoying to live never was no crime
oneness in what I do say and think

I don´t want no meek admirer
I don´t want no manipulator
He´s gotta have a heart on fire
He´s gotta be a spontaneous structurator!

Here is the same poem, in video version. 🙂
(Landscape shots from Fanoe where I live, this quaint little lump of beautiful nature.
Notice there is a heart of blue sky between the clouds where I say “heart on fire”. And the straws visualize spontaneous structuring… You can watch the video installation in full in the post “Linking”).

But it is; “What I want”.

It felt really good to stand there and share my writings. I received positive feedback, both on the content, and on the sound of my translations. Lovely to meet other people who love to write. And people who love litterature and have come because they want to listen, take in, enjoy being read to.
Always a special athmosphere there in Tina´s Henneberghus Gallery. I have written about it elsewhere too, (f.ex. in “a piece of christmas peace”), I go there the first Wednesday every month, where she hosts her litterature salon. So heart warming and inspiring. A word oasis, she calls it. It truely is a place to relax and enjoy refreshing impressions.

They liked my poem about who the audience is, as well. (Which I shared with you in the post Being a poet, straight underneath this post). I was a bit curious whether they would like that one. Especially one of the other poets liked it a lot, he actually shouted out loud: “Hear! Hear!” (Only in Danish, where it has just one cyllable; “Hørt!”) That shout made me feel really good actually. I think it is a very telling piece, and especially when read out to an audience, but normally you don´t really get to know what they think, so easily… Direct, instant feedback. Should be a lot more of that stuff around.

Of course we have poetry slam, the genre. Where people go on stage and recite, and the audience “votes” by amount of applause, and it´s a competition where after the last round there is a winner. GREAT FUN.
If I didn´t have kids, I think I would be active on that scene. I have been to a few events. Danish championships in Copenhagen as well. Love it.

Anyways. Gotta go now. Dinnertime. Don´t wanna be late for that. Nope. That´s not what I want. 🙂


Being a Poet


Tonight I will read out some texts from my book that I self published in 2011. It´s in English, poems and…reflections…? Not sure if the Norwegian word translates directly. But we use the word “refleksjon” about thinking about something, pondering and reasoning, thinking back, analyzing… I think reflection is a great metaphor for the description of my texts´ form .
If the word doesn´t quite fit in English, then it should, from this moment onwards! 🙂
The reflections in my book are a lot like the ones I write here on the blog.
(In my post “Radio years” I compared the form to radio talks, or “kaaseri” in Norwegian)…

I will read from my book, and then I have made Danish translations to 15 of the in all 78 text peices. So I will read a text in English, and then the Danish translation.

The process of translating the texts has been quite eye opening to me. To reshape a text and keep its form, content and rhtythm… almost impossible. Some easier than others. But languages are musical melodies as well as meaning. What sounds mellow and flowing in English, can sound abrupt and stiff in Danish.
To me this fact just makes it more interesting to read out the translated pieces. Also, in new shape, the meaning behind the words springs to life, becomes visible in a new, fresh way. Lovely feeling to me, I have worked these pieces through and through back then, when I made the book…

I have only read out loud my texts twice before.
First time was in a friend´s home, where there were a quite large group of Soka Gakkai students from Japan visiting. They were the sweetest, warmest audience one can imagine. So that luckily didn´t scare me off. (I used to have stagefright. I wrote about how I got rid of it in the post “a blogger and her blog”).

Then, the second time I read out loud in front of people, was last spring. In this little gallery in the town Esbjerg, which lies just across the water from my home island, a mere 12 minute ferry ride away.
Once a month there is a “Litterature salon” there, where the gallery owner invites people to come and read their creations. There´s also always music students there, sharing their things in between the reads. There´s only room for 30 people, and one has to book a chair in advance. It´s free to get in, and one can buy coffee. It´s a wonderful place with a very charming hostess who herself writes and paints.
It´s at this Henneberghus Gallery I read out again today, for the second time.
I will tell you all about how it went, when I know. 🙂

So today I am an author. Or a writer? A poet? The word “poet” actually means “creating”. So that word fits me well, I love being in the process of creating. Whether it is a song, a poem, a reflection, a film… Not many use that word these days. At least not in Scandinavia. It´s a shame.

I feel it is difficult to call myself an author. I have loved to write since I was 4 years old. I bought myself a desk at the tender age of 6, and my biggest wish for christmas was a typewriter. Which I got.
My texts have been published in magazines and papers every time I´ve gotten round to sending something in.
I have never sent a book script to a publisher´s. Not because I´m afraid they won´t want it. I´d just rather publish it myself, the way I see it should be, undisturbed by critics…
Not that I can´t deal with constructive criticism. I can. But. Somehow I feel the poems are sacred.
Many times I feel they come through me, that I did not invent them, just allowed them passage through my pen. Some times when I write, the words come out very fast so I dot them down in a rush, and only afterwards when I read through it, do I discover rhythms and rhymes… and old fashioned words I don´t normally use… It´s not automatic writing. But it is, I´m convinced, inspired by Spirit. Maybe channeled from time to time. I don´t know enough about these categories to tell for sure.
But many other artists and writers through time have been saying they don´t feel ownership to their creations, they feel they are receivers of messages from the collective consciousness or Spirit or… Yeah. Other dimensions. What to call it.

I wrote a song about the difficulty of identifying with labels. And filmed out the car window in Norway, and connected those images to the words in the song… It is me singing too. (And editing).

As a line in the song says:
“I´m a writer when I write, a reader when I read, a doer and a dreamer and above all I´m just me.”

There are two videopoems in this piece, there are 15 in all so I chose to upload some of them in groups.
The second, short film here is a haiku. (Formula 5 cyllables, 7 cyllables, 5 cyllables).
I filmed the route from my father´s hospits (hospital for dying patients), back to my parents´ home. After the last time I saw him. He died there ten days later. (26.of October 2010).

The haiku isn´t a sad one, though. It was not written at that time. yet it fits.
It REALLY fascinates me how our minds do what we in media science learnt to call “mindgapping”. Which means that the mind searches for meaning, and inserts connections where there may not be any intended.
So that when a poem gets connected to imagery, it widens its meaning, more can be read into it…
(some times imagery can also limit a poem´s meaning. But in my videopoems I feel meaning is added).

Well. Here you are, a song about the bizarrness of work title labels, and a haiku:

Tonight I am a poet. Who reads out her scribblings to an audience.
I remember last spring, it was so enjoyable to stand there and be listened to. Which surprised me a bit, because I used to be very opposed to getting up on a stage. The gallery also has no stage, but still. One stands before a group and is the centre of attention, and entertains, performs, expresses.

Let me share with you a poem about “who the audience is”. I´m reading this one out tonight:

About Who the Audience Is

My own True Self.
My Higher Self.
I am my witness.
Possibly also the
collective consciousness.

What is important is that no one judges
I don´t perform, I express;
presentation of content
coming through me, not made by me,
makes more meaning to me, not less.

I don´t believe in honour and shame
i don´t believe in life as a comparison game
I don´t believe in guilt or judgment either
I don´t believe in God / Satan-divide, neither
the “good” nor the “bad”
gives me value from the outer.
My soul validates me
there´s no need for a shouter.

An audience of listening
wordlessly resting;
the vast yet voidless
silence of within.


Tonight I am a poet reading out my creations.
It just…. sounds so……
It´s like a jacket with far too long sleeves and at the same time it´s too narrow across the back….

“What will you become when you grow up?”
Such a fricking annoying question, that, isn´t it?

Become?? More of myself, of course. What else can I become. A tree? Someone else?
Grow up? When IS that point in time? I´m growing ALL the time, until I die.
And I´m also the same at core as I was age 12.
Senseless babblings.

“So be an artist,” they say. “Just call yourself an artist.” But I never went to art school. I respect professions. I don´t see myself as an artist.

A poet. That´s the closest I get. As it only means to be in the creative process, creating.
Yes, that´s true. I do do that. I be that, then.

Just being. All this thinking. Thinking and labelling can never grasp the width and depth of being alive.
Simple as that.

I do sound therapy as well. Exams in December. I really enjoy singing those long tones on people, as they lay relaxed and drift off supported or guided by their body´s reception of the sound…
I really enjoy the sound giving. But to call myself a therapist….. is hard.
Maybe it will get easier once my exams are passed and I have more experience with clients.

I am a lot of things.
Or I am no
thing, I just do different activities.

A dreamer when I dream, a dancer when I dance, I´m a mother and a lover and a watcher of tv…
(From my song, if you didn´t watch the video above).

Wish me luck!
I´m sure it´s going to be a nice experience tonight.
What ever it is called.



Confirmations and Nonfirmations


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.

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.

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”, sĂĄ 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.