mandag 29. august 2011

Bølger av noe 5-6-7

Kun skjønnlitterær tekst.

De seks-syv sekundene med bølgene av noe 5-6-7 ble umerkelig borte blant andre bølger, som oppstod der 5-6-7 forsvant. Seks-syv sekunder harde som betongen han tidligere hadde revet opp buksen sin på.

Det var da jenta satt på samme betongmur som han hadde revet opp buksen sin på tidligere – eller snarere; der han hadde fått en rift i buksebaken, ikke altfor langt unna det som ville vært skrittet, hvis han var kvinne. Og det var kanskje akkurat det han ville tenkt på – altså, skrittet – i de seks-syv sekundene, hvis han hadde tenkt. Heller enn det var det bølgene – men her snarere radiobølger – som skylte bort det som kunne vært av en menneskelig innside. Et egg tømt for innhold gjennom små hull, men endog med en bevissthet; et usynlig, skjelvende bløtdyr, livredd for at de hullene skulle bli tettet, redd for at tomrommet ikke skulle bli sett. Tomrommet; dyret ville bli sett. Han kunne ikke se dyret, men han kunne merke dets ønsker på innsiden av en tynn hud, en hud som var tynn nok til å avsløre at det likevel var blod under den. Huden – en krevende parasitt som strakte seg etter jenta, men likevel lå stille over bløtdyret; tomrommet. Jenta satt der, med bena lett spredt, det ene benet pekende utover til siden, det andre mer direkte pekende mot ham, og mellom bena; det stedet. Modellen – som ikke var noen modell, hevet hånden engasjert, og tomheten skalv litt, mens noe begynte å vokse i den; små lysende kuler, stigende oppover, og ut gjennom hullet, opp gjennom årer og tunneler før de tømte seg i det som normalt er en hjerne, men da var en absorberende svamp, klar for å ta imot kulene fra intet, parasitter fra bløtdyret. Han skalv, ristet litt, og kjente lysten etter å holde rundt jenta. Hun senket armen som hun hadde holdt opp mens hun hadde snakket, og først da kjente han at dette 5-6-7 hadde samlet seg i lemmet, og at han ville mye, men han sa ingenting, og de seks-syv sekundene passerte, og gikk ubemerket inn i tiden. Bølgene sank ned i havet, og havet fødte nye.

Samtalen kunne fortsette. 

fredag 26. august 2011

Those black, feathery greetings

It was there again, not really making a sound. Just walking around on the snow and ice, appearently unaffected by the conditions which were scaring the upcloaked pupils, which - lucky for them - could lighten the fear with swearing words. The crows, anyways, were just walking around, slowly, or just standing there, observing, or contemplating the existence of those strange pupils.

The fear was also felt by a 16-year-old girl. She had seen the way the crows were staring, she had heard about talking crows, she had heard about scientific experiments showing that crows are not only able to use tools, but also to make simple ones.

I did not feel fear, I felt relief that day I have in mind, described in the first paragraph. Relief, for the same reason that all animals are a welcome presence. They are perceived as natural just by their existence, and even though we could say that everything which exists is natural - because its existence, obviously, is situated in our world, and cannot really be explained out of it, or out from time - we think that animals or birds have not internalized history. Therefore, we can feel relief. We are not faced by the historically created prejudices which we are faced with when dealing with human beings.

Again, I´ve felt relief later in life, when I´ve seen the crows. Why? They are like porridge - they are universal. They are worldwide. At least almost. They are not supposed to be in South America or Antarctica, but except from that, they can be found in the whole world. When I came to Estonia, I was happy to see my friends here, too. Nicely, I can probably also see them in winter. If you say hi to a certain crow enough times, it might even start greeting you. In a Norwegian kindergarden the workers were worried when they heard childish voices screaming "hello" from a tree. Still, there were no children there. It was just the crows.

I used to see crows in the village where I grew up, along with the seagulls. Still, the crows were better, because they never made noise like the seagulls did. I saw them outside secondary school, even on icy, cold days. They were in Lithuania. They were in Oslo. And they are here in Estonia. They´ve also been meeting me when I´ve travelled in different countries. Almost everyone can recognise that bird. It has also featured in many of the world´s myths and folk beliefs, either in the form of the common crow, or in the form of ravens. Quite frequently, their roles have also been positive. That means the crow is a good international symbol, and a being which - at least for my part - actually eases the feeling of being lost in foreign places, quite simply because the crow is not foreign. Still - that is a truth with modifications: crows in different places might have different knowledge. One example is the way they in Japan have learnt to break things by throwing them on the road, so that the cars can drive over the objects. Dropping them on roadcrossings is convenient, because as soon as the light turns green, the crow can pick up its object again, lets say nut.

Today I saw a crow stretching out its leg. All of a sudden it seemed so long, and so crooked that I understood why crooked things might be named after crow´s legs. In Norwegian it is common to call bad handwriting for crow´s toes, and a certain plant or heather is also named after it. Well - the crow all of a sudden appeared to be standing on something, being taller than usual, like it had put on the high heels for the occasion. It was quite soon standing in its common position again, and laying its head a little bit to the side, seeming to make some conclusion.

It´s easy to understand why crows are perceived to be intelligent. Some research also shows that corvids, crow birds, outperform cats and dogs.

 I don´t know where I´ll move after Tartu, Estonia, but I´m quite sure there will be crows.

fredag 19. august 2011

Benches and river of Tartu

The benches of Tartu, solidly parked in historical atmosphere, and - at least for the time being - rays of sunlight, are perfect for intellectual conversation. If you furthermore add the fact that Estonia is considered the world´s freest country according to some, you easily feel free to let your thoughts run wherever you want them too, or, if you - like me - sometimes like to focus them in meditation, you´re most welcome.

Tartu is a quite small city, by world standards, although perhaps not by Nordic ones, having a population of approximately 100.000 people (a little bit more). Being most of all a student city, the population is young, and it´s quite easy to get by using English. Even though you can also here find young "gangstas" which are high on themselves, there are less of them than in Oslo or Vilnius, at least if my eyes tell the truth, and this might perhaps be because of education.

When I was first in Estonia in 2007 I was struck by the landscapes. Not the landscapes I saw with my own eyes, but the one I saw on the cover of a history book I bought, for example. This means fields with lonely, big trees I cannot tell the names of. Of course, it is tempting to sit down meditating there. If you add the pleasant weather, the ponds, the river, the sound of the crickets, the birds´ singing and the open spaces, you´d understand what I mean. Luckily, these are the landscapes around Tartu.

The Emajõgi river is a midsized river running through town, and connecting the big lakes Peipsi and Vörtsjärv. When sitting peacefully on a bench by the lazy river you can see the fish jumping. This means that you also can see people fishing. On each side of the river, except from in the city center, there is an abundance of trees. I honestly can´t tell the names, but it looks very nice.

Even though Buddhism isn´t thriving in Estonia, the Dalai Lama just visited Tallinn, and was met by thousands of people. Here in Tartu I could see an exhibition in the public library, which, as I understood, was dedicated to Tibet, Dalai Lama and (Tibetan) Buddhism. I am very glad Estonian politician dare standing up to Chinese pressure. There wouldn´t be any politics if they didn´t have consequences, and good consequences usually follow good intentions. Suppressing freedom of thought out of shortsighted economical gains, will not give good results in the long run.

I´ve been happy these days.

fredag 12. august 2011

History is no jumping clown

Not even a mountain stands unchanged through the ages. No beautiful piece of architecture has stood unscattered through millennia. If you´ve read just a little bit of history you should also know that our societies have been even less permanent.

However - certain ideologies seem to want preservation of some kind of old order, usually what is perceived to be national culture, though not the present culture, but some kind of culture, perceived to have existed, maybe 50 years ago, maybe 20, or perhaps in the Middle Ages. Sadly, these opinions are quite often based on ideology, and not on careful historical studies. This means that this society often is halfway myth.

I say history is no jumping clown. History is a string of causally linked events. The Hungarian writer Imre Kertész, seems to mean that even Holocaust was in this sense, natural, because it was created from the upleading events, and can therefore not be written out of history as exceptional or unnatural. That doesn´t mean it is justified, of course.

In my opinion, dividing history into confined boxes, with breathing space between major events and eras, is nothing but propaganda and lies. There is no action that is taken out of context. Belief in such an action is like belief in divine manifestations. Simply, they are religious beliefs.

Every action leads to a result. This conclusion might seem basic, but the implications are not always taken into consideration.

Sometimes, it might seem like something is forced upon you from outside. This perception is often amplified by emotions. If someone you know has been unjustly murdered, you might find it hard to explain the event casually. A causal explanation might sometimes seem like justification. However, reality is constituted by causality, and looking a way from this fact is not honest.

If we were clearsighted enough, history wouldn´t really bring many surprises. We would be able to see the consequences of our actions before we made them. Thus we might have avoided wrongdoing. However - we are not there.

The view that today´s order is unnatural is wrong. Today´s situation has been created by yesterday´s steps and also by the actions in the era that nationalists and other ideologues want to go back to. However, the elements of the period they long for obviously carried the seeds of today´s flowers. In a way, also every view is in a way natural, nobody´s placed it from outside in a mind while the person was sleeping. It has evolved. It might be a wrong view, in the way that it is not correct. It is irrational and it is not explaining reality, but twisting it. However, it didn´t come about unnaturally, or if you want - supernaturally.

History is like a path in a forest, or a road. You walk and you drive, but if you want to return, you´ll also walk and drive. History is no jumping clown, you have no menu of histories to choose from. And even if you had, you would have to be realistic enough to see that once you´d eaten your stuff it´d be gone, even though it would still impact your body.

Let´s look at this on an individual level.

In secondary school I remember discussing a difficult topic. We were talking about rape. I think the class was trying to discuss what caused a person to do such unjustice to someone else. I raised my hand and started explaining my idea. As soon as I mentioned the words "upbringing" and "parents", my teacher began stomping on the floor: "you must never, ever, ever say that", she said. I never got to say what I meant. I meant that everything you do, everything you experience leads to the one moment you are in right now. You cannot exclude parts of it totally. You can pick out the most important, but chances are always you didn´t see correctly.

In a Norwegian nationalist´s view I might be doing something unnatural in being a Buddhist, or by living in another country. However, it is not unnatural. Truth is, I wouldn´t be a Buddhist if not my history, my life, and my environment had led me there. There was no supernatural injection. Something in Buddhism appealed to me, and if it did so, it was natural, because the path before that choice led me there. What would not be natural was to teleport back to birth and freeze myself at that stage of development. Like that is it also with society. What happens now is perfectly natural, and what happened before was perfectly natural. That doesn´t mean it is good, but it is not against nature. Everything that exists is natural. Again, everything that exists is not good.

Sadly, some people seem to claim that one state of society is natural and another not. Therefore, every action that leads toward natural society is okay. Again, the assumption is wrong.

What exists, exists. Of course, that doesn´t mean it is impossible to create something similar to a medieval society again. But also that will be built on choices.

To sum up, I´d say there is no essence, only progression or development. There is no object, but there is a process.

onsdag 10. august 2011

Løftet om togskinner

Om du har sett togskinner liggende på en flat slette, som strekker seg ut til øynene dine ikke får med seg mer, uten noen fjell i veien, ingen byer og ingen mennesker, skjønner du hva dette handler om. Eventuelt kan du bruke fantasien.

Hva med sandaktig jord ispedd grus og steiner, som liksom svikter under vekten av et stort tog, gjerne blått, langt og bredt, tregt, men stabilt? Hva med lyden av sandpapir mot sandpapir mens friksjon tvinger småstein sammen? Og hva med de råtne plankene som fortsatt lukter tjære, og som har smakt sine dråper dovann og det som verre er fra de åpne togtoalettene som har fykt over? Men hva er sammenhengen, og hva er så viktig med disse togskinnene?

Jo, poenget er at du står på denne sletten da. Ikke bli oppgitt over det du tror er et forsøk på visualiserende meditasjon, jeg prøver ikke å få deg til å roe deg ned. Du står på sletten, og vinden blåser rolig rundt deg - nei vent, den gjør ikke det, den blåser ganske hardt, og selv om temperaturen egentlig nesten er akkurat passe, er den faktisk akkurat et par grader under det du finner behagelig. Uansett, du står over togskinnene, og det er ingenting å se, annet enn skinnene, metall, råtne jernplanker, noen trær i øyekroken, gress, litt sand og småstein, ja, og din egen hånd om du gidder løfte den da. Så løft den, og ta en titt på blodårene dine, se hvordan de liksom rører seg under skinnet, under huden din, hvis du beveger fingrene dine, press dem sammen nå ja, og om du ikke er komfortabel og vil trøste deg med drømmer om å ha menneskelige, intime deler i munnen, så stikk fingrene dine i munnen. Psykoanalysér deg selv, og finn ut om du søker tilflukt i fjerne minner om å ligge i mors fang, eller om det er mannlige og voksne kjønnsdeler du drømmer om. Hvis dette stimulerer fantasien din, tenk videre og se på togskinnene, se hvordan de skrever fra hverandre, akkurat i mer eller mindre helt lik avstand hele veien frem mot horisonten. Se på det. Det er en sprekk ikke sant? Perverst sydd sammen med råtne treplanker. Og hvis du skulle finne på å tenke på dette som et kvinnelig kjønnsorgan, hvor bitter er da ikke passiviteten i Gayas skjød, og så hvor grunt det er! Det er ikke noe hull, bare en sprekk. Du kommer ikke langt, min venn. Du er avvist.

Så, da - tenk annerledes, se ensomheten i disse togskinnene, se den forbudte kjærligheten. Se hvordan de to strålene, linjene, vennene i metall alltid er sammen, men det alltid er en distanse, og hvordan den innbilte liksomnærheten som etableres i råtne treplanker i virkeligheten er med på å holde dem adskilt. Se hvordan de tilsynelatende kommer nærmere og møtes der fremme i synsfeltet ditt. En slags tafatt klem, eller, om vi skal gå tilbake til våre freudianske assosiasjoner; et homofilt møte mellom to peniser, som kanskje spruter samtidig i det de er onanert i fellesskap, av en hånd. Men nei, hvordan kan du tenke det? Som intellektet ditt, din klare tanke, vil fortelle deg, møtes aldri skinnene der fremme. Synet ditt narrer deg, din tosk.

Om dette gjør at du får trang til å sette deg ned, midt på togskinnene, tenk da på hva du kan se der fremme, og hva du ser her. Hva velger du? Er du desillusjonert nok til å bli sittende, eller er du apatisk nok til å tenke at du likså greit kan fortsette å gå, det har ikke noe å si?

Hva da med toget? Kan du ikke ta det? Kjære deg, ingen har anlagt en togstasjon her. Det er ingen togstasjon. Du kan sette deg under et tre hvis du vil, men hvorfor skulle du det? Bare du ikke sklir på de morkne bitene mellom metallinjene, så går det fint, bare gå du, ingen holder deg tilbake. Latskap, kanskje, ja, men det er din egen feil. Blir du oppgitt kan du alltids finne et kroppshår å dra ut, eller fra hodet, om du vil. Det gjør vondt, så kan du bli sint. Kanskje det gjør at du får lyst til å fortsette, eller kanskje det får deg til å løpe i ring rundtomkring, som en dum hund som vil spise sin egen hale. Disiplinér deg selv. Man tukter den man elsker. Fortsett spaserturen din.

Hva nå om det blir varmere? Hva nå om det kommer et tog? Ja, la oss si det kommer et tog. Det tuter og du går av togskinnene. Toget stopper ikke, men går videre. Le for deg selv, forestill deg at det står folk mellom vognene på toget. La oss si det står folk der, som fant ut de ville gjøre fra seg der, snarere enn inne på toalettet, fordi de ble syke av urinstanken der inne. La oss si de ser på deg med undring, som om du skulle være en merkelig statue, eller bare et fortapt menneske her ute. La oss si du drar ned buksen og viser frem pikken din, og la oss si de tar en telefon til nærmeste distriktspoliti og anmelder deg for blotting. Da blir det liv, da. Tenk på det. Men da må du kanskje betale noen penger du ikke har, til barnefamilien du plaget på slikt et vis, eller kanskje du får ødelagt vandelsattesten din. Ai, ai, hva da? Enn om du ikke får jobb i fremtiden?

Tenk om det kunne vært et vaskeri her fremme, slik at du kunne vaske de klamme klærne dine. Dette gjør at du får lyst til å ta dem av. Heller det, enn gå rundt i disse klærne, men så var det bluferdigheten da.

Tror du det knaser om du klarer å ta en neve sandete jord fra under skinnene og du presser godt nok, eller tror du du får en skitten jordball? Tror du å gjøre dette vil få deg til å føle deg ekkel? Eller liker du lukten?

Ærlig talt, du har faktisk et valg, kjære deg. Flere. Du kan som sagt fortsette å gå til skinnene møtes og det lovede møtet mellom to peniser finner sted, eller du kan sette deg ned. Du kan kle av deg, eller la være. Blir du så anmeldt, kan du tenke på hvordan du har preget verden littegrann. Du er en kriminell, kjære deg, du er i en subjektrolle, du har formet verden litt, eller hvertfall ditt eget liv. Du har skapt bølger, kjære, du har formet den jordklumpen, og den kan du kaste hardt mot neste tog. Kanskje treffer du eldste eller yngste medlem av barnefamilien mellom vognene, så får du enda en ting på rullebladet ditt.

Kanskje blir du sliten. Du kan alltids sette deg ned ved siden av banen, stikke tommelen i munnen, og slappe av litt.

tirsdag 9. august 2011

Lack of any clear topic

Sitting on the balcony reading, going inside just to write a blog entry, because I feel like it

Though not totally without fear of changing the intended topic, I start off apologizing for the lack of any clear topic. In a way, there seems not to be any, but on the other hand, the topic that is lacking is just the topic of the entry, making the lack of it the whole point of writing.

On the other hand, it might seem like just that perceived lack is what triggers creation of feeling, even though that runs counter to the view that I share with most of my friends and acquaintances. Speaking from experience - and on the topic in question, I have no lack of it - just those books we don´t want to summarize, but those that make us stare out into the void air, seem to be the most emotional ones, and in that sense meaningful, because - again just from a personal perspective - there is no meaning if it´s not perceived like a meaning, and if it is perceived as meaningful, it is felt as such, and that means you´re excited, and that excitement seems to me the basis of true knowledge, as - although it is said before and therefore I´m robbed of any accusations of being a genius - knowledge is more easily internalized and remembered if felt, and thus, experienced.

However, speaking personally again, I am sitting on the balcony - not exactly right now, but the balcony door is open, whatever that means to you - reading a book by my favourite writer, or, rather one of them, as I am too old already - and in my case, this implies experienced (I´m 22, in case you wondered), at least in dealing with this topic - to easily pick just one favourite, as I am too diverse to find satisfaction only from one person´s words. As I am sitting on the balcony reading a book by one of favourite writers, I am starting to think, because the main character of the book quite frequently, or rather every day, starts thinking at 10 o clock, although I had been thinking for many hours already, but not really at 10, because I slept till 11. Like me, the main character wants to release a book, but he is afraid of being too incorrect, and besides - the novel has to be long enough, which is extremely important, in the main character´s case because he will be paid more, in my case because some Norwegian publishing companies quite automatically will be against a short novel, quite simply because that´s not what they publish (unless it´s translated, meaning I might have a chance if I wrote in Lithuanian, but then again I can forget it, because no Lithuanian novels are ever translated to Norwegian language, and besides, I am not that fluent in it like I want you to believe, but on the other hand I could learn Finnish, or Russian, which might give me a small chance, if I grow old first).

I like to think that the old man, the main character of the novel I´m reading (by now I can reveal to you that it is "Fiasco" by Imre Kertész) is not happy with the fact that a certain novel is (at least at the beginning of the story) not released, just like I am. And - going personal again - while I´m waiting for responses from the companies, I don´t feel like I want to start writing something new, although I have some ideas, but then again, as the main character of "Fiasco" is afraid it will be too personal, and that he might lack the necessary amount of imagination, it strikes me that I share the same fear, and the same feeling. And this is exactly why I am now reading a fourth book of Imre Kertész, because I feel I can relate to that writer, and this is also why I want to write, because I think that someone would be able to relate to my stories, which might not be stories, but then landscapes, emotions and thoughts. This doesn´t normally make the greatest bestseller, and you might not have the necessary linguistic skills to satisfy the upper strata of readers. Or maybe you have, without knowing it, or maybe not. You just don´t know, that´s why you, in this case me, no reason to be too dualistic, lack a topic, because you don´t believe in that topic, because you´re insecure. And that insecurity is just what might create the book that you would love to read, but that is the book which is hardest to write, because it is hard to write long books from insecurity - they will stop halfway, or at best, be short stories.

And then, as I turn on the computer, or rather, poke the space button, the sound of a happy computer ready to service its master, sounds different from what it used to, which adds a mystic feeling to the whole hour of writing, or rather three quarters or whatever it is. Then again, a certain strand of bitterness is added to it by the fact that I just saw a beautiful young man from my balcony, but he disappeared behind a small house, and then went into a block building, instead of walking further on, which would have allowed me to look at the person for another half minute, and made up some new thoughts about him, and most probably, I would ponder my lacks in comparison with him, or what I would perceive as lacks, or I would just start reading again.

Now I´m taking a sip of coffee.

I just wrote my second blog entry in August 2011.

lørdag 6. august 2011

What I like about Oslo

Since I´m soon leaving Oslo and Norway for Estonia, I figured it was time to write a blog entry about the city where I´ve been living for two years now. Although it is not my favourite place on earth, there are definitely things that I really like about Oslo, especially when you compare with other towns or places in Norway.

Central Jam-e-Mosque
Architecturally I especially like the blue mosque in the Grønland district, the Central Jam-e-Mosque World Islamic Mission. Not especially old, it is one of the few new buildings that have enriched Oslo architecturally. Sadly, it is tucked away from the main streets, meaning not that many people sees it. On the other hand, that has given me the possibility to sit in front of it on a bench enjoying a cup of take-away coffee or chai latte with soy milk in the sunshine without too much disturbance. Not all Norwegians are happy with "new" faiths that establish praying houses or religious buildings or centers in Oslo or any other place. However, if there was no freedom to do so, I would like Norway less. Also, architecturally, the beautiful details and color of this mosque adds something to a city lacking any abundity of baroque, details and color. Not far from here is my Buddhist association.

Opera building
I actually also like the new opera building, built with Italian white marble. Although controversial since it´s built with public money, also here I think we must be able to separate between politics and architecture. When thinking about the fact that it´s a modern building, it is actually quite nice. Even though I haven´t spent so much time walking on the roof as I could (you can walk on the roof, that´s part of the point), and the drug addicts and/or homeless lying under the bridge leading to the opera can add sadness to the scenery, I´m glad some modern architecture can appeal to my tastes.

I like the foreign ministry, which should also be known for more details than most other buildings in town. Not so much mentioned as the royal castle, parliament or perhaps the opera house, it is in my opinion way nicer. On the other hand, it stands out because it is different from the rest of the city centre, and might not have stood out in Budapest or Prague.

I have my favourite places to eat. When returning to Vilnius, where I lived one year, I try to revisit my favourite restaurants. I think this will also be the case with Oslo. Sadly, lots of the restaurants are branded and do not exactly serve gourmet food. On the other hand, the city is bejewelled with Indian restaurants. Anyone who knows me, will also know how much I appreciate Indian food. My very favourite restaurant though, is the Ethiopian Red Sea Star. I love the food, I love the interior of the restaurant, and the people working there are possibly some of the nicest in the service industry in Oslo. Then there is the cheap Indian Punjab Tandoori on Grønland where they know what dishes I prefer.


Even though the best thing about Oslo is the certain amount of tolerance common to most Western capitals, the second best thing is the proximity to nature. On the picture to the left is Burudvann, my favourite lake near Oslo. Here it is quite easy to catch fish, also bream, which is not common in Norway. There are also lakes accessible by metro or city bus, even though the shores of these are more crowded.

What I think I will not miss about Norway is the fear of receiving hateful comments on blog entries like this one, because I openly confess I find a mosque beautiful.