Sunday, October 09, 2005


Watch how people live their lives, moving in and out of the lifes of others, sometimes only touching briefly, sometimes leaving a deeper imprint. Sometimes even becoming entangled, causing a long, involved, parallel movement.

The department store clerk.
My kindergarten teacher.
My parents.
The person next to me on the tram.
My partner.
The bus driver.

Brief and not-so-brief encounters, people moving in and out of my life, I moving in and out of theirs.

Like the warp and weft of an elaborate tapestry.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Another take on Proust

I experienced a smell related memory today.

As I sat on the tram, on my way to work, a little old, very grey, lady sat down next to me. She is probably one of those little old ladies who constantly smoke. She was all grey; her coat was grey, her hair was grey, her skin was grey. Grey like smoke.

She smelt like smoke too. She was covered in the smell, the smell was so strong, it was like she had marinated in it for a very long time.

She reminded me of Denmark.

When I was little, I used to go with my family to Denmark for the holidays. We used to stay in small hotels and B&Bs. They were all brown (it was the late seventies/early eighties, after all) and smelt in a particular way. Of cigarettes and very pink Danish salami. The smell was very distinct.

The grey lady reminded me of that.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Swedish Midsummer

There are so many traditions surrounding Swedish midsummer. Here's a list over some of them, to give you a feeling of what it was like here, a couple of days ago:

- You resign to the fact that, despite it being the day when you celebrate the height of summer, the summer solstice, light, etc., it will probably rain. Actually, you'll be very surprised if it doesn't rain. (This time though, it was incredibly sunny and warm. I even got sunburned!)

- Despite being convinced about the rain part, you plan most of your food around the barbie... (We had excellent barbie! It's amazing what out doors cooking can do to make very simple food very enjoyable.)

- Aside from the barbie, you also have pickled herring, new potatoes (the Swedes are a potatoe worshipping people, in Summer), sour cream, chives, and maybe meat balls. You can always have meat balls. With this, you have beer. And schnapps. (I didn't have any schnapps. It was way too hot. I had heaps of potatoe though.) Dessert: Strawberries with ice cream or whipped cream. Or milk and sugar.

- Traditionally, you will dance around a Maypole. However, since it's been many many years since Midsummer was considered a fertility rite (there should be no doubt about what the Maypole is made out to resemble), mostly small children and their parents dance around the pole, mimicking frogs. Yes, frogs. You have to see it to understand.

- If you've reached a certain age (say, 20-ish?), you develop a deep nostalgia concerning certain waltzes written during the first half of the twentieth century, strongly associated with Swedish summer. You will probably not remember any of them very well though, and you will certainly not own any records where they feature, so instead of singing them, or listening to them, you do some soft humming. (A fair bit of humming was going on where we were...)

- If you are thus disposed: Get roaring drunk, rape, beat, knife and indulge in some general pillaging. (We only got slightly tipsy, and didn't do any pillaging at all, and no raping. The fights were stylized: we played cards instead.)

- Okay, forget what I wrote about it not being a fertility rite any more: Make babies (Hrm. No comment.). Pretty much every Swedish school class experiences an increase in the number of birthday parties by the and of March...

It's a rather good time of year. Especially if you spend it in the countryside, with some good friends, your loved one and a dog.

Life is looking very fine right now.

I hope you all enjoyed the summer solstice as much as I did.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Be nice!

I enjoy giving people compliments. I've realised that it's a risky business though.

Women seem to simply enjoy that someone notices that they have put some effort into their hair, their nails, their jewelry or their less conventional body art. Or the design of their web page, or their photos, or their work effort. Or their behavior. A really small thing, such as saying "you're nice!" can make people very happy.

Men, on the other hand... Say the same things to a man, and they think you're coming on to them. Is it so, that men don't get enough attention? That they would do well with more compliments? I think so.

Actually, I think all of us would benefit from more compliments. As long as they're sincere. No smooth-talking. Only real, true, from-the-heart compliments.

It doesn't cost much to be nice. And you get so much in return.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Madeleine cake, Japanese style

I just had a Proustian moment.

I was sitting at a bench, outdoors in the sun, lots of lovely spring sounds around me, and a smell of grass. The water lilies in the pond in front of me were just opening up to the sun.

I was having the miso soup that came with my take away sushi lunch, straight from the cup. I was enjoying it, very much, but suddenly I thought: "Why aren't there any little pieces of tofu in here?". Then I remembered that they never put tofu in the soup, and realised that it was a taste triggered memory. I was remembering the first time I had miso soup. It was in a lovely flat in Potsdam, outside of Berlin, round about this time of year, a couple of years back. I was visiting my then lover, an amazing man, quite a few years older than myself. I remembered how much he taught me. About me, about him, about people, about life, about food, about enjoying the moment, about living, about yoga, about sensuality, about crying, about laughing, about beauty, about minds, about bodies, about touching, about taking pleasure, about giving pleasure, about dancing, about courage, about work, about play, about giving, and about taking. I was better at certain kinds of giving than others, and certain kinds of taking than others, so there was a bit of an imbalance between the two of us.

At the time, I didn't have a very good idea of who I was, I as still finding out, and didn't take to kindly to his attempts at showing me these things, as I felt that he was trying to influence, change, me. I wanted to do the changing, the finding out, for myself.

Today, I can see how much he really did influence me. And what a good thing that is. That was a lovely spring. And lovely miso soup.

Friday, May 13, 2005


There is a smell of grass outdoors. Newly mown grass.
It smells like my childhood.

It almost brings tears to my eyes.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Take me home

Pick me up, like a flower.
Take me home, put me in a vase.
Feed me, water me.

Carry me in your arms, like a child.
Take me home, put me on a chair.
Feed me, bring me wine.

Put your arms around me, like a lover.
Take me home, put me to bed.
Hold me, bring me sleep.


I don't have an elegant bone in my body.

I laugh too loudly.
I swear too much.
I walk too fast.
I stand too straight.
I have too wild hair.
I cry too often.
I don't turn away when you meet my eye.

Sometimes I wish I were cool, sweet, calm and odourless. That I could wear a pale summer dress without staining or wrinkling it. That my hair would stay in place for more than five minutes. That I were tall and slim, fine limbed. That I could walk gracefully down the street.

But only sometimes.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

This is one of those days...

...that calls out, screams out for rock 'n roll. My body craves it.

So... Put another dime in the juke box, baby...

And dance with me.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Every breath is unique

Lie on your back. Still. Perfectly still. Your body doesn't/can't/mustn't move. Inhale. Exhale. Calmly. You're not moving, it's not you breathing. The air is pressing/squeezing/seeping into your lungs as if though it wanted to go there/had its own will/on its own accord. It probes/wanders/lingers, visits every crevice/rounded surface/wet warm spot of the walls of your lungs. You experience how the air inside of you is part of/not separate from/the same as the air surrounding you. You are wrapped in/filled with/merging with the air. When you exhale, it's not you exhaling, it' s the air growing tired/curious/satisfied, moving on to a new pair of lungs. Soon, very soon, new air, previously unknown to you, will fill you/examine you/experience you, just like the previous air. Only different. It's not you moving through the air, it's the air moving through you. Lie still. Lie perfectly still. Let the air breath you.

Inhale. Exhale.

(Thanks BKS and CMIII)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


I spent the night with the God of Sleep.
He took me by the hand, walked me to my bed,
and he laid down beside me.
He touched my face, touched my eyes,
kissed my forhead, and I was his.

By morning, he had vanished,
as if though he had never really been there.
He had left no trace,
only the lingering feeling
of him gently stroking my skin

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Cave and fire

I wake up next to you, every morning. I fall asleep next to you, every night. You are my partner, my husband, my wife, my teacher, my student, my guide.

Yet I have never laid eyes on you. You are not a tangible entity. You are elusive. You are a figment of my imagination. You are the platonian cave dweller.

There are so many reflections of you in this world, but they are not, cannot be, you. Still I keep looking. They are all flawed, being reflections.

Their imperfections make them all the more beautiful. Perfection is for the gods, not for me.

Friday, April 08, 2005

When I woke up this morning...

...I laughed out loud. I had been smiling all night. There is so much joy built up inside of me, and it needs to get out. This feeling comes with a Busby Berkeley scenography, ladies in tiny glittering dresses and men in tails, dancing, smiling, whirling their top hats.

Oh, so much joy!

Monday, April 04, 2005

In a blur

My glasses lie on top of my coffee table, in my living room. I, however, am at work. That's not the way things ought to be. At all.

Life is a blur.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Water is thicker than blood

A water nymph has moved into my home. A naiad. She is beautiful, and she sings to me. Her songs are about spring and ice breaking open and melting, about tender rains and fogs. Her very being is moisture. When she isn’t singing, she’s talking. She has the loveliest of voices.

She resides underneath my window. That way she can watch the stunning view of the valley covered in mist in the morning. She loves the mist. The mist is her kin. I think one day she will leave me for it, and I will be broken hearted and my life will be dry, wither and fall apart, when I no longer have her humidity to rely on.

She mistook me for a naiad, that’s why she moved in. I spend most of my evenings soaking in the tub, I must have had a watery scent. She noticed me from afar and when I approached her, she placed a soft, wet kiss on my forehead. I drowned in her eyes.

I am no naiad. I am flesh. I am blood. I don’t have the loveliest of voices. I am not moisture, nor mist. She knows this, now. Her mistake lasted but a moment. Still she came to me. Still she tells me I am a naiad too.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


The other day, this really attractive guy recommended me a movie. I wasn't going to rush out and get it straight away (wouldn't want to come across as too keen, you know, wouldn't that be dreadful...), but I certainly intended to get around to watching it one of these days. I asked my sister, who is very reliable when it somes to having watched just about any movie you can think of, if she had seen it, but she hadn't even heard of it.

She must have forgotten all about it, and I wasn't thinking about it much either. Then, during the Easter holidays, she came home from work, bringing with her a movie that one of her colleagues had insisted that she'd borrow. They hadn't planned it ahead, he had just happened to have it in his pocket, and she just happened to glance at it, asking him what it was. It wasn't until she came home that it occurred to her that it might actually be that very same movie that I had asked her about, only a couple of days earlier. We agreed that it was a rather spooky coincidence. Two sisters, a movie neither of us had ever heard of before, both having it recommended to them only a couple of days apart. Not quite the Twilight Zone material, but close...

We watched it together, and we both loved it, although she fell asleep towards the end. That, however, is quite normal.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

I am Selina

Living in Gothenburg is not so bad, really. It's on the ocean, and by Swedish standards it's a big place, however more of a village by international standards, which leaves us with pretty much the best of both worlds.

One interesting thing about living in Gothenburg, is that, when travelling abroad, you will inevitably end up chatting with someone or other who asks you whether Gothenburg is the place where the Batman lives. The first time this happened to me, I was 15 years old and staying with at family in Hastings for a week, on a school trip. My host father had pasted a huge Batman sign on my window, to make me feel at home. I found that very odd.

Since then, this has repeated itself time and again. Not the signs on the window, but the mentioning of the Gothenburg-Gotham link. Unfortunately, Gothenburg has very little in common with Gotham City. Very few hig-rises, and the few there are are 1980's style mirror facade or red-and-white plastic facade buildings. Very few gargoyles. Not very well suited for Batman to climb, in other words. And there has as yet been no sign of the police making use of a Bat-signal.

However, from time to time, I wake up with a feeling that there might be something to it after all. This morning was one such day. The whole city is covered in mist. When I looked out through my bed room window, I could see nothing. Or rather, I could only see whiteness. It was as if someone had removed my home from where it's located and placed it in an enormous bowl of whipped cream. It was lovely, and not a little gothic. You could almost hear the Dark Knight swooshing past.

No, no, Gotham City isn't really New York. This is where Batman lives.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Hunting and gathering

Today I've been doing some hunting, however not too much gathering. I've been hunting a book. The book should - according to some pretty trustworthy sources - be in the library. Or possibly in my professor's office. Or possibly in my supervisor's office. Or possibly in my professor's home.

Step one: Search the university library. Nope, the book has been borrowed.

Step two: Search the department library. Weeell... Yes. But no. It should be there. However... Well, let's just leave it at me having made the librarians look for it for over an hour and we still didn't really find out on what shelf it ought to have been placed, shall we?

Step three: Ask supervisor. Well, no. She has another book by the same author though. Close, but no cigar.

Step four: The office of my professor... Ah, this is interesting. Some years ago, Chaos set up camp in there, and has refused to leave ever since. We could soon conclude that there was probably no book to be found in there either. Actually, there were heaps of books, but unfortunately, I'm a picky girl. I wanted a particular one. He promised to have a look at home, maybe it's there somewhere...

I have a distinct feeling that this book has not simply been borrowed, or mislaid. It has vapourised. Most likely something to do with atoms and half-life.

Approximately 27 years, what material would that be?