What I know about the internet

 

sløretskov

 

They have stories here, stories rooted in the land itself, in the mountains and in the spring-wells, in the deep, dark, damp forests that not even the roman empire (I spit) could invade.
Unfortunately we later cut down all of the trees and the deep, dark, damp woods of our ancestors, the wild tribes of the north, mostly disappeared but the fairy tales did not. The stories did not. As I said, they are here.
They have been recorded by monks and folklorists, researchers and historians and some are even still being told to this day; see now, give the tooth to the tooth-fairy, little one and she will bless you with luck. Hang your pacifier on this tree, as an offering to the good spirits of the land and they will be your friends. Crawl through this hole in this tree. Drink this water from this well. Fear the wolf. Do not look into the surface water of the lake for too long or the creature of the lake will take you. On christmas night you place a bowl of porridge on the attic to the guardian spirit of your home. If you find a four-leaf clover you keep it for good luck. Never go to the wetlands or the bogs for they are haunted, people died there, there´ll be bottomless pits and ghosts for the wetlands are portals to the underworld, beware!

A lot of the stories doesnt make sense anymore.
A lot of them seem absurd but it´s not because they are irelevant, it´s because we dont understand. I believe it is a problem of translation.
Take the internet for example.
If there ever was a place worthy of the name “the other world”….

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The stories are very clear about the other world; you can go there and you can find answers, wisdom – but also death and many monsters. Most people die if they go to the internet-  and if they stay there for too long.
It a very dangerous place.

As for the elves and the fairies; so beautiful they are, more beautiful than anything in the whole wide world, their songs, their dances… but they are hollow in the back, you see,  and if you dance with them you will be lost to the real world forever. Be careful of the elves and the fairies for they will lure you in and tell you what you want to hear and they will keep you in their tight grip forever and forever and forever and forever.

As will the mountain king; the troll. He will present himself as rich and very knowledgeable – but he prefers to attack the young women and he will snatch them and trick them and keep them in his cold prison forever.

The first book I wrote was a children’s novel about Ragnarok. I wrote it because of the internet; because somebody had read one of my blogs and thought that I could write well and so asked me to write that novel.

The second book I wrote is called “Andrea Hejlskov” because I though my self to be a construction, an identity negotiated-  it was the first “facebook book” in my country and it consisted of inbox messages and notes I had written, status updates and conversations. The second novel was the book about how and why we ran into the wild.
The third book, the one I am working on now, will be the last book in this trilogy of mine; a triology of freedom, identity, me.

I don’t think I want to write autofiction/nonfiction anymore.

So as I sit here contemplating the nature of my work and where I want to go, I realize how much the internet have been a part of it.
I was there when internet arrived. I remember it clearly. I was sitting in my bed with a friend of mine, we found a forum, created an avatar and within seconds we were speaking to somebody across the globe. We were so exhilarated, we screamed and jumped around in the bed in excitement.
A couple of years later I created my facebook account which I have now deleted. I don´t believe in facebook anymore- but oh god, I did! I used to believe in facebook with the conviction of a born again christian.
I believed in it so much.
I believed in the people, in taking back the power, I believed in solidarity and in the importance of sharing stories. I believed in US. That is also why I blogged a lot, I have blogged for so many years, had so many blogs… even when we ran into the wilderness I would crawl up on the mountain from time to time to upload a blog post.

I believed in transparency.
I believed that if we all stepped forth and showed our selves, had the courage to, the world would become a better place for we would see, all of us, that we are not alone and that we have been constricted in the straitjacket of popular culture for too long, we could break free. Together!

As for my coming book I think the internet plays a role too because to write it I had to unplug. I had to stop the stream of consciousness, my uploading to the communal cloud of the human race. I had to turn not to the sky- but to the land, to the soil, to the ground beneath my feet. Face down.
Quiet.
Stories.

I fear the internet now.
I fear it with conviction. I am uneasy about it and when I go there I go there with caution.

I think I have been consumed by the internet. Eaten. I think I have danced with the fairies, around and around and around it went, I became so dizzy, so confused.

This is what I know about the internet; it is a place to go and for the shaman and the witches of this world it is important to go there – for there is wisdom and answers and knowledge and things that we need there. Cross the border of consciousness, ride the edges of language. But don’t stay there for too long and dont go there too often and when you go; go with caution, be aware.

I take breaks now.
Whenever I feel consumed I unplug for a couple of days. It makes me feel behind, left out, such a looser. Fear of missing out and everything, yes, it gives me the creeps to unplug, I feel uneasy when I do; all the pretty people all the pretty places all the important work. And I’m just here sitting in a house in the middle of the forest; what for?
But then the feeling eases and I begin to notice everything here again. How the trees communicate to me, the boulders and the forest floor, how everything here is ALIVE.
And I remember who I am.
And I don´t care if I´m not the prettiest woman of them all. Mirror, mirror on the wall.

A friend came to visit.
We were talking about the state of the world because these are things that needs to be talked about. I said “you know what? I feel like it’s getting better”.
My friend stared at me and told me that really it is not. It´s not getting better. Not at all. It is continously getting worse. Worse and worse.
She said that it is because I am here, surrounded by oaks and wetlands and bogs “this little paradise of yours” she said and I dont know what she meant because it dosnt feel like a paradise at all. She said it is because this place has given me a false sense of optimism. She said “Its because you´re not online anymore”

I remember how much of a whiny asshole I was and maybe still am. I remember how I used to complain that everybody wanted me to be happy in nature but that I was not.
I had to whine, I don´t regret it, it was necessary for me to become who I am now- and I still think the images produced and offered into popular culture about rewilding and simple living are nothing but commercials but ok; to call me an optimist… I still think its kind of a stretch.

So I laughed at my friend and we went to swim in the black lake.

But here is the thing. I have been thinking about it a lot: I honestly don´t think the trees are afraid.

17 Comments

  1. It is good to read your post. your words about unplugging from the internet, the withdrawal/ negative thoughts that initially bombard, then subside….thank you. It resonates with me. I can relate to much of this. I am not surrounded by the forest, rather apple trees, a large wind break, a garden, and piles of mulch. someone is coming in a few minute to buy some apples..so I better wrap this up. DM

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are right – there is so much wisdom stored in the old stories. They are not fairy tales, flights of fancy – they are guidebooks on how to live well. In accordance with the laws of Nature. To which every other creature knows in its bones it is bonded, but which Humankind has somehow convinced itself it is separate/above. Those stories were passed down by word of mouth for generations. Growing, shrinking, changing, adapting
    so as to remain useful to each new generation. And then we wrote them down. Stopped telling them from memory. Read them to our children. Only the children. Stopped telling them around the community fire. We lost a great gift. We need to light the fires and start telling the stories again. That’s the good thing about writing them down. They are still there. Frozen. Waiting for a prince’s kiss to wake them. If we tell them, they will grow and change, adapt to our times. Give us some much needed advice on how to stay sane in these crazy times. I love your idea of the internet as the Otherworld. It is an idea worth exploring. Each month I light a fire in my garden and invite people to come. We gather together and share our stories. August’s fire is tomorrow night. I can tell your story of the internet as the otherworld and see what people say about it. I hope that is ok with you. If it is, I will report back what I hear.

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  3. The main thing that makes me grateful for the internet is discovering the words of people like you and so many others who have encouraged me to think differently. I resisted the internet and all it rabbit holes for a loooooong time. But, I am glad to have dipped my toe in and discovered some wonderful things. I agree it can’t be relied on exclusively and needs to be entered into with caution (like going to space, you need some oxygen to survive.) It’s that elusive thing called balance which seems so hard for many of we humans to achieve and, maybe, we don’t ever find it but drift back and forth across the line in various seasons of our lives. Have any of your books been translated into English? I searched on that subject once long ago but didn’t find anything. Would love to read your words on paper (still my favorite way to read!) Peace and thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, NC, balance indeed. I think my generation was the first generation to be flooded by the internet, it really consumed us… I think the coming generations are more aware of the power of the internet. Or… I hope so!
      No the books havn´t been translated. It was supposed to come out on PioneersPress but they are having financial problems so right now I don´t have an english publisher (or american), let me know if you know any I should contact! Best, andrea

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  4. So, I explained your idea about the internet as Otherworld to my friends around the fire and asked them what they thought. Here is one thread of our discussion. When you are born, the masculine and the feminine combine with a divine spark to become the unique being that is you – your soul, if you like. As you travel through life, it is usual that you will encounter traumas of various kinds. These traumas can cause bits of your soul to be torn away and lost. Often, by the time you are an adult, you end up walking through your life with important elements of your soul missing. You feel lost, unfulfilled, empty, depressed, because you are not living fully as you should be. You are living with a broken heart. You need help to find those lost parts of your soul so that you may live fully again. Now, the trouble with the internet is that, if you go there unprotected, you may be exposed to material that your soul finds traumatic. You scroll through your Facebook news feed and an image of a fluffy kitten is followed by images of war atrocity or animal torture. We are traumatizing our souls on a daily basis. Have you ever come off Facebook and felt like your soul has been assaulted? I know I have. It’s an interesting idea, I think. One friend is going to engage what she calls her spirit helpers (those that help her when she is shamanic journeying) to protect her whenever she goes on the internet. See if that helps. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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    1. Dear Andy,
      This is so exiting. I saw your original post but I was on my phone and couldn´t reply. Those gathering sounds really important. I am beginning to think that I would like to do something like that myself- I really believe in the personal meeting, in sharing experiences and talking around the fire. I´m happy that I could inspire some of the conversation and I think it sounds really interesting how you developed the string of thoughts… would have loved to be there. Thank you so much for doing this and sharing!
      best
      A

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope you don’t mind if i print this post out so i still have it as a reminder in case you delete the blog again! I had a similar feeling when we moved out to the woods and at first had no power or phone or internet. It felt like being all alone in the world suddenly, i felt like i had slipped away into another world where no one could reach me. After a few days it stopped feeling sad and i felt happier than i ever have before. I felt like i was living again in the real world. Inspirations came to me, and the subtleties of the real world came forth. And lately i have been feeling just how much like an otherworld the internet feels, it can suck you in and you have to struggle with yourself to break away.

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    1. Haha, well, deleting seems neccesary from time to time. I think i realized just how much is actually stored about me online and everywhere else- because I have always shared my PROCES there´s just so much out there. The fairies have a huge chunk of me! So I had to make a run for it 😉
      I have had the exact same experience as the one you described. That “waking up” and actually living in “the real world”. Its a strange sensation! Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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