pandemic

What’s not to love?

What’s not to love?

September 1, 2020
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Two years ago I reclaimed lindy hop dancing into my life. A beginner weekend course (a refresher from the few years I danced lindy hop almost twenty years prior), and then classes for three semesters and social dancing at that. Or… almost three semesters. The spring classes (10 classes constitute a semester) were cut short for obvious reasons (Corona, pandemic, social distancing) after the first three.

Today. The first of the remaining seven classes was held. One and a half hours of dancing. N o t the way it was. But… still. Dancing. The music. The sweat, laughter, struggle and flow. How I love it!

How I hope that we will find ways to make dancing a part of our actively lived culture again. Not to have to be afraid of it. Of being close to others. (Yes, measures were taken. Stay home if symptomatic, of course. No obligatory partner swopping, but if you want to swop, going for smaller groups of 2-3 couples. Wash hands. Sanitize them often. No touching of face. Well. You know the drill…)

Am I crazy for doing it?
Possibly. But I am not sure I’d remain sane n o t doing the things I love doing, not for long…

And here’s a clip of two others who also love it. It’s my favorite lindy clip, all categories.
The ease of these skilled dancers, the fun they have, the lovely music… what’s not to love?

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Craving physical touch

May 19, 2020
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Stay away.

That’s what I need to do, even though it’s hard, and it hurts.
Emotionally. Tugs at my heartstrings it does, not daring to go visit my mother who has a birthday coming up towards the end of the week.

Instead of heading over to her for the weekend, I’ve organized a Zoom-party for us all to get together. Better than nothing, but definitely not as fun as it would be to celebrate in person. That’s one of the major insights I’ve gotten from the Corona-pandemic. How human beings – and most notably me – are very physical beings. We are social creatures, craving physical touch.

I miss hugs.
I miss touching people, on the arm, hand, back, leg, in conversation, in gentle banter, as a way to reinforce my message.
I miss high-five:ing people.

It’s never been more apparent to me, than right now.
I am a social creature, craving physical touch.
You?


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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No. I love it.

May 7, 2020
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I have to say, those 30 minutes of daily gardening, have proven to be something that’s truly turned into a wonderful gift. For myself.

And I want to do it, but I don’t have to do it. It is a choice, one I’ve made, and I don’t have to remake it every day, but then again, if there’s neither room nor energy for gardening, then I will not beat myself up for skipping a day.

I know I am Champion of Runstreaks (2090 days of Seven-morning workouts in a row, is all the proof I need; not that I need it) and hence, the 30 minutes of daily gardening doesn’t have to do with that. But rather… ever since my ex-husband and I separated in the fall of 2016, the garden has fallen into greater and greater disarray, as he was the one who spent a lot of time tugging at weeds, cutting the miniature lawn and trimming the hedges. Last year when I thought to ask Mr D if he wanted to assist me in cultivating my garden I had also promised myself not to vacation away from home… which definitely isn’t how it turned out. Instead, I spent 10 days in Kenya and 12 days touring UK, Belgium and the Netherlands… not to mention working like crazy.

Orange = radishes. Blue = carrots. Green = spinach. Pink = leek. And the cherry blossoms scattered like snowflakes all over.

This year, I will spend my summer here. At home. Which is just what I want, and have wanted for a couple of years, and finally will have the opportunity to do. I made myself the promise to not leave home come the summer of 2020, and on account of the pandemic that’s a promise I can easily live up to… but hey, if I can find something positive in the current situation, that’s a good thing, in my view. So I won’t beat myself up over that either.

And I enjoy it.
Sticking my hands in the dirt. Sowing a row of carrots here, a row or two of radishes there. Watering the prepared beds, tugging at some weeds. Getting rid of last year’s rasp- and blackberry brambles, starting to attack the wild roses going rogue at the front of the house. 

Being bathed in the soft evening sunshine, listening to the birds chirping away. Now and again sharing a word or two with my lovely neighbors, or for that matter, passing seedlings back and forth across the fence. Sitting underneath the apple tree overfilled with blossoms, talking to and petting Pop the cat, coming to keep tabs on me.

All the while, supported and aided by Mr D, either here, in person, helping me dig, plant, prepare, telling me what goes where, and in what combinations. Or there, online, cheering me on when I send him a daily text with photos, sharing my daily gardening-session with him. 

I enjoy it.

No.
I love it!

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When the apocalypse comes

May 1, 2020
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On Being is a favorite podcast of mine, one I’ve listened to more or less since I discovered the world of pods, which might have been some 8-10 years ago or so.

Today, walking barefoot in the park, I had Ocean Vuong and Krista Tippett accompany me. Listened to the edited version, and once it was done (by then I had walked home, donned socks and gotten on my bike) I immediately started on the unedited one. By the time that one finished (which had me in garden garb, busy sowing sallad, digging up a few stray herbs and replanting them in the herb garden, cheered on by Pop the cat), I pressed PLAY yet again.

That’s how good it was. Or is.
I urge you to listen, for yourself, to see what you pick up on.

What calls to me most, right now, is this passage on Noah’s Ark:
[…] the preacher kept talking about Noah’s Ark, and I was so infatuated. I think it embedded into my psyche in really everything that I do, even to this day. What an incredible mythos to work and live by, which is that when the apocalypse comes, what will you put into the vessel for the future?

What a marvelous question, accompanied in the unedited version, with this:

The demand on an assessment of human good and value. And then also the abandonment of what is not useful. That confrontation of filtering for gold for the future.

Today, in a world suffering a global pandemic, this is a very apt perspective to take on.
To address. Not necessarily to answer, straight up and down, but to work with. Sit with. reflect upon. Talk about.

I, for one, have definitely thought more than once how glad I am that some (or perhaps even a lot?) of the – in my view, judgmental, I confess – mindless consumption of shit and stuff, has stopped, only to read the following in a New York Times-article:
Millions Had Risen Out of Poverty. Coronavirus Is Pulling Them Back.
Experts say that for the first time since 1998, global poverty will increase. At least a half billion people could slip into destitution by the end of the year.

Reading.
Forcing me to consider that, of course, there is a whole chain of people dependent upon just that mindless consumption, and if one stops, so does the economic wheels of the other.

And what bothers me the most is how it’s always the poorest and most exposed that bear the brunt of it. Regardless of what it is. Be it war, economic recession, pandemics or weather conditions…

This, for me, is one aspect of what #tankespjärn is.
Shifting perspectives, insights that however much I would like for there to be, there very rarely are Right’s or Wrong’s, making me reexamine my stance on things, my beliefs, my prejudices.


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Buddhas by the roadside

April 7, 2020
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I don’t know how many times I’ve sat in complete rapture listening to Dominic tell a story, or debunk a book, or guide me through a connection of dot’s that I wasn’t anywhere near connecting. More than once, I’ve wished I were recording it, wanting to share his insights, his wisdom, his deep knowledge of more areas on human existence on Earth than I can name.

Then there’s Caspian. Such a dear friend of mine, popping ideas right and left, and generously inviting me to tag along for the ride. Wise well beyond his years and yet, young enough to introduce new vistas of human existence in my life in a completely different way to how D does it, and never shy of telling me when I am off base in one or another way.

I love them both and love spending time with them. And since the fall of 2019, we’ve been doing just that, recording our conversations. However, we’ve never really gotten around to figuring out how to put this out there, or when… and then: Global pandemic strikes.

And there are no people I would rather sit with, talk with, engage with and receive tankespjärn from, than these two. So, that’s what we’ve been doing. We’ve recorded a number of conversations, which all have the corona-virus as a common denominator, but let me tell you, these conversations take the most wondrous routes, passing through such topics as Process Work, salt and slavery, the economy of Modern Man, Georgism and the Commons, and so much more.

And we said, sod it. Let’s not figure out precisely how to put this out there, let’s just do it. So that’s what we’ve done. The Corona Conversations by Buddhas by the roadside, are available on most pod players (or will be very shortly, I know Anchor and Spotify are up edit: now on Apple/Podcasts, and the rest are soon to follow!), and I would urge you to take a listen. Start with the one from March 14th, 2020, because that’s where we started this. And then – well. It’s up to you. Keep listening, or turn us off, your choice. But at least, give us a listen, at least if you are ready for some serious tankespjärn!

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Calm to be had.

March 27, 2020
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Last week as I stepped into the cold water of the ocean off the coast of Malmö in the south of Sweden, I had my phone with me. I’ve a habit to do that, now and again, as I record myself going in, staying in, sharing my experiences with cold bathing. What came out of my mouth that crisp spring afternoon, with sunshine and blue skies, as I was standing in the water, which, just like the air was around five degrees Celsius, was this: There is calm to be had.

The world has turned upside-down, for so many. A global pandemic is raging, and I fear that we’ve just seen the beginning of it. Cities, counties, countries and companies are closing down in varying degrees, and whatever was normal, no longer is.

And.
With all that going on.
There is calm to be had.

It’s easy to not experience calm right now.
I know that.
I see that.

I also know it’s equally easy to experience calm.
I know that.
I see that too.

There are many things I have no say in.
What my government is –or is not– doing. Whether or not the school my youngest attends will stay opened or not, and what will happen next, neither locally nor globally.
No. Say.

But there are many things I have a say in.
In what I choose to do with my days. How I spend them, regardless of external constraints. What I read. What I listen to. What interactions and conversations I engage in. If I seek out Drama, or not. If I stick to routines (as best I can) that serve me and my wellbeing.
If I show compassion and care. To me. And you. And us.
A. Say.

There is calm to be had.
And it matters whether or not I choose calm. Or not.
Because I matter. Just as you matter.

Can I always choose calm?
Yes. I can.
But I don’t.
Because I am human. And so are you. And that’s the way it should be.

The choice is still there though.
There is –always and already– calm to be had.

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