A promise

Suddenly I feel like I have somehow been dishonest. I have not told you about the traumas that led me to be this way. I have not told you about my past. I have not told you about the events that alltogether made me feel like my way out, my strategy, would have to be both running to the hills as well as being superpublic about it:

“If women have failed making “universal” art because we´re trapped withing the “personal”, why not universalize “the personal” and make it the subject of our art?”

And in relation to understanding and debating this art

“As if the only possible reason for a woman to publically reveal herself could be self-therapeutic. As if the point was not to reveal the circumstances of one´s own objectification”

And on the public

“I think the sheer fact of women talking, being, paradoxical, inexplicable, flip, self-destructive but above all PUBLIC is the most revolutionary thing in the world”
(Chris Kraus. This book made a huge impact on me)

I shall and will return to this subject in great length later. Right now I´m just leaving these qoutes there for you to hopefully re- read.

Here´s a pretty picture

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Last winter marked a treshold for me. Some of you know. Some of you where right there with me (thank you!)
What happened last winter has taken me a whole year to understand and to embrace.

I had deleted my social media accounts. I said no to all media inquiries and I had stopped blogging. Actually I had stopped writing altogether since I was kneehigh burried in shame and desillusionment.

Ben Hewitt came along. He linked to my blog and we began a deep email conversation about the doubts, the fears, the struggles of wanting to live differently but at the same time being bound (dependent, unfree) by our own artistic inclinations. The need to put into words.
Ben have later chosen to unplug whereas I have to chosen to go full turbo onwards. More. Public debates. Opening my social media accounts. Now writing columns for the newspapers. Now being dependend on the crowdsourcing that takes place via this blog.

Our different choices obviously reflect differences in personality, character and circumstances but it ALSO has something to do with gender. The inherent need to defend oneself. The anger of having supressed so much shit over the course of so many years. The absolute sensation of the private being political. And so on.

What I realized last winter (and thanks to Ben, thanks to you) is that I have a mission.

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Having a mission makes me unfree.

The off grid prepper permaculture rewilding homesteading lifestyle is very much about freedom. That´s something all of us have in common. We talk about freedom, we fight for our freedom which is most often conceived as an individualistic right to do whatever the fuck we want to (which we should be allowed to, but ofcourse)
These communities and subcultures have a clear taste of individualism to them and that´s why I think our conversation often revolves around the malaises of modern society because modern society is super UNFREE (contrary to popular beliefs).

We also talk a lot about family values. The need to belong to someone. The importance of community. We tend to look down on the community taking place in modern society, we tend to want to create DIFFERENT kinds of (more obligating) communties (such as the core family).
Two elements of the movement:

1. Striving towards freedom, detached and independent.

2. Striving towards the communal, the tight community, the obligating maybe even a bit conservative and definetively NOBLE… tribe, flock, fellowship.

(I´m not babbeling right now.
I´m working my way forward, I´m wading through all of this to make a point)

I have a mission.
So I realized. I WANT to use my skills, talents and opportunities to point at the wound, to speak up on behalf of those that can´t and wont speak up (yes, this is pretentious, I recomend this article about leadership it´s a quite interesting debate).

Having a mission, using my talent:

I feel OBLIGED to do it (2) and it feels like a revolution  (1 + the initial qoutes)

Testing the ice. Wolf tracks.

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So last winter I realized that I wont shut up. And that I can´t.
I embraced my role and my function, I have spendt this year trying to understand said role and function better. I have spendt this year trying to BE better. At my craft. I have studied. On so many levels and in so many ways (still a lot to learn)

My daughter is 20 years old.
In her short life she has experienced much more violence, trauma and unjustified discrimination than her twin brother.
Why? Because of her personality- or because of her gender?

It terrifies me to witness this. I didn´t realize how much I have struggled myself, I didn´t even KNOW how I had to develop these strategies to keep sane (to try and universalize the private).
It makes me angry. It makes me feel powerless. It makes me arm up. It makes me want to fight. Viking warrior valkyrie.
My SOLIDARITY not only with her and the female perspective is – contrary to my beliefssystems, contrary to my lifestyle- growing. The poor. The minorities. I realise that I am connected to all of this. Structure.
And as I wittnes and realise, as I open my eyes-  turning my back to “all of it” becomes increasingly difficult.

I don´t want to look away anymore. I want to stare right at it.

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And then there´s me.
The stories I have not told. The traumas I have hidden in the darkest places inside of myself. My past and the things that happened, the REAL reasson why I ran to the woods.

I thought my story was over. I thought I had nothing more to say but I have discovered a whole new layer to this….

This is a message to reassure you that this story is not over, this story have only just begun.

I can´t sent my daughter out in the world not caring about the world, not trying to change it, not fighting. And it´s not only her. It´s all of them.
My children.
My mother instinc alert, my mother mountain quivering with rage, no, something is not right… in the world.

Sure we can live here all primitive and happy go lucky but the fact of the matter is that the poles are melting, geopolitical turmoil and the world as we knew…. shattered.

We are the generation who dies…. we are the last ones.

THEY are the generation that will have to find a new way of being the human species in the world, THEY are the ones who will have to create the new.

I´ll give them this.
This place. The hike to salute the setting sun.

But I´ll also give them my fight.

Their mother fought.
Their mother did not surrender.
Never.

Happy new year. Thank you. See you.

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10 thoughts on “A promise

  1. Thank you for sharing Andrea. On the subject of freedom, there is a wonderful book by Chogyam Trungpa called “The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation” that discusses the misconceptions we have about freedom.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think I found you when Ben linked to you. I have wondered about what led you to the woods. You have hinted and touched upon it and it does make me curious.

    I think the 1. independent and 2. communal needs are very supported by today’s society. We can retreat and find others when we need to. We can create very strong bonds, via the internet, that leave us room for freedom. Yes, there is a need of a next door neighbor connection, but that connection can be too familiar, leaving no space. Online we can choose when and how to go deep into relationships and when to cocoon alone or with our family.

    Today’s society has created opportunities for bonds like there have never been before. Finding like minded souls is easier. Supporting one another is easier. Saying what we want to say, is at our finger tips.

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  3. Dear andrea
    Hollow wishes–happy new year!–when we might actually be anticipating something darker and far different; but still, we have to be as peaceful and light in our own skins as it is possible to be. Yes? So a very happy new year wish to you, and thank you for your thinking and writing.

    To myself I have been mumbling a mantra lately, that stability is a feminist issue. Steady-state, enduring, sustainable, steady-as-she-goes, continuity, and strength by centering the energies close to the core without hyper-extension. These are representations of the descriptive terms under which I and my children can thrive. Chaos, breaks in the skin, damage, war, violation–these pose some of the opposites.

    I have been sensing the contrasts in your writing (freedom, running cf. home, family) and simply following the thread, as if a denouement will be coming along at some point. Of course, it won’t, not now nor as long as you continue to write! I enjoy the story however.

    All best,
    ~ Abigail

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Killing me softly with her words, telling my whole life.

    Boy does this post ever resonate with me. I am a mom to a 23 year old daughter and I feel exactly the same way. Plus, as an artist I have struggled with the personal versus “what I should be doing” my whole life.

    I love the idea of making the personal universal. Let’s do it! When enough of us are doing it it will become a movement and then it will become legitimate and it will be recognized as a new art form.

    Saddleback Mountain talks about changes in the food industry because people are waking up and demanding change for the better. We can do it!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “Having a mission makes me unfree.”

    Hmmm, does it ? Over the last few weeks many books and thoughts about freedom have been landing in my lap. Something I need to think about I guess. The universe speaks – we listen…

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  6. You are tough. When I used to do massage, the women were always waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay tougher than the men when it came to pain. (Not to make this into some sort of gender war, but I always thought it was weird). The men were wimps. This was the case most of the time. I look forward to hearing your story… Oh and thank god for the internet is all I have to say.

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  7. Andrea, love and peace to all you smiling faces in this coming 2016! You are probably already chilling your champaign. 🙂
    There is a beautiful children’s book by Demi and Coleman Barks, based on “Marvels of the Heart” by a Muslim mystic al-Ghazali, Demi’s book is called “Painting Heaven: Polishing the Mirror of the Heart”. In this story, a Chinese man comes to the king saying he can paint the most beautiful paintings. The king then challenges him to dual his most creative artists. They paint on the walls oposing each other, and Chinese man’s painting is veiled. The famous artists pour everything they have into their painting and use the most beautiful colors they can find. The Chinese man only asks for rugs. He works hard night and day. When the colorful painting of the artists is finished, the king is pleased. Then Chinese man takes the veil off his creation. King falls back utterly astonished. Because there is nothing there, just a pure wall with nothing on it at all, reflecting the oponent’s painting, only sparkling, shining, dazzling, a heavenly painting. Are you a magician, asks the king? I am not an artist or a magician, said the man, I am just a humble monk.
    That, perhaps, is the mission. Polishing the mirrors of our hearts to reflect the beauty in all, children, women and men (yes, especially men, I love men, don’t say bad things about men! 🙂 ) and birds in the trees. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “Having a mission makes me unfree.” That is a beautiful and profound bit of wisdom.

    As another great poet once wrote, “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to do.”

    For those called to a mission, is it even possible to be free of that mission?

    All best wishes for a happy New Year.

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