Hemmeligheten er: Du er alltid her.
(elske, sanse, dele, danse)
Sårbarhet, mot og kjærlighet: stillhuman.no og Senter for bevisst fødsel (kommer snart)
Let The Fuck Go!
After a long day at work I like to go out for a drink with my story. We go way back, my story and I, way back. Our favorite is one of these basement joints, full of smoke and with a bartender who likes to pour you another one. Not that we mind. Sometimes we have very short days at work, you know? We have better things to do, so we meet at the bar and let Tom Waits sing us songs of lost love and miserable times.
My story and I. Jesus, the fun we had. You remember when the thing hit the nail and we couldn’t tell left from your mother? We had a blast, allright. Don’t come here and tell me we didn’t have a blast. How about another drink, let’s make it two, let’s go for the Talisker this time, what do you mean, ice, do I look like a girl?
My name is Åsmund, and I’m an alcoholic. I’m not much of a drinker, really, but I do spend a lot of intoxicating time with my story. Dude, it’s time to sober up. Yes, I do like to get drunk with the pains and pleasures of my past, and I do acknowledge the needs of my wounded child, but the little one can’t get all the attention. It’s like with having kids, I mean for real — the moment they’re born you start the process of letting them go. What I’m trying to say is that there’s a time for this and a time for that. A time for submerging yourself into the abyss of life’s shadows, sure. But there’s also a time for tasting the sunshine and letting the fuck go.
What if you’ve searched and searched your whole life. You’ve peeked into every corner of your reality, you’ve turned every stone and opened every door. What if you’ve tried it all already, every technique and every method, you’ve explored every well-meant advice and walked every guided tour you could find.
What do you think would happen if you would call it a day? If you would blow the whistle and announce a truce?
What I’m humbly trying to ask you is this:
What would happen if you suddenly stopped searching?
I’ve been longing all my life. Longing for all sorts of things. Every aspect of life carries longing, or perhaps it is carried by it. I don’t know what, and i especially don’t know why, I just seem to recognize longing as something inherent, almost like a quality, or a talent.
I have a talent for longing. That’s got to be worth something.
I always wanted to be older. My entire childhood felt like wearing a straitjacket. Only the last year or so, turning 30 and all, has brought some deep and relieved sighs. Some drops of natural authority. Some seconds of not caring what everyone else thinks. I even spent a whole evening not thinking I had to improve. Beat that, 16-year old me!
But the longing is still here. The circumstances may change—I, the circumstancial me, may change. But the longing doesn’t, as if it’s a basal function of the body, like sleep and food. I don’t think it is, really. I think it’s much deeper than that.
One thing is the more superficial longing, maybe it’s even just a projection. The mind picks up the deep longing of the soul, and makes it his. A better house, more money, happier kids, a sexier girlfriend. A better me. You know. That double chin is getting visible. I should be more confident. Thinner. Stronger. Longer lasting in bed. Less angry. The list could go on. The fear-based mind feeds from it. Longing for perfection in the fear of failure. Or the fear of dying, I guess.
But behind all this is a different longing. Maybe it comes from the soul. Sometimes it feels like me, the real me, longing to break through all the bullshit of my story, sick and tired of mind games. It feels like me calling my self. It feels, indeed, like a calling.
And, exhausting as it may be, there’s a big part of me that really needs this calling. If the longing is a calling, I want to listen. I need to listen. I am listening.
Sooner or later something seems to call us onto a particular path… This is what I must do, this is what I’ve got to have. This is who I am. (James Hillman)
I had a fallout with Elia the other night. He woke me up after about an hour on the pillow, screaming and crying. Walking down the stairs to his room, I had already lost. I was angry and desperate for sleep, after being awake with him almost every night for a month. It all ended with me shouting around, walking back to bed and smashing my hand in the wall. It still hurts, my bad consciense more than my hand.
I have these ideas of what kind of father I want to be. To go tilt on my little dude is ceirtanly not among them.
(Having ideas of what kind of father I want to be is also not the best among ideas.)
But standing there in his room, in the middle of the night, I just feel absolutely helpless. I don’t stand a chance. In glimpses I see myself from the outside, see that I’m playing a tape in my head, see that I believe in the story, buy into the drama completely. And I know that it’s fucked up, of course I know, but I’m still helpless in blaming Elia for all my pain.
I wish I could own that pain, take responsibility for my own emotions. I wish I wouldn’t project my own misery on other people, least of all my own kids. I wish I could a lot of things. But I also slowly realize that I’m OK.
So much harder to write than anything else. But I am OK. Sometimes I am helplessly lost in my patterns and reactions. Sometimes I scream at my kids. I hate it, and I wish I didn’t, and I work with myself to overcome it. But it happens. And I’m OK.
It’s an incredible feeling, it’s almost like I’m doing something illegal. I fuck up and I’m still OK.
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.