Boxing.

I keep boxing against my own imagination any time I try to write something.

I should be able to get something out of today, out of this great open sky, the first spring day of the year, arriving much too soon to everyone’s delight. There ought to be something of interest, something of worth here.

But I start, and I stop.

I start and I stop.

I don’t know if I was ever made out to be a writer.

I know all the grammar. I know all the words.

But I don’t know how to form sentences that keep me going.

There’s forever something holding me back. A lack of experiences. A lack of imagination.

This is my mid-life crisis. I guess the good thing is that it’s coming half a life later than I imagined.

I never expected to grow this old. I never expected to become an adult.

Who knew.

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On the arbitrariness of life.

I try to keep plans. I try to make them, and I try to maintain them. I strive to see them through. I like to feel there’s some sense to the things I do. That there’s a purpose, some premeditated chain of actions being set in motion. It’s always a bonus if I can trace an event back to its beginnings and find there my own will setting it into the direction it flowed. It gives me a feeling of control, of being able to form my own future.

More often than not, though, my life is directed by anything but plans. At least the parts of my life that I end up remembering years down the line. Rather it’s the unexpected that stays with me. The arbitrariness of life wins through, both in quantity and emotionally.

Despite liking plans — the comfort in them, the opportunity to shape their ways — I’ve always had a very easygoing nature towards future obstacles. They’ll come, and when they do, I’ll deal with them. I’ve never been good at feeling the pressure mounting before it’s mounted me fully.

I guess anticipation is a required skill for the great planner. I’m not a great planner. And I’m horrible at anticipating outcomes. It’s not that I can’t think ahead, I just don’t.

And so I live on the mercy of the arbitrary. I take what comes my way, and I cling on to the things that I like while discarding the things I don’t. I’m a devoted collector of random friendships, relationships and (should I ever enter the maritime market) ships.

There is the occasional case of mild anxiety when I let my life be led by chance. But more often than not, things work out splendidly. That’s also the case these days with my internship that looks to be evolving into a job. It’s pretty much the exact line of work I’ve been dreaming of, if I were to get into PR and marketing, and it’s in a small company that’s growing. I’m starting up some great new friendships here and am being given a position where I have acres of space to shape my own role. Even this early in the process I’m being given the opportunity to kinda sorta mentor a new person who’s just come onto the team. Another truly friendly soul who’s quickly becoming my work wife.

I’ve missed having that ever since I lived in Copenhagen and had my fellow study friend from Copenhagen who I’d ride the train with each morning and afternoon, spending class with and developing a closer and closer bond. She ended up naming me her work husband, and I felt great in that position. It’s a caring position, spending so much time together, working alongside each other, helping each other. I’m feeling truly inner-happy to finally have something resembling that. I’m grateful that the new member of the team is who she is and that we seem to connect really well. We’re going to spend a huge amount of hours together each week, so a strong and light-hearted work relationship is essential for our well-being.

She’s been headhunted on just as random grounds as I was. But who am I to disagree with arbitrariness when it works my way. I believe there’s a time and place for everything. And chance seems to work wonders in the windows it’s allowed to operate in.

We were younger then.

When it all comes down to it, this blog could just be a collection of The Cure lyrics.

I was planning on listening to Disintegration tonight, but suddenly I’m rediscovering Bloodflowers instead. As I recall, I might actually have fallen in love with Bloodflowers first. I came quite late to Disintegration. My entry into The Cure was Boys Don’t Cry, the movie. But I never acted on it, more than just very casually liking Robert Smith and company. With the release of 4:13 Dream I became a Cure album owner, and I still find huge joy from listening to that album. “Freakshow” is a horrible song, but otherwise it’s an album that stands with the best of their work, and truly underappreciated in the Cure folklore.

I somehow love how messed up my only ever live experience of The Cure was. Roskilde, being in love with you while you didn’t know who you were in love with, with the added layer of your ex-boyfriend who was obviously still in love with you. And so our concert, you and me, became you, me and your ex-boyfriend. And he ended up standing with you, closer and closer as the songs unfolded in the three-hour set, until you leaned back into him and he was hugging you, swaying slowly to the music. Seeing that I threw you a look of “really?” and left you two to sway on your own, making my way up through the crowd for the greatest hits ending to the concert.

When it all comes down to it, I guess that’s a very Cure-esque way to watch The Cure. On your own in the crowd, a love lost somewhere in the rows behind.

I’m sure somehow I’m still working through that, in the sense that we’re all always working through everything that ever happened to us, or didn’t happen. Now we’ve just started talking again. I’m enjoying it. I really am. I’ve missed talking to you. Not in a way that I’ve felt when we’ve had our radio silence, but in a way that I can feel now that messages are suddenly flowing regularly between us. You were such a big part of my teens, such a devastatingly heartbreaking part. But also the most comforting part.

I’m not sure either of us can really pin down what we’ve meant to each other. You were at once my greatest teen love, my most unrequited teen love, my best friend, my most heated argument. You were my smile in the morning and my tears at night.

I’m glad we’ve taken our breaks. We’ve been pretty toxic to each other at times, and I think we’d have kept that up, if we hadn’t spent time muted. We finally seem to be on reconcilable paths where we might be able to have a stable friendship, where we can be genuinely happy for each other.

Perhaps the happiness comes from just seeing us both actually alive and kicking in this world. We know each other’s weaknesses. We know what buttons to push, if we wish to hurt each other. We’re so far beyond pretending that we can’t even put up a facade anymore. We’re naked. We’ve seen all sides of each other. There’s only truth to tell. And I think that might be the foundation we’ve needed.

I’m glad to have you back. For a week or two, or for a month, maybe a year, or for good.

Whatever happens, writing about you here always reminds me of our youth. This blog really has been an outlet for the emotional turmoil I’ve had storming in my head, and for so many years that storm was centered around you. So many blog posts dedicated to you. I started this blog the first summer I knew you. Maybe it’ll die out if I ever truly lose you. Or maybe I’ve grown out of that phase. Grown out of confusing heartbreak with the apocalypse.

I’m running out of time
I’m out of step and closing down
And never sleep for wanting hours
The empty hours of greed
And uselessly, always the need
To feel again, the real belief
Of something more than mockery
If only I could fill my heart with love

(The Cure: “Closedown”, Disintegration)

Snow.

It’s snowing, and ain’t that just the most beautiful of all. Late January evenings in a room with a view of buildings, of trees, of all the darkness hides and all the paths lit up by falling crystals reflecting in the light from lampposts.

I’m not envious of the people down on the ground, fighting their way through the precipitation. Though there is something to be said for being in and feeling the natural elements, I am inherently a person who enjoys comfort. As long as the snow is coming down on stormy winds, I’m content with my spot here, my legs resting softly against the radiator, my tea warm and steaming next to me, my fingers fully functional and not bitten by the frost.

My local discount shop have been selling sledges the past week. I hope the mothers and fathers in the surrounding buildings have been foresighted and invested in their children’s joy, letting them hit the snowbanks tomorrow morning. It’s even a Saturday morning they’ll be waking up to. No school, no plans. Only the fresh snow and endless play.

The snowy winters are some of my fondest memories as a kid. I don’t know if that’s because they were truly that good, or because the snow just sets a different tune for one’s life in the period it’s there, painting all the memories white and bright, filling the days with a very exclusive set of activities.

Only in winter can you go ice skating on the lake. Only in winter can you dare your life on a sledge, going down the steepest hills, closing your eyes and hoping your luck will carry you safely around any trees in your way. Only in winter can you throw snowballs at the stupid boy and the cute girl.

So shaky, so fine
Standing up there, baby oh you look so divine
So harsh, that bright stage light
Showing the first four rows that you don’t wanna play tonight

But you know I want you to
You know I need you to
And I’ll be there for you darling
Even if it all falls through

(Julia Jacklin: “Elizabeth”, Don’t Let The Kids Win) I sometimes wish there were outdoor concerts in winter, standing in perfect slow movie snow on the first to third row, catching the lit-up eyes of a girl singing her heart out on the stage, like Julien Baker singing of her love with a rage.

What can be said of snow other than it pushes people together? What can be said of the cold other than it pulls us into an embrace? What can be said of discomfort other than it inspires us to comfort each other?

Atmosphere on the third floor.

One of the things I’ve become markedly better at over the years is creating atmospheres for myself to function in. I read an article (an opinion piece, an essay, call it what you want) the other day about how it’s no longer enough for our generation to just sit down and read a book. We have to create a whole atmosphere surrounding it. We need our book, of course. Without the book there is nothing to create an atmosphere for. The atmosphere is for reading. But far from being content with having a good book to read, the succesful reader of today must also make sure there’s the right stimmung, the right environment, to ensure the best possible reading experience.

Without knowing it, I’ve become part of this movement of reading environmentalists, seeing as the front and center of the right environment is the candle. The candle is my go-to prop for creating a comfy atmosphere. I know I’ve gone on and on about candlelights on this blog already, but I do feel a shout out is warranted every now and then.

Even today, after a long, lazy Sunday where I’ve felt mostly flat and drained after a hectic week of moving out of my old apartment and into my new, lighting four little candles along my new big window sill, and watching their reflections in the windows dark with the night from outside, has enlivened me and given me a spur of fresh energy as I sit down on my newly assembled office chair, using said window sill as my new office desk for my computer, typing down words as they come to mind.

Speaking of the new apartment and the window sill, I do believe I have one of the city’s best office spots right here, with my third floor view out over the forests to the left, the city to the right, and the hospital with all its helicopter lights straight ahead from me.

I love being back up high, looking out at the world instead of hiding from it behind my tiny windows. I always felt a little uneasy with my windows in my old apartment. There’s something secretive and private about small windows. As if anyone catching a glimpse through it is seeing right into the core of you. In my new apartment there are large windows all around, and I’m feeling less shy than I recall ever feeling.

It reminds me of my roommate in Copenhagen, who’d often do naked yoga or ballet in our living room, giving the neighbours across the road a direct view of her most intimate body parts. But I guess that’s exactly the difference. It’s not intimate, or at least it doesn’t feel intimate, when people can look straight into your living room just as a matter of fact.

Plus, being up high, I’m the one looking down at all the apartments around me now, whereas I used to be the one on the ground floor, feeling everyone’s eyes on me.

Someday I’ll write an ode to living up high. The view. The freedom. The lack of voyeurs.

I’m truly enjoying moving this time. This time it feels real. This time it feels like a home. I need a sofa. I need some new book shelves. Maybe a new dining table. I need some decoration for my walls. I need my girl to come live with me. I need my girl.

The days have been moving too fast, and have sent me on too many travels back and forth between here and there and everywhere for me to really fall into a sense of living here yet. I’m looking forward to slowly finding my footing anew. I’m starting an internship tomorrow that’ll hopefully develop into a proper job in a month. I know this post is very fumbling and scattered and all over the place. I apologise. But if you came here for coherence, you should have known better.

I love watching the night fall on the landscape. Lights from miles out reaching my window. Stars, when not hidden behind a thick, warm layer of clouds, flickering in the sky. I’m sipping my chamomile tea, listening to Bon Iver, enjoying life.

I’ve always been good at enjoying life in solitude. Almost as good as I am at being depressed in solitude.

I know it’s a simple question of motivation for me. A simple question of direction. A simple question of decision. Deciding to be happy rather than deciding to feel lost. I haven’t ever been truly lost in this world. I’ve only ever been lost in my head, but that can be mazy enough.

As night falls and the fog settles I can imagine that the trees on the horizon are secretive mountains, only visible when they’re hidden in the lack of light. I miss mountains. I’d love for there to be a mountain here, or a whole mountain range. Just someplace off in the distance. I don’t know if I enjoy mountains when I’m on them. I tend to enjoy what’s away from me.

I enjoy looking at mountains when I’m down on water level. I enjoy looking across an endless ocean when I’m up high on a volcanic mountain. I dream of people far away from me. I dream of lives lived in impossible destinations, the future or the past.

I take solace in the sound of my keyboard as I press down the buttons and write my words. I’ve always enjoyed that sound. I’m not a fan of the sound of typewriters. Only on film. In reality they’re too loud. I’d feel instantly shy writing on a machine that loud. Fearing someone would be able to hear my words through the sounds the machine makes. I’m far more comfortable writing on a computer. It’s faster. It’s more silent. Yet it still gives a great feedback and it still carries a sound with it.

I chose my computer based on the keyboard. It’s time I start putting it to good use again after half a year away from academia.

I have a feeling my new window sill might finally be the place for me to write all the things I’ve ever wanted to write. It’s an open place.

I just need my girl.

Big Book of Beings: Introduction.

There are different types of people, just as there are different types of stars, different types of cars and different types of milk. Seen from afar, people might look alike. There are two of a lot of things on an average person. Two legs, two arms, two eyes, two nostrils. Two hands, two feet, two ears and two butt cheeks. But we should always be wary of making any kinds of final judgments when looking at things from afar.

The stars, when looked at from afar and without visual aids, have been the center of much speculative speculation as to their origin, their purpose and their very matter. Might they just be holes in a blanket, giving us a glimpse of a flaming ocean beyond the sky? Might they be dragged across the sky, opposite from the sun, by a deity who wishes to cast a daily rhythm upon Earthlings?

After millennia of studying the stars, we have become more knowledgeable about them now to the point where we can tell stars apart from each other based on their subtle differences, and even know of the conditions in which stars form, and the ramifications of a dying star’s final farewell.

The same goes for the study of differences in people, albeit in a faster and more directly personally felt experience. The more time you spend on Earth, the older you get, and the more interactions you have with people, the better you get at telling them apart, and seeing the subtle differences that aren’t necessarily available to the naked eye. The way people differ from each other is not to be found in anatomical mathematics. There you’ll only find similarities in such a striking number as to leave you weathered from exhaustion before you’ve even analysed ten people.

The differences that tell people apart are the inner differences. The personalities. It’s in whether a person enjoys company or solitude. Long walks or a steady seat. A high vantage point or being close to the ground. If you want to study people, you might want to focus on these traits.

Once you’ve understood what kind of person you’re dealing with, you can get into more heavy material. Does this person have a high sense of empathy? Does this person fall in love easily (and with whom/what)? Does this person argue a lot and get into fights?

As you begin your studies, you’ll find people difficult subjects to get to know. They’re known for keeping their inner lives to themselves and having a hard time opening up, especially to a foreigner. But give them time, and give yourself time, and you will start to reap the fruits of your hard work and perseverance.

You’ll understand that, yes, people are very different based on where they come from, what culture they have grown up in and at what age they go under your microscope. And just as importantly, you’ll get a feel for yourself as you start to notice which people you find easier to analyse and which you find more difficult.

That is the truly inspiring part of our work, the insights into ourselves as we continue to get a better grasp at the universe around us. That is, as much as the immense joy of understanding a new species on a higher level each day, what has kept me going in this line of work for more than a quarter century.

It is my hope that this book will spark an interest in you, either as an inspiration for getting into this field of study, as a companion on your already ongoing studies of intergalactic species, or just as a curiosity that will find a room in your palace of memories. Whichever background you carry with you, it is my aim to make this book a welcoming experience and an interesting read that might hopefully stay with you through time and travel.