Friday, 29 December 2017

Quoth 2017

I've no desire to sum up the year for all to see this time around. Instead I've dug through my collection of quotes, and leave you with a sample of them which more or less cryptically sums up my life this year. All the books quoted are well worth reading, for the record. Happy new year, bitches!

Real magic can never be made by offering up someone else's liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back. The true witches know that.
— Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn)

"Go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."
- Kurt Vonnegut

Nothing is more important than that you see and love the beauty that is right in front of you, or else you will have no defense against the ugliness that will hem you in and come at you in so many ways.
— Neal Stephenson (Anathem)

Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” 
— Leonardo da Vinci

It hadn't been a good day; sanity was a distant memory.
— Terry Pratchett (Pyramids)

Every single one of us possesses the strength to attempt something he isn't sure he can accomplish. It can be running a mile, or a 10K race, or 100 miles. It can be changing a career, losing 5 pounds, or telling someone you love her (or him).” 
― Scott Jurek (Eat and Run)

The right use of knowledge is fulfilment.
— Ursula K. LeGuin (Four Ways to Forgiveness)

Moderation? It's mediocrity, fear, and confusion in disguise. It's the devil's reasonable deception. It's the wobbling compromise that makes no one happy. Moderation is for the bland, the apologetic, for the fence sitters of the world afraid to take a stand. It's for those afraid to laugh or cry, for those afraid to live or die.
— Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior)

"I don't know that I ever wanted greatness, on its own. It seems rather like wanting to be an engineer, rather than wanting to design something - or wanting to be a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip."
- Roger Zelazny (Prince of Chaos)

The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven
— John Milton (Paradise Lost)

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.
— Ambrose Redmoon

Let it come, at last, and bring an end to the tyranny of hope.
— Clive Barker (Weaveworld)

Love and time,

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Sacred music

“We LOVE chorale music. Especially if it's pagan!”

My neck hurts, my throat is sore, and my head is pounding. But I'll be damned if I'm not brimming with joy and life.

What a concert. So much energy. And seeing a violinist, a harpist and a hurdy-gurdy player headbang in unison is a rather majestic sight.

To think that I have ears and eyes and legs enough to experience such music. If that's not bliss I don't know what is.

Sometimes I am the happiest dragon in the world.

Love and music,

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The flood

Things are under water which should not be under water. Beings are dead who should not be dead. Thoughts are in my head which should not be in my head. The flood is deep and muddy. The current is strong, and the water is awfully icy.

But who's to decide what should be and what shouldn't? My sense of right and wrong is very strong, but I might be wrong. Once upon a time the desert canyons on Mars were rivers. And the path which is now a lake used to be the bottom of a sea.

Things change. That's the one thing to which we can truly cling. One day this too shall pass, but for now the bridges are still standing. Not everything will be swept away by this flood, and one of these days the entire lake might freeze over.

Life isn't fair, things just happen, and sometimes the heart is so heavy it seems to desire melding with the Earth's core. But music, and the power of creation, makes it a little easier to carry.

Love and water,

Monday, 20 November 2017

Celebrating transgender day of remembrance

I'm sitting here celebrating Transgender Day of Remembrance by eating cake. This is a day where we're supposed to remember and honor all those who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence, so this might seem a touch morbid. But yes, I'm fucking celebrating.

I'm celebrating that I am transgender (words which accurately describe me, arranged from general to specific: genderqueer, non-binary, agender), and that I am still alive. This is a triumph! A huge success.

So cheers to all my transgender friends for making it through another day! Our existence is worth celebrating. Because despite the state the world is in, we have to do our best to live with hope in our hearts. 

Despite the fact that there are people out there who want to see us dead for no better reason than that we exist. Despite the fact that some of these people might know our address.

Despite the standard waiting-time for medical help to transition is being measured in years, and that some are denied entirely.

Despite the fact that our existence is constantly denied. Despite the fact that children are raised into thinking there is something wrong with them, that teenagers are thrown out by their parents, that grown-ups are abandoned by their significant others. Despite the fact that we're outlawed in many countries.

Despite the fact that many of us have no reasonable alternative to spending our whole lives in the closet, hiding our hearts behind identities forced upon us.

Despite the fact that most of us are to some degree suicidal.

Despite all this, I mean it with all my heart when I say that things really do get better. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not for each single individual. But in the grand scheme of things, and for us transgenders as a people (we're millions), it serves a purpose to live with the conviction that a brighter future is ahead.

We will turn things around, because we're not alone. There is support and understanding to be found in other transgenders, and we have allies.

Want to be a good ally? Want to be a force in the world to counteract the hate which is literally killing us in the streets? Here's a bunch of things you can do.

  • Educate yourself. Read up on transgender terminology and facts. Start with Wikipedia rather than pestering transgender friends/acquaintances/strangers.
  • If you have a transgender friend or family member, join an organisation for allies. Offer to escort your friend to the pride parade or queer happening of the week/month/year.
  • Realise that words have power. Do your best at using people's preferred pronouns and names. Practice goes a long way.
  • Stand up for your transgender friends so they won't have to spend all their energy defending their identities. Correct other people using the wrong pronouns, join demonstrations, argue against people saying stupid or offensive things.

I will end this day lighting a candle for all those unfortunates who have already been lost. To the violence of others, and not least to suicide.

Then I'll finish my cake, and go to sleep in the hope of a brighter tomorrow. Thank you, transgender friends out in the open. Your courage is inspiration. Thank you, transgender friends still in the closet, for making it through another day. Your existence takes a very special kind of courage. And lastly, thank you cis-gendered friends who through your actions prove yourselves allies. Your taking a stand is a matter of life and death.

Love and power,

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

In your mind, in the world

At this time, when the night is embracing the day ever more tightly, 
I'd just like to say to whoever might be reading this: 
Yes, there is room in the world for you 
and it is unbelievable how enough you are. 
Look up: the stars are smiling at you. 
Look down: the Earth is there to support you. 
Look around: there are people who give a shit about something.
Look inside: your heart is still working
despite all it's been through.
The air is ripe with possibility
and there will be time enough to sleep.
So go somewhere
in your mind, in the world
and keep on telling your stories.

I wonder if I'm allowed
just ever to be

Love and a feeling of going,

Thursday, 9 November 2017

See all the love that's in me

6701 words. I'm behind, but not hopelessly so. With some discipline and an effort, I can slay the beast of procrastination and do this thing. I'm still recovering from a cold and one hell of a party last week, so I guess it's no wonder I haven't managed to keep my wordcount up. Not that I'm complaining in any way. I love my job and I experienced such marvellously deep connections to people this past weekend that my soul is positively thriving. There is hope and love will conquer fear and there is such an abundant joy within me that I'm surprised sunlight isn't seeping out through the pores of my skin. And on top of it all, it's november, and a smell of winter is in the air. So if you're feeling a sting of melancholia at the season, I guess that must be because I'm hoarding the delight. I'll likely give it back when spring rolls around, but right now life is fucking grand.

You've got so much to say 
say what you mean 
mean what you think 
and think anything
why not?

Love and joy,

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

NaNoWriMo—so we meet again

And so the madness begins. 1669 words, and off I go. That's a decent start. NaNoWriMo, that's what I'm talking about. An international competition where you challenge yourself to write a 50000-word novel in 30 days. The November insanity which has had me writing a trilogy of fantasy books. This year there are no freaking studies in the way oh my gods what an unbelievable relief and I am free to begin an entirely new story. So I'm writing erotica! Not exactly for the first time, but certainly at novel-length for the first time. Queer erotica, because let's be honest, who isn't fed up with the ever-present heterosexuality?

So yeah, that's gonna be my life for the next month or so. Feel free to join me in the writing madness, and please understand my prioritising words above socialising. Not dead, just writing. Who else is joining this year? Let's write until our fingers bleed!

Love and writing,

Thursday, 26 October 2017

The deafening noise my heart makes

It's as if you're pulling your fingers through the darkness within me
with all your words and your voice and all of that art
and the desire
to burn all my bridges, to sail all my ships
to completely surrender in the face of the deafening noise
my heart makes whenever I'm around you
and I'd like to run out
to scream at the stars, to cry at the moon
to damn the sun for setting without taking me with it
this shortage of breath, these tears burning
so secretly behind my eyelids
are they symptoms of hope
or a prayer (don't leave me here alone)
wasn't love supposed to taste like freedom?

Far worse to be Love's lover than the lover that Love has scorned


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Writers are such peaceful creatures

What harm could lie behind our features?
No, writers are such peaceful creatures
We might indulge in words and wine
With purpose clear as if divine
We might just string you all along
And have you think we don’t belong
But we are human just like you
With eyes of red and hearts of blue

What tears could ever blur our features?
No, writers are such ugly creatures
Turn words against you on a whim
Then tear your body limb from limb
Turn poetry into a flood
Words written with a splash of blood
And if you were to make a sound
We’d write your bones into the ground

But then we would redeem our features
For writers are such lovely creatures
We’d reach Nirvana in a verse
Squeeze beauty out of every curse
Our words would open Heaven’s door
We’d write where no-one went before
We’d be the voices of the lonely
We’d make our lies come true—if only!

Love and relentless poetry,

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Running and why it's worth it

Somebody told me I have a runner's body. My first thought was no, a runner's body would have strong bloody joints that could withstand the mild, repetitive shocks that impact with the ground entails. I've come far enough in my training by now that it is essentially my knees and ankles that stop me from running as far as I'd like to. They tend to protest loudly long before my breath or general stamina runs out. But then again, I am working on that, doing exercises pretty much every day. And apart from my treacherous joints, I suppose as a runner I have a lot to be thankful for in terms of genes.

Even so, I'd venture genes is a rather minor part of it all. I believe most (generally able-bodied) people could to some extent master most kinds of physical activities. Some people are born strong or fast or vigorous, but discipline will usually make much more of a difference. It's about taking whatever you have to work with and building your body into a place for your soul to enjoy residing in.

It's not easy, mind you. Taking care of your physical well-being in this day and age requires active effort. But it's so incredibly worth it. Once upon a time I got fed up with being sickness-prone, perpetually tired, and assailed with heartburn and dizziness if I ran so much as down the street. Then I resolved to learn how to run. I did, with a lot of benefits, and eventually I even learned to like it. I won't pretend it solved all the problems of my life, but running has granted me a lot of peace over the years, both physically and mentally.

I've taught my feet to step lightly, my breath to be steady, and my heart to beat vigorously but slowly. I've learned to be thankful for every bit of wind, sunshine, rain, sunrise, sunset or starry sky that comes my way. I've learned to overcome the revulsion of dragging myself out of bed for an early morning run, or forcing myself out the door when a cozy evening on the sofa beckons. If I get sick or injured I find myself counting the days until I can go out there and once again let my body float across the ground.

To each their own and whatever works for you, of course. Far from everyone enjoys the slow, almost meditative way of running which has become my preferred way of exerting my body. Or even running at all. Just do something. Don't have enough time? Oh, please. It's all about priorities. Make some time by taking away something you could live without, at least for half an hour a week. Together with someone, or alone. For a challenge, or the sheer delight of feeling strong. And don't underestimate the power of habit. That half an hour might turn into an hour, for two or three or four days a week, and before you know it, exercise might not be as much of a struggle anymore.

Go for it, because it will make a difference for your mental health. Build your body, into a fucking temple or just a cozy little cottage. Not for looks but for the feeling of power that comes with it.

Love and strength,

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

I will never tell you not to cry

What sorrows do you hide behind your eyes?
Come, tell me what you’ve tasted of despair
Cast off the smile you wear as a disguise
Let loose your demons and let down your hair

What curses have you bellowed at the sky?
Come, tell me all your hatred, I implore you
For I will never tell you not to cry
I will adjure you: drive your rage before you!

What passions have you buried in your heart?
Come, tell me what you’ve tasted of desire
Release all that’s been tearing you apart
Forget your shame, go set the world on fire

Instead of getting lost in devastation
Let anguish be the source of your creation

My life right now should contain more sleep and less writing of poetry. But how can I deny the words  their manifestation on the paper when writing feels more like channeling than creative work? I didn't ask inspiration to force itself upon me, but there I am, wide awake with an exquisite line of verse I've been ruminating on for months finally finding its company among syllable after delicious syllable.

It's not always like this, mind you. Most of the time I have to fight for inspiration and trudge through the marshes of wording and revision just like anyone else. But sometimes the spark of creation ignites my soul so thoroughly I have to scrounge something together from what's inside me lest I burst. While I hold a deep love for music, creating even the simplest melodies is quite beyond me, and painting I gave up seeking to master a long time ago. Words, however, I've made into my element, and now I find them summoning me more often than the other way around.

I might be a tiny bit obsessed, but what of it? Isn't life worth a little pain and exhaustion when there is art on the line?

Love and blank verse-compulsion,

Monday, 2 October 2017

What do you dream of as you walk the Earth?

What do you dream of as you walk the Earth?
What is it that you yearn to set on fire?
A chaos of deep passion from your birth
Made you into a creature of desire

What guides your footsteps on the road to hell?
What draws your eyes to heaven when you pray?
Not quite an angel or the one that fell
Yet always with your urges on display

What fears are lurking deep within your heart?
What beauty can you teach your eyes to see?
Can you convey the human soul through art
And take for granted that the will is free?

Are you divinity poured into mud
Or just an empty shell of flesh and blood?

Love and sonnets,

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Happen to me

If I let you
Happen to me

Pretend words have no meaning
Let you build
A fence of language
A language offence
To hold against me
You ought to hold against me
The border of your skin

Between our fingers entwined
A distance so far
An ocean in our eyes
Drifting us apart
Words echoing through solitude
In our embrace

If we tear words apart
Rebuild from syllables
Scattered like clothes across the floor
Cross only borders
Of getting across

Could I 
Happen to you?

Love and words,

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Paradiset mellan mina händer

Skam och skuld härskar helt orimligt över mitt liv. När kan jag kasta den ifrån mig? Finns det områden i mitt liv som den inte berör? Ja, jag tror det.

Jag har hållit paradiset mellan mina händer. Är inte den insikten nog för att leva ett helt liv i salighet? Helt oberoende av gudar och deras eventuella makt över mig så är hela världen fylld till bredden av helighet. Ibland, i vissa flyktiga ögonblick, är det överväldigande uppenbart. Kärlek, enhet, kalla det vad som helst. Det tillstånd där illusionen om en gräns mellan mig och världen äntligen upphör. Där vill jag leva, och bara rädsla ligger i vägen.

Kärlek och mod,

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Science fiction at its best

The Telling (Hainish Cycle #8)The Telling by Ursula K. Le Guin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A marvellously thought-provoking and well-written book. Having read my way through the Hainish cycle has placed Ursula K. Le Guin among my favourite authors. All of the Hainish books are good. Four of them are brilliant, and I would recommend everyone to read them:
- The Word for World is Forest
- The Dispossessed
- The Left Hand of Darkness
- The Telling
They are all stand-alone and do not have to be read in any particular order. This is Science Fiction at its best: using futuristic ideas of society and technology to discuss issues of great relevance to humanity today; such as bigotry, oppression, imperialism, sexism and environmental issues.

View all my reviews

Review: Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained (Signet Classics)Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained by John Milton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven”

What it may lack in subtlety it makes up for in eloquence. A recap of the Bible, from Satan's point of view, in the form of an iambic sledgehammer.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

You're so much more than good enough

Are you okay?
Can you hear me in there?
What are you doing to yourself?
Only what others have done to you
It's not okay

You're good enough
You're so much more than good enough
They were wrong
They were wrong, and you don't owe them a thing
You can break free from all this
You're holding your own chains now

What scars are you hiding in the bottom of your heart?
What wounds will never really heal?
Gods, you're beautiful
You deserve all the love in the world

Did you know that tears are something you hide behind?
And I know you can't stop it when it rises in your throat
But you can pull through it
Shame is the only demon that needs exorcising from your body

You don't have to do anything
But I can see that you want to
And you can
You can stop apologising
For everything, for existing

You will get there, I know it
You're on your way
Towards yourself

Tell everybody I'm on my way
And I'm loving every step I take

Self-love goddamnit,

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

I've got life

I have a job!!! A job relevant for my qualifications, even. I have a home, I have friends, I have love, I have a body, I have my health, I have beautiful memories, I have hope for the future, I have the spark of creation surging through my being, I have liiiiiife. And what a life it is. Is it reasonable to claim that I somehow deserve all of this? I don't know, how would you even measure such a thing? Lucky for me at the moment, life isn't fair. But it sure is beautiful.

Wouldn't it be a lovely headline?

Love and life,

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

On that journey that you dream of sing,
to dream, to smile, to walk, to be alone, be free,
with a voice that stirs and an eye that still can see!
To cock your hat to one side, when you please
at a yes, a no, to fight, or- make poetry!
To work without a thought of fame or fortune,
on that journey, that you dream of, to the moon!
Never to write a line that's not your own...

― Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac)

Truly, this summer has been one long indulgence in happiness. The festivals! The mountain hikes! All the adventures, great and small, long in the planning and spontaneous. Above all: the friends, new and old, which I have had the privilege of acquainting. I am so, so grateful for the opportunity to be close to such wonderful, inspiring people.

I still have a thing or two to learn when it comes to saying no to things and to chilling out. As per usual, the holidays have left me pretty wiped out. Nevertheless, I am healing. I can feel it happening. Take the starry sky for example—I've begun looking up at it feeling something of the old sense of wonder, rather than the crushing nausea and sense of failure I'd come to associate it with.

I've discovered freedom in many places. It's in the smell of spending a third of the summer nights in a tent. It's in the aching muscles of your legs after walking from one mountain to the next. It's in the taste of eating pancakes in the oddest places. It's in the relief of allowing yourself to cry. It's in the chill of swimming naked in the middle of the night. It's in the comfort of massage and shared sleeping-bags at the end of a long day's hike. It's in the euphoria of dancing close to someone for hours and hours. It's in the sensation of making out in the sunshine during a long, lazy morning. It's in the joy of having a friend whom you haven't seen for far too long over for tea. It's in the wonder of eating things that grew on your own balcony. It's in the contentment of movie nights where the company is so much more interesting than whatever it is that you're watching. It's in the sweetness of long, meandering conversations about anything and everything, in holding hands and hugs that you wish would never end, and in the hope that maybe loneliness is an illusion, after all. It's in the conviction that life will carry on and that things will probably work out, somehow.

Love and freedom,

Thursday, 13 July 2017

En längtan

En längtan följer mig vart än jag går.
Den säger: "kom till mig, för här du finner
en kraft långt bortom allt som du förstår."

Så massivt och så fast som berget står,
så flyktigt och så lätt som vattnet rinner,
en längtan följer mig vart än jag går.

Så dövande som kyrkans klockor slår,
så stillsamt och så mjukt som katten spinner,
en kraft långt bortom allt som du förstår.

Jag måste ta varenda chans jag får,
jag måste göra allt jag inte hinner,
en längtan följer mig vart än jag går.

Jag måste följa albatrossens spår,
jag måste älska så att hjärtat brinner,
en kraft långt bortom allt som du förstår.

Vad händer med en kraft på hundra år?
Finns något kvar av mig om den försvinner?
En längtan följer mig vart än jag går,
en kraft långt bortom allt som du förstår.

Kärlek, berg och längtan,

Saturday, 1 July 2017

My summer so far

Shock is morphing into joy. I'm doing things that I enjoy every day, together with people I love hanging out with. Without feeling bad about not studying or writing or whatever. Energy levels are picking back up, and I am so excited. About the rest of the summer, and then life in general. So far there's been a lot of Shakespeare, larping, pancakes, kisses, movies, folk music, and mischievous walks in the park. Soon I'm off towards mountains. Later, dears!

Love and joy,

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Summer solstice musings

I passed. Not away, but the dissertation. I have a Master's degree. I'm not a student any longer. How do I feel about it? I don't know. Triumph? Relief? Joy? Calm? I guess those are the kinds of things I ought to be feeling. But I don't know. I have no idea. All feelings related to my studies are buried beneath a deep layer of stress and anxiety. It will take more than the summer sun to melt all of that away.

I expect the sun, and weather in general, will help, though. Before me stretches my first free summer in ages, and it is full of mountains and music. Time will help. And my never-ending strife to learn to love myself. Little by little, I will come to terms with this, and dare think more seriously about the future. 

Right now my state would be best likened to that of mild shock. Maybe I really have put it all behind me already, but I doubt it. Things have a tendency to linger in my mind for far longer than they're due. Some day I suppose I'll allow myself to feel this for real. In the meantime I'll endeavour to enjoy the heck out of all this time which has suddenly opened up before me.

Happy solstice,

Friday, 12 May 2017

Quoth the tired astronomer

Imagine looking up into the sky
at night, toward the stars that faintly glow,
to curse your human mind for being slow
and yet unable to cease asking why.

Those distant lights insist on passing by,
around the Earth and through your mind they go,
suggesting that there is so much to know
if only you could teach your thoughts to fly.

But even maths and instruments can lie
no matter how methodical you grow,
and so your faith in Science sinks so low
until, at last, your soul will raise a cry:

Though planets, stars and galaxies may gleam,
what can a human do except to dream?

Oh well. I may never become a good scientist, but at least I can string a sonnet together in less than an hour. That's something to write on my gravestone, or whatever it is that you actually do with achievements.

Please forgive my bitterness. Soon this trial of a master's thesis will be at an end. I can just about make out a light at the end of the tunnel. I guess that's the oncoming train.

Love and poetry,

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Det mytologiska Prag

Åh vad jag trivs bra i Prag. Hela staden luktar pannkakor och mytologi. Det är nästan som om det fanns en legend om varenda gatsten. Här spankulerar jag runt tillsammans med mina skrivarklasskamrater. Vi har hälsat på Franz Kafka, Tycho Brahe och Antonín Dvořák, för att nämna några beundransvärda personer. Vi har ätit mängder av utsökt veganmat. Vi har skrivit på gator och torg, i trädgårdar och kyrkogårdar, på museer och caféer. Och så har vi ägnat oss åt historia och sagor, i en utsökt transcendental blandning. (Jag är egentligen inte säker på vad ordet transcendental betyder, men jag tycker om det ändå.) Här följer ett smakprov.

Bilden (ursäkta motljuset) förestället helgonet Sankt Mattias. Mattias var svensk, och historien om honom tilldrar sig på tiden då Sverige hade för vana att invadera staden Prag. Så en dag kom den svenska armén över Karlsbron för att bege sig mot Wallensteinträdgården. Där fanns nämligen mångtaliga vackra statyer, som svenskarna tänkte skulle göra sig snygga utanför Drottningholmsslottet. De begav sig alltså mot trädgården för att stjäla statyerna. Mattias var dock halt (det var därför han hade vandringskäpp), och dög inte till att lyfta statyer. Så han skickades iväg inför nästa dåd som svenskarna hade i kikaren: att ta sig uppför Petrikullen till Strahovklostret för att bränna alla deras böcker! Mattias' uppgift blev alltså att i spana i förväg så att kusten var klar, och sedan rapportera tillbaka till resten av trupperna.

När Mattias gick genom Körsbärsdalen, på vägen upp mot klostret, så fick han syn på ett barn som satt ensam under ett av de blommande körsbärsträden. Det var ett litet barn, inte mer än ett år gammalt. Döm därför om Mattias' förvåning när han hörde barnet ropa: "Mattias! Kom, Mattias!" Mattias gick fram till barnet, hukade sig ned, och frågade: "Vem är du?" Barnet svarade: "Jag är en inkarnation av den heliga Buddha." För det är nämligen så att Buddha har för vana att dyka upp lite varstans i världen närhelst ett budskap om fred kan vara på sin plats. Så Mattias satte sig ned och talade länge och väl med Buddha, som fick honom att inse saker som att pennan är mäktigare än svärdet, och att det kanske ändå inte är så värst schysst att stjäla folks statyer och bränna deras böcker bara sådär utan vidare.

Så i stället för att utföra sina order så fortsatte Mattias sedan upp mot klostret för att varna munkarna om den kommande invasionen. Detta ledde till att munkarna hann gömma undan en del av böckerna i källaren så att svenskarna inte kunde hitta dem, och på så vis förstördes inte hela deras bokskatt när invasionen kom ikapp. Mattias själv ingick i munkarnas orden, och helgonförklarades efter sin död på grund av sin goda gärning. Han avbildas i form av en staty på Karlsbron med sin vandringsstav, och Buddha i form av det lilla barnet på axeln.

Ja, så lyder legenden om Sankt Mattias. Allting är absolut sant utom det som är påhittat.

Kärlek och mytologi,

Monday, 24 April 2017

Being ever unprepared

Suddenly I find myself in Prague. As unprepared as ever. Gods damn it, how can it be that I travel so much and still stress out completely every single time? Flailing around at the last minute, not having fixed half of what I had intended to do before setting out. Always, always, forgetting to pack something. A different thing every time; typically nothing essential but nevertheless annoying to be without. One could think I don't travel on average once a month, and on journeys longer than a weekend at least twice a year. That's a lot. Packing my bag should be a routine, and there should be no cause for lying sleepless with my heart racing the night before setting out. Because I do like seeing new places, doing things that shake my routine, and I typically find the journey itself very enjoyable regardless of means of transportation. So why all the freaking out? Sigh. Some day I'll become even half as well-organised and well-prepared as I'd like to be.

I'll get back to you regarding Prague when the general overwhelmedness has settled a bit.

Love and travels,

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

A Thousand Nights, further continued

One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, Vol 5 of 16One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, Vol 5 of 16 by Anonymous

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

500+ nights into the relentless storytelling. More lessons learned:

- If you follow through on your curiosity against your better judgement, don't fret too much about it. You were probably destined to act in such a way, anyway.
- The full moon is the yardstick for beauty. Anyone beautiful is to be compared to it.
- There is a lot of excessive weeping, buffeting of faces, strewing dust upon one's head, tearing of one's raiments, fainting, excessive rejoicing and whatnot. Apparently people were a lot more expressive in those time and at those places (at least compared to Sweden of today).
- Always be polite and eloquent, and kings may reward you generously merely for happening upon you.

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Ett styck sonettkrans

På tal om ambitioner, va. Sju sonetter på en vecka. Jomenvisst. Och nu är den klar. Fatta:


Kolla, jag är till och med stolt över det. Jag gjorde en grej för att se om jag kunde och för att jag hade en bra idé, och se på fan, jag kunde och idén höll hela vägen. Lite finputs återstår, men i sanning uppfyller den alla kriterier för en sonettkrans. Den kommer bli tryckt och publicerad och jag kommer terrorisera poesiläsningar med bunden vers. Den är full av träd och kamp och Universum.


Så heter den. Och det är precis vad jag tänker göra.

Kärlek och blankvers,

Friday, 7 April 2017

These cursed ambitions

Sometimes I wonder what contentment tastes like. I used to yearn for so many things. Trivial and grandiose. Achievable and impossible. Now I mostly yearn for the pressure to be taken off. Perhaps it is a pressure I've enthusiastically submitted myself to in becoming a student, but even so it is not a trivial thing to extricate myself from.

What's the use of having so many and such high ambitions, anyway? Will they in any way make me a better and more likeable person? Rather the opposite, I think. It might gain me some respect, but of what use is the respect one gains from impressive achievements compared to the respect that comes from being a decent person? What could I do with it, other than intimidate people?

Still, the notion that being ambitious is an unanimously good thing, possibly even necessary for survival, is so constantly reinforced by today's society that it is nigh-on impossible not to believe it. Especially within academia. Either you succeed; become good at what you do through hard work or mere luck, accomplish things, earn a lot of money or fame.

Or you're a loser; through inability or bad luck things don't work out in a spectacularly good fashion, and perhaps you're unable to even support yourself financially. Notice that it becomes an identity. You haven't merely lost; you've incorporated your failure into your very sense of self. You're supposed to consider yourself lazy or unmotivated, and somehow that is supposed to make you want to work harder.

I suppose being driven isn't a bad thing in itself. Finding enthusiasm, joy and determination in work can be very enjoyable, and can produce results which are of use to people. But I think one would do well in examining where the drive comes from. Curiosity, for example, is a sweet (and often noble) thing to be driven by, but it can be easily killed off by external motivations, which often are threats in the disguise of rewards. In my case it has become almost entirely quenched by now. I'm trying hard not to let my creativity suffer the same fate.

Economic stability. Peace of mind. These are the kind of things I dream about nowadays. Right now they feel more out of reach than, say, moving to Mars.

Love and far too relentless ambition,

Friday, 24 March 2017

One day

The unbroken spirit obscured and disquiet 
Finds clearness this trial demands 
And at the end of this day sighs an anxious relief 
For the fortune lies still in his hands 
If there's a pensive fear, a wasted year 
A man must learn to cope 
If his obsession's real 
Suppression that he feels must turn to hope

One day I will feel good about myself regardless of whether or not I accomplish things. One day I won't feel shame for choosing my health above ambitions. One day I'll understand that I deserve to be loved. One day I'll learn to turn the self-criticism down a notch or three. One day I won't let myself ruin wonderful moments with frets about what I'm missing or failing. One day I'll realise the difference between what I want and what I need. One day I'll put my stubbornness and patience to more constructive use than obsession and compulsion. One day self-love will finally conquer self-hate.

This is who I want to become. Perhaps it is already who I am. I just need to get rid of all the parts holding the best version of myself at bay. Because I'd like to see this person shining through more than in occasional glimpses. It's time to take the time to make that happen.

Love and a battle-cry,

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Just keep on trying

Have you ever looked into the mirror and seen nothing but despair staring back at you from behind your own eyes? Have you ever felt stress coiling around your chest like a boa constrictor, for weeks and weeks? Have you ever looked around you only to find a world that doesn't seem to want you around? Have you ever really noticed what happens when you forget how to breathe?

Fuck, hope is hard to find right now. But I'll be damned if I ain't gonna try.

Love and struggle,

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Too much light far too soon

I sleep all right, but still I'm so tired. It's that time of year, I guess. When the light wakes up before I do and hurts my eyes. Making mud from snow and hurrying the flowers up from their beds while I'm left way behind. I wish I was ready to flourish, I really do. But spring waits for nobody, and when reality comes around to shake me out like a dusty rug I manage nothing but falling to pieces. Springs are always the worst time of the year for me, so why would it be any different this time? There are so many things I'm sick and tired of. Never feeling good enough, for example. It seems to be fairly unrelated to accomplishments, too, which means there's no way out of it even if I would manage to live a productive life. Not that it's likely to happen. When just making it outside the front door is a struggle, how can I hope to contribute anything of consequence to the world?

Most of all I'm sick of being a student. And of smartphones.

We lie in bed
The wireless dancing through my head
Until I fear the space between my breath
I see an end to where I don't love you like I can
Cause I've forgotten how it feels (amen)
To love someone or thing for real (amen)
Darling when you wake, remind me what we've done
That can't be shared, or saved, or even sung

Love and moping,

Wednesday, 15 February 2017


Once I reached for love
Now I reach for life

So soon...

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Inexplicable delight

Maybe sometimes happiness has a reason. But I think most of the time you simply find yourself with happiness thrust upon you, while you seek to rationalise to yourself the cause of this emotion. This has its uses, I'm sure; if you can identify correlations that may help you do things to increase your happiness. But I believe it is just as important to just indulge in the feeling. To be thankful for the inexplicable delights coming your way is a good exercise in finding happiness in whatever situation life throws you into. A lot of the time reasons are beyond our comprehension, anyway. We're not only subjugate to the chaos of this world, we are chaotic systems to our very nature.

Not that I think that maximising happiness is or should be the supreme goal of life. Emotional constancy would nullify the whole concept of happiness, and besides there are other more important and interesting values to strive towards. But it is nicer to be happy than to be sad, and so there is no shame in enjoying the heck out of it while it lasts. I found this music today. It fills me with happiness. I have no idea why, and I'm content to leave it at that.

Love and happiness,

Monday, 6 February 2017

97 % trams

platt fall


för trång
vilken grej

Kärlek och ord,

A thousand nights, continued

One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, Vol 2 of 16One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, Vol 2 of 16 by Anonymous

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A hundred and twenty-five nights into the layers upon layers of stories. Some further reflections:

- A night is anywhere between three and forty-five minutes long.
- The slutshaming knows no bounds.
- Shaharazad is my new idol. Them storytelling skills!

Despite the mostly outdated morals, I'm having a hard time not enjoying this.

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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

A thousand nights and a night

30 nights into this colossus of a tale containing a staggering amount of layers of stories, I have taken away the following:
  • Women are deceitful and unfaithful by nature, and it is a reasonable thing to kill them if they are found guilty of adultery. Better make sure that they are actually guilty _before_ slaying them, though.
  • Beautiful people are by nature good and deserve one another, while ugly people are fair game for playing tricks upon.
  • It is a desirable thing to marry one's cousin, except when they are ugly, or mean.
  • Telling a good story about your adventures will often save you if your life is under threat, so do practice your storytelling!
Love and stories,

Tuesday, 17 January 2017


My desktop is nowhere near as messy as my mind is.

Apparently it's been four years since I took a course in statistics. A lot of neglect and a mental breakdown since then means there's not much left of the knowledge in me, nevertheless I'm trying to use it for my master's thesis. It is coming back to me, although ever so slowly. I believe I made some progress today, and actually produced a result of scientific interest. There was a time when I managed stuff like this every day, but nowadays performing a simple chi-squared test is considered a huge success. We'll see whether or not I'll be crying after meeting with my supervisor tomorrow, but right now I have some hope of actually finishing this project.

And then there is the folk music. I managed to mostly pick up a tune that was taught today at the rehearsal, so I guess I am learning how to play by ear. It makes me so happy, being able to do a thing which seemed to me nigh-on impossible not very long ago. And even when I'm unable to follow along in their playing I am so, so glad to be surrounded by such lovely tunes (and people!). 

Even my poetry is starting to come out of the stand-still it's sunken into the past month or so. All in all, it is a good day to be alive. Life looks bright, and my heart is so light to carry.

Love and joy,

Friday, 13 January 2017

A one-way love affair

Oh, mountains. I haven't been home for two weeks, and I miss you already. Every time I find myself in mountainous terrain I ask myself why I live in this godforsaken flatland of a place, bereft of forest and all. I'm in love, there's no doubt about it. The deep, mad kind of love, which makes one go oh wow I want to be with you forever will you please let me worship you?

But I'm not sure I could stand living with them in the long run. I would have pretty much constant access to things that now are to me rare luxuries: snow, darkness, aurora, excellent stargazing opportunities, silence, solitude, breathtaking beauty. That is a fact. But would it be worth the price of isolation? My roots here have grown deeper than I intended, and I am aware of how painful it would be to pull them up. It is a dangerous thing to make friends with people, you know. They might make you feel like you belong.

But then again, the feeling of longing is so strong that I cannot help thinking about how and when I will next be able to visit them, even while I'm still there. If that's love or just plain old human inability to be content in the present situation I'm not sure, but the feeling doesn't seem to go away. I guess what I need is to find a balance between the joy I find in having a home amidst people I love and who care about me and my desire for beauty and adventure. Right now that would mean keeping the mountains in a long-distance relationship.

Does it make sense to love someone (or something, in this case) who lacks the capacity to love you back? Can it ever bring anything other than pain? Sometimes I wish I had the ability to control, or at least direct, my desires. But then again, if I somehow managed to have them removed, I'm not sure there would me much left of me.

Love and mountains,