Tag Archives: norway

Fri-YAY!

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I bought a cute little bowl the other day at the Christmas market. It is hand-made by my artist friends. I always like to support artist by buying their arts whenever I can afford. My friends were happy that I visited their stall. It was supposed to be for soy sauce or wasabi servings but I just decided to put my tiny sea shells that I collected over years. I think it fits perfectly with my fish and the lotus flower. That’s how I spent my Friday. So much symbolism over here. 🙂

Meanwhile, my room and my head is filled with this song from Bojack Horseman.


♪♫♬I will always think of you
I see your face when each day’s through
and days go past (oh so fast )
but memories, they last
Summer Winter Year by Year
I’ll hear the song Inside my ear
Trying to restart (That’d be smart )
The thoughts of you haunt my heart
No I don’t want to be alone now
Just biding my time
I need somebody dearly
And darling you’d be sublime
Spring and Autumn (Up and down X2)
I keep trying to escape this town
And I just might I’ll take flight
Maybe tomorrow, not tonight ♪♫♬

 

 

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iihjee: post

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‘The pie was never larger than what it is today; for every piece one takes away, another has to be given back. Pull a flag down in rage, another springs-up in a momentous flutter. Let go of a scar, gently let go, another tears into being, arising delicately; an eye for an eye, a tattoo for a tattoo. How naive could one be… wishing to retain a blank slate’- iihjee

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There is a guy I follow on instagram. He is a Nepali, who posts thought-provoking reflections and beautiful pictures. I know him but I haven’t really talked to him in real life. When I first saw him in 2013, I knew there was something very different about him. He used to frequent the same café I used to visit. He was noticeable as he always wore slippers, white kurta and a black ‘Bhaad-gaule topi’, a typical Newari cap especially woven in Bhaktapur, Nepal. This café was very popular among the travellers backpacking to Nepal. The seating arrangements were very casual, you could even sit on the stairs or floor if you wanted to. We sat next to each other a couple of times but never talked. I heard his conversations with his friends. From what I gathered, he was so young probably around 17 then, but he was so introspective and had a very altruistic view about life. I liked being a silent listener of those conversations listening to their talks about life, society, politics, art and being young.

Fast forward 2017, he is an activist now who walked across Nepal from the east to west on foot through the Himalayan belt in his slippers. Yes! he walked through Everest base camp in his slippers. About the walk, he wrote: ‘The walk was an individual calling, not an organized effort. There were no fixed plans or routes; no agenda. I kept improvising, leaving myself open to all experiences & possibilities. I could not have done this as one does an errand; the burden would have been too great for a bloke like me who thrives in frivolous spontaneity. Never has dosh or servility lit my soul. Honestly, the stories were primarily a consequence of laziness. Writing an original piece takes great effort, taking notes & translating is a relatively undemanding deed. Adding interpretation would also have brought me into the picture – this I wanted to avoid, I wanted you to experience the journey as a first-person participant (rather than a third-person); the baton of interpretation was passed to you.’

In 2016, he did a similar 37 days walk. Through this walk, he connected with Nepal’s average people, mainly minority groups and families of the minority Madhesi people of the Southern Nepal, who were killed in protests held in the Terai region of Nepal in 2015. The message behind his walk was simple: national unity and peace.

Why I am mentioning him is because we have developed this bond with each other throughout this time on instagram. He wrote comment on a video I made on instagram and we started talking about the organic cafe, and life in general sometimes here and there. He asks for my interpretation or feedback if he makes a video posts and I write to him asking question about life if I am in a dilemma. It’s like Socrates and Plato. Lol! But he is much younger than me yet he is very mature and an inspiring human being. I want to share one of his answers to the question about calm response or retaliation towards anger/hatred directed towards you.

to anon m, with love : The viscous cycle of pain displacement, of paying pain forward, is in my opinion, the root cause of all human suffering. To mend one’s aching heart is difficult, to translate that pain into action is not. We try to save others from what we perceive to be ill; we try to help them find the happiness that could not be ours. Here, I question, how can an action rooted in anguish do any good? Our suffering often leads to actions that lead to more suffering. Be mindful of this, always. Question yourself, at every turn – “Why am I doing this?” I do not ask you to abandon what you are doing, but to merely be aware of what motivates your innermost self.
What makes you angry? Why do you blame yourself? What makes you feel pain? Why do you seek to hurt? Are you angry, or, do you want to be angry? Are you in pain, or, does a part of you want to feel pain? Reflect. Be honest with your self. No one else can help you. String together the answers; understand causes, be aware of their effects. Untangle. String back to when you were in the womb… just that instinct to live on & nothing else, everything laid bare. Stay there for a while….
Be kind, rewind, come back, to this moment. You have all the answers you need, my friend. No one can help you. No one knows you better. Only you can help yourself, only you.

And the funniest thing is every time I am going through something, he makes a post that hits the right nerve. Like the one quoted in the beginning of this post that he posted today.

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I have been in a strange frame of mind since a couple of days. No, not because of the polar nights but because of the situation I am in right now. This feeling of being lost doesn’t ever get lost. I still feel overwhelmed by things and even though I am much calmer now, I have begun to wonder about being with someone mainly in love. What is being in love anyways? I feel like Hozier: ‘I fall in love just a little o’ little bit everyday with someone new’. But seriously, I am scared of commitment, about giving my life for someone else, the expectations and then there is existential crisis. How to deal with the situation when I am going through a situation when I am sad because I am sad not because of you? How do I tell them that the pain, the sadness, the frustrations are my own. It has nothing to do with them. I also realized that in the last relationship I had I gave so much love that I do not have that love to give to anyone. I know it sounds strange because of course, I love other people too but not love is different. I feel like the spiritual side of me that loved is empty, hollow. How can I ever manage to fill it with love? And how will I ever manage to give it to someone?

But I am beginning to feel that this period is very important for my existence. I lost love, but I think I am on my path to find myself!

December, rants and dilemma

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Ever since I came to Norway, December is equal to Darkness, Deadlines and Depression. Thankfully, this year I am not as affected by polar nights as I used to be. I have a relatively healthy lifestyle, I wake up early enough, go to university, study, eat well, spend time with people who care for me and make sure I spend some time doing things I love like drawing or reading every day. And there is music. Music makes me feel alive and happy. Deadlines are there. I submitted my university application and you have no idea how much I bragged. Lol. It is quite sad that you are like a product that needs proper marketing to be able to get an admission at the university of your choice. I did not like writing the application. The whole process is so narcissistic and vain.

This weekend I helped someone put the Christmas decorations in his apartment. I had never done that before except for putting up the Christmas star. It was a really delightful experience. Also it was a good break after a whole week of rigorous study. This guy and his friends have been very nice to me. They are always inviting me to do fun stuffs (NB: not getting drunk fun😂 but gaming, karaoke or doing creative things fun!).

The saddest thing about this whole thing is that I feel like I cannot reciprocate the love I am receiving. This guy shows so much love and care towards me. Like in an unconditional way. For instance, I have been quite distressed with what happened these past months and when I am visibly disturbed and act out on it, he never gets angry, annoyed or indifferent towards me. Like ever. He plans things to do together to keep my mind off the anxiety. For instance, couple months ago, I was really depressed and was acting really stupid and angry, he calmly suggested we should make paper planes, and throw them off the Tromsø bridge. So, that’s what we did. Just sat down and made shit loads of paper planes, went to the bridge and threw them away. It was simple and stupid because the wind was blowing in the opposite direction and the planes would just go down to the water and drown instead of flying but it helped. We laughed at our stupidity and felt much better after that.

I am not deluded or anything because he is caring towards his friends, and people in general love his way of being. So much so that there have been instances where he introduced me to some people and they openly said that he is a very nice human being and they were so happy to be his friends. So, it’s not like he is pretending to be loving towards me or being nice to me for some ulterior motive. But I am so unstable. I feel like it’s unfair towards him when I express my doubts about relationships, and that I am so afraid to reciprocate the love. I am too broken to be able to fully receive and give love. Never in my life had I thought that there will be a point in my life where I will shy away from love.

Uff! I guess I just don’t want to hurt anyone. But the good thing is I have never been this honest to myself and others ever. And despite the occasional outbursts and episodes, I have never felt this calm in my entire life.

 

Erased and Empty

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Look what I did today!

Yes. I did the honor of wiping the slate clean, erasing my doodle and making space for something new.

Someone suggested that since nobody was cleaning the board, maybe I should go the Tibetan Mandala monk’s way and erase my drawing myself. I first saw that in the movie Samsara. Here is an interesting article on why the Buddhist monks destroy the Mandala.

How do I feel? Deleting something that I created myself wasn’t easy but I feel Happy, light and free. I like to think that my doodle managed to make people feel different kinds of emotions. Maybe someone got happy, others frustrated, angry or indifferent. But anyways, now, my head is full of creative ideas on what to draw next. I am very excited.

On top of that, I got an early Christmas/late birthday gift from the boy. It was a box of lightsabers aka colorful chalks. So, instead of slashing my enemies, I am going to vent out my angst, frustration, happiness or whatever emotion on the blackboard. I like this renewed form of humanness between me and him. I am truly happy.

Found this really handy guide to making things go away in my visual anthropology book. They make it seem so easy. Trust me, it’s not.

I had a nice session with my counselor. She was very proud of how I have been doing. Falling was interesting. It hurt big time but then I rose again. Learnt an invaluable lesson about balance. Being a libra, I think balance is something I really value in life.

Song on my head

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I have been procrastinating on my application essay all day. Got reminded of this very beautiful movie called Her and particularly, ‘The moon song’.

Ufff! I just wish I could pause a little and get back on track. It’s a bit difficult to keep up your spirit when it’s literally darkness all the time. I am very tired. 😢

Weekend

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I had a little rejuvenating time this weekend. I was longing to get some Vietnamese coffee at my favorite café in town called Art Café. I wasn’t disappointed. The presentation was interesting. The upper tier was the strainer and the lower tier was the cup that collected the brewed coffee. A bit of milk and sugar was already in the cup that you needed to mix. I was so excited. I really like the ambience of the café and the hosts are really warm and welcoming.

I also had a spontaneous visit to the art gallery where I got an opportunity to meet one of my favorite artists in Tromsø. It was really funny as we both recognized each other from our instagram pages. 😊

I really enjoy these alone times because I feel tired when I am with people most of the week and have this need to recharge myself. And I also came to realize that I really really enjoy being alone. I know it sounds strange but I am my own bestfriend.

Dance of ecstasy

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I was going through the instagram page of an amazing artist called theshallowtree which inspired me to doodle this piece on a blackboard in a reading room at the university. When I doodle, I don’t really plan on what I am gonna make, I just kinda let my chalk flow.

Music plays a big role in letting this creativity flow. I have music to accompany and inspire me. I had two tracks on repeat when I made this one: ‘Demention by Hallucinogen‘ and ‘Maelbeek by Dictaphone‘.

The interesting thing about drawing on the blackboard at university is that you know that it’s not gonna last forever, someone might rub the whole thing the next day. It’s sad because you have put so much effort and time to make this but it also means that the slate is wiped clean and you can create something new. And there is so much joy in creating something. I am happy with how this one turned out to be.

Waves and shaman

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I am reading a book on Shamanism by Pier Vitebsky. So, the first thing I did when I went to school was to doodle this.

There was a drawing on a paper in that room when I arrived. I know who drew it. I had a talk with my counselor today. I need to find a way to manage my anxiety. It’s been very difficult doing that lately.

Meanwhile, the sun doesn’t come over the horizon in Tromsø anymore but still there is a hint of it in the horizon. My aim every year is to capture this glimpse on pictures.

Here is how it looked today! Beautiful, no?

Day after day. Everyday!

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“Do you live to exist or exist to live…?” Amrita, Banana Yoshimoto.

After two whole years of snail/sloth reading, I finished the book just now. I just closed the book. My room is quiet, just the sound of me breathing. I feel exhilarated. It was such a simple yet profound book. It’s a special book because I have doodled so much in it. It is also an archives of pictures, drawings and special tidbits I have collected through the two years.

Yoshimoto is one of my favorite writers. Her writings are often melancholic, mysterious and simple. There isn’t much going on in the plot, it’s just the experience of a mundane daily life but still there is so much going on underneath subtly. Or the other way around. I am still in daze.

4am: Sleep doesn’t come. Oh insomnia, my dear friend! What would my life be like without you?

Bus rides during polar nights have their own special charm. Picture from my ride back home from work. 😊