Archive for December 2009
May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t to forget make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
I stand in a snow ball of glass while millions of snow flakes whirl around me, like scattered pieces from the past; memories, glimpses, faces and places, they all come down on me now.
In the contrasts I make out the picture, I lay the puzzle and I watch myself emerge in the middle, like a film reeling on its own record.
It’s been an emotional roller-coaster of a year…
This year I have known absolute freedom and complete happiness. I have felt the sand silt between my toes, with the courage and strength of the mountains behind me and the ceaselessly calling ocean in front of me. The first couple of months of this year I felt the kind of comfort that makes you feel at home. In a place. In the clothes you wear. In the eyes of the people you meet. In the way you act and the person you are becoming. And I am forever grateful for knowing that feeling.
I am also aware that the feeling had to pass. That I had to move to continue to grow.
This year, I have known absolute love and timeless pleasure. There are reflections pinned to a mind’s collage that no one will ever see, except the two that shared the moments, and even so, there are probably millions of ways of looking at those pictures, and even more ways of interpreting the meaning, but beauty often lies in the unexplainable.
It is what it is.
This year, I have known sadness and frustration. The second part of this year I felt very lonely although I had never before had so many friends close by and family support me. I felt rootless, restless and confused. I lived at 11 places this year, of which 9 since June. During that time I memorized 8 entrance codes, lived at 7 different subway stops and stayed 6 weeks at the same place at the most. I only unpacked my suitcase once, for the period of 4 weeks I lived with the guys.
It was all my choice, but none the less, a confusing time.
But the good thing about our conception of time is that we get to press stop and play. We get to put an end to a year and a start to another. We get to reflect on where we’ve been and where we are going. From a bigger perspective I know it’s all just my mind playing tricks with me. There is only Now. But what does that help when the feelings are catching up on me, when the film reels me in.
As I decide that the year is almost over, or the episode of the film is coming to an end, I have no regrets. I welcome 2010, be it uphill or downhill*
* and I am aware of the double meaning of these words
stjärnorna gnistra och glimma.
Alla sova i enslig gård
djupt under midnattstimma.
Månen vandrar sin tysta ban,
snön lyser vit på fur och gran,
snön lyser vit på taken.
Endast tomten är vaken.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Marianne Williamson (from A Return To Love)
The snow whirled around today and I let the Xmas spirit slowly roll in and settle on my hat.
I took a stroll around the so called bohemian-chic area I now live in and while peeking into people’s windows I could confirm that Stockholm flats really match up to the pictures in interior design magazines. Buying a place in this area is of course not impossibly expensive if you get a loan, but you don’t really want to calculate on the cost per square metre. You could say that people living here are on pretty solid financial ground. Then there are of course the hipster shops and hangouts, the trendy second-hand stores and the prominent music bars and multi culture restaurants. Just in an area of two minutes from my door there is an Indian, a Persian, a Czech, a Thai, a Japanese and a Greek. But it’s the Swedish touch of things that make em cool.
This used to be simple workers’ houses and still in some parts of the area the old charm is preserved. I brought my camera and took some pictures.
The other night, just outside the same house, a man was shovelling snow to get to his door. We talked for a while about all the snow that had fallen. Then he asked if I wanted to come in for a cup of tea. It was a sincere invitation, still I was a little taken aback. It was around ten o’clock at night and as much as I want to see the best in people, I politely turned down his offer. I could tell he thought I had gotten the wrong idea about it and he started explaining…a tea in the kitchen, that is…don’t get me wrong…but I said thanks and headed home, feeling slightly guilty. Have I been so effected by this cold city or is this just the reality of our world today?
What world have we come to, when we can’t even offer a neighbour a cup of tea?
When we don’t let people into our perfectly designed houses? How many people are not suffering, or feeling lonely this time a year, while others get caught up in the consumption carousel, spending money on expensive material things that people will have forgotten about in a year?
In my family, it’s always been about the food. That is why eatable things are always on the wishing list. Today I went to my favourite Deli – Cajsa Warg, where a friend of mine works. I got the whole staff engaged in my pursuit for the perfect gifts for my grandmothers. After an hour I had set together two wooden boxes of delicacies.
My mom, who is the most generous person I know, asked me what I wished for Xmas, but I couldn’t come up with one thing. World peace? That the world’s leading politicians reaches a good agreement at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen? That my loved ones stay healthy and happy?
I have everything I need. And in exactly a week I will be on a four hours’ bus, heading home to a house where the fridge is crammed with home made goodies, where the couch may be old and used, but the door is always open.
Inspired by the first snow that fell weeks ago, I wrote a guest post on Andy’s blog; a man that I connected with through this blog thingy we are all doing; pouring our hearts and thoughts out for someone to catch in a cup of resemblance and reflection. He had lost his wife to cancer and although I know nothing of death, I offered my words of comfort.
Today, as the snow whirls around I thought about all those that have lost someone this year and I thought I’d share this on my own blog after all.
It’s been a while since I welcomed your invitation to write a guest post.
I had many ideas at first but every time I sat down to get it down in writing it felt…fake.
Thoughts that were meant to be insightful felt rushed and made up.
What do I know about life and death?
What credibility do I have when I spread advice around me like leaves in the wind, but when the same wind blows; I change my sails in its direction?
Am I really one to talk about suffering, or sacrifices, when every time I am vaguely sensing pain, I hide inside a shelter of repair.
Too scared to get scarred.
All this time, the real heroes are the ones that live to tell the tale, rather than telling the tale for others to live?
But here I am none the less, writing. Do you remember I said that the keys are in our hands, or in this case, underneath my fingertips? Well, this is me gradually opening the door and respectfully asking for your permission to join you in the room.
I do not know how it feels to lose a partner, a friend, a loved one, all in one. I do not know what it is like to breathe in the absence of that person, or to see the presence of the same person, in a child’s eye.
I may not understand so many things about this crazy world we put our prospect in.
But I know this and I know it by experience:
Some changes sneak up on us; others hit us right in the face. But the fact remains, nothing stays the same. (Or maybe some things do, somehow, in a greater perspective, but will we live to tell that tale? I don’t know)
Why are we so afraid of change? Why does it feel like every time we have just made out something from the picture, our world flips again and stirs up our view, like snow in a glass bulb with ourselves in the middle?
Change…is hard to accept because in the movie played out in our heads, we travel light years every day. Every change sparks an idea that conceives another and there we go again…time travelling. Back and forth we go, rewinding what was in the past, fast forwarding into a film directed future, and forgetting the ultimate truth;
There is only Now.
We are just not there!!
And I guess that is ok. I guess that is a choice, the only choice for Now.
Ironic isn’t…? Everything turns in our favour…
Without pain there wouldn’t be a force of power.
Without frustration there wouldn’t be rock music.
Without desire there wouldn’t be passionate sex.
Without self pity there wouldn’t be pleasure in complaining.
Without fear, we wouldn’t know love.
Because without fear for loss, we really don’t have anything!
We can’t stop the season from changing, the infinite snow flakes around us from falling, but we can acknowledge their purity, their ability to change form, to dissolve and disappear, to live and die in elegance.
That; is how I look at life and death.
But then again…it is only in my mind’s-eye.
Flow into the knowledge that what you are seeking
finishes often at the start, and, with ending, begins
by Rilke – from Sonnets to Orpheus