Tuesday, November 17, 2009

D’Angleo and inspiration

Damn, it has been so boring to sing for many years! It used to be my biggest joy! They’d hush on me in high school classes, I’d be singing while walking, cycling, sleeping… (almost) and I’d practice a couple of hours every day. I was trying to aim somewhere, but being young and subject to available situations where you can use it it just fell apart. I didn’t know where to go with it. I got so fed up and furious that I didn’t sing a note for several years. If someone suggested that I’d sing something they’d better be ready for fight. I was angry!

Time flies and anger wears away. I’ve been singing a few Rock’n Roll things over the last few years with more or less luck. It’s just been for my own tracks and I sing on all my own guide tracks. But that’s pretty much it.

Today I bought D’Angleo’s “Brown Sugar” and the beat of the title track just didn’t leave my head for hours. I wanted to sing! I remember CeCe Winans doing a cover of Andraé Crouch’s “Take Me Back” and when I got the record I just couldn’t stop singing. I climb, I mountainbike, I ski, I do all sorts of stuff, but following CeCe through some of those phrases seriously gave a similar rush as high speed gives. D’Angelo was doing stuff I couldn’t figure out what was. I had to sing it back time and time again. I typed down the lyrics and started to sing. First mumbling till the words stick, then carefully starting to turn up the volume and at last doing the phrasings. It was dead fun and I’ve been going for a good while now, and I have a lot more work to do on it tomorrow when I can sing much louder without being kicked out of the house for disturbing the neighbours.

Anyway… Rare occasion, and it was fun again! Amen!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mission completed, so far...

9th of October 2009

I've had this feeling of an ending coming up for a few weeks. An ending to the world as I have known it over the last few years. My studies are drawing to a close.

I just came from the Viva Voce (the defence/ interrogation/ questioning) for my final Masters Project. It was great! I love talking and I had really been looking forward to people trying to verbally trap me in a corner for days. The active word in that sentence is "trying." It's like the King of Norway said when he stopped smoking some years ago; he was really disappointed that it was so easy, cause he had been hoping for a proper fight! Calling my Viva Voce a "fight" would be exaggerating, but you have to stay sharp. And it was fun!

I walked down in the entrance hall of Leeds College of Music. I looked at the security guard and all the people walking in and out, and realized again that I was walking out. Not just right that moment, and I'll be walking through those doors many times again. But you get what I mean. I can't just call the college up and book a studio any more or check out whatever microphones I need, which is a crying shame. But hey, it's good too. Cause you'll get trapped in false security if you'll stay somewhere for the convenience.

I walked down by my old hotel the other day. It was two whole years since I checked in there for the first time. And tomorrow, on my birthday it will be two years since I signed the contract for the flat I live in.

Leeds looks less familiar now. It's not routine walking down the streets anymore, it's more a privilege and exploration than it has been in a long time. It feels like I'm back to the excitement of October 2007. Full circle, just coming towards the end and not the beginning. I think a lot of things lost some of their significance too. The balcony platter for instance. It is made from untreated wood and it annoys me how gray it gets in the city centre air. I wipe the dust off when I have guests, but it never looks like healthy fresh wood. Some time ago I bought platter oil, but haven't had time to apply it yet. Now it doesn't matter any more. I just finished the Masters Degree I wanted. In a few weeks I'll be an official Music Production Masters graduate.

I walked into my flat, didn't take my shoes off and kept the leather document bag hanging over my shoulder. I stood there in the middle of the living room and looked at my bookshelves and it was almost like I was talking with the books. Both those I have read, those I have not and those I have just partly read and browsed in. Many big ideas behind the purchases and yet life is too short to do it all. Or is it? When I came out of my year in boarding school 12 years ago I said that if I could do anything over again it was getting involved with more stuff. More conversations, more activities, more music, more... There is always more to do, there are always more unread books in my bookshelf. But right now I'm quite content, I just finished the education I wanted since I was in my teens. Curiously enough, one day before my 30th birthday. I finished the MA while I was still in my 20's. While my friends started studying I was still playing in the woods on mountain bikes, trekking the mountains and working with getting other people "out there" and with selling them the right gear. Thank God for His humor, one day before a landmark time-shift I'm done.

Swiftly leaving Singapore 2 years ago, headache at first over getting accustomed to the new studios I've been using here, finding musicians; and the unread books looked back at me and didn't seem at all sad. Corinne Bailey Rae started playing in my head: "...all these things happen... all these all these things happen... for a reason..." Yes, they do.

I think I should go and take some pictures of that old half-fallen down Abbey by the rugby court today. I've been looking forward to it for two years.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A time traveler's reflection on acoustic/ electric transformers

I took a step back and looked at the beauty of it. It was like going back in the days. Apart from the Ocatvas that I have become quickly familiar with, it was old school. Or as old school as e604s can allow. I remember when they came on the marked and how impressed I was on my first job with them.

One SM 57 over and one under, plus an Octava on top of the snare. One D112, and you can guess where it went. And to crown the beauty; two of the new C 451s. Yeah! I took a step back and smiled. SM 57s, e604s and C 451s, a selection of my all-time favorites. Nothing has changed for 10 years, eh? And if you substitute the e604s with something else, maybe nothing has changed for 30 years. It was a display of nice timelessness and it made me happy. New skins and an amazing sounding snare, no wonder I was looking forward to try it out!

We listened through the backing and went for the first take. I called Ali into the controlroom afterwards.
Me: "I feel I'm missing something, and I'm not sure what it is. I think it may be too bright and I'm lacking some mids. You wanna try out the other over-heads?"
Ali: "Yeah, go for it!"
So we substituted the 451s for a pair of Octavas and had a go. The track went on tape well and we sat down and listened through a section as an A/B-test. AKG-Octava-AKG. There was no doubt with any of us, the verdict was: Octava. It is always a good comfort having the approval of the performer, who knows the instrument better than anyone else. The 451s were simply too bright, and the Octavas had the midrange we felt was lacking in the AKGs. The 451s would most probably have given me a mix-down nightmare. I recently had a similar problem with a pair of Schoeps. I'd go for Octava any day now.

The old favorites were packed down. -Couldn't be world-champions in everything I guess. It sounded a lot better after the change. But it didn't look as beautiful...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nice Try Baby!

I just got this in the spam-box of my e-mail. I have removed all names and set new words in inverted commas since the spammer is using a real company name. Check it:

I am “Name” (“Company Name”), an attorney at law in “Country”. A deceased client of mine, who shares the same last name as yours, died as the result of a heart-related condition on March 12th 2005. His heart condition was due to the death of all then known members of his family in the tsunami disaster on the 26th December 2004 in Sumatra Indonesia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake.

I can be reached on (“e-mail address”) for more information. My late Client has a deposit of Seventeen Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars (US$17.5 Million Dollars) left behind.

Best regards,

“Name”
“Company name”
(Attorney at Law).
Hand Phone: “+xxxxxxxxx”


How many with my last name are there in this world? –The name of a little place on the West Norwegian coast. Hey, I ain’t even been there! My great grandfather, Harald, migrated from there coming on a hundred years ago (yeah, it’s him I’m named after). I know about only two branches with the family-name from that area, and one remote branch that might have another surname. If a whole family related to me got wiped out during the Tsunami, should I not know about it? And since I used to live in Singapore from 2005 and knew the embassy staff, my name would arguably have popped up on the radar. And why is not my surname mentioned specifically in the mail? –so that as many as possible can receive this generic e-mail!

Someone needs a new hobby!
Nice try baby,
-H- ;x

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Loud Cry in the Silent Night

So if I left, would it disappear?
The slight banner of disastrous steps to the tier?

Now left behind like barren land,
how could East of Eden ever provide for a man?

So if I not, but burnt it hot,
the fiery promises escapades won't stop...

But promises, hey! -what shall I say?
Has wind and rain now yield to me?

But if you say the dice is thrown,
and if you say all chances are sown...

I stand but for a moment still,
and in thine eyes I sense no victorious thrill!

For sure as man one day shall die,
if he himself is full measure he swiftly should say goodbye!

I'd think I would be better off,
in the hope that my name's letters were gained in the tough!

To the wind and the rain, for it all was design,
if not the rock holds it's own mindless mind!

Or what would the waves tell you if you asked them your worth?
For so many a man was killed by the surfs.

The chance and the surf has this one thing to share,
they won't cut off the time for those no longer here.

For time and chance provided, it all was decided,
the meaning of random forever be fired.

So if he then lost, against a worthy cause,
where then could the strider again find a provider?

For much as it feels like when surf hits the sand,
if aims are missed it is sad like lost land.

And if it is lost for this moment in time,
it means that the intent was for it to be mine!

In spite of the gone, the head be held high,
as a soldier till he comes home or dies.

The only thing pondered quite simply is this:
that if we have feelings, then who did us kiss?
and if we have aims, then who sets the games?
and if then we miss, is it like tumbling sand in a little kid's pile and no bigger bliss?

For if the evolvement was right,
the rational would have developed the irrational and the day could be night!

And sure as the sane is sure not insane,
I lay on man's destiny forever a claim!

For if all this was given to me and to you,
then there is more than the random in the clouds and the blue!

And that's what then hurts when the arrow's too low,
that there is no such thing as "random" for the angle of the bow!

By days to come I'd much like to see,
the lines and bearings, the paths of the free.

For many strolls in the dark of the woods,
raise your glasses!
For them all to be past in our wishes like ashes!

For more days graciously delivered,
and sunlight on hills over hills we can bear.

Men of the free, attach your loyalty,
raise your sceptres,
all we all long for cometh here after!

I'm sorry if tears felt like bruises to the faint,
but no one are dead while there's still blood running in his wains!

Please give me more of the wine in that toast,
for the days we shall live and no past to boast!

Friday, September 11, 2009

2+2=0

Orange is the new red on recording-ppm metres, some say that 30 is the new 20 for age, and 50 is the new 40 and so on.

I was thinking... If 5 was the new 4, then 4 squared would be 2,236067977, and 4+4 would be 10. You could say you'd get a whole lot more value for money, so maybe it could prove to be a good monetary reform in a time of credit crisis. However if 2000 was the new 1700 I'd be 300 years older! I'm not sure whether that would give me extra credit and experience on my CV or simply less pension. Or maybe no pension at all since Otto von Bismarck had not had time to invent the system yet! So maybe we shouldn't go there, but it would be good fun to see Mozart perform live in Prague!

But lets not leave the numbers quite yet. For if we give the above mentioned 2,236067977 (and a few more digits) to the power of 4 we'd get 25. And since 25 is a product of 5 times 5, then for everyone who just became 300 years older, our 4*4 is 25 in a modern context. If anyone then should make the mistake as to take an old 4 and subtract 5 from it and label it "the new 2," we can easily see that 2+2 is 0.

There was a lot of noise when I walked through town tonight. Many people going out to party. One rule of leadership says that "leaders celebrate." It is true indeed that past milestones should be celebrated, but I don't believe all the party people are celebrating milestones.

After I ended high-school I told a friend that I was worried. I had ran away to the mountains every weekend thus far, to escape the clutches of boredom and many pointless classes by teachers who's knowledge was becoming pasé. I did vocational electronics and had many great teachers, but especially with a couple of them we spent a lot of time on irrelevant material from yester-years. ...if not yester-decades! I was worried. I didn't know if I had anything to "run away from anymore." My friend is wise and said that maybe it was on time for me to find something to "run to" instead of "from." I'm not sure if I have found it still. But more so, if milestones are celebrated... If the celebrations in town tonight are running away from the milestones, we reject the hights we have ascended; and if they are running towards them, people should be even higher on excitement by the end of the night and reasonably sober! And rightly we think that there are no milestones involved and people are running from the mundane at the most articulate, and where there is no articulation the celebration is becoming a mundane pattern itself. If cities were to bless us with the combined strengths of human society and support, division of labour, and entertainment; then the city has surprisingly many critics in our days. On the streets tonight it seemed like the "Big Issue" sellers and those who sell various party apparel were the only ones with an agenda. It seems like a lot of people need something to "run to!"

If kaleidoscopes were the new blue, I'd be dizzy when I looked at the sky.
If beer was the new water, a lot of English people would be happy.
If sparkling water was the new petrol, I'd be drinking petrol all night long baby!
If peace was the old war, then Charles 1st would not be decapitated.

I'm hungry...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Things that have made me very happy over the last few days

Lorraine visiting the UK and a great night with amazing people at my place to celebrate. That night I was really fired up afterwards and my rubbish Bible reading-progression lately just got blown to pieces at 4:30 am after the washing up, by a driving desire to dive into the Word! –and the music kept flowing!

When I needed speed and productivity more than in a long time it seems like my progression plan for my music productions are falling to pieces because of a current lack of access to manpower, but then new music starts pounding in my brain. Just when I need it the most! The first fact is sad, the latter is brilliant!

Sunshine outside Leeds City Art Gallery with Rose and Lorraine.

Thindwa/ Chikankheni retaliation dinner and subsequent picking of Blackberries in East End Park.

Amazing worship in Leeds and Bradford ALC!

Lenny Kravitz and Foo Fighters. Memories of early days and late nights of Lenny-sounds after Gospel Choir practice in days when mobile phones were the size of houses and were attached to cars. –days of more speaking and singing.

Buying new IK Multimedia plug-ins for Pro-Tools! Pretty happy-go-lucky, but man it’s fun! I like… so much!

But really: Dinners, Friends, Word, Music, Exciting!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Under Age 2

Can you believe it happened again?

I had a full beard when I was 15 and no one ever denied me purchasing anything! In fact, while attending air-shows I have been taken for a potential serious aeroplane-buyer. I can buy an aeroplane if I want it! No questions asked, transfer the money! "I'm sorry our Chief-Executive is in a meeting right now, can I take down your details and our Regional Sales Director will contact you in a couple of days." I'm not gonna name the company, cause you might well know them, and they were getting well interested in who I was in the end!

But this I can't buy...

I walked into Tesco's after Church one day. I found a couple of mini-bottles of red-wine that I wanted to have standing around the house as to marinade meat in whenever the occasion made itself present. Two small bottles of wine! Small! Very Small!

I walked up to the counter. The lady grabbed the bottles, scanned them, and with no hesitation she looked right at me and said: "Do you have any id with you?"

I started to laugh! Quite loud I believe. I reached back into my wallet and passed over a plastic-card and said: "Yes I do! Here is my drivers-liesence!" It says I was born in the late 70's, and that's a long time ago now. The old chap I met the last time probably had quite old eyes too, his glasses were thick and it was late in the day. This young lady had no excuse with the eye-sight for sure, since she hardly could have rounded 20 Winters yet. I was laughing to myself as I walked out of the shop. I think the lady saw it and it seemed like she caught the humor herself.

So what is it? I was never asked before, I could even buy an aircraft from one of the world's biggest manufacturers. But two small bottles of red-wine in a supermarket in England becomes a challenge!

Yes, I saw the Curios Case of Benjamin Button, but no, I was never that ugly as a baby!
What if I get any children? At the current development this is likely to happen: I rock up on first day of school with my boy and they try to enroll me! But whatever marriage produces of challenges, it presumably produces an answer to as well. I'll just send my wife! Ha-ha! But that's easy to say as a bachelor. What if she works in Father Christmas' administration at the North Pole and spend much of the year abroad? Then I'd have to go myself...

Man it's late... I should go to sleep.

Winter's Coming

I walked out on the balcony one evening. A friend of mine was sitting in the living room. I stepped outside and looked around. Then came a breeze from my left, from the river side. I turned my head and could see the fields on the outskirts of Leeds afar and I knew immediately what was happening. It was in the breeze, just in a tiny amount. "Autumn is coming!" I exclaimed, almost surprised to hear my own words. My friend in the living room started saying "No no no!" and telling me to keep my mouth shut! I didn't. I like the Autumn! I was born in the Autumn. In the Autumn, people come down from the mountains and I have them by myself.

Today, as I was walking from the cinema in Bradford I had the sensation again. Only different. I could feel the Winter! It's not very cold at the moment. Not cold at all in the days and I wondered what it was. That subtle bite of the chill after sundown marks the entrance to both seasons. But the air tonight was dead in that it had no sense of change to plants and greens in it. There was nothing apart from the background of the city. Few things can grow in the Winter and the air carries witness to this.

So is it because I'm an Autumn child? Is it the acquired skills of a trekking guide? Or maybe you think I am mad. I don't know, but I think the Autumn and Winter is so native to me that I can sense some of their traits. We will have many sunny and warm days before the seasons change still. They may not be sunny and warm by tropical standard, but by North-West European indeed! But the little tales of the change to come has made their presence noted. Change in many ways I presume since I graduate in October. Though my educational journey is not over, this journey I embarked on in Singapore in the Summer months of 2005 comes to a close. And that means that where next stop is determines how much of the chill I get to enjoy.

There is a native tribe up North in Norway that used to have an old practice I shared much respect for. They traditionally lived in tents and some still do. The practice was: if a child was born in the snowy seasons they would take the top off the tent on the third day and let it snow into the tent. The three day old newborn child would be held up naked against the opening and snow would fall on it. Not for long off course, but by doing so the loving parents believed they prepared the child to be extra resistant to chill for the rest of its life. To modern city people it may seem barbaric, but coming from someone who could run around in the snow in shorts and t-shirt it doesn't seem too bad at all. And I wonder! -had they ever found the chill resistance to be true throughout the life-span of a person? If they did maybe I should do it to my kids one day!

I used to think something like this had happened to me. I could cope with chill like a rock can, but in recent years I have found that I actually need clothes. If the change brings me back into the chill, maybe I'll regain some of my old winter-strength? If it keeps me where it is warmer I'm sure I'll gain or regain something else instead.

*

I have started to understand from the feedback that I have a few readers through Facebook. All these scripts are imported from my Bloger-account, so if you find your self reading this on another forum than Blogspot you are very welcome to click on "View original post" or the links to my external pages in my information-page for "the full monty!"

Monday, July 27, 2009

Under Age

22nd July 2009

Today Khule, Vanessa, Vanessa's cousin Wez and me went to Roundhay Park. Khule gave me a lift back to the city and we stopped by ASDA because I wanted to see if they had any special offers on Brandys. I found a quite ordinary French Brandy called Three Barrels. I had wanted to check it out for a while and now it was reduced (you know, students... :)

I was going to the tills to pay and I deliberately did not go to the self check-out because I know an attendant needs to come and see that you are not under age. That takes unnecessary time and I found a normal till with no queue. An elderly chap with thick glasses was operating it. I could see that he looked at me repeated times and when I was about to pay it came: "Do you have any i.d. with you?"

I had to laugh! -and gave him my drivers license through 11 years. Ok, I am young and beautiful! (maybe), but my face was full of beard stubs from not shaving for two days, and in a couple of months I'll turn 30.

It may be a nice compliment; or his glasses were very thick!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Where do dreams lead to?

Time stands still,
waiting for next action.
Action for time,
time passing but in my hands.

Sounds of dreams,
where to go?
Trail of the muted snare,
dream of the bigger sounds.

Open window,
sun making her beautiful way in.
Busy clouds,
slow evening.

Remember crawling under the bushes?
Childhood in the amazing maze?
Digging channels of snowcaves with sis?
Fumbling in the dark bringing no backup light?

Next cave,
next darkness followed by light.
Next cave,
between the bushes in the park.

Where do dreams lead you to?

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Rain

I came from the gym and was tired. After a shower I lay down on the bed. That was when I saw the blinking through the curtains. Thunder and lightning! I went to pull out the two plugs that supply my studio gear with power; just in case. There isn't much chance of something going wrong and it all should get well covered by the insurance, but you know: -deadlines coming up, and few backups. Ups! I opened the balcony door and walked outside. My balcony is shielded from the weather by the one above so I could stand out there barefoot and remain as dry as a newly showered can be. It's quite nice with the lights suddenly flaring through the sky! I went to get my SLR camera, found the settings I wanted and just stood there and waited. I missed a couple of blinks (they pass faster than I thought) and then I ran out of battery... -Had to put the project on ice and the battery is charging in the kitchen now.

I love the sound of the rain. I didn't realize how much I love it until recently. It's been rainy for a few days and I've been hearing the sound of cars and double decker busses on wet asphalt again. It reminds me about East Coast. Like, just when the rain is passing and all the streets of Singapore are super wet. Nighttime in Marine Crescent, open window, world falling asleep, me falling asleep, smell of the sea, colder air, smell of local mini "jungle" -kind of like cinnamon. No sea here in the middle of England. I don't think I would like the sounds so much if it wasn't for my days in Singapore.

I remember though, countless times, falling asleep to the sound of rain or snow falling on my tent. If it's not a psycho-storm and a whole new level in noise it's quite nice. Makes me fall asleep quite easily. I used to say that rain against my tent was one of the nicest sounds I knew. I think that can be applied to wet streets sounding like Asia too now.

My windows are almost all going from floor till roof so I drew the curtains aside and sat down in my bed writing this while watching the roofs of the town. And the occasional blinking from the lightning off course. The kitchen window is slightly open so I can hear the street still. Kind of like being in my room on East Coast with the window open in the living room when the tropical showers dies out.

Someone were shouting at each other down at the street. Flippin' Europe! Happens all the time, fights and all sorts of things. Yesterday, some schmock set it in his mind to take the trashcan's various content and components and spread it out across the street while roaring. Ok, I can hear you laughing, but we don't have that kind of wackos here often though. But drunk people fighting in the weekends and other people screaming at each other at random times. Too much poverty, too much alcohol! I'm not used to this. What? Get used to it spoiled Norwegian! No, never! They get used to behaving dignified and properly and balancing their alcohol intake. I'll never leave who I am. I'll always be different. Abroad I have an excuse, and if I need one at home it is just that I am me.

The sun is going down later and slower now. The rain has stopped and everything is getting darker. Just liked the sounds, still tired. Night. Soon.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Q, no A

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away there was this girl that was interested in me. She would grab my hand at random times, her face would be a flirt in it self, but she never uttered her interest in words. We used to rock up at some of the same places quite regularly and we were also starting to become friends. Just normal friends. The romantic interest was not mutual, though she was a beautiful and interesting young woman in many good ways.

One day she disappeared off my radar all together. All though we still frequented the same places and had many friends in common, she no longer spent any time... or dare I say, wasted any time around me. So much for that friendship I laughed to myself. But I have opposite stories as well, where the friendship might even have grown stronger.

What is it? If you are found not to be husband-material any more you are discarded as a friend? You see, I think the title "husband (material)" is a super-structure that is built on a friendship sub-structure.

Once I introduced two people. They later became a couple and then they broke up. I was spending some time with her some time later, and she talked about the loss of her boyfriend. She started crying and said, "I don't mind loosing a boyfriend" -but in the process she lost a friend. Some people are sensible enough to stay friends though.

What if the friendship comes first? And then a bigger interest develops maybe from both, and then one of the parts bail out. You should think they went back to being friends right? Friends to start with, ending as friends. No reason for one part to retract? Maybe I'm just too Norwegian...? I have very few places in my heart that I give to people to come really close. If someone changes their mind about the romantic superstructure I don't understand why the underlying friendship has to go, or suffer injury. Was my friendship that cheap? Romantic interest detected or broken; no longer material for more than friendship spells discarded or decreased relations?

Ain't it funny? Dark blind alley entered in sunshine with happy company and you walk out again confused and alone in the dark of night. We shall all die, and you wonder what you learn in times like those. One more day of your life spent on something unnecessary. But it's not unnecessary is it? Nothing is. At least it makes great knowledge for raising and guiding future sons. Thank God!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Brandy in a Whiskey Glass

(Leeds, March 2009)

I was down at a pub-club-whateva' the other day. And fond as I am of Cognac I ordered a Brandy. No that sentence didn't make full sense, but I've got the expensive bottles at home and I don't order them in bars when the single shots of some super "XO" costs what an entire bottle of Brandy costs at the mall. So I went for a quite normal Courvasier V.S. The guy at the bar pulled out a glass and poured it up. That is, a whiskey glass made of plastic! I know it's not exactly from the Grande Champagne district but hey...! Well, I guess they had a lot of students as a part of their clientele and quite a few seemed to go there to have too much alcohol. I for me have never been drunk and have no intention about trying it out, but for safety's sake, don't give the kids proper Cognac glasses! Ok, I can get that one. Then the bartender leant across the bar desk and tried to say something. I couldn't hear what it was through the music and asked him to repeat. "Do you want ice with it, or do you want it straight?" "Straight please!"

Ice!? *@#$&%$**!! This is no blooming Scotch! -Think someone must have mistaken the bottle for Whiskey. So there I was on the dance floor with my Brandy in a plastic Whiskey glass. Maybe I don't go out enough. But I am learning well how to cope with reduced standards. For better and for worse.

Inspiring People

Yesterday I had dinner with a few of my friends. It was a nice break off from my thoughts of my college work. One of the guys is a graphical designer, one soon a medical Doctor, one an energy trader and the other two I frankly don't know what do.

Other people inspire! Their entrepreneurial ideas especially. Anything that spells new creativity. New Creations. New things, inventions, progress.

On the first dinner I hosted in Singapore I invited a handful of friends. I did it to show that they were people I was really starting to appreciate for more than just random meetings in the college canteen. My Norwegian dishes soon became a discussion topic around the table, and quite seriously, if I had stayed in Singapore one more year, a restaurant might well have become a business venture set into operation. Maybe in the future... I wanted the people to know I appreciated them. But what came out of that night woke up forgotten dreams and set me on new ideas. A lot for a dinner! They were amazed by the food, but the real gift was given to me.

I was reading through Time Magazine's "The World's 100 Most Influential People" today. A lot of great people indeed, and a few not so great ones too. But many people with inspiring stories and drives.

Barack and Michelle Obama, John Legend (by Quincy Jones!), Chesley B. Sullenberger (by General Chuck Yeager!), Rick Warren, Hadizatou Mani, Clooney, Somaly Mam (Take the hat of for this amazing Lady! I remember Gen. MacArthur's words: "I will return." The enemy has everything to fear from people like this, and the free world has every reason to love them! As the Wespoint slogan goes: "Duty Honor, Country - Duty you are called to and can not leave, honor that which deserves honor, and stand up for those who rely on you. She inherits the same determined persistency as any officer should, and it is of these people MacArthur said that the army (here: the people) would just be a "mob" if they were not present. She brings order to chaos, restores and rebuilds where most people would have limited the massive undertaking and favor only to themselves. Here here!), Lang Lang (by Herbie Hancock!), Kate Winslet (by Pete Jackson), Werner Herzhog (Love the great German name!), Tim Geithner, Brad Pitt, Boris Johnson (Love the guy!), Paul Kagame (I had no idea), Thomas Dart (You rock!) ans Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (Has been on my hero list for quite some time now.)

Some people just inspire...

Fightclub

When people talk about getting to know themselves, discovering new sides of them selves or their performances, and they go: I'm sure you all recognize this from your own lives... I am usually one of the very few that silently just sit and shake my head. I know who I am, I have never or at least very seldom doubted a talent or skill I knew I possessed. I know what I can, I know who I am and I don't need anyone's approval to believe in the simple mechanics of my own human soul.

You know that scene from Fightclub where the lead characters go something like:
"Oh, I just visited the new fightclub in this or that city."
"There is a new one there?"
"I thought you started that one..."
Then looking at each other like, "who is out there playing us then?"
OK, it's ages since I've seen it, I know this is a hopelessly inaccurate reproduction.

Or even more when one of the dudes comes to one of the fight clubs and meets this guy with a huge thingy around his neck to keep his beaten and wounded head up. The main character is shocked by the sight and walks up to the man and asks,
"Who did this to you?"
The other guy looks back in disbelief to find out if it is a joke. It is not and he replies,
"you did, Sir!"

Or even better than that when in one of the final scenes the dude meets up with Brad Pitt's character and understands that it is himself. He pretends to shoot himself in the head, but it's just a con and the other fella dies. The mirror image, not himself. The other men find him wounded but he is really just happy to have gotten ridd of the devil. And the other guys, not knowing what just happened clench their jaws, saying with a sense of reverence: "He's a hard bastard the boss!"

And suddenly the weird opening scene where the man is seemingly fighting with Brad Pitt, seconds later is fighting the air, makes sense.

He was checking credit card bills, plane tickets and tracking down his friend's moves around the world just to find that he was chasing himself. A double.

I know who I am, I know what I am capable of. Lately I have experienced some uncommon doubt. I think there's a double. I've started to find his traces, but he doesn't know it yet. Don't get me wrong, I'm not psychotic, but I think it is my turn to say: I'm sure some of you recognize this from your own lives... I have friends who went on to become engineers, sales people, administrators, doctors, lawyers and a lot more. Some of them think of anything like this kind of reflection as dangerous and unusual. But those very few that would claim that are the same ones that sold the dreams they set out to accomplish for life's comforts, and it's counterpart: the challenges of the respective life you choose. We shall all die. The time for decisive action, love and fun is now!

He's starting to annoy me. I'm on his track. The double me. When I find him I'll kill him. But someone is standing almost invisibly behind him. But I always had good eyes. And the one behind has a lot to fear for his plans. Men was not intended this way.

After I make the kill I'll come out on the other side and maybe say the unusual words:
"I learned something about myself."

That Which Upon All Things Rest

Have you ever been so scared that you thought there was no way out? That this is the end? Whether you've been climbing, had assignment dues, met yourself in the door, seen your car crash in slow motion from behind the steering wheel or other things...

When God is the only one left to trust. Everything else is stripped away, when there is nothing between you and death. None of your skill, none of your circumstances can save you. Only He can.

Warm Houses

Norway, February/ March 2009

I was just down in the workshop in the basement and was reminded of what people so often ask in Britain. "Is it always really cold in Norway?" I explain that no it isn't and that in the summer we can have more than 30 degrees Celsius on warm days, though on a rainy day it will be much less. The basement is cold, but houses here are built to cope with all aspects of temperature and weather in a much more efficient way than where I live in the UK.

I'm off back to Leeds tomorrow and will be missing my chair. We just had reading-week in College. I spent it home in Norway celebrating my father's birthday and skiing. -and reading. Though I didn't read anything school-related. I read about aviation news, strategic air defense, cooking, Christian books and training. And I listened to Lisa Nilson. Thank God for all the good music that has come out of Sweden over the last hundred years.

Yes, I'll be missing my chair. It's perfect to sit in while reading and the house is warm. No running to the wardrobe to get extra clothes. If it gets cold -and it does- I go down into the even colder basement and fetch some wood. I chop it up with an axe and cut pieces of it that I can light up with. One of the woodburners is situated three meters from me when I read. No fancy and beautiful but cold window panels of my UK apartment to freeze me down on cold days. But plenty of birch wood planted by my great grandfather Harald that burns evenly and produces much heat.

Norway can be cold, but I'm always warm.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Where did the beauty go?


***

WARNING: This started as a set of reflections from the last few days, but somewhere along the line it turned into an essay and exit’ed as reflections again. I have been thinking about opening a blog for essays, as not to kill my readers (if I have any, Haha! :) with information and to keep it a bit more tidy. So if you want a lighter side of me (and less words) I suggest you click at some of the other posts. Though there is plenty of lightness in here if you look! I am now hungry, and after writing for 3 hours on this document I won’t bother correcting anything cause I need to sleep tonight. I might do adjustments later. My apologies for any written mistakes, I’m just interested in finding out where the beauty went… I’ve missed it.

***

Before I moved from Norway I used to spend quite some time up in the mountains and roaming the woods at night. I’ve always been pulled towards the views and sceneries. I was checking some e-mails this morning and wondered again. I have a friend who had a pager back in the early 90s. If we went to someone’s house we wouldn’t have the chance to text someone to say we were outside the door so they could open. We had to ring the door-bell ourselves, and when we had gotten the address wrong it was always fun to see the reactions and conversations that would unfold. And if we weren’t sure about the address we’d have to try any house and see if someone knew our friend. But people were cool about it, everyone knew this was how it had to be. My friend’s pager was indeed a pinnacle of technological achievement. It meant he could call you back from a phone-box, paying with a “tele-card.” I didn’t utilize the opportunity much; I think his parents were more active users of their son’s availability. I just used to walk down the hill and pop by when ever I wanted to see him.

When I’m in remote places in the mountains all alone it always does something to me. I know we all are wired differently (thank God!), but I feel I get closer to God where there are no man-made disturbances to his creation. Though others I speak with gets this sensation when they spend time with people in cafés and man-made places for socializing. The other thing is that I treat time differently when I return to the city. I don’t stress out as easily and stressful events don’t affect me as much anymore. I mean, if you walked 20 km yesterday, had to cross two rivers and saw mountain eagles soaring in circles over their nest there are limits to how much the rush-hour or your assignments in College will affect you. Closer to God, more calm.

No it’s not always a rose-garden, I’ve had my toes and fingers so frozen that I didn’t feel they were there, at one occasion I am thankful to God he answered my prayers and let me come home alive, once I checked out a wind-lip in the off-pieste and it broke under my feet and sent a hard packed piece of snow the size and weight of a little car sliding down the hill while I had to grab hold of the snow above with all I had to avoid going the same way. The latter example was hilarious though, but the first ones you try to avoid. Once I was walking through a half-dried-out river in the bottom of a canyon in the marshes under some pretty desert mountains. My shoes slipped on a wet rock and everything went so fast that I didn’t get my hands forth fast enough and I ran my head into another rock. Stuff like that doesn’t often happen to me and if it does I forget it as fast as it happened, but this time I was quite tired and it gave me the creeps for a few seconds. These are the stories that self-professed “city-people” remember, and those any journalist wants to have on print if they are covering mountaineering of various kinds. If there is trouble or a conflict it will stick longer in people’s memory when it is retold. They’ll loose out on the good bit. Like the time me and my pal stayed and slept 16 hours in a dry-toilet-shed in the middle of nowhere in December to seek shelter from the storm after sun-down when we should have been back in town. The wind calmed when it went towards morning and I went outside for a couple of walks, and the stars! Massive clouds braking up, and above them the most amazing scenery you can imagine. Or the time we lost the ski-track in snowdrift and fog way after sundown. Between us my friend and me ate 950 grams of meat, plus accessories like bread and cheese, plus cake after we found the cabin. We had to heat up the cabin and melt snow for water as normal, but the reward for the detour was on the mountain. The snowdrift was clearing up, the fog was retracting and we started to see more of where we were going, instead of just seeing it on a map with a compass to guide us. As we were walking I was aware that the light was intensifying around the mountain massive to my left. The moon went up over the ridge and we could see far and wide as the snowdrift and fog calmed. I could see some strange colours in the snow-crystals hanging in the air. I didn’t think much about it till I looked up again, and this is what I got to see: High up on the sky massive cumulus-clouds were breaking up looking like floating castles with gigantic towers lid up by the moon. Under them the lower clouds that surrounded the mountains were on their way back and framed the peaks in a white fog. But the best was the snow-crystals still hanging in the air. The moon shone through them and millions of little lights were all around. But that wasn’t even the good part, for from the ridge of the nearest mountain the moon painted a rainbow in the snow-crystals. A complete rainbow starting at the mountain’s ridge, sharply drawn towards the night sky all the way around till it landed firmly on the same mountain-ridge on the other side of the moon. I couldn’t care less that we lost the track!

What keeps you coming back for more? Beauty.

I have a friend who calls herself a “city girl.” We used to tell her to come to the mountains with us. I said she’d love it, she said she wouldn’t. An artist, she admitted that it would be a good thing to do for the sake of doing some photography. I had the privilege of ascending one of the highest peaks in Norway with her once, and she loved it. You don’t have to love spending hours digging snow-caves, sleeping under trees, getting your sleeping-bag soaked with wet snow or falling nose first over the handle-bar of your mountain-bike to like beauty. But it is probably the main force that drives us.

I did a couple of searches on Google and Yahoo for “beauty.” Mostly I got the web-pages of beauty therapists and saloons. On picture-searches, apart from a couple of dogs and cats greatly adored by their owners, it is-not surprisingly-a whole army of lingerie-dressed women out there ready to attack your world with “beauty.” And of course, it made a trekking guide happy to see some sceneries as well. Someone were out there and thought it was beautiful. And beautiful it will stay long after the current lingerie-army is resting safely in their graves. When God made the woman, He planned each individual one to be adored with lingerie (or without) by one man respectively. The lingerie-army is adding nothing to beauty, but breaking it down. It goes from being heaps of individually beautiful women with their life-stories to a uniform army of generic concepts of beauty in a world with instant access to everything. My friend’s pager less than 15 years ago granted him immediate access to nothing but the phone-number of who wanted to speak with him on the phone at any given time. Today our phones can receive highly compressed generic sounding mp3-files alongside the lingerie-army. Music has no sensation left where this is the listening pattern and the lingerie-army as they pose in their pictures, trades their individual beauty for a generic one.

This is not meant to be a social critique, I am not trying to sound like Theodor Adorno or Walter Benjamin. Nor am I trying to pick up “the gospel of Marx” and criticize the capitalist system. If the young Marx came into my living room I would throw him head-first over my balcony so he couldn’t go back in time and create the havoc that claimed literally millions of innocent human lives. But Marx utilizes what he criticizes when he claims authority over every invention created by private money. The access to such inventions will decrease with time in a Marxist system simply because no one-not even the government-earns anything on their new invention because there is no competition. It becomes like a pool of stagnant water, of a stagnant production-machinery in this case. The only alternative is a “Gothic Revival,” but one should think that we had put those days behind by now. The only option for current direction is forward.

Since we are in the Marxist corner already I will do my private little sidekick to the philosopher Max Horkheimer when he talks about the “unreconciled juxtaposition of faith and contradictory knowledge” (“On the Problem of Truth,” 1935). Much unreconcileable theoretical goods have been accepted as knowledge for the sake of political argument and it seems like Horkheimer’s camp inherits as much faith as any. And if it is not faith then it is a con. –Or at the very best, a misunderstanding or incomplete research. To explain myself I’ll use the equation: “If God exists.” I firmly believe He does partly because I see His works active in my own life. I will not treat this in any detail here to not get completely off the topic, but I’d love to write more in an essay or something in the future. If God exists He does not fear science nor philosophy –they simply seek to outline what He has created. Hence, He does not take any offence by the above equation. If God exists and He is who I believe He is, He made the world and all in it and every piece of life is upheld in Him at any given time. If God exists He reveals Himself. If God exists He reveals Himself in what He created, anything else would be a contradiction in terms if His creativity made the foundation of creation. If beauty is inherit in something created, Beauty is provided by God. It is a product of His creative mind.

Friedrich Neitzsche claims that the world and existence can only be eternally justified through its aesthetic value. One could ask what a man like Neitzsche would need to justify anything in eternity for. For if man himself cannot be believed to be an eternal being by the upholding provided by a greater power then Neitzsche seems to be dreaming and hoping that he is wrong. It actually gives me some sympathy for him. I would love to visit him with a cake or something and just sit at the stairs and look at the world. I’m sure he was suppressing something by the juxtaposition of his own faith in the eternal elements of justification and his almost complete rejection of meaning. Grrr… if I could only find out… But it’s too late, the train has left and he died 109 years ago. No cake if you’re dead!

In Isaiah 46 God says through the prophet (If you don’t believe, remember the equation “if God excists,” don’t quit reading for forgetting the philosophical frame):

5"To whom would you liken Me
And make Me equal and compare Me,
That we would be alike?
6"Those who lavish gold from the purse
And weigh silver on the scale
Hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;
They bow down, indeed they worship it.
7"They lift it upon the shoulder and carry it;
They set it in its place and it stands there
It does not move from its place
Though one may cry to it, it cannot answer;
It cannot deliver him from his distress.
(NASB)

The gold and the silver both inherits the beauty for which it is utilized for the manufacture of an idol. There are millions of beautiful and interesting women, but love and friendship is new each time, whether now or in a hundred years. We can picture the mountains in our mind, but nothing is like living it. No artist can shape a rock as wonderfully as a river can, given the years, no matter if you hit your head against it.

I extended my search in best BBC “Click” style and typed in “Where did the beauty go?” A person was commenting on where the beauty went in art. –Cause previously it was about beauty and now much of what was coming out was just meant to be shocking and ugly the author meant. Yesterday I was at one of my occasional walks through Leeds Art Gallery. I have a big affection for National Romanticism and there’s a huge 19th century painting in there from one of the Western fjords in my own nation Norway. It is so beautiful that it almost is a bit larger than life, it is so beautiful that it is almost better than the real. I guess you see it even clearer if you have done any painting and realize the massive undertaking of filling a whole wall worth of painting in a 19th century building with high ceilings. The techniques are diverse and the dark rock bathed in shadow from the high sun seems almost “carved” with the pallet-knife. Not a paintbrush stroke can be seen on the rock-wall. I’m spellbound. In the next room there were 100 years of social critique basically hammering loose at anyone with money, power or influence. Nothing was meant to look nice, just to have meaning. I wonder what Neitzsche would have said. Poor man, I wouldn’t have the heart to tell him. He could easily have swallowed the cake wrong and died once again. Was this meant to eternally justify us? he might have asked.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not attacking modern arts, then I’d be attacking much of my own output too I guess. Modern painting techniques, darkroom and digital processing of photography, modern film music, funny concepts, sound-installations, performance that carries personal messages... Bring it on! But what do we view as beautiful. And Hahaha!, do we need the beautiful? For if we don’t seek it where God put it, distort it in private persons that should be a part of our lives that now appear as a generic product on a computer-screen for the sake of anything but beauty, and if arts itself turns it back to beauty for social argument; are we slowly being malnutritioned or can we perfectly well live without it? Adorno writes about music that “The new phase of the musical consciousness of the masses is defined by displeasure in pleasure.” (Fetish Character in Music and Regression of Listening, 1938). Is it up to us to define beauty or is it at least partly a given? Do we need to take control over our lives in a Heidegger-ian sense also in the realm of beauty? Surely, who of us have not seen thrilled children at their first meeting with something new and exciting and beautiful. You might argue that beauty is not the active component, but substitute the beauty with something ugly and shocking and we'll see the difference in effect. After years of leading teenagers in the mountains I have also found this true here, that on their first meetings with the grand nature they react with amazement and keep coming back for more. Hey! I’m not that old, but I’ll never stop getting thrilled by the beautiful!

Maybe I’ve been living in cities too much over the last years. Maybe there are some key relations not present. Maybe I’m just happy that I’m going home for my father’s 60th birthday in two days and will get to see Norwegian mountains… I don’t know, but all of the above probably did their bit to provoke the question. “Where did the beauty go?”

There is an elderly lady living just up the hill from me in Norway. She is well over 90 and have been there all my life as a part of the world since she was a close friend of my grandparents. Last summer mom, dad and me brought some cake and went to see her. I showed her pictures from my days in Singapore and my current place in the UK. She didn’t get the slightest tired and just wanted to see more of what was inside my laptop, so I dug up pictures from the coast of Malaysia, Paris, Vienna, Prague, big snow-covered mountains and the fjords of Northern Norway. In many ways her persona is a good tale of beauty. –the way she reacts to it when it is visual, the way she has always been happy and positive and always gone the extra mile to look good when in those parties of my childhood and even today, without ever becoming pretentious about it. But also relationally, by her persona and communication and just as important: as a woman. Whenever I get married I believe my wife has a lot to be grateful for to her. She has exemplified so much through how she is without trying, especially in the way she treated little me from my first recollection of her. She has clearly stated what women are but never attempted to do so. I hope she is still around whenever I get married somewhere down the road. In that case she’ll have to be well over 100 :) She’ll beat the whole lingerie-army any day!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama

For Norway!
-buffer zone during the cold war, bombed flat by Hitler who did not want Sweden, but a coastline to attack America from! Allies, discarded in a time of peace from the East by politicians in the West seeking swift verbal victories to strengthen their domestic positions. Allies, neglected for the sake of one's own gain. Allies, tramped on when refusing to kill for oil!

For Pakistan! Deprived of Democracy by dictatorship supported by the US. Pakistan, whose Northwestern border is flooded by Taliban for the sake of the narrowmindedness of the few; for a war that may empty Afghanistan of trouble, but fill up it's neighbor with what Afghanistan gets ridd of! Here's to the hope of new days!

For Britain! Willing to give up military secrets for advances of generations of fighter-planes, but receiving nothing in return!

For Germany and France who won the refueling-tanker deal; verbally attacked by Republicans when Pentagon itself made the decision!

For all marginalized countries that have suffered under soaring oil-prices brought forth by mindless marked-practices and sustained war on top of big oilreserves! For all those hungry or dead because food never reached then, or came at an unbearable price because the West intensively desired the oil that should bring the food to their communities.

For all who loves Peace!
For all who cherishes Reason!
For all who rejects harsh rhetorics with empty words for selfish gain!
When this man says 'God Bless America' it makes sense once more!
For the blessed shall bless, or he will die like us all and then realize he did not fulfill his purpose.

For all allies! Rise and Hope!

For Norway!
God Bless King Harald V and his house!
God Bless America; our brothers, our sisters, our allies!
Amen!

Forth Forth!

Time's Beautliful Veil

Twisting reality and I can't see why.
I turn my nose around and the tree becomes the sky.
Fading present gives beauty's present,
veiled grey turns crystal again.

Deep dark dungeons philosophy hails,
when memory comes, it to the wall is nailed.
Time's idealization, is there a reason?
If it reflects what is, then there is more than this!

Grey hart gone for a red in exchange.
Blue eyes back for what the green eyes conveyed.
But still the puzzle remains as it were,
why is it that sunlight is time's way to blur?

The places we were, were two places apart.
One here on earth, the other my heart.
In thoughts reduce or in thoughts enchant.
Apparent transparent, or deprived of its charm?

If again, then I will the veil away!
Changing no colors in long past ways.
For the sake of love and all that is good,
if we give more enchantment than we should
-what is the source?
and if we leave the thrill or dust it with the will
-what is it we cover?

If reality lost was a treasure in time,
the hangover stays for life in our mind.
But treasure's pull comes from beauty's own source.
God put in all a piece of gold, what we see is what we choose.
But blinding one's eyes for the rest is a rush!

Gold will remain, the sun have her say,
and all of the present come tumbling our way.
Human appearing like angel in the world...
When the ways cross, high life no more lost.
Heaven only the jewel can out-cost.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ingjerd!

Time: November/ December 2008

Ingjerd! For en merkelig nyhet! Jeg leste det på natten og våknet neste dag, lettere rotete i hodet! I mine tanker klarer du ikke å dø! Du er for happy, for smilende, for positiv til at noe vondt synes å noen sinne kunne ta deg vekk!

Når jeg var liten hadde jeg en drøm om natten om at en god venn døde. Neste dag var fæl inntill jeg forstod at det bare var en drøm og vennen i virkeligheten var vel i livet. Denne gangen er det omvendt. Det triste er virkelig, men drømmen er at du lever!

Når noen så positiv og fantastisk forsvinner får det meg til å tenke igjen på meg selv. Om det er min tur i morgen eller om 100 år vil jeg forlate med den livsgleden du hadde –for da vet jeg at jeg fikk utrettet noe! Og det er her det ser ut for meg som om du lurer selve døden. At gleden ved, og i livet ditt aldri kan vaskes vekk og aldri kan overgås av sorgen ved at du er borte.

For de som har kjent deg har du vert en solstråle! I minnet om deg til den siste av oss er borte vil du leve videre på jordensom en inspirasjon og glede. Tro er sterkere enn tvil, håp større enn tomhet, og kjærlighet større enn alt annet. Hvem kjenner menneskets hjerte og evigheten? Håpet svinner aldri! –at om vi møtes igjen kommer det til å bli like artig og givende som det var her i tiden. –og en ”siste hilsen” blir i håpet aldri ”en siste!” Amen!

Når jeg drar tilbake til Alpene på vinteren en gang skal jeg virvle opp noe snø i noen krappe svinger for deg også! Og selv når du er borte virker du så levende at jeg tror jeg kan høre latteren din bak trærne! :)

Du kommer til å savnes av mange, men om jeg noen gang skal felle tårer for deg skal de være gledestårer! (De renner nå...) Gledestårer over privilegiet å ha fatt møte deg, og at livet fikk ennå mer innhold og ennå mer glede ved at du fantes iblant oss! Om mennesker fikk være noe annet enn mennesker hadde du vert nettopp en solstråle!

Min dypeste kondolanse går til familie og venner! Familien har brakt til jorden ett fantastisk menneske! Vi har alle fått være velsignet av hennes glede, entusiasme og vennskap! Sørge gjør vi, men gledes ikke mindre av at nettopp du var her på vegen igjennom livet sammen med oss!

Heller enn ett tårevått ”adjø!” får du fra meg heller ett leende ”vi snakkes,” eller ”me sjåast” (eller hva du ville sagt :) –jeg tror det treffer hvem du er bedre! For i hjertene er du fortsatt og alltid med oss, men i håpet drister vi at du er ennå nærmere!

Ingjerd! Hvil i Fred og Takk for alt du var her iblant oss!
Amen!
Harald Haltvik

Saturday, January 3, 2009

What is the point of a wife?

Time: “Timeless” and way-too-late-at-night.

The latter year’s events have given us a beautiful arsenal of newlyweds. And it is in this context I ask, not on their behalf but on my own: “what the heck is the point of a wife?” I have never had a girlfriend, and I’m not stressing, though I know that others are. I know what loneliness is, but I like my own company way better than a thousand frenzic girls! I have time and I don’t think that if I don’t get married in a freaking rush, the train leaves the station and I’ll never have a family, kids or happiness and that I’ll die old and with grey hair, bitter and sentimental in a rocking chair!

My sister recently got married. And I guess I’ll have to leave the initial question behind for this sake since she surely was the most amazing wife material alive before getting married, and surely must be one of the most fabulous wives alive after getting married. Her Character, General Amazingness and Beauty will testify for them selves! But I don’t think I ever completely understood that we’d grow up, and the question arises again!

I understand the thing with attraction-that it is attractive-but I’ll say as Dennis Finch Hutton: “You confuse needing with wanting! If I die will you die?” Although I totally disagree with the long late Mr. Finch Hutton on marriage-for I think that: #1, We have a mandate from God to get married, and as Martin Luther noted in his big catechism-staring out a monk himself-marriage is not optional. #2, If you love her, you marry her. And Mr. Finch Hutton was much wrong when he said to Karen Blixen: “I won’t love you more because of a piece of paper!” It was never about his feelings, it was about putting the spike in the coffin, the final seal; putting on its legs the final bravery to honour the woman he loved above all! Here-here! If you now are tempted to tell me you have my answer, that you red the “attraction” part and have a half-perverted answer that does not contain the state “love” in more than a physical sense I loose you from the duty to read on and you can keep your distorted opinion to yourself, for Dennis was right about this: “if I die, she won’t die,” but he was only wrong not to marry her. Marriage is not a necessity seen from a human point of view. Desire to get married is there, but so it is to ski big mountains and buy expensive cars. The absence of one or the other does not claim a day of your life. But psychology tells us that the death of a spouse is the single most stressful event in the life of a human being, and popular scientific research that people’s lives equal out in happiness only past 50 years of age for singles and those who are not. So the feelings are there, though we might question the practicality.

I’ll be brief on this next one, but more than anything I understand the friendship part. Obvious opposites and more similarities than Hollywood would ever want us to believe. I understand better than most the parable of two people fighting an enemy back to back, for a good sword-fighter should reach 180 degrees without too much hassle, but no one has eyes in his neck. Friendship-definite and by no possibility fleeting-I understand that. Though I still think that you won’t die without it. Maybe I shouldn’t ask if we need it, cause maybe we don’t, and in other ways we do. And maybe this most obvious point is what I wonder the most about after all. -Why should I trust other people? And in case my question is at least slightly justified objectively, why should I (not) bring this paradox as close as marriage, both for her and for my sake? I never had many friends growing up and I know well that it doesn’t at all kill you! Though there is a complex as big as my reflection here, and you’re right to point out that I can’t get past it: that human’s purpose is un-loosingly bound to other people!

This last matter I accept blindly with no questions asked: God’s commission over the human life: -if he made us all, and none got married, “subdued the earth” and “multiplied,” I understand if God looked down at the subsequently empty earth, pulling his hair out, asking: “WHAT!?” -I’d have a cigar and take a very long holiday if I was Him. -Luther was right where Finch Hutton was wrong.

When I find her I’ll marry her; as long as I have been reasonably well past Elementary School there has been no question! I know that some of you have an incline towards asking about “the one” at this point. Am I talking about “the big love?” -In my teens I used to believe in “the only one and only”, mostly in the absence of other and more useful theory. But my tendency to ask for reasons aside, I don’t think I could ever care less. When you choose her she becomes “the one and only” anyway, and at the furthest the two notions need not even contradict. Whether it’s one or a million or a few, does it matter? If “the one” dies you’ll be left alone with a bleeding heart, not knowing the foundation of your never-ending sorrow. Much like a Germanic Knights novel of the 18th century. Burn “Romeo and Juliet,” dying for love-not to say of love-contains nothing romantic. It is as romantic as “Jack the Ripper,” not to mention equally tragic! Go for the happy love stories! Those are the ones you want. Those are the ones you would want to be in! Those are the ones you’d like to believe and to achieve -if you are single, to work for hard as rock if your marriage are near failing, to make you both happy, but not you alone for also those whom you support. A king has no option but to fight when war is upon him! I say no option indeed! For it is only by Marx that man can afford to be a pacifist! If Marx was right we only know capital as a driving force in our souls and Neitzche tells us that whatever it is that drives us is utterly complex and we might never come to the bottom of the riddle non the less. If being set free from the capital or embracing the complex and mad interests that governs the nihilistic man (über-mensch), “freedom” can be loosened from duty and you can choose not to fight. See you friend? -that they just killed love? For if man disposes and applies his thoughts only by money or a maniac’s spider-web of never known reasons I will never know why I love her; or at the simplest: I’ll have capital interests that I am sure Mr. Darwin can outline in context for you. -And he too helped to kill love! If I won’t defend her, it is only me here! Back to the line: “a king has no option…” -and nor do you, but to defend, support and build up those who have come to trust you both. Aging parents, children, various, or society at large. Just as in war you shall stand your ground. Love is a choice, not merely a feeling. A feeling much less in fact, cause if I was wrong then: if you didn’t feel it you could make no promises that you could in the end even trust yourself. If that was so we’d give fuel to Neitzche and I won’t join! Am I exempted from gravity just because I feel like it, from tax paying, from showing up at work, for taking care of the kids I will have, for being responsible in the traffic? No indeed, and nor are you! And suddenly the ever so brave Dennis Finch Hutton that would let the lion get just a little bit closer, seems insecure about himself more than about marriage, or even more than he is about her.

I believe in Marriage! I wouldn’t even be here without it! But I have no idea what I need a wife for! If I can’t see a reason in a Newton-ian way, cause the absence of one won’t kill me, if I’d have to be convinced to trust that it would make life better (though it might be easier than it sounds…?), and I believe we have a commission merely by being born, I am honestly not left with much mental gunpowder to exercise choices in reality upon! Much I have to obey you might say, but man was given choice by the same One as he obeys, and it is in man’s given and created nature to ask before acting, and contrary pattern to this often do spell crazy outcomes. But still I ask, and it is not a rhetorical question, for I intend to gain an answer. Preferably from a happily married male-or several-cause hopefully (for her) he would have an answer!

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It is now late at night and I intend not to correct my quickly authored script in any way. So I apologize (or not) if you find unexplainable outlines (though I doubt it), or misspellings of the difficult names of German philosophers or non-correct transcription of names of friends of the last King Edward.