It is always painful to come home. Primarily because it is coming home.
Visiting the Motherland means going to my mother´s, being smothered in crocheted blankets and large-family-dinners, it means visiting my mother in law in her ceramics atelier, saying hi to all of her friends, it means going on tour, late nights of talking, trying to make people cry, it means driving for hours all the way across the country, nodding to all the burial mounds of my ancestors, listening to the land as it whispers, it means standing still by the constantly moving fjord and walking in the leaf-bearing woods that we come from.
… and I feel like I´m clinging on to something that is gone, I want to grab a hold of it but I know I can´t, I can´t grow here, I´m not hard-headed like those trees.
The Motherland has been crowned several times as the happiest country in the world. Most people I know find this study… strange. Combined with the fact that Denmark also have one of the highest suicide rates in the world- statistics has, as of lately, lost a lot of it´s credibility. It´s problematic when statistics are used for political purposes, anything can be proven.
Someone straightened all of the rivers because of statistics. They plowed the entire land, even a lot of the burial mounds, gone. They felled the thousand-year old oaks, they drained the bogs and emptied the fjords from fish. In Denmark you are not allowed to camp, even for a night, in the remains of the forest. You can’t walk in the space between the fields, I´ve been yelled at numerous times for doing that.
I try not to think about the factory sized farms and the way they treat the animals, shooting them full of penicillin, every day, penicillin in the waters now.
This is the country of HC Andersen, Lego and windmills, Scandinavian furniture and food, it’s all very neat so… stay quiet, don´t tell. Sshhh.
Keep the secrets in the dark. Don´t mention the war.
I do not come from a happy homeland. I come from a broken homeland.
Dysfunctional.This is the happiest homeland in the world!
– visiting the places of our childhood, visiting our home and the past, it feels like visiting statues, monuments and museums.
The extent of the devastation and the way we could have had it all, the way my homeland has been exploited, abused, shattered .. how does one respond to that?
What would be a proper reaction?
And the boy says “I want to live in Denmark mom, why can´t we live here?”
Could we insist?
Could we create a tiny little spot in the universe, in the midst of the monoculture, would that not be a noble act of resistance?
Could we live without the wild?
“Child, we can´t live here” I say and then my heart breaks. Again.
My homeland is rich, fertile, it used to be diverse too. My homeland will survive, clearly, it will outlive us all. These are just hard times…
Small havens, fatamorganas, places where you can breathe, that´s what we have here. Random acts of kindness. Explosions of creativity. Resistance.
Long live the resistance!
I want to tell you about a member of the resistance. I respect her enormously.
Here she is- with a choir of sticks from the forest, a sturdy choir, they keep on singing
Her name is Sanne, she runs an eco café located in the MIDST of the monoculture, a café on a field that stretches as far as the eye can see.
Far out, close to the sea, away from the big city, surrounded by tractors and pig factories she insists on beauty and good food.
I´ve been doing talks there for the last two nights in a row, full house.
Tea being served, cakes you wouldn´t believe.
And I get to tell the danes about my sorrow, I get to speak up.
Kind of like a poetry slam, just longer, I consider it an art form, I love doing it – the narrow narratives of going green, being radical and seeking out alternatives, this needs to be adressed too; I LOVE travelling into society, play all of these strings, I love putting on my fancy clothes and whisper about fermentation, log cabin building, telling tales, I don´t care if this is not comme il faut… our business is to exspand comme il faut…
I get to tell them about the loss of wild, I get to question growth, statistics, economics, I get to tell them that more and more people are seeking out new ways of living, authenticity as more as a fad, I get to tell them that it is POSSIBLE. To live. Differently (not easy of course)
These people. People that have never heard the word permaculture before, people who don´t know about the subcultures of gift economy and the moneyless life
And here I am, the top of my head, the tip of my tongue, located exactly in the middle between the private and the public, between the retreat and the display
Some are hard-headed, some are soft-hearted, it´s better if we help each other, it´s better if we fight it, it´s better if we speak up.