Friday, 19 October 2018

The things I used to love

If ever I declare my life is done
If I grow sick of what the world’s made of
Remind me of the things I used to love
If ever I give up on having fun
Remind me that I used to be the one
To always take the time to laugh and play
To run or dance until my legs gave way
Or stay up all night talking with someone
Remind me that I used to travel far
Please, take me to a place I’ve never been
Show me the stars, the rain and things that grow
And sing to me the songs I used to know
Please, hold me tight, and help me see again
That what we love will make us what we are

Love and so many reasons to live,

Monday, 3 September 2018

Varför jag tänker rösta på F!

Jag tänker rösta på F! i valet. Nej, jag håller inte med om allt de står för. Men jag tänker göra det ändå. Varför?

Främst av normaliseringsskäl: Overtonfönstret (det vill säga det spektrum av åsikter som anses rimliga, vettiga, eller över huvud taget diskuterbara, se behöver förskjutas åt såväl ett vänster- som ett feministiskt håll. I och med Sverigedemokraternas framgångar har gränsen för vad som anses vara extremt på t.ex. rasism-fronten förskjutits åt just ett rasistiskt håll. Jag tror att F! kan tjäna som en välbehövlig motvikt till det.

Plus några specifika idéer jag verkligen håller med F! om:
  • Sex timmars arbetsdag
  • Gratis kollektivtrafik
  • Standardiserad transvård samt kortare köer
  • Att Sverige borde skriva under ILO:169 om urfolks rättigheter
  • Köttskatt i stället för subventioner
  • Bostad åt alla samt nybygg många billiga bostäder

Och jo, de har goda chanser att passera 4-procentspärren (det är vad som brukar hända partier efter att de valet innan fått nog med röster för att få sina valsedlar upptryckta, vilket är fallet).

Med det sagt: håll med eller inte, men gå och rösta för fan. Politik är ett jävla skådespel, men lite roll spelar det faktiskt.

Det är ju ändå valår...

Kärlek och val,

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Undisguised and naked

[The atmosphere] is for my mouth forever, I am in love with it,
I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised
     and naked,
I am mad for it to be in contact with me.

— Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)

The leaves on the tree outside my window are turning yellow, one by one. Frost has crept in during the night. Darkness has returned, bringing back familiar constellations like old friends. A pale ghost of an aurora is dancing in front of the stars, and the yellow reflection of the moon is smeared across the lake. The dark silhouette of the mountains frames the brightening sky. A cloud of mist is hanging just above the surface of the lake, and distant peaks are set ablaze before the sun crawls over the horizon. 

The river's water in the morning is icy cold. My heart beats wildly, my lungs draw greedy breaths, every hair on my body stands on end. My entire being is shivering, in joy and awe. This closeness of being, this triumph of letting myself out into the world, and the world into me. To encompass and to be encompassed. A truth that suffers too often to be forgotten screams itself into existence with my voice:


Love and autumn,

Monday, 13 August 2018

Review: Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams

Last Chance to SeeLast Chance to See by Douglas Adams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was a big fan of Douglas Adams already, still I have to say that upon reading this book my respect and admiration for him, as an author but even more still as a human being, has greatly increased. In this book he gives a touching account of travels in which he and his zoologist friend travelled the world in search of some of its rarest animal species. An at times entertaining, at times heartbreaking, account of the impact of human society on the fast dwindling wildlife diversity of planet Earth.

If you've ever wondered why you should bother caring about whether or not some obscure species of lemur in the rainforest of Madagascar lives or dies, or what the consequences of the destruction of its and many other species' habitats might be, then read this book. Read it, and weep.

“We are not an endangered species ourselves yet, but this is not for lack of trying.”
― Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See

View all my reviews

Sunday, 5 August 2018

In my dream I was lost in the woods

I had a dream, and in my dream I was lost in the woods. I came upon a gathering of trolls, and I was scared, 'cause who knows what creatures with such tails might do to me? But I came upon their washbasin, and it couldn't have been cleaned in years, it was all overgrown with moss. So I cleaned it, I cleaned till it shone, because even though lost in the woods, I wanted so badly still do do a good job. And I hissed at the trolls, and threatened to piss on the trolls, and they left me alone. And although my hair had turned grey, I found my way home in the end.

I had a dream, and in my dream I could fly. My wings were green and beautiful and I soared over mountains and trees. I came upon a buzzard, and we played for a good long while. Chasing each other in that circling way, diving headlong but never hitting the ground. And I wanted to stay, I wanted so badly to stay, but I knew that I had to come home. So I said, come with me, and in the end maybe he did.

I had a dream, and in my dream I met my own death. It was silent and fast, and truer than experience. And I was just the same and the world was just the same, except I was no longer a part of it. My touch wasn't felt, my voice wasn't heard, and my feet left no tracks on the ground. And I screamed and I screamed, and I groped and I reached, but remained a ghost and I wished so hard for the warmth of a body again. But in my heart I knew that I might never come home again.

I had a dream, and I woke from my dream, and I found that I was alive.

Love and dreams,

Sunday, 15 July 2018

The lovely air

Go out, my friend, and breathe the lovely air
Recall that you are free, awake! Awake
Your senses to the world, let pleasure shake
Your body as the wind blows through your hair

Indulge in your desires, and be aware:
To live in shame would be a huge mistake
If you make sure to give more than you take
There’ll be enough for all of us to share

Don’t let yourself believe the world is fair
Yet stand behind the choices that you make
You have to act as if your soul’s at stake
Or else become a slave to your despair

Seek to create much more than you destroy
Your flesh is not a trap; it’s there for joy!

Time for yet another sonnet, evidently. I blame the mountains this time, shoving words into my head. Sure, there's quite a bit of conscious crafting involved, but at least part of it is external inspiration. Divine or mundane; to me it's complex enough to qualify as a mystery.

Love and creation,

Saturday, 14 July 2018

A fond return

His Dark Materials (His Dark Materials, #1-3)His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I first read these books at the very formative age of 14. I read them for the 3rd time at 28 years of age, and yes! They still qualify as my favourite books, by far. It was a joy to realise, in the half a lifetime which has passed since I first read them, just how profoundly this story has affected my very way of being. And again I found myself just as sucked into its characters, its cosmos, and above all its ideas.

Let this quote stand for the compelling ideal it conveys: "[H]elp everyone [...] to learn, and understand about themselves and each other, and the way everything works, and by showing them how to be kind instead of cruel, and patient instead of hasty, and cheerful instead of surly, and above all: how to keep their minds open and free and curious."

This is a story which goes way beyond fantasy escapism. It conveys deep and important truths about growing up; not merely in the transition from child to adult, but in how to become and remain human. I'd recommend everyone to read these books, or have them read aloud for them. It really is that good.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

A wandering mind

When I say I have a wandering mind I mean that my mind goes off on hiking trips for days. Spontaneously, ill-advised, and often through uncharted territory. And it certainly doesn't tend to look where it's going. My mind is prone to getting lost. Forgetting compass and boots at home, and ending up walking in circles within a cloud with increasingly damp feet.

When I say I have a wandering mind I mean it likes to go on adventures. Like joining an imaginary fellowship to destroy an evil trinket in a faraway volcano. My mind has built colonies on the Moon and travelled between galaxies. It has travelled through time just to check out what the weather was like on Antarctica a couple of hundred million years ago. And it likes to travel forward far enough that humanity has changed into an entirely different sort of being.

When I say I have a wandering mind I mean I have a wondering mind. As in "I wonder what would happen if I jumped off that cliff over there?" or "I wonder if the person lying next to me here in bed is secretly out to kill me?". Sometimes I wish it was more prone to conviction than questioning.

When I say I have a wandering mind, sometimes I mean I have a dancing mind. When the inner turmoil is drowned out by music and imaginary dance routines of impossible complexity.

When I say I have a wandering mind, I mean I have a poetic mind. A mind that collects words and phrases it happens across like interesting seashells on a beach, keeping them rattling around for hours, days or years until they fall into place in a verse or a story. My mind likes to stride to rhythms iambic or trocheeic, and sometimes roaming freely.

So when I say I have a wandering mind, I don't mean it in a literal sense. I mean it in a literary sense.

Love and wanderlust,

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Scaling inner mountains

Moving to a new place is a pretty effective self-check. This tendency to take on the same social role almost independent of which group one is in is a very strong force, but I've been making efforts to counteract it. Not that I've been trying to pose as someone I'm not, but rather the opposite. For most of my life I've had a habit of hiding behind a facade of shyness. Fear of rejection paradoxically leading me to reject myself, before anyone has a chance to get the impression that I'm a person with thoughts who actually have things to say.

Because I do have thoughts, and fairly often manage to come up with things with which to contribute to discussions. Lifetime habits die hard, however, and there are a number of obstacles to overcome. For example:
  • My tendency to immediately shut up if someone interrupts me, and then spend the rest of the conversation sulking in the conviction that clearly nobody is interested in what I have to say. This is just a habit that needs breaking, I suppose, and I have become better at reclaiming the word, even if it takes waving my arms in frustration and right-out telling people to shut up at times.
  • Fear of estrangement or ridicule for voicing an unpopular opinion. This one I still stick to unless someone outright asks for my opinion, or someone keeps saying exceptionally stupid or provoking things. I guess it's cowardly of me, and probably unhealthy to some degree, but I've been estranged from too many groups because of my supposedly radical opinions that I'd rather lay low with some parts of me than risk complete loneliness. I'm slowly learning to open up more in the company of friends who I trust won't abandon me, but with new people? Not so much.
  • Conversations moving so darn fast. Quite often I do think of something interesting to add to the discussion, but before I've managed to get a word in edgewise, the conversation has moved on so well past the topic that what would have been a witty comment or an amusing anecdote or a fascinating question has become misplaced, passé or obsolete. Seriously, how do people manage to keep up? I take mental notes on things I could have said, and find that at best maybe one thing in four gets said. Although if the conversation topic is something I know a lot about or am ridiculously enthusiastic about, the odds are of course a bit better.
On the other hand, I find myself doing pretty cool things such as (at least sometimes) actually correcting people who misgender me, patiently explaining the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation (without compromising my integrity all that much), and even telling people off for making sexist remarks above my head or even to my face. Not too eloquently, perhaps, but promptly and irritatedly. And I've talked to my boss about things I've found uncomfortable instead of internalising rage that proved to be justified. So I guess at least in some respects I've leveled up the skill of standing my own ground.

Plus, I've been working almost full-time (both hours and physical level of activity being far beyond what I'm used to) for over a month now, without having had a single nervous breakdown. I've had bad feelings, sure, but I've allowed them to possess me and before very long they've passed on their merry way. And the biggest thing of all: I've ever so slowly started to make friends with solitude again. That's a thing that used to be the most natural thing in the world for me, but which abandoned me completely when bad things happened a few years ago. It's a little early to dance a jig, but I have a distinct feeling that long-time missing parts of me are beginning to fall back into place.

All in all, it's doing me a lot of good to be here. I'm also reminded of how sorely I've missed travels long enough to make myself another home, which is why I'm ecstatic about getting to work here in the summer as well. Social difficulties be damned, I really do feel like I belong here.

If nothing else, mountain peak-climbs do a hell of a lot
to boost the self-confidence and general joy of life.

Love and mountains yet to climb,

Monday, 7 May 2018

For the dark to have its way

Tonight is not a night for happy endings
Tonight is for the dark to have its way
Tonight I think I finally will end things
I have to go before the sky turns grey

I’ve walked this road before, I know its bendings
I’ve had my highs, and now I have to pay
My soles have worn so thin they’re mostly mendings
I’m sick of words, I have no more to say

Yet still I yearn to pierce the world’s pretendings
Perhaps I’ll find it in my heart to stay
I have to write my stories proper endings
I think I’ll make it through another day

And when the day is through I’ll trust the dark
To hold for me a space to light a spark

Poem written in collaboration with my subconscious. Woke up at an ungodly hour with a few of these lines rattling around in my head, rhyming and in meter and all. Then spent half a sleepless night finishing the thing. I don't think I've managed to shape an entire sonnet in my head before, but I guess there's a first time for everything. So, yeah. Apparently I've started writing sonnets in my sleep. I guess it might be time to send help.

Love and dark,