Finding places

Denmark is a crowded place, it´s hard to find a place of solitude. Being a solitaire Denmark can be challenging… but I´m here now and I can´t leave, I´ll be here for at least a month (it´s something with my son, won´t share) (so this blog will for the coming month be about life in Denmark, not life in the woods)

I´v borrowed a summer house and I spend most of my days consuming sugar. Having been away from this kind of life for four years, it´s really striking how much sugar you´re exposed to, all of the time, everywhere. I also drink a lot of coffee (flip the switch it takes a minute!) and I read a lot of newspapers. Apparently there´s an Africa that we don´t even know about!

DSCF3360

I know what they´re doing back home. Jeppe is installing a new electricity system (we got some new batteries really cheap), he´s trying to fix the water pump, he´s watering the vegetables.
He has also, just today ordered the printing of the real actual album (on vinyl, old school) but You can buy it on itunes allready and I hope that you do.

Most of these melodies were made when he was in a really dark place, just before we went to the forest.
Four years later and with a little help from a friend named Persille he has channelled these dark places into something else, something more and I´m real proud about that. I hope you´ll support him.
You know, that´s what the forest do to you…
It takes a while but that´s what the deep, dark woods do: they help you change the way you deal with the dark.

I miss the forest. I miss my husband. I miss little thunder-boy/bear cub/honey bun.
I miss my neighbours, I miss the  place we call “Carribean Bay”, that´s where we go to swim in the summertime, I like to float around in the water.

This is where I´m at

DSCF3362

It´s a nice place. Kind of hidden.
This is where I try to fix the problems. This is where I work on my manuscripts.  This is where I drink coffee, eat sugar, read the newspapers.
In this place it occurred to me that I am utterly incapable of thinking happy thoughts.
It´s not on purpose you know. I really try to think happy thoughts.
I´m working on it.
I´m not happy with the fact that I can´t think happy thoughts.
I think somethings the matter with me.

I´m falling like an astronaut into deep space and dark holes- but then I remember the forest and then I remember what it taught me.
Go. Out. Side. Don´t. Just. Sit. There.
It´s really essential, you know.

Going outside in crowded Denmark is a challenge, yes, but then it also occured to me that I have a special talent.
So maybe I can´t think happy thoughts- but there´s one thing I´m really good at.
I´m really good at finding places.

Hidden places.

Kind of makes me happy to think about.
Maybe it´s a happy thought?
Here´s a guide to finding hidden places:

Look at a map. Find where you´re at. Find the sea.
Look for places along the edges of the country, follow the sea, look for places with a lot of trees and only a few cities, towns, roads.
Pack up. Drive.
Spend some time driving around. GIVE time.
Follow the roads less travelled. All around the edges of the country.
You´re looking for roads that look like these

DSCF3370

Bless the country.
Breathe.
Then you´ll find it.
DSCF3400

DSCF3401

DSCF3402

DSCF3392

24 thoughts on “Finding places

  1. stop eating sugar my dear. the next person who comments will probably tell you the same thing.

    you know this.

    I’m not telling anything you don’t already know.

    I love that you have found hidden places! I hope you can make the best of your stay in Denmark. It sounds like you are already doing that (except for the – what sounds like – huge amounts of sugar!)

    Like

    1. Yup yup, I know, I know. It´s just so tempting with all of that shit everywhere. ALSO – for some reasson- I have now developed into being the kind of person who reads the labels on the products. Jeez luise! There´s sugar in EVERYTHING!

      Like

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Andrea!

    Also, what Renee said. There have even been a number of studies linking sugar with depression. Stop eating sugar and get outside! (I say this with love, since I too eat too much sugar and get stuck inside too much.)

    Let’s run to the hidden places!

    Like

  3. Recovering unable to think happy thoughts thinker over here…..:-) if you want to change, what I did (and I am getting alot better) is try to find the joy in at least one thing, every day….eventually there are more than one, and it gets easier. Fake it a bit, then it becomes real 😉 and you remember the sadness but also find some joy in what you can. This is survival. Chocolate is good for depression! And as you said, it is essential to find breaks in the forest or on the shore or anywhere wild and uncrowded. For me, this is like breathing, and I cant stay away for long or I just fall into that pit of sadness and depression….no good for anyone or anything when I am that way and there is no outlet. I remember you said you dont need answers or solutions, and I agree. If we were chatting over coffee, this is what I would have to offer, from similar experience, from one strong and tormented soul to another. Except coffee keeps me awak so i drink herbs 🙂 Summer house looks really beautiful.

    Like

    1. I like to think that I have fellow recovering unable to think happy thoughts thinkers! 🙂

      I´m not depressed though ( I just have a real problem in the real world) but I´m preoccupied with the whole conceptualization of depression in our culture.
      First of all an insane ammount of people are not feeling well, bordering to depression. Chronicly (Why? And why the increase in suicides?) And how do we as a culture respond to this problem? By internalising it (it´s an individual problem – not a structural problem) or by extreme meassures trying to fix it (or demand it to be fixed) either by this credo of positive psychology and new age fluff (“think happy thought, think happy thoughts” said Peter Pan to the children “that´s how you can fly away!”) or by supressing the expressions of depression (a cultural predisposition: we prefer the happy smilies, we have become so obsessed with perfect bodies, perfect teeth, perfect muscles, perfect lives… facebook for instance is no longer a tool for democratic development and conversations, now is it?)

      That´s why I speak a lot about my inability – bordering to disability- to think happy thoughts.
      I think we need to examine and challenge these notions of happiness, they´re really supressing people, making them think that it is their own FAULT if their life is not a commercial.

      … all of this being said I DO have a hard time thinking happy thoughts. Especially right now. But it certainly helps to see some of my friends, to swim in the ocean, to engage in these wonderful conversations with people from all over the world… world tribe someone calls it, and I like that name 🙂

      Like

      1. I feel like you are seeing some pressures of different “happy thoughts” than what I would describe as happiness. Some type of superficial thing? I am not totally understanding perhaps. .. ?
        Something just seems clear to me, although I am not sure how to put it in words.
        What’s up with those perfect teeth and bodies?
        I was walking to the train this morning. Just perfectly happy to be alive and breathing. Hundreds of commuters walking around me, interesting to watch the faces, some very unhappy, you can tell, scared, lost some place, some chatting small talk or just busy with their phones what not. And then there was an older homeless man and lady on a bench at the train station and their dog, on a blanket. And the homeless lady looked at me, and smiled, and she had the most beautiful incredible sincere smile, I mean, it blew me away, I just wanted to hug her.
        I know this sounds cheesy, but it did make me so happy to see that smile. Among all those commuters, like this beautiful sun, was the homeless lady. That makes me happy. 🙂

        Like

      2. I think you’re absolutely right, Andrea, to point out just how many people are being crushed and worn down by the machine of our dominant culture. This is emphatically NOT clinical depression, where there is something wrong with the patient, and the problem can be solved by treating the individual. This is a rational, appropriate response. It still sucks, and its still (cripplingly) painful. But there’s nothing wrong with us. The problem requires a much bigger solution.

        There’s a wonderful recent book by Matthew Crawford called “The World Outside Your Head,” which examines all the ways in which our society manipulates and controls our attention. One interesting case study is with addictive gambling in Las Vegas. The gambling industry, which designs its slot machines to suck people in and disempower them, was delighted when “problem gambling” was labelled a psychiatric disorder in the DSM, since this said that the problem was with the individuals whose lives were falling apart, rather than what the gambling industry was/is doing in making their system to destroy them.

        The same thing is true on a bigger scale with what you, and I, and so many of your readers experience. Sometimes pain, grief, sorrow, all of these are not wrong–they are the way any sane and rational person would react to bad circumstances. They are appropriate, the way grief is appropriate at a funeral, and to NOT grieve means something is (probably) wrong with you. The epidemic of depression points to something bigger.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. David, thank you! Ever since Dan mentioned Crawford on Ben’s blog, I had his newest book on reserve – all copies are checked out at the library, so that is a super good sign. So I am reading his “Shop Class as Soulcraft”, and his conclusions are making a lot of sense. Who is not gonna like a PhD turned into a motorcycle repairman. 🙂

          He is so right to bring up exact sameness in both Soviet and Western societies in the growing separation of planning from execution, thinking from doing, and alienated labor. As a part of this machine for many years, I had ping-ponged back and forth almost daily between the planners in the organization and those who actually execute the tasks – I am a messenger in between the two. It is nothing but painful to watch both sides totally unproductive and unsatisfied.
          1913 on Henry Ford assembly line: “So great was labor’s distaste for the new machine system that toward the close of 1913 every time the company wanted to add 100 men to its factory personnel, it was necessary to hire 963.” So, roughly 90% of people were not able to withstand the production line mentality… But now 90% of people do, since we did great job inoculating them since birth. We get separated from everything that is life since the moment of birth, and then we wonder why we go insane, depressed, angry, anxious. . .
          I am happy to see some really good changes. Keep on spreading good information folks.

          Like

  4. Hej, Andrea, I am gonna second Olive, if you gonna eat sugar, eat dark chocolate. Someone said a handful of walnuts a day is same as Prozac – I had not tested. 🙂
    And there is nothing wrong with you.
    Smartest and most sensitive people these days seem to be beaten up and crushed by the system which is not very supportive of and not rich for nourishing smart and sensitive souls.
    Now they are coming out with “scientific studies” that 60-90 min walk in the woods would help your mood or cure depression. Well, yes, like we cannot just feel that. We do not need studies, we need lives that would accommodate that.
    I also fake it, like Olive says. Like dear friend E commented once, you whistle the happy tune and you fool yourself as well. Is it just an illusion? Perhaps. Perhaps you will say then you are not “authentic”, but hey, authentic depression is not so much fun.
    Anyway. I have no idea what may work for each individual person, and no idea what I am talking about… perhaps beauty and total magic of it is that you have both the control of your journey and the total lack of control. Stay cozy hiding there and hugs. 🙂

    Like

    1. Exactly, Bee! I did not mean a hollywood, plastic happiness. I meant a joy in your soul, or gratitude….for breathing, food, company or the ability to walk (or eat dark chocolate). I don’t mean that “there is a fix for everyone” thing either. I am actually glad you are not depressed, A, and I agree and understand. I just think ( as Bee said) the $hitstem wears you down the most when you are actually very much based in reality, aware and feeling. I hope you find some peace, some solution for the real world problem, and take care of yourself as well. Sometimes our frustrations are real, valid….but staying focused on them becomes futile…we grind our gears or get stuck and hurt ourselves and others. I think (especially as mothers) we need to find ways to help each other without wearing ourselves down so much. Charles Eisenstien has some great insight into all the illness society has forced on us…..a result of our broken social system, the planet in pain. You cannot experience the pain without the pleasure, some of us need more practice to find and appreciate it though 🙂

      Like

  5. I think you know what you’re doing:} Having been on and off sugar my whole life there are times when I say ‘fuck it’ and have a binge. It’s weird too… you know it’ll fuck you up and make you feel like crap, but at the same time it helps me ‘reset’ and start new again (when I’m done). It helps me wallow around in those dark places I usually try to ignore. Like a friendly reminder of my past, or how things could be…and how I am happy I am not like this 24/7. I say just enjoy the hell out it until you’re done. Like my old pervert boss used to say, “You gotta do what you gotta do”.

    Like

  6. Hi. To be happy, I think is to allow oneself to be that child you are. If you are not free to spend some time alone, it is hard to be/find that child. Lovely photos from a sunny day. Just add some strawberries and cream with that sugar…

    Like

  7. Dear andrea
    You have garnered many interesting comments with this post!
    I have nothing to add that wouldn’t sound callow, most likely, nothing revelatory in this dawning day.
    Much of the first world seems to have forgotten how to live and experience a measure of contentment and discipline without going shopping and looking for deals. anthropologists even tell us this is innate human behavior, related to potlatch! Getting and having leads to empty, deprived lives, pettiness, eternal dissatisfaction.
    Antidotes, such as Being physically tired and falling into bed to sleep in darkness, without artificial light or mechanical sounds or those of disaster (sirens encroaching on daily life), waking up in a refreshed world: these are uncommon conditions today.
    As several people above have commented, feeling happy and grateful for ONE THING, is a way to examine life.
    (My gratitude is for a glass of fresh, good-tasting well water, first thing in the morning. How long will I have the privilege of that? ? ? For how many millions is that not possible ?)
    And yes, get off the damned sugar! It is the gateway drug of all time.
    Not only will Your Teeth thank you forever, but it also symbolizes the entire–thank you, Olive–$hitstem. (Sure, on birthday, make a fancy cake with it and other non-food substances, but don’t fool yourself. At least, do make it with butter!) And do not give sugar to the ones you love as a treat. what kind of message is that? very young they become addicts and demand it in forms that harm them, on a daily basis.
    What is hard to realize and accept is that every day, when one has children, is the requirement to model behavior that leads them to be kind & gentle people with open hearts, disciplined minds, and healthy bodies. This is the only way to bring change to the world that Is individually available, free at no charge; our children are our message to the future. It is priceless compared to material advantages that result in vacant, incompetent, empty droogs, who wander about aimlessly unless they are caged in their cars or cubicles.
    Sorry for the rant. must get going here and stop writing nonsense. good day to all of you!
    All best,
    ~ Abigail

    Like

    1. You’re welcome, Abigail. BTW, not my phrase but something I picked up from hanging with the Rastafarians in Barbados long ago….credit where it is deserved. They change language to suit their reality… $hitstem, downpressor (oppresor) etc. Sorry Andrea for clogging up the comments and hope everyone is doing better 😉

      Like

  8. I love it when the comments evolve like this, Olive, no need to apppologize 🙂

    First of all, Bee, it was funny you mentioned that experience with the homeless lady because I had a similar experiece just after the election (seriously, the election was traumatic, now they closed the ministery of nature, given tax reliefs to the richest and come down hard on the refugees, Europe is undergoing such change at the moment so when you hear about my fear and anxiety please remember that it is SITUATED, something IS really happening in Europe right now)
    Anyways; I was in Copenhagen and this group of homeless guys had settled near the most trafficed metro station. It just looked so cosy! They had music playing, they were talking to eachother, they had their dogs and their little papermug, begging, I guess (the increase in beggars in dk has equally changed, we didn´t use to have a lot now we have so many) but they didn´t look like misery…. they looked like outcasts and weirdos and freaks and DIFFERENT people so I just went to them and gave them all of my money (coming from me that´s not a lot) and said “I´m so happy you still exist!” and then they rasied their beers towards me and smiled and for a moment it felt like in my childhood… more tolerant, more open, more easygoing… and it was so nice.

    And another thing. I read something in the newspaper the other day (sidenote: newspaper can STILL be interesting and it´s NOT like reading articles online, it´s different). It was about the dark middle ages and how some serious rough weather back then (explosive weather) actually increased the witchburning processes (which were allready kind of a big thing). These wheather phenomenon were thought to be RELATED to mankind – they were not just in themselves wheather phenomenons (they were thought to be related to either the witches or our sins) and that´s why the whole idea of the “discharge letters” arrived (you could buy them from the priests and be discharged from your sins)- it´s totally the same thing as buying co2 compensation letters.

    Then in the 1700eds a (philosophical) seperation occured between wheather/catasrophies and the actions of mankind…. and what is happening right NOW is that this historical seperation (which gave us the famous “progress” and all that) is being challenged; mankind (and our moral choices) is yet again seen to be CONNECTED with weatherphenomens (and disasters as such).

    Whics gives us SIN.
    Right back in our faces. We can be sinful and a lot of us “alternative” people seem to indulge in this sense of sin quite a lot…( I do, I think a lot of my inability to think happy thoughts is because I feel I have sinned… towards nature, towards my own nature, towards others) so the real question is now: how do we deal with sin?
    Do we burn the witches? (or is it someone else this time? Maybe the refugees?)
    Or do we find a better way to deal with the sense of sin?

    It was so interesting!
    And so are you people! I´m so happy you are here 🙂

    Like

    1. Well, being a witch, I hope we are spared this time ;). Maybe we need to replace the word sin. I make choices, sometimes they are not the best choices. But I can make a different choice next time. That way I don’t need someone to redeem my sins, just need to choose differently. I actually left the Catholic church because of the whole sin thing (and other stuff too).
      Another interesting article from a few years back :http://www.vogue.com/3241115/joan-didion-self-respect-essay-1961/

      Like

  9. My fingers are hesitant above the keyboard after reading all the insightful comments above. So many thoughts running around my mind after reading them (and forgive me, as it is 3:45 am. Not sugar but salt keeping me and my boys up tonight. We indulged in pizza with friends tonight and wow! Why do people salt food so much? Up and down I’ve been getting water for one of us or another.)
    Anyway, my husband and I find ourselves often making references to the movie “The Matrix” whenever we have to interact with the “civilized” world. As in, it is our perception that people are in it and have no idea they are being sold to, manipulated, coerced, held down, lied to, whatever you want to call it. All the while they believe they are doing what they want, the right thing, the admirable thing, the cool thing, whatever. The depths to which popular culture (and I’m not even sure if that’s what it is but can’t think of anything else right now) enslaves people is hard to witness. Years ago when we gave up our TV, I was told, “But, you deserve it.” Really?! I think I deserve NOT to have that noise in my life. One less avenue for the popular consumer mind-control to seep in.
    Getting away to the wild places (if any truly still exist, at least find those wild-ish places) is imperative, in my opinion, but you all already know that. And/or, find the wild-ish people and befriend them. I know they are out there, even in the non-wild places.
    I also think being OK with not knowing where this is all headed is necessary, too. Where we are headed, individually and collectively. I believe in the “lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” thing. Things are revealed to us as we come to them. We decide where to make the next step often without “seeing” where it will lead us. Stepping into the wildness (literally or figuratively by doing things which appear odd to the masses) is a way to do that.
    All these things discussed above have taken on such importance for me since becoming a mother. The weight of it is daunting and keeps me up at times (like…now.) So, I think I’ll go listen to the sounds of their breathing and do some of my own. Breath in, breathe out..sometimes that’s all we can do. And, sometimes it’s enough, for a while, anyway.
    Beautiful pictures, especially the last one. If there’s anybody who’s going to be OK, I think it’s you, Andrea. Thanks for sharing all this with us.

    Like

  10. Oh I´d love jumping into “the“good advice chorus”, so here you are: 😉

    Keep on your sugar binges!! (while you still have the chance!) Think unhappy thoughts! Be unhappy! Be wrong! Find hidden places – that´s where you find YOU – just the way you are.

    And in the magic of sharing all of your unhappy thoughts, you make ME happy! Cause if you´re weird, at least we are TWO weirdoes in the world! And if we are TWO weirdoes in this world, there are probably a lot more weirdoes out there, and then maybe we are not so weird after all!

    It´s not about the sugar folks!! It´s about LIFE …and about adding sweet to life, when it´s missing. Yeah yeah yeah…we all know it´s not the way, but could we stop the “correctness-horror” just for ONE F….. SECOND!

    (By the way I recommend Marabou orange krokant – uhm… my favorite 😉 Dangerous like hell with all its chemical ingredients, but it totally makes your dopamin rise to religious heights 😀 😀 :D)

    Like

    1. I get what you’re saying Lotte and I love all your laughing emoticons so it shows where you’re coming from. I have been known to even advise people to “exaggerate the pattern”. That is to say, if you crave something go hog wild and just go overboard. I actually did that once with chocolate. I didn’t do it on purpose but I found out what it did to me and then I absolutely did not do it any more. I went on a 3 day binge and after 3 days my eyesight was seriously blurry and I felt like S__T. It worked. I now can really control my chocolate interest. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. (Diabetics and pre-diabetics come to mind.) It’s just that sugar is heroin. It’s really insurrectionist to revolt against sugar.

      Like

  11. The system is just what it is – a system , a abstraction , a order – where ther is a order allready – the order off life , nature and human behavior .
    So what we do is to artificiall change what allready is . That is in fact a disturbens off given roules , given life and evolution .
    Off course this will affect us – we will either adapt to a artificial order or react against it .
    What is sick or helthy is not to answer , both are reactions off survival and even the evolution from man to mashine is a evolution .

    This artificial evolution is not to stop , the system will go on – so will life and nature .
    There is a personal choise to make what side off evolution we will suport . That itself can be a hard choise .

    Yes the system / matrix has taken over a part off human sociaty – but not all off it . More here in the first word , not so much in the rest .
    what the system dose beside the obvios changes is the the social degeneration . It is seperating individuals – spliting to roule .

    Survival is much a question off social behavior .
    so beside finding hidden places its about finding the hidden people to to cooperate with . There is some kind off paradox in that and a difficulty that i have not overcome myself .
    We can sit here by the computer and tell us we are not alone – but that is not true – we are seperated .

    I think that that seperation is oue true anemy and what pushes us down .
    To overcome that seperation , to find a evolving cooperation is a difficould thing – it can take a lifetime or it may never come .
    Sometimes we need a time isolated to heal our wound , sometimes we need to make new experiences / get hurt again .
    We will hurt the most we love the most .
    You were talking about sin – i think that is the princip off sin – another paradox .

    Like

  12. Hi Andrea, if you get the chance, have a read of James Hillman & Michael Ventura’s ‘We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World’s Getting Worse.’ I think you would find some of it an intreresting sounding board.

    Like

.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s