The possibility of love

Maxfield_Parrish_The_Lantern_Bearers_1908When I was a little girl single people didn’t meet online. In fact being single required a lot of skill, tenacity and not least endurance. The singles of yesterday had an arduous task in many ways, they were reliant on sparks flying in the work place, the gym or pub, and then there were the refined sorts that enrolled in evening classes, or cultural painting trips to boost their chances.

Another potential hook up spot (if you were lucky enough) was a show called “Blind Date” which aired on Saturday nights. I can still remember munching biscuits, narrowing my eyes being totally fascinated and embarrassed all at once.

Whatever the methods current or past, it appears the human species not only likes, but actively seeks out the state of relating or being in a relationship with other sentient beings. Relating in general is an indicator of where we ourselves are. To be more precise, without each other we can experience a type of void. It could also be said that if we lack human contact we temporarily lose the ability to understand or relate to ourselves.

Whatever the relationship’s nature, it is clearly natural for us to engage, agree, lock horns – or even nurture other individuals. The resounding truth of this can be found in the countless and overwhelming stories of materially neglected children and animals who can survive longer if loving physical contact and attention is in place.

Let us go back for moment to relationships of the romantic kind. I often hear people who are tired of being alone discussing what they wish for in a potential mate. It tends to center around what that person can do for them and the attributes they are required to possess. The “right” individual is tantamount to a saint, who will wash away our tears, clear out our skeleton packed closets, and give themselves to us 150% 365 days of the year. I ponder on this, and become concerned. I fear that this misconception leads us straight into the valley of relationship hell. If the premise for the relationship is “What can this individual do for me?”, I conclude that we need to rethink, possibly renovate, our wonky ambitions.

Why wonky? Well, let me put it like this. I see that all relationships are possibilities, the possibility that you can bring yourself to the relation. What if we were to think: What can I bring to this relationship instead of, what can they bring or add to me? If this is the premise I believe there may be a genuine chance for connection, one that surrenders to the mutual allowance of possibility rather than getting swallowed by old patterns.

Undoubtedly we will get distracted from time to time, we might forget to call, maybe we even get jealous? It is how we deal with our reactions to all these inevitable things that make us relationship worthy, that we don’t get stuck in our reaction to our reactions.

There is another relationship faux pas that we could attempt to unlearn whilst on the subject, the one called “forever and ever amen”. Society’s backwards views has steeped us heavily into subconscious piousness and forces us to commit no matter what till the end of time. In other words it’s not possible to live in the moment and see how things roll. I’m not saying Dolly Parton wasn’t right when she sang “I will always love you” and I apologise for seeming sceptical, but this state of being is not a given, it can only ever be a potential. Esther Hicks puts this really well when she says marriage vows should sound like this; “I really like you right now, let’s see how things go”.

Ultimately love is just a word, and relationships can be nothing more than a concept if we fail to let go of the emotional junk that no longer serves us. Remember,  you can invite others to join you in rehab (they can even wipe your brow), but it’s you that’s gotta sweat it out. Finally, it must be ok for us to be out there with all our dents and imperfections, but let’s learn where those dents are, work on them patiently and love them too for what they represent – the possibility of love

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chloé crosses bridges

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Roses photos 1

L1140074 copy.tiff

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

The Paradox of Christmas

“Ding dong merrily on high”?…  yep we christmas puppets are definitely on a high… again!

littlematchgirlChristmas seems to bring out the very best in people, and the absolute worst. We become the very epitome of charitable arch angels digging deep into our  feather filled jackets for loose change, simultaneously becoming the devil incarnate when we lose our merry christmas rag in the shopping centre car park.

In other words, something about this farcical spectacle commonly known as christmas, turns us all into a bunch of senseless gnomes that would never in a million years qualify for an apprenticeship in Santa´s prestigious workshop. Emotions are high, as the holiday season is so intrinsically linked to our fragile childhood memories of mum and dad… then mum then dad, those melancholic church hymns, a tangerine or two, and lest not forget a sack full of plastic. I´m pretty sure that when I was I child, as soon as December struck, I stopped praying to Jesus and pledged my loyalties to that pagan god called Santa… or did I just mix the two up?

Don´t get me wrong, I´m not bitter or ungrateful. It´s just that the view from my philosophical armchair observing my fellow humans concerning themselves with christmas loneliness, charity, poverty and at the same time concocting christmas wish lists that look like something a weary Santa might find on the desktop of the Sultan of Brunei, causes my eyebrows to

Is it possible that our overambitious, glutenous christmas expectations also bring forth a guilty conscience that only kicks in once a year? Why don´t we the hell care about the cold and the lonely in January? Maybe we do? But since we´re all so impoverished after our xmas spending orgy those old folks are gonna have to wait till next christmas for a cuddle and a sherry.

Listen to this humble word of advice, coming to you from my cynical little armchair in the midst of this season of extremes: Take one step back from the table of excess and simply chill. Remember this cosy little festival of hysteria in reality only lasts ONE DAY, so do your soul a favor and don´t leave it feeling as empty as your bank balance.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hardcore Appreciation

I sometimes wonder, with all the worlds injustices spilling out from our daily papers, how privileged ordinary folk such as myself can best utilize this information?

The crisis/s in the middle east, Syria, Africa to name but a few, and not least today´s headlines reporting that it´s now been seventy years since the deportation and murder of millions of Jews.

In the case of the latter I am reminded of the plight of my mother and grandmother, whom as Jersey Channel islanders were deported to Germany in the autumn of 1942. Indigenous Channel islanders were not summoned for deportation, but seeing as my grandmother had married an Englishman (my mothers father) it was enough to qualify my maternal seniors for three years internment.

I remember feeling a kind of asphyxiating sensation in my throat on hearing my grandmother recollect her three day Biberach bound journey, nursing her nine month old baby (my mother) on her lap.

I have seen the ancient letters my grandmother wrote from the internment camp to her family back on Jersey, asking for them to send powdered milk and clothes. I can empathize, but I cannot imagine for a second what it must have been like. Strange also to think that in the face of this immense hardship, they were in fact the lucky ones.

I think about how little it takes to be happy, and little it is. Happiness appears to be hard for us to obtain, and by “us” I mean, us privileged, ordinary folk who actually have all we need, but who seem to fall victim to luxury syndromes that apparently society causes?

Perhaps it is wrong of me to compare the human state of emergency to the human state of non-appreciation (in other words the state that´s called “society is wrongful and bad and I and my afflictions are the results of it!”). Am I wrong to suggest that if we became more grateful of our circumstances, we may accidentally stumble onto the outside of that cosy little “me me me” prison?

I don´t think it is possible for us to really put ourselves in the shoes of a displaced, war-ravaged family, nor do I think that there would be any point. The point I believe lies in the message I´m trying to convey from my humble little pocket of privileged peace, entitled “hardcore appreciation”. I believe, that this is what we owe those who suffer. We can use this information to remember our own divinity, stand up to that impersonal machine called society,  stop the f**k complaining, and be appreciative of all that we have… everyday!

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mitt lille Dystopia

Går sakte i gangene på min datters skole. Hun skal hentes på SFO, ordningen som kom under kraftig angrep bare dager før, på det årlige foreldremøtet. Det er imidletid noe som ikke stemmer. Jeg står i lyse og moderne omgivelser, omringet av glade barn, myke voksenstemmer og vakre malerier. Maleriene ble malt av barna i forbindelse med et prosjekt om Marc Chagall, kunstneren kjent for sine utopiske og naivistiske motiver.

Stemningen var amper idet jeg kom inn på møterommet. Lærene og ledelsen fra SFO holdt sammen i en liten klynge og drev med det tekniske, ordnet litt i papirene og mannet seg opp til å ta imot opposisjonen (foreldrene). Selv hadde jeg noe på hjertet, men merket fort at med dette “edgy” førsteinntrykket, fikk jeg heller lyst til å innta rollen som observatør.

SFO var kveldens første innslag. SFO-lederens foreldreorientering ble møtt med en offensiv uten sidestykke. Da foreldrene hadde tømt seg for sine halvfunderte frustrasjoner, vaklet lederen ut av rommet, med en hurtig tiltagende jernmangel.

Dette var lederen for plassen hvor glade barn leker i trygghet. Hvorfor hadde hun blitt et mål for foreldrekundenes frustrasjon, basert på temaer som i det store og hele luktet småpirk?

I 1995 kom jeg som nittenåring hit til Norge. Jeg husker den tiden som om det var i går, båtturen over Nordsjøen, og hvordan havet skummet bak meg, som en blå og hvit sløyfe. En livslinje. Jeg kjente den rene og uskyldige nordavinden blåse gjennom meg. Solen, og en kriblende frihetsfølelse fylte lungene mine. Dette visste jeg var slutten på et kapittel. Bak meg lå England, og jeg var reddet.

Norge var annerledes den gangen, og jeg var overbevist om at det bodde nisser her. Men allerede den gangen visste jeg at den norske uskylden ikke kunne vare. Gjennom mine innvandrerøyne var det nettopp denne uskylden som gjorde nordmennene så sterke, så annerledes, så ulike resten av verden. Jeg var et barn som vokste opp i en indre bydel av London, der det var farlig å leke ute etter at solen gikk ned. Siden jeg flyttet hit har det dukket opp mer enn et par anledninger hvor jeg kunne flyttet tilbake til det spennende men hissige England. Men, nei, barna mine skulle vokse opp i frihet, gå etterhvert alene på skolen, og få lov til å kjenne på bygatenes puls når de kom i tenårene.

I våres begynte minstebarnet å gå alene hjem fra skolen. Dette var en naturlig og fin del av hennes utvikling og hun følte seg stor. Så viser det seg at det faktisk ikke går an lenger, hvis man tar for alvor det man leser i avisen. Tenk om det var trafikken som var den største trusselen for barn i Norge, hvor er nissene når du trenger dem?

Skyldes alt dette her fremgang? Progresjon? Eller landets selvforakt over sin tidligere uskyld? Norges større synlighet på verdenskartet i løpet av årene, og gode relasjoner med supermaktene oppfatter jeg som positivt, men kan dette har brakt med seg en “nå tøffer vi oss”-holdning? Som i tillegg gjenspeiler seg i Norsk media og underholdning? Har såkalt snillisme skapt en akutt motreaksjon, hvor oppmerksomhetssøkende sjokkmedia, eller realityporno nesten er det eneste vi får servert på TV?

Etter å ha sagt dette er det urealistisk å tro at det finnes land som kun ønsker å bli kjent for fiskeboller og uskyld. Men finnes det ikke noen mellomløsning? Hvor ble det for eksempel av den samvittighetsfulle empatien, nemlig den som adskilte Norge fra resten av verden? Hva med å foreslå en “nasjonal makeover” som resulterer i en oppdatert politisk og menneskerettet holdningsmodell som heter empati? I motsetning til snillisme, eier holdningen kvaliteter fra både hode og hjerte.

Aung San Suu Kyi snakker om verdien av empati. Dette mente hun var en essensiell nasjonal egenskap, som Burma måtte dyrke frem og etterhvert bruke i overgangen fra politistat til demokrati. Empati har en viktig rolle fordi den fasiliterer våre interaksjoner og forbindelser til menneskene rundt oss. Empati er et fundement som vi kan bygge på for å skape et harmonisk og fornuftig samfunn. Empatien gjør at vi setter oss inn i skoene til andre, som igjen gjør det lettere å respektere andre menneskers synspunkter og verdier. Empatien sørger også for, at vi viser hensyn til oss selv og andre når vi tar viktige avgjørelser. Etter min mening kan empati ernære alle samfunnets ledd, og det alle første leddet er den intravenøse behandlingen vi overfører til våre barn.

Neste gang jeg sitter i et foreldremøte ønsker jeg fortsatt å kjenne det utopiske ekko i gangene. Det som forener foreldre og lærere, slik at de erkjenner hverandre som kollegaer, ikke stridende fraksjoner. Jeg ønsker at foreldre fortsetter å tilsette barnemelken generøse mengder empati, ikke fordi vi trenger å gjenopplive nissekulturen, eller leve i påtatt uskyld, men fordi én gang for lenge siden skilte Norge seg ut fra resten. Kystlinjen var sølv, og luften var ren…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Child on Planet School

Counting down the days to their first day of school, is for many tender souls either an exhilarating preparation before blastoff, or a nerve-racking, second counting nail bite, before mental freedom is swallowed up by atmospheric pressure.

If for a second you think about it, there really is no other interface, aside from the home, where the species Child and Grown up are so inextricably bound.

The day finally arrives where they land onto planet school, as if spat out the end of a Willy Wonka candy stripe shoot, braced for an involuntary indoctrination into institutional life. The indoctrinators it seems, despite many a good intention, have erased the memory that they once where children too. The initial school years appear acceptant and mild, individuality is seen as an asset to the class, and Child´s freedom of expression although monitored, openly encouraged. However, after a while Child needs to fit in. Gradually and as scentless as carbon monoxide, the behavioral modifiers advance. Tiptoeing into the creative and free mind of Child, school clamps down. Parent may not have noticed, we are too busy focusing on what politically correct actually means. Whilst our backs were turned planet school decided that all children have the bullying gene, and hereby assigned friends to them.

To create a bully, you need to germinate seeds in an atmosphere that encourages an ethos called different is wrong. Remember, Child is slowly learning from Teacher, that their own differences are wrong, so how on planet school are they supposed to allow differences in any of their peers? It is even possible that Child´s prejudices arrived lightyears before the input from planet school. Did well intentioned Parent get there first?

After many years of listening to schools surreptitious propaganda, where different is wrong, older child is becoming immune and possibly developing free thought.

Is it non-legitimate to raise the notion that Teacher is now under the threat of payback, and that they themselves become the bullied?

It is my firm belief that the relationship between child, parent and teacher should be built here on earth, on principles of mutual humanitarian respect. This respect starts between parent and child, dominoes onto parent and teacher, from teacher to child, and finally from child to parent and teacher. Maybe if we employ these values, the bizzare threat of difference will eventually subside and disperse in its ridiculousness somewhere in outer-space.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment