Thursday, 27 April 2017

Det mytologiska Prag

Åh vad jag trivs bra i Prag. Hela staden luktar pannkakor och mytologi. Det är nästan som om det fanns en legend om varenda gatsten. Här spankulerar jag runt tillsammans med mina skrivarklasskamrater. Vi har hälsat på Franz Kafka, Tycho Brahe och Antonín Dvořák, för att nämna några beundransvärda personer. Vi har ätit mängder av utsökt veganmat. Vi har skrivit på gator och torg, i trädgårdar och kyrkogårdar, på museer och caféer. Och så har vi ägnat oss åt historia och sagor, i en utsökt transcendental blandning. (Jag är egentligen inte säker på vad ordet transcendental betyder, men jag tycker om det ändå.) Här följer ett smakprov.

Bilden (ursäkta motljuset) förestället helgonet Sankt Mattias. Mattias var svensk, och historien om honom tilldrar sig på tiden då Sverige hade för vana att invadera staden Prag. Så en dag kom den svenska armén över Karlsbron för att bege sig mot Wallensteinträdgården. Där fanns nämligen mångtaliga vackra statyer, som svenskarna tänkte skulle göra sig snygga utanför Drottningholmsslottet. De begav sig alltså mot trädgården för att stjäla statyerna. Mattias var dock halt (det var därför han hade vandringskäpp), och dög inte till att lyfta statyer. Så han skickades iväg inför nästa dåd som svenskarna hade i kikaren: att ta sig uppför Petrikullen till Strahovklostret för att bränna alla deras böcker! Mattias' uppgift blev alltså att i spana i förväg så att kusten var klar, och sedan rapportera tillbaka till resten av trupperna.

När Mattias gick genom Körsbärsdalen, på vägen upp mot klostret, så fick han syn på ett barn som satt ensam under ett av de blommande körsbärsträden. Det var ett litet barn, inte mer än ett år gammalt. Döm därför om Mattias' förvåning när han hörde barnet ropa: "Mattias! Kom, Mattias!" Mattias gick fram till barnet, hukade sig ned, och frågade: "Vem är du?" Barnet svarade: "Jag är en inkarnation av den heliga Buddha." För det är nämligen så att Buddha har för vana att dyka upp lite varstans i världen närhelst ett budskap om fred kan vara på sin plats. Så Mattias satte sig ned och talade länge och väl med Buddha, som fick honom att inse saker som att pennan är mäktigare än svärdet, och att det kanske ändå inte är så värst schysst att stjäla folks statyer och bränna deras böcker bara sådär utan vidare.

Så i stället för att utföra sina order så fortsatte Mattias sedan upp mot klostret för att varna munkarna om den kommande invasionen. Detta ledde till att munkarna hann gömma undan en del av böckerna i källaren så att svenskarna inte kunde hitta dem, och på så vis förstördes inte hela deras bokskatt när invasionen kom ikapp. Mattias själv ingick i munkarnas orden, och helgonförklarades efter sin död på grund av sin goda gärning. Han avbildas i form av en staty på Karlsbron med sin vandringsstav, och Buddha i form av det lilla barnet på axeln.

Ja, så lyder legenden om Sankt Mattias. Allting är absolut sant utom det som är påhittat.

Kärlek och mytologi,

Monday, 24 April 2017

Being ever unprepared

Suddenly I find myself in Prague. As unprepared as ever. Gods damn it, how can it be that I travel so much and still stress out completely every single time? Flailing around at the last minute, not having fixed half of what I had intended to do before setting out. Always, always, forgetting to pack something. A different thing every time; typically nothing essential but nevertheless annoying to be without. One could think I don't travel on average once a month, and on journeys longer than a weekend at least twice a year. That's a lot. Packing my bag should be a routine, and there should be no cause for lying sleepless with my heart racing the night before setting out. Because I do like seeing new places, doing things that shake my routine, and I typically find the journey itself very enjoyable regardless of means of transportation. So why all the freaking out? Sigh. Some day I'll become even half as well-organised and well-prepared as I'd like to be.

I'll get back to you regarding Prague when the general overwhelmedness has settled a bit.

Love and travels,

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

A Thousand Nights, further continued

One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, Vol 5 of 16One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, Vol 5 of 16 by Anonymous

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

500+ nights into the relentless storytelling. More lessons learned:

- If you follow through on your curiosity against your better judgement, don't fret too much about it. You were probably destined to act in such a way, anyway.
- The full moon is the yardstick for beauty. Anyone beautiful is to be compared to it.
- There is a lot of excessive weeping, buffeting of faces, strewing dust upon one's head, tearing of one's raiments, fainting, excessive rejoicing and whatnot. Apparently people were a lot more expressive in those time and at those places (at least compared to Sweden of today).
- Always be polite and eloquent, and kings may reward you generously merely for happening upon you.

View all my reviews

Ett styck sonettkrans

På tal om ambitioner, va. Sju sonetter på en vecka. Jomenvisst. Och nu är den klar. Fatta:


Kolla, jag är till och med stolt över det. Jag gjorde en grej för att se om jag kunde och för att jag hade en bra idé, och se på fan, jag kunde och idén höll hela vägen. Lite finputs återstår, men i sanning uppfyller den alla kriterier för en sonettkrans. Den kommer bli tryckt och publicerad och jag kommer terrorisera poesiläsningar med bunden vers. Den är full av träd och kamp och Universum.


Så heter den. Och det är precis vad jag tänker göra.

Kärlek och blankvers,

Friday, 7 April 2017

These cursed ambitions

Sometimes I wonder what contentment tastes like. I used to yearn for so many things. Trivial and grandiose. Achievable and impossible. Now I mostly yearn for the pressure to be taken off. Perhaps it is a pressure I've enthusiastically submitted myself to in becoming a student, but even so it is not a trivial thing to extricate myself from.

What's the use of having so many and such high ambitions, anyway? Will they in any way make me a better and more likeable person? Rather the opposite, I think. It might gain me some respect, but of what use is the respect one gains from impressive achievements compared to the respect that comes from being a decent person? What could I do with it, other than intimidate people?

Still, the notion that being ambitious is an unanimously good thing, possibly even necessary for survival, is so constantly reinforced by today's society that it is nigh-on impossible not to believe it. Especially within academia. Either you succeed; become good at what you do through hard work or mere luck, accomplish things, earn a lot of money or fame.

Or you're a loser; through inability or bad luck things don't work out in a spectacularly good fashion, and perhaps you're unable to even support yourself financially. Notice that it becomes an identity. You haven't merely lost; you've incorporated your failure into your very sense of self. You're supposed to consider yourself lazy or unmotivated, and somehow that is supposed to make you want to work harder.

I suppose being driven isn't a bad thing in itself. Finding enthusiasm, joy and determination in work can be very enjoyable, and can produce results which are of use to people. But I think one would do well in examining where the drive comes from. Curiosity, for example, is a sweet (and often noble) thing to be driven by, but it can be easily killed off by external motivations, which often are threats in the disguise of rewards. In my case it has become almost entirely quenched by now. I'm trying hard not to let my creativity suffer the same fate.

Economic stability. Peace of mind. These are the kind of things I dream about nowadays. Right now they feel more out of reach than, say, moving to Mars.

Love and far too relentless ambition,

Friday, 24 March 2017

One day

The unbroken spirit obscured and disquiet 
Finds clearness this trial demands 
And at the end of this day sighs an anxious relief 
For the fortune lies still in his hands 
If there's a pensive fear, a wasted year 
A man must learn to cope 
If his obsession's real 
Suppression that he feels must turn to hope

One day I will feel good about myself regardless of whether or not I accomplish things. One day I won't feel shame for choosing my health above ambitions. One day I'll understand that I deserve to be loved. One day I'll learn to turn the self-criticism down a notch or three. One day I won't let myself ruin wonderful moments with frets about what I'm missing or failing. One day I'll realise the difference between what I want and what I need. One day I'll put my stubbornness and patience to more constructive use than obsession and compulsion. One day self-love will finally conquer self-hate.

This is who I want to become. Perhaps it is already who I am. I just need to get rid of all the parts holding the best version of myself at bay. Because I'd like to see this person shining through more than in occasional glimpses. It's time to take the time to make that happen.

Love and a battle-cry,

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Just keep on trying

Have you ever looked into the mirror and seen nothing but despair staring back at you from behind your own eyes? Have you ever felt stress coiling around your chest like a boa constrictor, for weeks and weeks? Have you ever looked around you only to find a world that doesn't seem to want you around? Have you ever really noticed what happens when you forget how to breathe?

Fuck, hope is hard to find right now. But I'll be damned if I ain't gonna try.

Love and struggle,

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Too much light far too soon

I sleep all right, but still I'm so tired. It's that time of year, I guess. When the light wakes up before I do and hurts my eyes. Making mud from snow and hurrying the flowers up from their beds while I'm left way behind. I wish I was ready to flourish, I really do. But spring waits for nobody, and when reality comes around to shake me out like a dusty rug I manage nothing but falling to pieces. Springs are always the worst time of the year for me, so why would it be any different this time? There are so many things I'm sick and tired of. Never feeling good enough, for example. It seems to be fairly unrelated to accomplishments, too, which means there's no way out of it even if I would manage to live a productive life. Not that it's likely to happen. When just making it outside the front door is a struggle, how can I hope to contribute anything of consequence to the world?

Most of all I'm sick of being a student. And of smartphones.

We lie in bed
The wireless dancing through my head
Until I fear the space between my breath
I see an end to where I don't love you like I can
Cause I've forgotten how it feels (amen)
To love someone or thing for real (amen)
Darling when you wake, remind me what we've done
That can't be shared, or saved, or even sung

Love and moping,

Wednesday, 15 February 2017


Once I reached for love
Now I reach for life

So soon...

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Inexplicable delight

Maybe sometimes happiness has a reason. But I think most of the time you simply find yourself with happiness thrust upon you, while you seek to rationalise to yourself the cause of this emotion. This has its uses, I'm sure; if you can identify correlations that may help you do things to increase your happiness. But I believe it is just as important to just indulge in the feeling. To be thankful for the inexplicable delights coming your way is a good exercise in finding happiness in whatever situation life throws you into. A lot of the time reasons are beyond our comprehension, anyway. We're not only subjugate to the chaos of this world, we are chaotic systems to our very nature.

Not that I think that maximising happiness is or should be the supreme goal of life. Emotional constancy would nullify the whole concept of happiness, and besides there are other more important and interesting values to strive towards. But it is nicer to be happy than to be sad, and so there is no shame in enjoying the heck out of it while it lasts. I found this music today. It fills me with happiness. I have no idea why, and I'm content to leave it at that.

Love and happiness,