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and I hope you do, will.

It´s not like I have HEROES but I might have…. immense respect for certain people. It´s more than professional respect (professional respect can be dense as a mountain and install awe in me just the same, a kind of paralyzation “How can I work when this kind of talent exists in the world?)
But it´s more than that. It´s a kind of star-struck-ness.
“OH, how you went through the underworld and how you brought back with you eternal wisdom from the dead!”

So what you see here loyal, loveable readers is me with people I respect intensly and this is how I look when I´m scared shitless.

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(Ursula Andkjær Olsen and Suzanne Brøgger- both authors of the certain kind of autobiography that I pretentiously pretend to write. We were meeting to talk about a possible collaboration)

I´m sitting at the central station as I write this. I´m travelling to Stockholm to partake in the Dark Mountain Workshop– an event at the national Riksteatren, an exploration: how can we, as artist understand and work with climate change? How can we process this new reality? What kind of words, what framework, HOW?
It´s an artistically journey… into the unknown, into the dark, the sorrow for we are not there to come up with “solutions”, we are there to understand.
What´s happening?
(If you are in Stockholm I really think you should come. The first event is tomorrow night. I´ll be the log lady, you can be the sensitive one, tickets here)

And here is an article about what “climate change” even means or have grown to mean, how the meanings are spongy, normative and difficult to handle. Tell me what you think maybe?

Sitting in the central station, surrounded by music and people passing by, the most well lit place in the world, refugees and privileged travellers passing me by (funny how quickly we grow accustumed to the new reality), I´m reading a book and I stumble across these lines:

“The decent- and the darkness into which it leads- have their own value; the journey to soul is not a misfortune or a neccesary evil. In Western cultures, we rarely enter the underworld except when abducted (…) by a great loss or depression. The the decent can be harrowing indeed as we enter a blackness of fear we wont escape. With no guides or allies, no preparation or relevant skills, and few inner resources to call upon, we´re not likely to enjoy the journey. But we may yet benefit from the experience. Better to be carried off than to not go at all. Abduction is the soul´s way of pulling us down towards it if we will not voluntary step through the gates and over the edge”
(Bill Plotkin)

… and then it suddenly makes sense to me.

When we went to the woods it was a journey downwards and inwards, it was not a choice, it was indeed and abduction. We didn´t know what was happening. It took years to understand, I´m still struggling that´s why I even have this blog in the first place: I tell the story until I understand.

I fear that I might begin to understand.

It´s about the underworld. It most be. The underworld and the dark woods-  it´s the same thing.
It´s the unknown, the untamed, the refugium, it´s where the wild things are. It is demonised and sanctified all through history.
It´s about THAT kind of courage.

To go into the dark woods.
To not know how it ends.

(there is more to tell. The culmination of a personal conflict before the end of this week, a column I wrote for newspaper Information, the mobilisation in Paris, all that needs to be done snowfall, the spiralling inwards has begun, winter is near, I spasmodically hold on)

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7 comments on “The underworld

  1. nicoleaugust says:

    I liked the Hulme article … A woodsy poem :

    Going Wodwo by Neil Gaiman

    Shedding my shirt, my book, my coat, my life,
    Leaving them, empty husks and fallen leaves,
    Going in search of food and for a spring
    Of sweet water.

    I’ll find a tree as wide as ten fat men,
    Clear water rilling over its grey roots.
    Berries I’ll find, and crab apples and nuts,
    And call it home.

    I’ll tell the wind my name, and no one else.
    True madness takes or leaves us in the wood
    halfway through all our lives. My skin will be
    my face now.

    I must be nuts. Sense left with shoes and house,
    my guts are cramped. I’ll stumble through the green
    back to my roots, and leaves, and thorns, and buds
    and shiver.

    I’ll leave the way of words to walk the wood.
    I’ll be the forest’s man, and greet the sun,
    And feel the silence blossom on my tongue
    like language.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOVE this poem!

      “Benefits of change need to be now and they need to be visible.” YES This is the crux of the matter.

      I have often wondered why some people are so against climate change. My ex said I can’t do anything. One person has no effect. My bro in law said the climate has always changed. Nothing needs to be done.

      I thought Hulme’s essay was unnecessarily complicated but over all what he says is brilliant. Climate change is indeed much more than just, well, changing climate. It has such far reaching implications. I agree with the idea that if we can look at it as opportunity instead of something to deny we’ll be a different human race. I think a better human race.

      Like

  2. lene elmer sørensen says:

    Kære Andrea!
    Har læst din bog”Og den store flugt” med glubende appetit og er sulten efter mere om hvordan i har klaret jer.
    Findes der mere på dansk efter den?
    Jeg kan god t læse engelsk men det giver en irriterende afstand synes jeg, når 2 danskere “taler” engelsk sammen.
    Men det er jo nok fordi mit engelsk ikke er godt nok eller hur?
    All the best ha ha
    lene

    Like

  3. Abigail Higgins says:

    dear andrea
    where are you?
    you have annouced there will be silences, but still–we all like getting a blast from you from time to time, i am pretty certain.
    hope all is well,
    ~ abigail

    Like

    1. Yes, we’ve been thinking about you. Wondering about you. ~ Renee

      Like

  4. You guys are so sweet!!
    Well, there´s the family drama problem thing…. getting close to the point where I cannot NOT talk about it. And then I´ve been preparing for the climate summit. I´ve got things up my sleeve. I´ll write soon. Funny isn´t it, the fact that you dropped me these thought rekindled my connection to this blog 🙂
    Thank you!

    Like

  5. Benedikte Exner says:

    … and I think it’s funny, that I just now went to your blog to say, that I’am thinking about you. I’am not on Facebook, but I know from one of your other followers that you write there. I would have asked you if there is any specific reason why you don’t post on the blog “at this time”. Thank you for Danish columns in the newspaper 🙂
    Benedikte

    Like

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