Tag: real life

I’m gonna change the world today

Today I want to write about our world. I want to write about how we could all be happy here. I want to write something that will change how we live, something that can make people stop, think and change.

I want to write something so powerful it will make a dent in conventional thinking, something that will change a million people, or maybe just one. Just one would be good.

My brilliant friend across the water, Richard Bach, wrote this once: Happiness is the reward we get for living to the highest right we know. I bet that sentence changed a million people or more.

I don’t know what to write to change just one.

I know he is right, though. When we live to the highest right we know, we become happy. When we are happy, we change the world for the better. I know that when you live in happiness, it affects the world around you, happiness is contagious. You attract happy when you are happy, and you give off happiness to those who come near you. What can I write to make just one person happy?

I could write about the beauty of our world, the happiness found in life itself, in family, friends, in children. I could write about the intoxicating joy you feel when holding the hand of your child, the thrill of love you feel when looking into the eyes of your loved one, that joyful laughter you experience when in the company of your good friends. Is that enough to change the world?

Imagine every person going home today, deciding this is enough. Imagine everyone deciding that life really is that simple.

Imagine it is that simple. Then know it is that simple.

Follow your heart, they say. Try it just for a few days and see what happens.

I want to change the world today. I will start with a smile.






A mother’s child

I wonder what your mother saw, cradling you in her arms in the middle of the night, your face softly lit up by the light of the moon coming through the window, the entire house asleep but you two. Rocking you quietly, singing, maybe a song her mother once sang to her. Looking into your eyes then, loving your tiny face, your tiny hands, too tired maybe from having a new baby to imagine how your life would be, but surely knowing deep in her heart that you’d make the world a little better, a little warmer, the same way you’d just now magically made her heart explode with love like she’d never felt before, made her cry tears of pure emotion simply because that feeling of love couldn’t be expressed in any other way, no words, no signs to explain how enormous this love, and there you are in her arms looking straight back at her, so tiny, so helpless. Yet you changed the entire world. Did she have any idea that night, back then, gazing at this tiny bundle of innocence, that one day you would do such a thing?

Did you have brothers and sisters? Did you love them? Oh, how they loved you. When you played in those lazy afternoons, summers outside basking in the sun, chasing each other, the smell of warm grass, the coolness of hiding places and the giggles so hard to repress when they got so close, so close, to finding you where you hid. The sheer excitement of hearing them calling your name to come play. The sticky, warm feeling in your palm, the security, the blind trust, when holding hands and walking together. The loyalty, helping each other, the rush of adrenalin, that surge of love bursting your heart, running to come to their aid, were they falling, were they being chased by the bigger kids, did they get stuck, but you came, you always came to help them, your heart racing as fast as your legs, knowing no love bigger than this.

And mother’s soothing touch, resting on your head, your shoulder, cradling your hand, the sound of her voice calming you, calling you in, calling for dinner, or waking you in the morning. The safest place in this world, mother’s eyes, mother’s hand. Did she know then? Did your brothers and sisters know, somehow, somewhere, a tiny speck of ice in their hearts when they saw you, a moment frozen in time, wondering, did they have any idea? Did they ever think you’d grow up to this?

Did you have a father somewhere? Was he ever there, a mountain of strength, a booming voice, giant hands coming down from above to secure your first steps in this world. Did he tell you about the wonders in this world, why the sky is blue, how they get the bricks to hold on to each other when building high, so high. Did he teach you about being a man, that strange world of loyalty and courage, of responsibilities and brotherhood. Did he make you feel loved? Did you silently tell yourself you wanted to grow up and be just like him, a hero in your eyes.

And what about friends? Did you have any? Did you know that special feeling of true friendship, the willingness to do anything, whatever it takes, to help each other? Did you ever lie awake in the night, planning an event to surprise your friend, imagining their face lighting up in pure joy, the excitement you’d feel, that bubbly feeling in your stomach seeing someone you love be overtaken with happiness.

Did you ever feel happiness?

And did you fall in love, finally grown up, entering that roaring world of the adults, the craziness, the responsibilities, and the work. Did you see that special someone, suddenly across from you, and did you feel your world tilt beneath you, pulling you down and into the whirlpool of love. How everything else suddenly didn’t matter, how only this one person could ever make you happy. Did you ever feel this?

Did you ever feel anything?

And where are they now? Your mother, your father, your brothers and sisters, your friends, your loved one … Did they ever know you’d come to this? And do they think today, if only we’d known, we could have done something, we could have changed something, if only we had known we could have stopped him. Is your mother crying today? Did you realize at any point you’d be breaking her heart? No matter her side in this, she lost you today. You’re gone. Only your deed is left behind.

Does she wonder, your mother, does she think: if I’d known this, I would have killed him that night. I would have closed those tiny eyes and never let him take another breath in this world. I wouldn’t have let him live, my baby, my love, if I had known he would do this. Did I know? Was there something in his eyes, those innocent eyes, something foretelling this would happen?


Something changed you along the way. Something must have broken your beautiful heart, made it grow so sad, so full of hatred. Did you know that hatred is nothing but unrequited love? Someone didn’t love you enough, or maybe you didn’t love yourself. Someone made you believe that love isn’t enough in this world, someone made you believe that hatred is true. Those forked tongues telling you that everything you once believed is a lie, telling you the hatred is true, making you believe those days of laughter and sunshine were false. What did they do to you to change you, to blind you to the beauty of our world, to make you believe you could make this world better by way of hate?

I wonder about your mother today. Is she here? Did she see you do this? Did she see you, eyes full of hatred, a heart so cold, and did she remember cradling you, her tiny baby, and did she wonder, her heart in a thousand pieces, how it ever came to this? Is she crying now, your mother, as everything is lost?

I know she is watching this, a blurry screen of tears, the TV repeating those videos from the scene. I know she is counting every bullet hole in that wind screen, wondering how many pierced your body, which one finally killed you. Your brothers and sisters, holding each other, crying, silently or sobbing with grief. Why? How? I never knew he could do this. I never imagined he could do this. How could he do this? Your friends, frozen in their step, staring at that screen revealing what happened. Remembering days of play, days of long conversations, rewinding memories to see if they can come to a point where maybe they knew, where maybe you revealed you could someday come to this. And they wonder, did we know? Could we have done something differently? And they think of your mother, your brothers and sisters, your father. Maybe they go over there, wringing their hands, shy eyes to the grief of the family, so overwhelming.

And you’re dead now. The forked tongues are rejoicing and the mothers are crying. So many lives lost to the false hatred of one man.

In those last moments, were there even one speck of regret or doubt? Did you know in your final second in this world that you were doing wrong? Did you think, in that last moment, the bullets piercing you, your heart slowing to a stop, did you think of the way your mother used to hold your hand, caress your cheek, did you remember the light in her eyes when she looked at you, all that love, that endless love of a mother. Did you miss her just then? Did you wish she was there to hold you, to soothe you, to tell you it’s alright, it’ll be alright, I’m here, I’m always here. Did you stop your hatred for a second, long enough, to wonder about all the mothers of the people in front of your truck? Did you realize, maybe in the last second, what you were doing, how you were killing mothers and children, fathers, brothers and sisters, friends and loved ones. Did you realize, even for a second, that there is no way hatred can ever create a better world for anyone, not you, not the forked tongues, not anyone.

And in that split-second of realizing this, did you wish you’d gone home that day, chosen another path. Did you wish you’d gone home to your mother, told her about the forked tongues, told her you’d met them, but never wanted to go there again. Did you wish you’d joined your brother instead, spent an hour or two talking, laughing, did you wish you’d gone to see your friends, mystified by the forked tongues, but knowing it would end in tears, turned your back on them, found a way, a different path, choosing love over hatred, choosing a quiet life of doing what you could to make the world better. Did you wish, your last breath leaving your body, that you’d chosen love instead?

Cleaning, divorces and suicides

It’s quite normal that the kids wake up at 5:30 – 6 am. It’s also quite normal that they are wild and energetic from the moment they open their eyes. Today as well. We have a morning routine for getting everyone ready, oatmeal, fresh clothes, boxed lunches and teeth brushing, then out the door, an extra count of gloves and hats, lunches and boots. I wave bye-bye to the family, then return to the house to clean up, sort out, empty the dishwasher, check laundry, all everyday business.

Today was slightly different, though, as I had decided to spend all day cleaning the house thoroughly. It’s quite nice, actually, cleaning when you’re home alone. Spotify, headphones, volume up. Off we go … The dog, however, didn’t like it to much, running from one end of the house to the other all day to avoid vacuum cleaner, wet cloths and floor scrubs. She had a rough day.

A little after midday, as I was taking a break for a quick lunch, I called my dad. That’s quite normal, too. We talk every second or third day; if I fail to call first, he calls me up and complains that he’s lonely and no one cares about him (all for fun, of course, he’s quite busy and never lonely.)  We talked as usual, and it was about time for me to go and pick up the kids, and we still talked, so I leashed the dog and brought dad along with me on the headset.

As I walked, dad turned to a different subject. As if he had forgotten, he suddenly said: But you haven’t heard all the news! We had talked quite a lot, and I was a bit surprised that it hadn’t included the news so far as we had touched upon many different subjects. Our talks always contain everything from philosophy across politics to life learning as well as kids, family, memories, hobbies, etc. Well, the news …

The other day, he told me, several different people had called him several times, all on top of each other. As he was busy, taking a class in stone jewelry crafting, he hadn’t been able to call back until hours later.

First, a good friend of the family announced his divorce. After a move to a foreign country, years of marriage and building up an entirely new life and a good business, the marriage couldn’t last any longer. I had to pause in my walk, pretend to be deeply interested in the patch of grass, which the dog was sniffing, to conceal my tears from people walking by. A divorce might sound quite ordinary, but it never is when it’s someone you care about. Someone whom you want to be happy and live a life of ease and joy. My dad gave me all the details, he couldn’t conceal the hurt in his voice anymore than I could. And then his voice grew even more raw. His cousin also called. A cousin, whom he grew up with in their grandparents’ house, someone who colored his early life, but also someone who hurt both himself and everyone else by turning to the bottle when life became too hard.

I remember him clearly from my childhood, a talented painter, the one who would always liven up the family parties, but also someone, who was always talked about in hushed voices at the same parties; only as an adult did I understand why. The bottles only grew deeper, and he turned into what many people would call a tragedy.

Tragedy or not, my dad’s cousin was recently told that he has cancer. He went into treatment and got better. But now, it got worse. Lung cancer, and badly so. I guess you can say it isn’t surprising seeing that he smoked two packs of cigarettes a day to accompany the booze. What surprised everyone was his reaction to the news. He went home, drank every ounce of alcohol in his apartment and emptied every pill glass he could find. My guess is that would be quite a lot.

Somehow he survived. I don’t know who found him or how he was rescued, but this was last week, and now he told my dad. He’s in a recovery home, and just wanted my dad to know. My dad’s reaction was quite understandable; when told, he yelled: Why the hell didn’t you call me first?

Well, yes .. Why didn’t he? Why didn’t he choose differently than suicide? Why didn’t he reach out? Why didn’t our family friend seek help to save his marriage, a counselor, a therapist, someone? Why didn’t he call before it all went bad? Why not half a year ago to say things were unsteady? Why didn’t someone get my dad’s cousin some help to stop him drinking  and smoking 50 years ago? Why couldn’t he change? Why?

And this is what it all comes down to. When I finished the call, I felt empty at first. So close, all this hurt. And then came the why, why this, why that. Why all of it? My own thoughts from the day and a busy day up ahead became distant and irrelevant. It was spring warm today, no need for hat, gloves or scarf, the sun was bright and eager to reheat everything, flowers breaking through the ground everywhere, such a beautiful day, and there I was, a head full of tragedy.

It’s strange, life, you just never know what’s up ahead. You can plan, structure, control, think all you want, but you just never know. And maybe it’s easier, better even, to try not to, just let go, and let things happen. “I can’t do anything,” I told my dad, as I felt I should do something, ought to do something, but how in the world can I save a marriage or cure lung cancer, how can I talk someone out of suicide or make them believe there’s more to life when they just don’t see it? This is out of my league.

I can be there, make myself available for a talk, a hug, a presence. And sometimes, that might be all we need.



67 seas i et sommerminde/67 seas in a summer memory

Jeg kan ikke huske årstallet nu. Jeg ved, det har været omkring 1994 eller senere, for jeg var startet i gymnasiet. Jeg kan også huske, at det var sommer, og at jeg havde fået fritidsarbejde på den lokale tankstation. Jeg var i den der fase, hvor ens hjerne og hjerte ræser derudaf hurtigere, end fornuften kan følge med, hvis den overhovedet eksisterer i den alder. Det var den rasende blanding af svimlende kærlighed og total selvdestruktion, som regerer nogle teenagere, og jeg var fuldstændig uden holdepunkt i orkanens hærgen.

Det er hundrede år og en sommer siden, men nogle gange husker jeg det, som er jeg stadig midt i denne kaotiske tid. En dag, som i dag, hvor jeg kobler headsettet i telefonen og klikker ind på Spotify for at høre lidt musik, mens jeg gør rent. Hvor er jeg dog blevet gammel, tænker jeg, mens jeg skriver dette. Så uendeligt langt fra den tid. Nu, hvor livet er madpakker, huskelister, bureaukrati, klokkeslet og længslen efter ubrudt nattesøvn. Dengang var det pokker i vold og spring over afgrunde uden tanke for faldet. Dengang, i tredive graders varme, i min sorte Dizzy T-shirt og nye Doc Martens, under brændende sol midt i en skare af vilde fans.

Rutebilen fra Udkantsdanmark, der dengang endnu ikke var navngivet således, kørte ikke til tiden, så far hentede mig på tanken, da jeg havde fri, og kørte mig ind til Odense. Jeg husker ikke, hvad vi talte om, men husker, at jeg klædte om på bagsædet: de nye Doc Martens, de fede solbriller, T-shirten. Han satte mig af på Brandts Klædefabrik, hvor koncerten var. Det må have været før, Dizzy Mizz Lizzy blev helt store. Jeg kan huske, at jeg mødtes med venner, men ikke hvem. Og så husker jeg følelsen af at stå der i mængden, pokker i voldsk, den totale overgivelse i musikken, i følelsen, det svimlende, turen ned i afgrunden og tilbage til balancegangen på en følelsesmæssig silketråd. De var fede dengang, de er fede nu. Musikken er eviggyldig – teenageårene kun et blink i tidens kapløb med livet.

Jeg klikkede ind på en tilfældig playliste, var i humør til rock, valgte en liste, der hed noget i retning af: rock du kender. Og det var sandt. Jeg kendte det. Dizzys helt unikke klang, der med et snuptag greb mig om livet og sendte mig tilbage til den fortabte sommerdag. Waterline, Silverflame, 67 seas in your eyes … tidløst og dog uforanderligt i minder.

Hvem var jeg dengang? På mange måder ligeså håbløst fortabt i mig selv, som jeg er nu. Hvad har så ændret sig? Fornuft? Ansvarlighed?

Den eftermiddag i hed sommervarme i alt for varme Doc Martens og med den typiske teenagefølelse af alt eller intet, den dag kom tilbage nu på en helt almindelig hverdag med jobsøgning, rengøring og pasning af en influenzasyg bettemand på sofaen med Lille Nørd og Hr. Skæg. Hvordan kom jeg hertil? Og hvad kunne der være sket, hvis den eftermiddag for hundrede år og en sommer siden var gået helt anderledes?

Jeg kan ikke huske, hvad der kom før eller hvad, der kom efter. Jeg kan kun huske turen dertil, at jeg havde været på arbejde, og hvordan jeg stod der ved scenen på Brandts. Fornemmelsen af bagende varme, fed musik og en crowd, der gik amok. Et tilfældigt minde, et af så mange, men stadig unikt. Unikt dengang og i dette nu. Hvordan den pige dengang blev til mig nu. Hvordan meget ændrer sig, men ikke alt. Så jeg fylder gulvspanden og går amok til 67 seas, og livet går videre.


I don’t remember the year now. I know it was around 1994 or later because I had begun the gymnasium. I also remember that it was summer, and that I had my after-school job at the local gas station. I was in that phase where your brain and heart race on faster than reason can follow, if that even exists at that age. It was the furious mixture of dizzying love and total self-destruction which governs some teenagers, and I was completely without grip in the ravage of the hurricane.

It was one hundred years and a summer ago, but sometimes I remember it was if I am still in the middle of this chaotic time. On a day like today as I plug in the headset to the phone and click my way to Spotify to listen to some music while I clean. How old I have become, I think, as I write this. So endlessly far from the that time. Now, as life is boxed lunched, check lists, bureaucracy, set times and the longing for an uninterrupted night’s sleep. Back then it was devil-may-care and leaps across chasms without thoughts on the fall. Back then, in 30 degrees Celsius, in my black Dizzy t-shirt, beneath the burning sun in the middle of a wild crowd of fans.

The bus from rural Denmark, which back then hadn’t been named so, didn’t leave on time, so Dad picked me up at the gas station, when I was done working, and drove me to Odense. I don’t remember, what we talked about, but I remember that I got dressed on the backseat: the new Doc Martens, the cool sunglasses, the t-shirt. He dropped me off at Brandts Klædefabrik, where the concert was. It must have been before Dizzy Mizz Lizzy got really famous. I remember, I met up with friend, but not whom. And then I remember the feeling of being there in the crowd, devil-may-care, the complete surrender to the music, in the feeling, the dizzying, the rush down the chasm and back to balancing on the emotional silk thread. They were great then, they are great now. The music is eternal – the teenage years just a blink in time’s race against life.

I clicked on a random playlist, was in the mood for rock, chose a list called something like: Rock you know. And it was true. I knew it. The completely unique sound of Dizzy, which with a quick pull grabbed me around the waist and sent me back to that lost summer’s day. Waterline, Silverflame, 67 seas in your eyes … timeless, yet unalterable in memories.

Who was I back then? In many ways as hopelessly lost in myself as I am now. What has changed? Reason? Responsibility?

That afternoon in hot summer’s warmth in way too warm Doc Martens and with the typical teenage feeling of all or nothing, that day came back now on a completely ordinary everyday with job search, cleaning and taking care of the flu-stricken little guy on the sofa with Lille Nørd and Hr.  Skæg. How did I get here? And what could have been if that afternoon one hundred years and a summer ago had gone differently?

I don’t remember what came before or what came after. I only remember the drive there, that I had been at work and how I stood there by the stage at Brandts. The sense of scorching heat, great music and a crowd gone wild. A random memory, one of so many, but still quite unique. Unique then and now. How that girl back then became me now. How a lot changes, but not everything. And so I fill up the cleaning bucket and run amok with 67 seas, and life goes on.



Billede fra http://fototv.dk/idolerne-fra-dizzy-mizz-lizzy-endelig-foreviget/


My rock and starlight

The other day I mentioned one of my favorite writers, the great Richard Bach. In my time, I have come across a few life-changing books; the first one I remember clearly is Narnia, then Mio, min mio, The Never-Ending Story, The Outsiders, Lord of the Rings… and  Illusions. I’m sure there are more, lots more, but these are the ones coming into mind as I write this.  I firmly believe that most of my personality, most of my thoughts, my ideals and views on the world have been shaped and set by these stories. Of course, I believe everything is stories, but that’s a matter for another post sometime…

Today, I write about Richard Bach. In the years after first reading Illusions,  I referred to him as The Master, but I don’t anymore, knowing he wouldn’t like it. I also know that we are all masters, if we want to be so. And I guess that is the most important message from him to the world: We are all masters.

I have met many different people, some who knew and loved this message, some who just didn’t get it, some who shrugged at it, some who understood, but couldn’t live it, some who found it ridiculous. Some find it silly, some too much of a burden. Yet, whatever you think, whatever you feel about this – we are all masters of our own life. None can live it, none can change it, none can make a difference – only you.


If you have come this far and you’re still thinking Richard Who? – then read this. It only gives you the outer shell, of course, and what’s important here is the message.

And what is the message, then? Well, in short, Richard tells us that this world; time, space, bodies, the beginning and end of life, is an illusion. It is a story, which we play out for fun (yes, fun!), and it’s no more real than watching a movie in the theater. This means we are all but actors on a stage, partaking in these stories, but it also means that we’re free to change our stories as we please as we go along. And this is where being a master comes in. Because we’re only playing out stories, we’re also free to change the stories: If you don’t like what you see, then change it.

And how? Well, this is where the grain of a sesame seed comes in.

If you have imagination as a grain of sesame seed, all things are possible to you.

Richard Bach – Illusions

All it takes is imagination. Not belief, not faith, not prayers, not suffering, not self-punishment or abstaining – just imagination. In the world he offers, there are no Gods, no heaven or hell, no rules, no bidding or revengeful overlords – there is only your free will and whatever your imagination can conjure up. You see why many have found this man to be dangerous? How would this world be if everyone realized this is true?

He answered that once … His guess is: happy. I agree.

As you can see from my list of life-changing books, I have always been a fan of magic and fantasy. When I first read Illusions, I must have been 11 or 12, my focus point was the magic: The hovering tools, swimming in the ground, walking through walls; this was important to me. This author was telling me this could be done. I remember checking with my dad: Is he saying this can really be done? I also remember my dad saying: Yes. And it’s true. My dad has always been awesome


Reading the book again later in life, something else stood out: The message that you can change your life as you please. If you can imagine it, you can do it. And who gets to decide what’s real? This was the time I lost all trust in so-called authorities, and I have never regained that.

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”
Richard Bach – Jonathan Livingston Seagull

A courageous seagull named Jonathan changed the world when it was born. Illusions has always been my favorite of Richard’s works, but I know a lot of people favorite Jonathan. Jonathan definitely changed Richard’s life and the life of thousands, maybe millions, of people. How so? Well, it offered a new way of life, a new way of thinking and seeing the world. Instead of being a victim, suffering circumstances, bowing down to destiny and general opinion, it offered free flight and free choices.

How much more there is now to living! Instead of our drab slogging forth and back to the fishing boats, there’s reason to life! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!

Richard Bach – Jonathan Livingston Seagull

It may leave you somewhat shaken, realizing this for the first time. It also leaves you responsible for everything … Seeing this as true, you’ll no longer be able to point your finger at the world for blame, you alone hold the key. Not everybody cares to be responsible like this. Some people like to blame others, blame circumstance, blame destiny. Some people enjoy the role of a victim, the suffering and complaining, and of course, they are absolutely free to enjoy this.

For me, shaking off the burdens of destiny and circumstance has been absolutely joyful. Empowering. Magical. I, and I alone, make things happen. I, and I alone, create my world. Now, this is magic, this is walking through walls and hovering tools, this is life.

I’m still practicing loops and free falls in this. I believe it is true. I have embraced magic and imagination, and I have managed quite some tricks as regards attracting things and people into my life. But most important of all, I have embraced this:

None of it was making the lady on the phone any calmer. But she broke suddenly and said simply, “How do you know all these things that you say? How do you know what you say is true?”

“I don’t know they’re true,” he said. “I believe them because it’s fun to believe them.”

Richard Bach – Illusions

Up until today, Richard has quite an extensive bibliography. I have read everything on it. Books on flying airplanes, books on love, books about ferret adventures, books on travels and life. Together, these book sum up everything in life from high ideals, adventures, learning and living to everyday humdrum. They tell a collected story about a life dedicated to this message.


On this blog, I have often mentioned perfection. To me, this message is perfection. It holds everything, and it sets you free. There’s no book of rules, no wisdom to acquire, no levels to gain: It’s all Here and Now. It’s what you are. A perfect idea; endless and everlasting. Free. Perfection.


Oh, of course, everything on this blog may be wrong.

There’s this thing about life. Sometimes it’s overwhelming, sometimes underwhelming. Either way, you just keep going because there’s nothing else to do. When I was younger, a teenager, I used to dream about stopping. I was never a happy teenager. I remember this feeling, these dreams, of just quitting, giving up. I wasn’t suicidal – just fed up – and stopping didn’t mean stopping life, just stopping the constant going on. But how was this to be done? I didn’t know then, but I think I know now. It’s not so much about giving up, it’s rather about giving in.

These days a lot of people talk about mindfulness and I guess this term is as close as it gets. By giving in to what is, to the moment you’re in, the life you live, the circumstances, you obtain peace of mind. And through this peace of mind you’ll find happiness and change.

I’m not the one to talk since I’m actually quite bad at living in the moment and giving in. I’m a planner – big time – always ten steps ahead of myself and life – planning out what I want, need, how it will be, and last but not least how it should be.

I’m a grand should-be’er!

If only this and that, I tell myself, then this and that would be better. I guess my teenage self was quite the same. Way ahead of herself in some distant dream future …

Wow, to think all these years didn’t change that.

However, I know how that giving in is much better. This is how it is now, and if I want to make changes, I begin here by being in this now and making changes now for what I want to happen.
And I have quite a nice ideas as to what I want for my future – I’m a planner, remember – but I’ll stay here and now and make the change.
To distant dreams!

Facebook news feed

I have the strangest ambivalent relationship with Facebook.

On the one hand, I love the ease of following friends (and not-friends) without having to commit to hours on the phone or meetings at the coffee shops (not to mention evenings of dinner and bored conversation.) It’s a tool for keeping both friends and enemies close in an age where time is more valuable than diamonds.

On the other hand, I hate the irrelevance and boredom of it all. How often is it really interesting or inspiring when you scroll through your news feed? Pictures of babies and dinners, exaggerated fun on holidays, picture perfect Kodak moment happiness of families, parties, weddings, etc. And often, so often, it’s smiles for the cameras – surface happiness – seldom real. Facebook is a hot spot for pretend, look-at-me, attention seekers and like hunters. How strange even that such a word is now common speak! Like hunter.

I hate this entire concept. I hate how it’s now important that you leave time and room for presenting yourself and your life on Facebook. Of course, you decide for yourself how you want to present it, but it’s commonly expected that you present something, and there’s judgement.

Maybe most of all, I hate that I fall for it. I’m part of it. I present myself on Facebook, and I leave my decision of presentation out there for others to judge. Why not delete my account and be done with it? Oh … because … maybe somewhere I like the idea of presenting myself, and I like following others. At least, some of them.

So what’s on my news feed? Oh … books, mostly. Rarely a friend. Book Riot, the Paris Review, Gyldendal, The Reading Room, etc. Now and then, friends pop in between, someone’s photographed meal or grinning baby. But the really interesting reads follow right after. Brain Pickings is also good, and most relevant. Today it’s presenting Susan Sontag on storytelling. Now there’s an interesting read.

It’s my own private revolution. I feel like I’m revolting against the entire Facebook concept. Ha! Yes, I’m part of it, I present myself, I snoop on others, but mostly, I’m reading articles on books, reviews, philosophy, anything non-Facebook. And I feel better for it, even when now and then I like someone’s baby, or wedding, or meal …

Ah, I admit it. I do feel genuine happiness/sadness/anger/relief now and then when reading news from friends. I am happy for Søren when he has a new baby, I am sorry for Lise when she breaks her leg. I am human, after all.

What tickles me is when someone posts just for attention, i.e. This is the worst day ever … or I can’t believe this happened to me … etc. Posting only to have others ask: Why? What happened?

I don’t understand why they do this. Or, I do understand the want for others to care, for others to ask, but why not try some good old-fashioned honesty: I had the worst day ever, and I really need to know that you care. I need someone to care for me and to comfort me.

What would happen if you posted this? My guess is, someone would care.

In other words, what tickles me is the dishonesty in lieu of honesty. The drama, the charade. And Facebook is great for charades.

I think it’s great that Hans is enjoying a home-cooked meal worth a Michelin star, but why doesn’t he just post it saying: I am so frigging proud that I can actually cook this and it’s fabulous and I really enjoy taking the time to cook and learn. Instead, he slaps it up there with a picture: Hurried home and made dinner waiting for someone to feel bad that they don’t have time for 5-star organic home-cooked meals in their everyday, wanting their praise and envy. Isn’t that the case? We try to be so much, we try to be everything, we try to be perfect at everything, and when we fail, we pretend on Facebook. We’re picture perfect families with time for the perfect career, the perfect top-cleaned, top-nice home, the amazing garden, home-cooked meals with our own grown vegetables from the amazing garden, we make our own clothes, bake our own bread, paint, write, sow, love, talk, cry, make Michelin star dinner parties for our friends, raise our kids to walking wonders, go on amazing holidays, walk the dog, keep perfectly fit, run 5 kilometers every day, find time and surplus to talk to and make love to our partners every night … at least, that’s what we post to Facebook while turning our backs on our messy home, the left-over washings, the pizza box from last night, the unpaid bills, the rotten job, etc.

This is what I see running through my news feed – all the truths untold. And I tap the latest post from Brain Pickings and read that instead.