Hemmeligheten er: Du er alltid her.
(elske, sanse, dele, danse)
Sårbarhet, mot og kjærlighet: stillhuman.no og Senter for bevisst fødsel (kommer snart)
When we die, I think we’ll be happy for the times we’ve stopped. Just stopped. Whatever we’re doing, however we’re doing it, to reach wherever we think is important to go. For instance, you haven’t seen a city before you’ve looked up towards the rooftops. They’re often amazingly beautiful, playing with the sky, but we forget to look.
Kids. They’re just kids, small bundles of love, with wide open hearts. Take a look. Flowers. Soil. The sea. It’s there. The taste of an apple. Warm hands. The sun rising, again and again. It’s all there, waiting to be seen.
Even you are. You are here, waiting to be seen. And you can be the one to see you. Just try it. Just stop.
Fingers resting on the keyboard. Belle and Sebastian singing in my ears. Elia and Lean sleeping in their beds. Girlfriend talking with her parents in our kitchen. It smells like chocolate cake and summer night. I wish I had the energy to think gigantic thoughts, but tonight is a night for the small ones, or maybe even no thoughts at all. I’ve spent two full days with Lean in his kindergarten, slowly carving out a new life for all of us. Although most Norwegian children start their daycare careers with 12 months, it still feels early to send Lean off with only 2 years on his bum. I don’t care about the politics, I care about my boys. I feel grateful that they have a wonderful kindergarten to go to, I feel grateful for the loving and lovely people who will take care of them, I feel grateful for getting more time for myself. But I also feel it’s hard to shake that little sting in the back of my mind.
Lean is doing great though. I couldn’t hold my pride back as he wandered confidently around, exploring the playground on his own terms. That’s all I wish for both of them, really. Lots of play, lots of exploring, lots of their own terms.
I’m just about to join my two dudes in dreamland. Wish you an unsensational night with no thoughts whatsoever. But on your terms, of course.
I’ve been thinking about writing. I love writing. It’s the best friend I didn’t know I had, yet I’ve always missed him. What’s really exciting is that not only do I love it, writing also takes me to what I love. It’s a pathfinder, a heart detector.
For years, I thought I was going to university. At 13, I got catalogues from schools around the country in my mailbox. I simply couldn’t wait. From my point of view at the time, studying was also a way out, or away, or maybe even more towards something new. I felt ravished by the longing to get out there.
I never got to university. I did get out, out there, where I still am, stretching all I can. But university… I realized without realizing that I can’t afford to spend time on it. I am going to die, thus it’s impossible to spend the time I have on ready made and packaged knowledge. I love learning, but to learn I need to experience it myself, to swim in the sea instead of reading theories on swimming. So I jumped. And jumped again.
That’s how writing works, too. I found a format I felt I could start with, something looking like the sea—deep enough to swim, shallow enough not to drown at first attempt. I am humble enough to see that it takes more than 54 blog posts to become a swimmer, or a writer. But I am also determined enough to just do it. Write. Be someone who writes. Be a writer, nevertheless.
My project though, is the other way around. Not to be a writer, but to write who I am.
I read a deeply inspiring book during holidays;Presence: An Exploration of Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society. While awaking similar feelings of meeting a long lost friend, reading the book also reminded me of how much I miss the personal perspective. The subjective. The raw and experienced and lived. I did love the theories in the book, they very much resonnate with my own philosophies and ambitions. Just the title is enough, combining the words presence, profound and change does it already. But even though it was rich with real life examples, I still miss the real real life in it. I find it hard to describe what I really mean, and what I really mean is what I’m really trying to do with this blog and my work.
I don’t believe there can be profound change in organizations and society without it first happening in people. And people, that’s you and me. Real people with real lives. Not leaders and community organizers. Not entrepreneurs and academics. People. Flesh and bone. Mind and soul. With stories. And conditions. And fuckups. And insanely lots of resources and potential and possibilities.
This isn’t about the book at all. It’s about a blind spot, it’s about what I feel is missing. It’s about me, and my blog, and the purpose of it all. Writing who I am. An exploration of profound change, yes. But also an implementation of profound change.
(Isn’t love just another concept unless it’s expressed, lived?)
I’m happy either way. But my true hope with this blog is that I’m able to show you at least a tiny fraction of who I am. That the real real me can be communicated through words, and inspire you to show just a little bit more of the real real you. Because that’s where it happens. Change, profound change. In real real people.
Resistance and struggle and hardship can all take a chill pill today. My two dudes woke up early and we’re ruling in the kitchen, with books and songs and coffee and laughter. Elia just told me about the really real lion he met yesterday, on the way to the supermarket. It was a remarkably nice and friendly lion who wanted to give Elia a hug. Then they were friends and went out in the world to look for big firetrucks.
Here’s to a creative Friday, a day of great adventures, friendly lions and jumping hearts!
If you read my recent post on the Tom Sachs Space Program, and have decided to go to Mars anytime soon, I found a little inspiration which may come in handy. Whoever wants to explore space might as well dance their way.
If you haven’t read my recent post on the Tom Sachs Space Program, I’ll repeat the most important 3 words from it. Ready? Here we go:
This is an experiment. At first limited to 10 days, then to 20. This is day 20. Does it stop here? Is this the place for logical analysis of results, which supposedly is a given ingredient of an experiment?
These 20 days have already changed my life. I often get up early. I have time for myself. Counscious time. My actions before I sit down and write—getting up, taking a shower, drinking water, meditating—all happen in silence. Every movement becomes a meditation in and through itself. Writing about what I love, and every practical consequence of writing about what I love, has, to my surprise, become something of a deeply needed spiritual practice. When I encounter resistance to it, which happens more often than I’d like to admit, it can be seen as a nice confirmation that I’m onto something.
I told my beautiful one this morning that I’m seriously considering to continue my writing. To step out of the experiment, and into a habit, a routine, a practice. The commitment in it terrifies me. I guess commitment to oneself is the scariest commitment of all. And the most rewarding.
She said she thinks I need it. To go there, to dive into it. I love her for seeing me. And I do need it. Theory is not, was never, good enough for me.
A child may carry out basic experiments to understand the nature of gravity, while teams of scientists may take years of systematic investigation to advance the understanding of a phenomenon. (Wikipedia)
Of course I seek understanding. Like most people I have a brain. And like most brains, mine too inevitably seeks to understand. Yet my motivation in life, as for writing this blog, becomes less and less about understanding and more and more about experiencing. How can I live on the outside what I feel on the inside? How can the vastness and beauty of everyone’s inside become gifts that we increasingly present also on the outside?
My motivation, my goal, my raison d’être is simply to be me. Not to live my greatness or to become enlightened or any of that rubbish. But, as simple as it may sound, to fully and completely and vividly express and experience this tiny part of the infinite cosmos which, through a ridicolously complex chain of events, turned out to be me. Come to think of it, when you look at the crazy efforts made throughout history, alone for my ancestors to survive and pass on the genes, it would be such a waste, if not plain stupid, not to do everything I possibly can to be me!
So then I close my eyes and find a silent place. Purpose and meaning and love and joy, they’re all there. It’s not where they perform their show, but where they come to rejuvenate, like a waterhole. And I promise them to keep writing. I’ll keep writing until there’s nothing left to write.
I want to tell a little story about my grandfather. His name was Herlaug, a rather peculiar name for a Norwegian man, as it by most people is perceived as a name belonging to a woman. I don’t think Herlaug was ever perceived as such himself. Yet because of his name he was never called for military duty, a consequence his parents most likely did not see coming when they baptized him, but one my grandfather always seemed to appreciate.
Herlaug was born in the same house as I grew up in myself. A small house on a small farm in a small village in a small country, my childhood was full of stories from back then, from all the life lived before me. Every rock, every tree, every whispering summer night had its own story to it, its own meaning and its own purpose. Stories of struggle, hardship and breaking ground by hand. Stories of finding a way, stories of having to find a way.
And stories of joy, when you found your way.
There’s one story I remember in particular. Not because of the many details or the intrinsic drama. Simply because it gave me a certain perspective. I was a kid with dreams, I always dreamt of the great world out there and the seven seas and Africa and Australia and New York and everything that could be done and explored and experienced. I moved away when I was 16, out, out into the world. I met my beautiful girlfriend in Brisbane. I have yet to see Africa, but as I was in New York for the first time a couple of years ago, in a business meeting in a posh club on Manhattan, the furthest one could possibly come from the house and the farm, I told a story about my grandfather, about Herlaug.
The first time my grandfather ever left his village, he was 17. At 17, he went to the nearest town, some 40 kilometers away. Up until then, all he knew from the world outside his pocket was what he could read in whichever book he could come across. And there I was, on Manhattan, and my grandfather was there with me. I stood there with him, and a little bit for him.
My grandfather passed away this February, 94 years old. He first suffered from a stroke, in his home on the farm, then spent 11 days falling asleep.
Back in New York, I called him from Barnes and Noble on Union Square, to share it all with him. I’m not sure he could fully comprehend what I was saying. But I could feel in my heart he was proud of me. The distance between Velfjord and Manhattan was gone, and any idea of preference, of achievement, of better than or greater when, simply gone. Love is all there is, and morfar, my dear friend, I thank you. I am so proud of you too.
This is 4 words. It is 6.26 in the morning, the rest of my family is sound asleep, and I’m asking myself what I’m doing. There’s this great urge in me to express myself, to express on the outside what I experience on the inside, to a larger extent than today. And to make this expression an honest one, an exploration of honesty, something only possible through it being an exploration of me.
An honest exploration of me will neccesarily be personal. And, at least at first, there’s no avoiding fear. It’s now 6.32 in the morning, I’ve been up since 5.50. I’ve taken a shower, had a glass of luke warm water, lit a candle. I’ve meditated for 12 minutes and now I’m here. And I’m afraid.
My dear friend Arne, who in fascinating ways has come to be my dear friend, plays a big role in this. He doesn’t really know it yet, but reading this, he’ll understand. Today will be the 223. day in a row Arne writes his online diary (German only). I love to follow it and read it almost every day. Arne talks about the quantified self, the social web, what technology and the Internet does to us as human beings. He discusses Zazen, creativity, photography, he explores the borders between the personal and the private and what we believe is relevant for the crowd. And he sometimes removes those borders.
Having followed his blog from the beginning, I find it a much more interesting read today than at first. It is of course hard to pinpoint why excactly, but there’s something about the process of writing in itself. It is as if the writing has taken him through the layers of fear and vanity and whatever comes up when you sit like I do right now, and right in to the really interesting part. And the interesting part seems to me to be as simple as it’s difficult; Arne writing about what he cares about, burns for and loves.
I’ll hereby commit to writing a blog post every day for 10 days. Maybe it goes on after that, but seen from here I need a kill switch. Doing this scares me. It makes me feel really small, like being 12 and saying something really stupid in front of the cutest girl in school (a feeling I truly can say I know).
But it is also intriguing. There’s so much I care about and burn for and love that I want to express and live out to a larger extent than today. Things like coworking, social capital, passion, crowdsourcing. Like people seeing themselves and eachother, like how doing what you love can change the world. Like good coffee and kids and a beautiful woman. Like death and silence and doing and being. You know.
It is now 7.26. My two boys are slowly waking up, wanting breakfast and kisses, and that’s what they’ll get. This is only day 1 and I’m afraid happy there’s (at least) 9 more to go!